Podcast

072 - Getting started in the cloud with Barry Luijbregts

March 17, 2021

We sit down with Barry Luijbregts to talk about getting started in the cloud, new things coming with Azure and the changing culture of tech.  


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Transcript

Jeremy Morgan.:

Hello, and welcome to All Hands on Tech. I'm Jeremy Morgan. Today I'm talking with Barry Luijbregts, also known as Azure Barry. Now, Barry is an independent software architect with a passion for the cloud. He's an Azure expert, top online casino argentina author and the host of the Developer Weekly podcast. I'm very excited to be talking with him today. We're going to talk about Azure, Blazor, the learning process, and how tech culture has changed over the years. So let's welcome, Barry Luijbregts. 

How are you doing today, Barry? 

Barry Luijbregts:

I'm doing very good, actually. Although, we are still in lockdown. As well, in the Netherlands here. We're completely locked down. Schools are closed. We're getting a curfew here as well. But all in all, it's all good. 

Jeremy Morgan.:

Oh, wow. Wow. So that made quite a bit of adjustment for you?

Barry Luijbregts:

Well, not really, because I'm pretty much used to working remotely and working from home. I have a little office in the city center where I live and Breda. So I can go there and actually go away from home and go to my work and come back again. So, that's kind of nice. But yeah, having the kids at home, that's not an easy thing for my wife and also not for me. And then we rotate a little bit, this day, I'm going to work and that day you're going to work. But it's difficult.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah. So tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, so I'm Barry Luijbregts. I'm from the Netherlands. I lived there with my wife and kids and two Siberian Huskies, which are awesome dogs and they love to cold. So now it's winter time in the Netherlands. And they are a little bit more active, although I'm looking at one of them and he's asleep. It's what they do. 

And I'm a software developer and architect with a passion for the clouds, what they always say. And I started out as a software developer. And I've always been a developer in the Microsoft ecosystem. So I've used .NET since the beginning, enjoyed all the cool tools, Visual Studio, even when it wasn't cool and didn't work that well yet. But now all great and first class tooling there.

And then I've been a consultant in the beginning, software consultant in a consultancy, where I got to see lots of companies and got a lot of experience in a short amount of time, which taught me a lot. Taught me a lot of what a software developer actually is, and what kind of applications are out there. There are lots of different types of applications, lots of different variations on the forms over data applications, which is the most common thing that you see. But also data, analytical applications, migration projects, stuff like that. 

And then at some point, the cloud existed. So AWS already had a bit of a cloud. And there were already private clouds, where lots of customers had clouds, where they had computers that other people hosted, which is basically what the cloud is. Computers that other people own. But then Microsoft also came out with their version of the cloud, which was in Windows Azure, people thought it was a new version of Windows or something. It turned out not to be the case, it turned out to be a public cloud platform. And since then, I was extremely interested in that, because I thought, this thing is going to solve a lot of problems for me, where it's going to do a lot of the plumbing that I don't want to do, so that I can just focus on the things that I want to build. So add value to customers and to companies. 

And since then, I've dived right in there. I learned about the clouds, kept on learning. Till today, I keep on learning every day, I try to learn something new every day, not only about the cloud, but other stuff as well. And yeah, I've been using that a lot with customers in the software. And I tend to use a lot of software in the Microsoft ecosystem. And I tend to have a broad look at that, as in, I don't mind using Blazor but also JavaScript, for instance, ASP.NET, Entity Framework, sometimes a JavaScript framework can be scary, but I don't mind. 

I then also try to teach about those topics in top online casino argentina courses and in writing blog articles, small videos for Microsoft in Azure Tips and Tricks. And then do some consultancy in the middle, basically, to still have some real world experience where I help customers that often come now from top online casino argentina, where they've seen a top online casino argentina course, for instance, and they think, hey, this guy probably knows what he's talking about. So let's see if we can hire him to do something for us, often Azure related where then either deploy something in the cloud, run something in the cloud, design something for the cloud or review something for the cloud, which is lots of fun. So, I keep busy.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Oh, yeah. But seeing that you have a podcast, you've got a book, you've got a ton of top online casino argentina courses. So I've got to know, how do you find the time to do all this?

