Archive for Jessica

On becoming a Microsoft Technical Evangelist


Since 2005 I’ve had the great pleasure of being the IT person for many wonderful clients here in Los Angeles. I’ve gotten to work with companies large and small, helping them mature their infrastructure and migrate to the cloud where appropriate. I’m profoundly grateful for the friendships and technical strides I’ve made with and for my customers. As difficult as it is to leave what I’ve built, I was offered an amazing opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.



I absolutely love teaching and sharing knowledge, and thats why I’m thrilled to join Microsoft as a Technical Evangelist for the IT Pro community in the West Region. I’m really excited to work with IT people and help them discover new technologies and get more out of their current environments. I’ll continue blogging and tweeting as UberGeekGirl, and I look forward to seeing you at an IT Pro camp soon!


Checking for Heartbleed vulnerability

Today has been a whirlwind of password changes and working with customers to help them understand the Heartbleed bug. They are rightfully confused and worried, especially since they are getting a lot of conflicting information. Some of them have received emails from websites essentially saying that they have no evidence of compromise so they don’t need to worry or take any action. This is a huge disservice because it’s just not true. This vulnerability affects a huge number of web servers including Yahoo, Flickr, AWS load balancers, and many more.

Here is a tool to check if websites are affected:

There’s also a Chrome extension called Chromebleed chromebleed




Take a look a a list of some of the affected websites:

At a minimum I think it’s prudent to change all your passwords for banking, email and other critical services.

Learning Ruby on Rails


I was very fortunate to get into Rails Girls LA this weekend. While it wasn’t a smooth start due to internet issues, today I’ve made some progress thanks to my coach Brian Miller.

I really wish that Meraki had been able to sponsor the wi-Fi, As not having it really limits your ability to learn web application development. Oh well, maybe next year.

If you’d like, you can follow along and try to learn a couple things with me. Go to

Depending on your version of Mac OSx, your mileage may vary.

And even if the installer looks like it’s working, you still have more work to do to verify.

Ultimately ended up grabbing another Mac that was running 10.9, and installing homebrew, and rbenv. But because of the Internet situation, I wasn’t able to proceed any further and Brian ended up copying everything from his machine to mine so that I could proceed further.


DevOps and finding your inner Brent



I’d like to thank Lars and the LADevops meet up group for having Gene Kim give a presentation in January. I’ve read his Visible Ops “Implementing ITIL in 4 steps” book, but I hadn’t read “The Phoenix Project“. I just finished it and wow, I could not put it down. It painfully describes every dysfunctional IT group and the problems they face.

One important takeaway and probably the most important, is the ability to see and control “Work In Progress” or WIP for short. This is just one part of the equation, but once you can see your WIP, it’s easier to identify the constraints. In the book, a guy named Brent seems to be both the problem and the solution to every project and process at the company. Devops says that any changes or improvements must be made at the constraint to be effective, so getting clear on who or what is your “Brent” should help you figure out how to ease that constraint.

On twitter this morning @byron_miller posted a blog about an alternate universe pondering what could happen if Brent was the recipient of all the coaching. I thought this was interesting because I see so many “Brents” in my consulting practice and it’s very rare that they get this kind of support, and I’ve often wondered whether they would be open to it or willing to be introspective about their role. Many times, Brent is a guy who is on a bit of a power trip and enjoys the fact that the company can’t do anything without him. Byron says this “Brent types can transform to be leaders. As leaders, we don’t need formality to express our desires, we need strategy, history, allies, solutions and we need to work with and through the gatekeepers to tell the DevOps story.”

“Remember, outcomes are what matter – not the process, not controls, or, for that matter, what work you complete.” The Phoenix Project.

I’d be curious how you view the Brent’s in your organization, or perhaps you are Brent. How do you see your role changing in the face of devops? Have you read this book?

TechEd | 2014

TechEd | 2014.

This year’s TechEd conference will be in Houston May 12-15. I’m really excited because this will be my first time speaking at this conference for IT pros. I will be talking about collaboration tools including Sharepoint and Yammer. Today they released the schedule builder and content catalogue, so please go take a look at start your schedule planning, as this is helpful to the organizers to know how much space to plan for each talk. I hope to see you there!

Blogging from your phone

One of the reasons I love WordPress so much is that it is incredibly easy to post a blog right from your phone. Once you know your settings and can get the configuration right it’s just very very easy to blog on the go. It’s very easy to attach a photo and you can do most of the formatting and hyperlinking that you would want to do as well.


Quick Network Scan app for IOS


One of my favorite tools for on the go network scans is Fing. This handy utility let you connect to a wireless network and in just a few seconds report all the devices that are on that wireless network. This comes in handy when you’re trying to figure out what IP address your Sonos has or your raspberry pi or a new printer that you’ve installed. If you create an account you can save the scans for comparison later. I especially like this when I’m going to see a new client as it gives me a sense of the current state of the network and all the devices on it.

Hacktech Hackathon

Last weekend, 2000 students from all over California descended on Santa Monica Place for the Hacktech hackathon. 
 It was exciting to see all the apps and hacks the students worked on over the 36 hour period. Among the many generous sponsors, Microsoft had several amazing prizes for the best use of Azure, Windows 8 and Windows Phone. The developer evangelist team offered hands on help for building apps and using Azure. We saw an incredible Pinterest app that was coded entirely during the hackathon, it was beautiful and complete and the students were really proud of their work. I was also really happy to see so many women coders, many of whom were winners in the overall event. I think these events are important because participants come together and collaborate on projects, and collaboration skills are critical in the workplace, plus I think everyone had a lot of fun.

Were you there? I’l love to hear about your experience. 

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IT Pro Virtualization Camp

Last week I had the pleasure of assisting Jennelle Crothers with IT Pro virtualization camp. It was a very full day of information for IT pros where they learned the ins and outs of virtualization with Hyper V.

I saw several attendees get started on the hands-on-on labs immediately, and those were the most successful people as the labs were incredibly difficult and sometimes had to be scrapped and rebuilt.  I had to destroy my cluster and start over. My only wish is that Microsoft would make these labs available to IT pros for a couple of days after the event.

I strongly recommend attending one of these if they come to your area. The quality of information as well as the hands-on experience as well as getting to build something without worrying about breaking it was awesome.

Great news, they’re doing an online version of this content on December 11th

Acer c720 Chromebook Unboxing and Review

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A guest post by Jason DeVita  on the Acer Chromebook

follow him @wx13 and

The first Chromebooks were introduced a little over two years ago.  Chromebooks run Google’s ChromeOS, designed to be completely integrated with “the cloud.”  Since they first appeared, there has been a lot of discussion about the market for such a computer.  If you were to ask Google, they would probably tell you that chromebooks are revolutionary and that they will take over the computing world.  And if asked Microsoft, they would tell you that chromebooks are not “real” computers.  Obviously the truth lies somewhere in between, leading to the question: Who could benefit from buying a chromebook?

In order to understand Chromebook use-cases, it is necessary to understand a little about Chromebooks.  The idea behind ChromeOS is to create a cloud-centric operating system.  This differs from standard operating systems in that the majority of data is stored remotely and applications (which run in the browser) interact with that remote data.  This is not a new idea; the terminal/mainframe and thin-client/server model has been around for a while.  But this is the first time this has been marketed toward the general public.

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