Hi, I’m Gregor and This is How I Work

Where are you located?

Glasgow, Scotland, where the sun always shines 🙂

What is/are your current gig (s)?

Head of Development Services for Sword IT in the UK

What’s one word to describe your work?

Cloudy

What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?

  • Spotify – I love to listen to some music when the office gets busy, Trance tunes keep me going all day
  • ReSharper – I’ve always loved ReSharper and it’s just a given for me these days
  • Postman – When testing out API’s I use Postman and would recommend it if you’re not using it
  • Fiddler – I always like to see what’s going on and Fiddler is amazing at what it does
  • Azure DevOps – I use this daily for all of our projects and I think it’s awesome.

What does your workspace look like?

My workspace is seriously in need of a revamp, I have an old computer desk, laptop, 2 vga monitors (yes vga), a very old desktop which hasn’t been on for some time and a microphone for recording TechSnips videos.

What’s a typical workweek look like?

I work on different customer projects each week and help my team if they get stuck or just need another pair of eyes or hands or to lend a hand.

What do you like the best about your role?

Managing a team of people all over the UK, it’s my first job managing people and its been great!

What’s something about you that no one knows about?

I was one of the first 50 developers in the World to pass the first Microsoft .NET exams and received a signed copy of Visual Studio from Bill Gates.

What do you listen to while you work?

I listen to various playlists I have on Spotify mostly 90’s Trance Music, I still listen to a State of Trance radio shows.

What do you wish you could change about your work?

I wish I had more hands-on time working with Azure, I spend a fair bit of time on Azure development but I would love to do it full time.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers?

I blog at http://gregorsuttie.com, Twitter is @gregor_suttie and I’m trying to spend more time blogging after recovering from blasting through the Azure exams, on that note if I can help with the Azure exams please do let me know. I also play golf twice a week and will be attending Ignite in Florida in November 2019

Hi, I’m Matt and This is How I Work

Where are you located?

Bristol in the UK

What are your current gigs?

I am a contractor and my current title is something like ‘Infrastructure Consultant’. Basically, I do on-prem and cloud(Azure) sys-admin and automation stuff. And, of course, I am a TechSnips Contributor 😉

What’s one word to describe your work?

Multi-Threaded

What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?-

  • VSCode – I spend a lot of time writing PowerShell code. I started out on ISE but I’ve become addicted to VSCode in the last few years.
  • OneNote and Google Keep – I tend to dump notes into both of these as much as I can. It looks very disorganized, but I use it as a notepad so there are a lot of random words and IP addresses etc in there, and I know what they mean most of the time. I am using hashtags more and more as a simple way to organize my random notes.
  • PocketCasts – I listen to a lot of PodCast on my commute, and this is the app that I have settled on. It’s not perfect, but it does the job and supports speed ramping which helps me consume stuff quickly.
  • Pocket (on Android) – I LOVE Pocket! If you don’t know already it’s a pretty simple app that saves text web pages (ie blog posts etc) with all the formatting stripped out leaving just the text to read. It’s a great way to save blog posts so that you can read them when waiting for a train etc. The killer feature is the “Listen” button that will read the saved pages out to you. This is the first thing I do when I get in the car, ie just hit the button and it will read everything to me while I drive to work. Google Assistant – I am spending more and more time talking to my phone and house!

What does your workspace look like?

At home, I have a simple desk against a wall in a spare bedroom, which has become my office. I have a single ultra-wide monitor (it’s like having two monitors) with the laptop alongside to give another screen. It’s all connected to a USB DisplayLink docking station. It’s a pretty simple setup which works for me and having it against the wall means I can’t see anything that will distract me.

For recording TechSnips stuff, I have lined our airing cupboard (that’s no longer used) with sound insulating foam. I got a bit obsessed with this when I first started recording and probably went a bit far, but at least there is no echo in my recordings now 🙂

What’s a typical workweek look like?

My current job means I have to be in the office Monday to Friday. The office is all hot desks, so the situation isn’t that different from my home desk, just with a lot more distractions. I do a mix of support and project work so each day is different, which I like. Basically, I fix/create/design whatever my customer throws at me.

What do you like the best about your role?

Nothing is the same from day to day, and I work with some really smart people. Ok, there’s always something that doesn’t change, but generally, IT is always changing and I love that. With the advent of ‘cloud’, the pace of change just seems to be increasing. It can be a bit much to keep up with, but I love discovering new shiny ways to solve problems.

What’s something about you that no one knows about?

I used to keep bees until I got stung on the eyelid and had a big reaction that could have killed me. I don’t keep Bees any more!

What do you listen to while you work?

This is something I’ve spent a great deal of time experimenting with (honestly I could write a whole blog post on this). I get distracted by background voices and my mind wonders easily. I’ve found that music really helps to block things out and keep me on target, so I try to listen to music that has no lyrics and isn’t too lively (unless I need some screaming music to wake me up).

These are some of the things I have found:

  • There are some great Lo-Fi Hip Hop channels on YouTube (Example: ChilledCow ‘https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSJ4gkVC6NrvII8umztf0Ow’). These are a great continuous flow of music that doesn’t distract too much.
  • I use an App called Coffitivity (https://coffitivity.com/) which plays background sounds like you are in a Cafe. It’s a bit difficult to describe but it’s just like sitting in a Starbucks with all the background burble but you can’t really hear anything of what people are saying. It’s a bit odd but it really seems to work for me. There are loads of other apps that do this and lots of playlist on YouTube as well.
  • Music with no Lyrics works well. ‘Explosions in the Sky’ is one I keep going back to, but sometimes it can be a bit too noisy for full-on concentration.

What do you wish you could change about your work?

I never have enough time to try all the things I want to try out. There is always a burning issue or a deadline to hit when you have found a new method that you want to try out, or a new service in Azure (there seems to be a new one every week). I’d love to just play with the new/shiny all the time but sometimes you’ve got to actually do some work.

How to Run PowerShell Code by Invoking a Webhook in Azure Automation

Back in my day, we could only run PowerShell scripts on local Windows computers. Nowadays though. it’s amazing all of the different ways to execute PowerShell scripts. We not only have PowerShell on Linux but Azure Cloud Shell too! Azure Cloud Shell is an awesome way to quickly bring up a PowerShell environment to execute code in the cloud. Speaking of Azure, we’ve also got Azure Automation runbooks. Using PowerShell Azure Automation runbooks are another great way to get stuff done with PowerShell.

Whenever I build a PowerShell Azure Automation runbook, the trigger for the runbook has always been on a schedule or invoked via another runbook. However recently, I needed the ability to invoke it outside of Azure completely via a service we use here at TechSnips called Zapier.

Continue reading “How to Run PowerShell Code by Invoking a Webhook in Azure Automation”