Barry Luijbregts:

And I do all of it in basically 32 hours a week as well, which is, that's very Dutch really.

Jeremy Morgan.:

I have many things I can learn from you.

Barry Luijbregts:

I try to manage my time well. And I try to do that by focusing on one thing at a time. So for instance, if I work on a top online casino argentina course, I work on that thing full time until it's done, which then might be a couple of weeks, or maybe a month or something. And then I don't take any consultancy customers during that time. If a consultancy customer comes along, I plan that in, work full time on that consultancy customer, and make sure that that's a project that actually has an actual ending. So I try to not be an interim employee as a freelancer, where you're just part of the development team and you could basically stay there forever, theoretically. But I try to actually add value, and then go away again. 

So I try to negotiate that with the customer, as in, when is this done? For instance, it could be setting up an architecture or something. But then when that's done, when I deliver something then it's done, then the job is done. We can obviously talk about another job. But then we also need to talk again, about the planning, because that might be in another timeframe. So, that's how I try to do it. I focus on one thing at a time. And by doing that's, it seems to work so far.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Nice. Yeah, that makes sense. So how did you get started with software development? Was it something that you always liked as a kid? Or was it something that you kind of fell into while doing something else? 

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, when I was a kid, when I was young, my dad had a MSX computer, which ran a version of BASIC, and there was basically a thick keyboard that you could hook up to a monitor, and then it can run a program that is then read from a tape, and a tape for the people that don't know what that is, is a cassette tape. So it has this tape in it, and you can store data on it. So usually music, for instance, but also actual data for programs. I wasn't much of programs back then. But it was like small games and things like that. 

And then my dad had this book that contains code for these games, for small games, text based adventures, things like that. And I would then try and type all of that stuff into the computer and make it work, which is very difficult, because if you made a mistake, you couldn't save anything, then it just didn't work, [inaudible 00:08:23]. 

So that kind of made me fall in love with the notion of programming, as in, you could type something on a screen. And then if it all worked, then something would actually happen. You would see something like a game or a website or an image that would move or something, which is magic. And till today that's still true and more true even. Because still now with Visual Studio or Visual Studio Code or something, I type something in there. And then I press compile and run and something happens, magic happens. And a website pops up, for instance, or a user can use a mobile application or something happens in the real world, like a lamp turns on and off. That's still amazing to me. So I still love software development and the power that it has. Because if you can create software, then basically you can create anything that you want. That's what I think. 

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, I definitely agree with that. And it's nice that we can save our code now.

Barry Luijbregts:

That's an added bonus, absolutely.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Definitely. What was your first real tech job? 

Barry Luijbregts:

Well, I didn't start out in tech originally in school, kind of in tech, but I was studying to be an electrician actually. 

Jeremy Morgan.:

Nice. 

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah. After that I thought you know what, I could be an electrician, but I could also do something else because I still loved computers. I was always building my own PC and playing games on it and such. And I thought, I want to do something with that. And so then I changed my school, I did finish the electrician school. And then I got into a new school, where I started to learn about, it was then called Information Technology, they didn't really teach software development, because that wasn't a thing back then, at least not that school here in the Netherlands wasn't really prolific. So I did that. And that kind of taught me about requirements gathering, why software is important, how IT processes work, things like that. But then, that left me with lots of time, because it was really relatively easy. And so I started to learn programming myself there by teaching myself Microsoft C sharp, by learning the big Microsoft Press Books, those were the big red books. 

Jeremy Morgan.:

Oh, yeah. 

Barry Luijbregts:

For the certification preparations. So I got my MCP, Microsoft Certified Professional certification. And then after that, lots of other specialized things like ASP.NET and C sharp, databases, all that type of stuff. And then from there, once I've finished at that degree, which would then result in a bachelor's degree. With those certifications, I got my first real technology job. And that was then being a software developer, a paid software developer in a consultancy firm. And that was very exciting. That was the first time that somebody actually paid me to write software, which was very cool. 

