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Office 365 Wardley Mapping Templates

by Jess Panni

We use Wardley Mapping as a technique to give us situational awareness in our technical decision making process. We’re sharing our Office 365 Templates for PowerPoint and Visio, so that you can make use of them too.

Optimising C# for a serverless environment

by Carmel Eve

In our recent project with OceanMind we used #AzureFunctions to process marine vessel telemetry from around the world. This involved processing huge quantities of data in close to real time. We optimised our processing for a #serverless environment, the outcome of which being that the compute would cost less than £10 / month!

This post summarises some of the techniques we used, including some concrete examples of optimisations we made.

#bigdata #dataprocessing #dataanalysis #bigcompute

The application of scientific experimental process to software development leads to the development of fully-validated solutions. This approach provides you with confidence in designs and means that you can quickly identify ideas which are not worth pursuing.

At endjin we use the ideas of hypotheses and experimentation when designing any solution and this gives us full confidence in the designs we produce. In this post we outline the steps and advantages of using this approach.

Learning DAX and Power BI – Row Contexts

by Carmel Eve

Here is the second blog in a series around learning DAX and Power BI. This post focuses on row contexts, which are used when iterating over the rows of a table when, for example, evaluating a calculated column. Row contexts along with filter contexts underpin the basis of the DAX language. Once you understand this underlying theory it is purely a case of learning the syntax for the different operations which are built on top of it.

Help for the new CTO: Getting to know your team

by Matthew Adams

As part of my series on guidance for CTOs, I discuss using the Office of the CTO (OCTO) approach to management, its strengths and limitations.

Learning DAX and Power BI – Filter Contexts

by Carmel Eve

Here is the first in a series of blog posts around understanding DAX and Power BI. This post focuses on filter contexts. which are a central concept which is vital for being able to write effective and powerful DAX!

In this series Carmel walks through the main ideas and syntax surrounding the DAX language, and provides examples of using these over a dataset. DAX is an extremely powerful language. Using these techniques it is possible to build up complex reports which provide the insight you really need!

Salaries. What a nightmare! Hardly anyone likes talking about money. Technical people don’t like talking about money. Even a lot of sales people don’t like talking about money. When a CTO comes into an organization (even a brand new start-up) one of the first things you need to sort out is the salary quagmire. In this article we look at the strategies and pitfalls of introducing open, capability-based pay levels for a product development team.

Help for the new CTO: IR35 and hiring developers

by Matthew Adams

It has been a staple of IT projects to make liberal use of short-term contract staff. Upcoming changes in IR35 for medium to larger employers is seriously disrupting the IT recruitment market, and you should understand the impact bt

In this post we show how a combination of Kubernetes, Azure Durable Functions and Azure API Management can be used to make legacy batch processing code available as a RESTful API. This is a great example of how serverless technologies can be used to expose legacy software to the public internet in a controlled way, allowing you to reap some of the benefits of a cloud first approach without fully rewriting and migrating existing software.

NDC London 2020 – My highlights

by Ed Freeman

A couple of weeks back, along with a rabble of other endjineers, I was fortunate enough to attend NDC London. This wasn’t my first time at an NDC conference – in fact, my previous outing was to Oslo to experience the “original” flavour of NDC back in 2018. That was extremely fun and packed with […]

NDC London day 1 was mainly focused around the responsibility we all face when developing new technology. As developers we cannot absolve ourselves of the consequences of not considering diversity and inclusivity when designing our solutions.

In this blog from the Azure Advent Calendar 2019 we discuss building a secure data solution using Azure Data Lake. Data Lake has many features which enable fine grained security and data separation. It is also built on Azure Storage which enables us to take advantage of all of those features and means that ADLS is still a cost effective storage option!

This post runs through some of the great features of ADLS and runs through an example of how we build our solutions using this technology!

Very excited to be speaking at NDC in London in January! The talk is focused on “Combatting illegal fishing with Machine Learning and Azure” and will focus on the recent work we did with OceanMind. OceanMind are a not-for-profit who are working on cleaning up the world’s oceans with the help of Microsoft’s cloud technologies. […]

How Azure DevTestLabs is helping me climb Everest

by Carmel Eve

Remote working allows us to work from anywhere we want. This brings a huge amount of flexibility in freedom, however we do need the help of a working laptop! When Carmel’s laptop gave in just before a trip, she used Azure DevTestLabs to allow her to continue to work using a 10 year old Mac that probably couldn’t wouldn’t have been up to the task alone…

Machine learning often seems like a black box. This post walks through what’s actually happening under the covers, in an attempt to de-mystify the process!

Neural networks are built up of neurons. In a shallow neural network we have an input layer, a “hidden” layer of neurons, and an output layer. For deep learning, there is simply more hidden layers which allows for combining neuron’s inputs and outputs to build up a more detailed picture.

If you have an interest in Machine Learning and what is really happening, definitely give this a read (WARNING: Some algebra ahead…)!

Building a secure solution on Azure can be a daunting task. Using Azure Functions and Managed Identities, we have built up a pattern for giving services access to one another, woithout the need to store credentials. These managed identities can be given access to necessary resources. For example, they can be granted roles and added to access control lists in ADLS Gen2 accounts, or the ability to access keys in key vault. This means that data can be securely accessed without needing to store connection strings or app passwords.

This is the second blog in a series around design patterns. This post focuses on the builder pattern. The builder pattern is used when there is complex set up involved in creating an object. Like the other creational patterns, it also separates out the construction of an object from the object’s use.

Here at endjin we’ve done a lot of work around data analysis and ETL. As part of this we have done some work with Databricks Notebooks on Microsoft Azure. Notebooks can be used for complex and powerful data analysis using Spark. Spark is a “unified analytics engine for big data and machine learning”. It allows you to run data analysis workloads, and can be accessed via many APIs. This means that you can build up data processes and models using a language you feel comfortable with. They can also be run as an activity in a ADF pipeline, and combined with Mapping Data Flows to build up a complex ETL process which can be run via ADF.

Software architecture and Agile project planning are often seen to be at odds. However, here at endjin we think that the way in which they intersect solves a lot of the common issues surrounding architecture. The key to successful architecture is constantly keeping the drivers in mind and having a tight communication loop as the architecture is implemented. These concepts are ones which are key to agile project management, and the combination of these two disciplines can be extremely powerful and successful when applied correctly.

Mapping Data Flows are a relatively new feature of ADF. They allow you to visually build up complex data transformation sequences. This can aid in the streamlining of data manipulation and ETL processes, without the need to write any code! This post gives a brief introduction to the technology, and what this could enable!

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