Skip to main content

Windows Azure and NodeJS

When starting at my new home at RESAAS about 6 months ago, I was determined to become a better developer in a Windows environment. Developing in a *nix environment for about 10 years made it so I had to change my way of thinking (package dependencies, scripts, paths, keybindings) which is why RESAAS was a perfect learning environment for me.

RESAAS is a social network for Real Estate Professionals -- we're building a platform that lets them be more open and connected with their colleagues and clients -- and then we build tooling around that to make their everyday lives easier and more simple. That said, the whole platform is built on Windows Azure -- from Blob storage to Compute instances to SQL Azure.

Thinking back now from when I was still at Blast Radius, I've come to realize that I've come a long way in learning about Windows tooling (BACPACs, DACPACs, Visual Studio, MSBuild, SQL Azure, Windows Azure Portal, and much much more). To go even farther that just learning some of the tooling, I stepped up to the plate and gave a talk at the first Vancouver Windows Azure group about developing and deploying NodeJS applications to Windows Azure.

In this meetup, I talked about how seamless it felt going from a *nix environment to a Windows environment when writing NodeJS applications. I also showed the crowd how fast you could deploy a NodeJS WebRole (literally in 6-9 minutes). Furthermore, to end it off, I demo'd a quick URL Shortener application built with NodeJS and Azure Table Storage (Microsoft's NoSQL Solution).

When hacking together that URL Shortener, I was finding that Microsoft's NodeJS SDK for Azure felt like being in a *nix environment -- using Cmdlets in PowerShell felt like any other Heroku-style deployment.

I'm really astonished at the effort that Microsoft is putting into NodeJS -- They've done an amazing job of making it easy to develop, deploy NodeJS apps to Windows Azure.

Good luck and have fun,
Jaime Bueza

Jaime Bueza is a software engineer in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He has developed web applications for Nintendo, Starbucks, Bacardi, Nike, Electronic Arts, Ritchie Brothers, Kiwi Collections, Cox Communications and Microsoft. When he's not developing useful software that constantly evolves with business requirements, he's writing open source software and creating tutorial videos for aspiring front-end developers.


Popular posts from this blog

TextMate Tutorial: How to add a Strikethrough keybind to your Markdown bundle

Markdown is awesome for quickly generating Readme's on Github. After looking at other projects using the strike tag, I've decided to create a custom keybind for it in my TextMate Markdown bundle. Here's how:

1) Click the + sign on the bottom left and click New Command.
2) Paste this into the editbox and make sure you name your command "Strikethrough".

For the input field, select WORD in the drop down.
For the output field, select "insert as snippet".
As for the keybind, you can totally map it to whatever you're comfortable with but I chose Command-D as it is the same thing in Microsoft Word.


Plenty of Fish - Lessons Learned Meetup

Today, I had the fantastic opportunity of going to a retrospective by Plenty of Fish. As you may know, Plenty of Fish is the largest online dating site and it was all started by a local BCIT graduate named Markus Frind.

Below are notes that were taken on my iPhone. I do apologize as I am continually editing this blogpost.

What is Plenty of Fish? An online dating site.
Why enter the dating market? Back in 2003, it was the only thing that was interesting to build. Markus already knew ASP but wanted to learn more about building web applications with ASP.NET and improve his skills on his resume. 
How do you deal with the network effects problem? In the early days, Plenty of Fish gained traction through Vancouver and Toronto.  There wasn't any silver bullet or magic around it -- Plenty of Fish heavily relied on organic user growth and SEO. The focus was to retain users more than go out and acquire new ones.
What are some early challenges you faced? Markus actually ended up doing every…

Using Git Hooks: Prepare Commit Message to automatically prepend branch names on commit messages

When you're practicing branch by feature with distributed version control, typically you'll get assigned a ticket or issue and that ends up being your feature branch. Instead of always typing in the branch name in every commit, you can edit your Git hooks (specifically prepare-commit-msg).

Assuming that this is a brand new git repository:

mv .git/hooks/prepare-commit-msg.sample .git/hooks/prepare-commit-msg
vi .git/hooks/prepare-commit-msg

Edit the file by commenting out what was originally in the file and then add this:

Now, whenever you make a commit, it should show up like this in the log:

Since GitHub and Bitbucket both support Emojis inside commit messages, you can do something cute like this

Want more emojis? check out the Emoji Mardown Cheatsheet!