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, I can imagine. It is kind of a funny feeling sometimes working in tech, when you're really passionate about it. And there are always those moments like, I can't believe I'm being paid for this. I had fun all day today.

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, absolutely. 

Jeremy Morgan.:

And so, why the cloud? I noticed, you have a very intense focus on the cloud and Azure and things like that, what is it that draws you in about Azure? 

Barry Luijbregts:

I think from the beginning, that the cloud was available, and that I could play with it, I basically saw the potential that now somebody else is running these computers. And that meant that we have these things that could be scalable, and they could scale out and in. And that's kind of magic already. Plus, you don't have to worry about running things anymore, which is just a lot of overhead that you don't have to do. And I saw the potential for customers very early on. In my consultancy role already there, where I saw customers that were running all sorts of stuff on premises or on servers that are under somebody's desk. 

I thought you know what, if you guys would run this in Azure, for instance, which back then only had I think, VMs and Azure SQL Database, then already, you would have to be way more performance, scalable, and more available. Plus, you don't have to worry about when the thing crashes and all your data is gone, because it's right there. So all those basic pillars of [inaudible 00:13:12], performance, security, availability, all those architecture required requirements, let's say, a lot of those things are taken care of for you by the cloud without you doing much really, just by running something in a cloud native service. So something that runs managed by Azure. And that always attracted me from the beginning. 

But that's only the basic attraction for the cloud, because later on, and that's what we're seeing right now, as well, the cloud is offering a lot more additional services that add a lot more value to customers, like for instance, AI services that come with predefined machine learning algorithms, like in Azure, you have the Azure cognitive services, which is basically a bunch of API's that you can call and then they do something for you. One of those is the custom vision service, you just shot up an image into that service. And then it spits out what that image is, a description of the image, some other data about the image and tries to guess what the image is about, basically. 

And so you have lots of these services that Microsoft already trained for you that are very intelligent, because they have lots of data behind him, and can bring lots of very advanced capabilities to your applications, without you actually having to do much besides just calling a service and just doing something with a result. So services like that really add lots of value for very little efforts and even relatively low cost. And that's all possible because the cloud is so huge, and Microsoft, really utilizes the power of scalability there, because so many people are using those services, they can offer them relatively cheap to us. So, that's very attractive. 

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, absolutely. That was going to be my next question is what you think some of the bigger drivers are that are pushing Azure, because Azure is extremely popular with developers, as we all know. And I get the impression, I don't have any insider information on it. But I kind of get the impression, it's like a store where they're getting more customers coming in everyday, like the Azure user base is growing quickly. And what do you think maybe some of the reasons are for that? 

Barry Luijbregts:

I think one of the reasons is that customers [inaudible 00:15:44] so companies, they have their own data centers, or they use data centers from other private cloud vendors. And they're now realizing that, first of all, you can do things cheaper in the cloud. If you do that, well. Usually, when you first move to the cloud, it's more expensive. But that's usually because when you run stuff on premises, you don't think about high availability, scalability, all that stuff. And then when you move to the cloud, you need to think about that stuff, which means a little bit of re-architecting and paying off technical debt, which makes things more expensive. But I think customers are running into the fact that they now need to make a choice as in, do we renew the data center? Do we buy new hardware, or do we make the move to the cloud now or in next five years, or whenever our contracts are up. So to move from owning stuff to renting stuff, which is the first driver there. 

And then once you've made that decision, because everybody kind of wants to rent stuff, because it's way more flexible, because you don't always now run services that are on 24 seven, but also things that you use once in a while. And if you rent that in the form of serverless services, then you only pay for when you run them, instead of having a server that you bought, and you need to pay for that all the time. So, that's very attractive.

