Lessons From a Startup Pivot

Building a startup is easy. You file some paperwork and bam! You’re a startup!

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Tag Helper for Display Templates

I was minding my own business when @dahlbyk (you may know him from such hits as PoshGit) dropped this comment on an already merged pull request.

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Async Disposables The Easy Way

abbot csharp suggest edit

In the System.Reactive.Disposables namespace (part of Reactive Extensions), there’s a small and useful Disposable class. It has a Create method that takes in an Action and returns an IDisposable instance. When that instance is disposed, the action is called. It’s a nice way of creating an ad-hoc IDisposable. I use them often for creating a scope in code where something should happen at the end of the scope. Here’s an exceedingly trivial example:

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IntelliSense for Hosted C# Script

abbot csharp suggest edit

This recent Abbot Blog Post covers abbot-cli a new open source command-line tool. abbot-cli makes it possible to work on Abbot skills in your local editor. In that post, I mentioned that when you retrieve a C# skill to edit locally, the tool writes a few aditional files on your machine.

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HTTPS with LetsEncrypt for Azure Functions

azure security suggest edit

UPDATE: there might be an easier way now. App Service Managed Certificates now supports apex domains. I’ll give it a try and report back.

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Subscribing to cloud events with Abbot

In my last post, I wrote about writing a sparkly skill in Abbot. That was fun! But Abbot isn’t only about fun. After all, our company name is A Serious Business, Inc. Seriously, that’s the name. So it’s about time I show you how to get to some serious business with Abbot.

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Writing Sparkly Abbot Skills With C#

In my last post, I wrote about some of the interesting elements of C# we take advantage of to make argument parsing in Abbot with C# nice.

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Argument parsing with Abbot

Most Bot skills strive for a more natural language feel to arguments passed them. For example, to remember something with Abbot you can use @abbot rem haacked's blog is https://haacked.com. And then later recall it with @abbot rem haacked's blog. Or just @abbot rem haacked because Abbot uses fuzzy matching.

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Introducing Abbot, a powerful ChatOps tool for collaborative work

Collaborative work is difficult enough when located together in an office. It can present new challenges when working remotely. When I worked at GitHub, one powerful tool we used that left a lasting impact on me was ChatOps. In fact, GitHub may have created the concept. If not, they were certainly one of the first.

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Naming NuGet, A Lesson In Distributed Decision Making

remote nuget suggest edit

It is notoriously difficult to make decisions in a distributed asynchronous manner. It’s hard enough for me to make decisions by myself. Now introduce more people and timezones and you have yourself a hot mess. People tend to meet an online proposal with the silence of indifference. Or the silence that’s a result of the bystander effect as everyone waits for someone else to chime in.

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Will Remote Compensation Be Tied To Location In The Future?

On Twitter the other day, David Anson asked,

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A Subtle Gotcha with Azure Deployment Slots and ASP.NET Core

When I deploy software, I’m lazy. Very lazy. This is why I lean heavily on Continous Deployment (CD) to automatically test and deploy software when it’s merged into my main branch. I don’t have time to deploy code by hand. So gauche!

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Mystery of The French Thousands Separator

I enjoy writing silly chat bots. To indulge my silliness, I’ve been exploring the Microsoft Bot Framework. Overall, it’s a pretty good framework, but I’ve had some weird bugs here and there. It’s unclear to me if they’re my fault or not. So to dig into them, I cloned the microsoft/botbuilder-dotnet to my machine and ran all the unit tests. It’s what I do.

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It's Time To Break to Build

Marc Andreessen wrote a recent cri de cœur to start building to solve the biggest problems we have. I believe the overall sentiment is a good one.

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Introducing Aboard Beta

In a recent post about remote work, I noted the importance of writing things down.

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When Remote Work Goes Wrong

With all this recent emphasis on remote work, you can be forgiven if you think proponents (like myself) are a bit Pollyannaish about the benefits of remote work. Even so, you have to admit that preventing the collapse of civilization from a pandemic is a strong benefit to add to the list. Whodathunkit? Given that many are now required to work from home, it makes sense to try our best to make it work. This is the motivation behind my series of posts about remote work.

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Geographically Distributed Teams

Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon just told its Seattle area employees to work from home for the next three weeks to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. Lucky for them, I’m working on a series of post that will help.

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How to Lead From Home

Working from home is a hot topic right now. If you’re a manager letting your people work from home, you may have concerns. How do you ensure that people are working? How do you create a good remote work environment? Are your people really not wearing pants?

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How To Work From Home

remote work suggest edit

For years you tried to convince the powers that be that working from home is just as productive if not more so than coming into the office. You cited article after article full of evidence to support your claims.

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Debunking the Peter Principle

management suggest edit

Professor Laurence J. Peter wrote The Peter Principle in 1968 as satire critical of management and management practices. Over time, cynical folks latched onto it as a universal law of nature. Here’s how Professor Peter stated the law he named after himself,

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