In this edition: An update to Visual Studio Code; xUnit.Net; 5 ways to Frustrate your Boss; Time is Everyone’s most valuable asset, not just yours; the Evil Maid attack; end of support for .NET 4, 4.5 and 4.5.1; and why you will fail to have a great career.

Sharpen the Saw repost of a semi-regular newsletter of information I publish for the professional development of software developers. While targeted primarily at developers working with the Microsoft technology stack, content will cover a wider range of topics.

To subscribe, send me an email and I’ll put you on the list. Membership is moderated.

Software and Updates

Visual Studio Code - December Update

The December 2015 release (v0.10.6) of Visual Studio Code adds a bunch of new configurability and extensibility options. If already have Visual Studio Code installed, you should be prompted to upgrade next time you open the application - look for a discrete prompt at the top of the window.

Home page:

Release notes:

Spelling and Grammar checker:

Powershell support:


A strongly opinionated test suite written by Brad Wilson, xUnit.Net is fast becoming a popular alternative to the classic NUnit test suite, not least because its native support for running tests in parallel reduces the amount of time spent waiting for tests to run.

Being Professional

5 Ways You Frustrate Your Boss

Here’s a slightly tongue in cheek look at ways to frustrate your boss.

Time Is Everyone’s Most Valuable Asset, Not Just Yours

We all have limited time in which to get things done - and the number of things we’re expected to do seems to always increase. This isn’t an excuse to waste other people’s time.

Staying Secure

“Evil Maid” Attacks on Encrypted Hard Drives

Turns out that having an encrypted hard drive and requiring a password to boot isn’t as secure as we might believe. With the right software on a USB key, that laptop you left in your hotel room can be compromised in just a few minutes.

Support Ending for the .NET Framework 4, 4.5 and 4.5.1

From Tuesday January 12th 2016, Micrsooft will not be supporting these older versions of the .NET Framework. To avoid issues with harvested exploits, upgrade to the latests version .NET 4.6. While backward compatibility is high, it’s a good idea to do a test upgrade prior to touching production. Sharepoint 2010 servers may be an issue. Note that .NET 3.5 SP1 is remains under full support.

Video of the week

Why you will fail to have a great career

Economist Larry Smith talks about why we are all doomed to a dismal career.


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March 2016