And then I think the second thing is that Microsoft is doing a very good job at marketing the capability of their cloud, and how native cloud services, like for instance, a cognitive services that I just talked about, how they can enhance your applications with relatively little adjustments. So you just call an API, and you do something with the result. So things like that, and there's tons more services like that. They make it very attractive to be in the cloud, because then you can utilize all of those things, without your development teams having to build all that custom logic to do stuff like that, because it's very expensive. Plus, you probably can't do it as well as Microsoft can.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, I think that's probably one of the misconceptions out there. Still is cost. A lot of people when they're debating moving to the cloud or not, even today, it's like, we can't afford it, it's too expensive. And you kind of framed it in a good way there that it's expensive upfront. But it may be more expensive to keep going with the data center model. 

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, plus, you need to really compare it well to what you're actually running right now. So when people move to the cloud, they usually say, well, I want my website to be up 99.95% of the time. Well, there's a price tag for that. But right now, on premises, you don't have that because you're running, let's say a single instance of a virtual machine. And it's not backed up, and it's not scalable. So right now, you don't have that. But maybe you've never experienced an outage before, that can happen.

So you need to compare the right things there. Plus, it's also very difficult to compare, because on premises, you have very different things that you need to do. For instance, you have your IT operations or DevOps people that maintain all those servers. That costs money, but maybe money that you don't see because those guys are around anyways. And in the cloud, you don't have those costs anymore. And those people are then freed up to do other stuff, like create infrastructure as code, for instance, to be able to deploy more or create DevOps pipelines, like a release pipeline or a CICD stuff. And those are difficult costs to compare to each other. 

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, absolutely. That makes a lot of sense. Now, you've done some work with Blazor and WebAssembly. Why would someone be excited about, or why should someone be excited about Blazor and WebAssembly?

Barry Luijbregts:

Well, when you build a website, which is something that I often do, web based application, usually that is a website or something that somebody can access through a browser, then you run into the problem that you probably have to do something client site, which means that you have to create a JavaScript code, usually. A JavaScript is very well known for that. And everybody can use, it's easy to use. And it can do stuff on the client. So it can manipulate your buttons, let's say, without doing a complete postback, which means that you don't have to refresh the page, which might provide a better user experience. Now, JavaScript is a bit clunky, and is not really a programming language. And I know that's going to make people cranky when I say that. 

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, probably a little. 

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah. But yes, of course, it is a language, but it's a scripting language. And it was never meant to be a full fledged programming language. It was originally meant to be something that makes it easy for people to create websites with which you can do, but it is very loose, which means that you can very easily make mistakes with it. Now you can make it more strict with for instance, things like type scripts, or there are also other frameworks that can help you out there to make less errors. Today, you can use that. But what I'm getting at is that an alternative to using JavaScript is using Blazor. And Blazor is a technology that enables you to then use C sharp to do client site things instead of JavaScript.

And that's cool, because of basically two things. Because if you are a C sharp developer, that means that you can continue to use your skills, also for the client, without having to learn JavaScript, or diving into that. Because for instance, if you look at me, I can do some JavaScript, but I'm definitely not an expert in it. I know C sharp a lot better, because I've worked a lot more with C sharp, so I'm more comfortable with C sharp than with JavaScript. 

So now with Blazor, I can use C sharp on the client. And so I do, because, I can reuse my existing skills. And it also means that you could use your libraries that you've created earlier, also in the browser now. So if you've created lots of functionality that works with C sharp, then you can take that with you in your projects where you create Blazor applications. You can reuse your previous C sharp work there. 

And then additionally, why that can be cool is because the Blazor enables C sharp to run on the client, and then it runs in a little JavaScript runtime sandbox. And it can be extremely fast there because that's where WebAssembly then runs. They use the concept of the WebAssembly runtime, which runs in the JavaScript sandbox there. And with that, you can run things very, very fast. So you can make things very performance. So potentially, you could, for instance, create a client side game with C sharp, that works very well, that performs very well. 

Now that's not the case yet, performance wise with Blazor. So with client side C sharp, but it is the case with other WebAssembly enabled languages. Like for instance, you can compile C++ or something to WebAssembly, which then the intermediate language that can run on the JavaScript runtime, and create games with that. So the potential is great. And for now, what you can practically do with it is use C sharp, instead of JavaScript to do stuff on the client. And you can also use them together. So Blazor with C sharp and to even talk to each other where JavaScript talks to your Blazor application, and your Blazor application talks to JavaScript.

Jeremy Morgan.:

And I think some of that kind of builds a bridge because I was also C sharp and .NET developer through most of my career. So I'm speaking for myself, and people I worked with that they disliked JavaScript, and front end development in general, like I had avoided it at first before I really learned it. And a lot of .NET developers I know are, like front end stuff. No way. I don't want to do it. Get it away from me. And so I think this might help build a bridge and TypeScript kind of started that bridge, I think, because when TypeScript came out, all of the .NET developers were like okay, here's some sanity.  This is making things make sense to me and how I think of programming and so I kind of see it as a bridge to bring more C sharp back end developers into kind of a front end client.

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, I think so too. Yeah. There are lots of, let's say, more old school C sharp developers, Microsoft developers have worked with C sharp, or people that used to just work on desktop applications. So WPF, Windows Forms and all sorts of other desktop applications that now also move to create web applications. Because it's not that scary anymore, you can just reuse your skills. So this enables a huge amount of C sharp developers to also create stuff for the web, which is very cool.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, definitely. And so speaking of being a developer, so I checked out your book, 200 Things You Should Know as a Developer and it's really fast, like I haven't read the book, front to back, I'll be honest. But I, kind of going through the headlines looking at it, and what's one thing that you wish you knew when you started as a developer? And is it included in that book?

Barry Luijbregts:

That's a very good question. So the book is called 200 Things That Developers Should Know. And it contains well, 200 things. So small tips, basically, that I think every developer should know. And those are things about programming, how to pick your programming language, for instance, troubleshooting, dealing with managers, freelancing, working remotely, stuff like that. I think the thing that I wish that people would have told me before I really started was also how to pick a programming language really, how to go about it, because I started out with Java actually. And then after a while, I found out that it's not really my thing, mainly because of the tooling, back then it was said JBuilder that you use. Borland's JBuilder that you used to create and compile Java stuff with. 

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, remember that. 

Barry Luijbregts:

That was painful. So if somebody could have guided me back then in maybe a better ecosystem sooner, then I could have started sooner into the ecosystem that I now like more, which is the Microsoft ecosystem. And I think I like it more because of the tooling, really. I think as Microsoft developers, we are extremely spoiled with things like Visual Studio. But luckily now all sorts other developers can also utilize that in the form of Visual Studio Code, which works really well.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, absolutely. And that's one of the things that I've used to kind of argue for the case of Microsoft and .NET development, because I've always been kind of on each side depending on where I was at in my career with Linux development and .NET development. And there are two entirely different worlds. Now those worlds are kind of coming together with .NET Core and .NET Five. But for a long time, people would say, why on earth would I ever want to get into the Microsoft ecosystem? As Linux developers, and that was usually what I would tell them is like, just wait till you use Visual Studio. Like when you use Visual Studio, it'll entirely change how you develop and and how you build and it's so nice and convenient. And would you say that's still true, as a good reason to get into the Microsoft ecosystem?

Barry Luijbregts:

Oh, absolutely. Yeah, we are still extremely spoiled with our tooling. It's very good. I know that Microsoft developers complain about this is not working, we want this to work, we want these features. But if we compare it to other IDEs and other tools, this thing is magnificent. We are extremely spoiled. And to your point, I can totally imagine that people from other ecosystems are a bit like, hey, we don't want to use Microsoft's big tech stuff. I don't want to do that. But it's not Microsoft from 10 years ago anymore, or however it was. It's a very different Microsoft's, now Satya is the CEO. It's very open, everything is open source. Plus from our side, I always had also the notion where I said, I don't want anything to do with the command line stuff with Linux and all that weird stuff. I want anything to do with that. But now, Linux runs on Azure, everything runs on Azure. I even ever Linux subsystem in my Windows installation that's right in front of me, which is nuts. I can use Bash and stuff. 

So now I explore that world also more because it's way more accessible now through my Microsoft tooling, which is very weird. But yeah, it means that I can also use that which means that I can enjoy the benefits of that world as well. Like Linux for instance is extremely fast. And when you run it on Azure, for instance, it's also fairly cheap to run Linux powered stuff. So, that's very convenient. Plus .NET Core now runs on it everything, including on Linux.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, that runs really well on Linux. I put it to the test a couple of years ago, with a big project. It's even come farther since then. But we did a big .NET Core project and hosted it on Linux. And I was pretty impressed with how well it worked.

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, that's absolutely amazing. 

Jeremy Morgan.:

In your book, you hint at humility, and being kind of humble as a developer. Why do you think that would be important? Things like, don't memorize everything. Don't be afraid to look it up. Don't be afraid to admit mistakes, things like that.

Barry Luijbregts:

I think learning is the most important skill that you can have as a human being and also as a developer. And you can only learn when you admit that you don't know things. So if you're in a meeting, for instance, and somebody is talking about something that you've never heard about, then you can talk along with them and nod along where you say, oh, I know what you're talking about. Or you can just come out for it and just say, well, I don't know what that is, could you maybe explain it. And I'm sure that the person will be happy to explain it, and then you know it too, and then you've learned something new. So I'm a firm believer in continuous learning and lifelong learning. And I think, if you're not humble enough to admit that you don't know things, then you can't learn. And then you don't grow. And when you don't grow you shrink, basically, you go backwards.

I know it can be in the beginning, especially when you start out, it can be very scary to ask for help. And to admit that you don't know things because you want to be part of the team and you want people to respect you say, well, this guy knows a lot of stuff. I can totally imagine, I did that as well, in the beginning, of course. You want to know, as much stuff as you can, so that you can show it off and then showed it off to the more senior developers, for instance, so that they respect you as well. But I think over the years, I've also learned that people respect you even more when you actually admit that you don't know things.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I had to learn that same lesson earlier in my career, I did exactly what you described where I would be like, yeah, I totally know all about that. Then I go home and learn really fast before somebody asks me a question. And yeah, that approach is a lot better. And I think the culture and development has changed a lot. You'd mentioned roughly when you started out with probably like the early 2000s. 

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, something like that, Jim.

Jeremy Morgan.:

What kind of cultural changes have you seen from then till now, as far as developer culture?

Barry Luijbregts:

Well, I think people are more humble now than they were. I think there was much more of a macho culture back then, at least here in the Netherlands and the companies that when I worked in, than it is now. The overall culture has changed a lot, of course, where things are now more PC, let's say. You can't say everything anymore that you did back then, which I think is sometimes definitely a good thing. And sometimes we go really overboard with that, where people are a bit too sensitive about things, I think. But because of all of that, all those movements, I think people now are more softer than they were back in the day. 

People here in the Netherlands as well. I think back then, when I started, people were working very hard and long hours and doing stuff for status. I work hard and that's good. You should respect me, because I work so hard, and I work such long hours. And I think that's definitely changed a lot now, where people focus a lot more on their personal lives as well. Where they say, you know what, I'm the coolest here because I only work 32 hours a week and I go home on time. And I think that's gained more traction, a bit more of a work life balance, where it's not so cool to work late into the evening, but it's way more cool to actually spend time with your family, for instance. And I think that's a very good thing. People prioritize sleep, for instance, more than they did. 

And I think managers and companies also are a lot more sensitive to that and actually listen to what people want, because I think maybe over the decades, they actually learned that if they just push and push and push people to get the revenue, that doesn't work, they just walk away, especially software developers that can get a new job tomorrow. So I think over the decades, maybe they found out a little bit more what actually works, which means listening to people, and giving them more space to be more responsible themselves, and to creates a better work life balance, and a better life overall. So I think we're moving in the right direction. But we still have a long way to go.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, absolutely. I've never thought about that quite the way you put it, but that's absolutely what I've seen here in the United States. Also early in my career, if you left at five o'clock or six o'clock in the evening, you were a slacker. Oh, look at them going home so early. We're here till eight o'clock and nine o'clock at night. And yeah, that has diminished over the years, thankfully. Yet, we're getting more things done, I think, as developers.

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, we're way more productive. And also, it's a cultural difference as well. Because here in the Netherlands people, or what I usually say, in the Netherlands people work to live, where lots of other countries and cultures you see that people live to work. So it's the other way around there. So it's good to hear that also in the US, then that change is happening, where you see companies like top online casino argentina for instance, they don't offer unlimited holidays, for instance, stuff like that, which gives me a lot more responsibility, freedom, and also an opportunity to create a better life. And I think everybody's more productive because of it.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, absolutely. We've got a great work life balance here. And when people are at work, they're giving it 110% because they're refreshed. Spend a weekend at the mountain with their family. And so Monday, they're ready to rock and roll. 

So what exciting things are coming for Azure, that are kind of exciting to you that are coming in the next year or so?

Barry Luijbregts:

Ooh, well, there's so much new stuff coming for Azure and improvements, as well. Well, what's exciting? Well, there's, for instance, the whole Azure Ark story, which is the hybrid story, where now you can really, really run actual Azure services on any hardware, which is really exciting because lots of customers still have a hybrid environment, because simply they can't do it differently, which is totally fine. But now there is an actual option for them. And that is evolving a lot more. So, that's very exciting. 

I see a lot more services coming out, like the cognitive services that perform AI for you, without you having to do the heavy lifting of creating machine learning algorithms and doing all that difficult work. So, for instance, there's a cognitive services, metrics advisor, which is something that's in preview right now. And you add a data feed to that thing with time series based data. So that is data that is about things that happen in time, like for instance, a temperature that you measure every minute or so or every day. And it can then analyze that data and tell you what the anomalies are, and what the incidents are, which is really cool. So it tells you well, on Tuesday, we had a spike here, and this is probably lower than expected, without you actually creating a whole algorithm for it, it does that for you. It trains on the data for you. So I think it's more of AI as a service that's coming. And we see that a lot more in much more services. 

Because companies want to use AI. But it's difficult. It's very difficult to actually get started with that. It's difficult to create good machine learning algorithms and train them with the right data that's not bias and that's enough data. How do you even go about that? So when Microsoft can do that for you with massive amounts of data, it's not custom. So it's not precisely what you want, but it probably gets you 80% there. So, that's very exciting stuff.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, absolutely. So how do you learn a new technology? When something new comes along and you see it and you're like, oh, wow, I'd like to check that out, try that out. What is your approach to learning that?

Barry Luijbregts:

Oh, a while back, I started to learn about quantum computing, which is such a cool concept and also very difficult thing because it contains quantum physics which is not the easiest thing to learn. But it's very interesting. So when I started to learn about that, what I did was basically just do research on the web, as in, read stuff, read articles, and I start to create a big picture of the thing. So I read something here, about superposition, about quantum phenomena. And I read something here that they are actually building a quantum computer. And here, what you can do with a quantum computer, and all those small tidbits together start to form a larger, big picture. And I try to draw that picture out just by drawing it out on a PowerPoint slide or something. Something very rudimentary, very simple that just gives me a bit of an overview. 

And from there, I then dive in deeper into these different categories. So for instance, the quantum phenomena like superposition, then I can actually, Google that, Google Bing that and go read research papers that I really don't understand, because I'm not a quantum physics scientist. But still I can understand the abstracts and such. And I can get the gist of those things and then maybe watch a couple of YouTube videos, maybe if there's a top online casino argentina thing, I watched that about that topic. And then I really can go into the depths of that little pillar of the overall big picture, and then go from there, and the next pillar and the next pillar. 

And then usually, when I get through those deeper details, then really the big picture starts to click a lot more. Whereas in the beginning, I had the big picture, when I first asked, this probably works like this, but then I really didn't understand it until I actually dove a lot deeper. And then things start to click in and ah, alright, now I know how it actually works. 

And this is a very abstract thing, quantum computing, which you can use. There is a quantum computer online that you can use. But when I use a more practical technology, a more hands on thing, then obviously, I would also just try it out. For instance, a new service in Azure, I would go to the portal, spin one up, see what's all about and try it out. And then read the documentation, see what the limitations of the thing are. Kick the tires a little bit, basically. And then I know about it. 

Jeremy Morgan.:

Nice. Yeah, that's pretty cool. I'm very curious about quantum computing also, but in the spirit of humility, I know, next to nothing about it. But it's very interesting. Yeah, it's interesting concept.

Barry Luijbregts:

It's a very interesting concept. Yeah.

Jeremy Morgan.:

So what are you working on right now? Are there any cool projects, or anything you can tell us about?

Barry Luijbregts:

I have a couple of top online casino argentina courses that I've suggested that might or might not be done by me. So I'm kind of waiting on that. For the listener that might not know about this. Within top online casino argentina, top online casino argentina has content needs. So they tell us as authors, what kind of courses that people want to see. And then we can all say, well, I want to make this course, or I want to make this course. And in addition to that, we can also propose courses where I say, well, I noticed cool topic, or does this new technology that I really want to teach about, do you guys like that and does it fit into the overall library? So I have a couple of those things running, which I'm excited for. I'm doing some work for Microsoft always, I work on Azure tips and tricks. Maybe you've seen one of those or not. Those are small videos of an Azure surface or Azure feature with accompanying blog posts. And that's all on a GitHub page, that's called the Azure Tips and Tricks. So I make those every quarter for Microsoft and they seem to enjoy that. 

And recently, I also released a course on Udemy, about Windows 10 productivity because I use Windows. I'm always been a Windows user and we use Windows 10. And I thought, I really should take some time to actually learn how to use Windows, so that I can be more productive with it. Because there's lots of little tools, and shortcuts and things like that, that if you actually start learning about them and actually start using them, you can really speed up your workflow, like the clipboard history, for instance, with Windows V. Really cool. So, that course contains all sorts of that kind of little value.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, absolutely. That's one of the things that a lot of people don't think about. I've been in that boat before also, or just, I'll use it as it's used. And then somebody will say, hey, here's this cool thing or hey, here's... Then next thing you know, you're super proficient and then all sudden everything goes faster. Definitely pretty cool. 

So I have one last question for you. And I was going to ask it in the beginning, but I'm a dog person, so that would have made this whole podcast about dogs. But what should we know about having a Siberian Husky?

Barry Luijbregts:

Well, a couple of things I think. They're obviously very nice and fluffy. But they also molt, which means that they lose their hair a couple times a year, depending on how warm or cold it is outside. Like right now, I see [inaudible 00:45:48] lay in there, which is the male Husky, and his fur is just coming off. So I can just pluck him, and then I can create a complete another dog with fur that comes off, and I can keep doing it every day for months which is nice. So that means, a lot of hoovering of the house. And a lot of cleaning. And they also need a lot of exercise. Otherwise, they go nuts and then they eat your couch.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Yeah, we have German Shepherds. It's the same thing.

Barry Luijbregts:

Same thing. Yeah, lots of energy. Although a German Shepherd is also smart, right? So they need some mental stimulation where [inaudible 00:46:34], I love him. He's not the brightest dog. So he doesn't need a lot of mental stimulation. If he's physically tired, then it's fine.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Nice. That's pretty cool. Well, thank you very much for doing this.

Barry Luijbregts:

Yeah, not a problem. Thank you very much for having me. It's been an honor.

Jeremy Morgan.:

Now that was a great talk with Barry and I hope you liked it. You can see more of his work on azurebarry.com and check out his podcast Developer Weekly. Thank you for listening to All Hands on Tech. If you like it, please rate us. You can see episode, transcripts and more info at 2ndavenueshopper.com/podcast.