Clifford Agius

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dotNet Xamarin IoT Xamarin.Forms Azure IoT GEEK STUFF: IoT Robotics .NET MAUI Xamarin Forms - MAUI Nanoframework Team Building team coaching Team Communication Teamwork

London, England, United Kingdom

Clifford Agius

Freelance Developer that just so happens to fly a Boeing 787 around the world.

Clifford Agius, Freelance .NET Developer and also blogs from time to time, is currently a two-time Developer Technologies MVP, specialising in Xamarin/.NET MAUI and IoT. By day, an airline pilot flying Boeing 787 aircraft around the world and when not doing that, Clifford freelances as a .NET developer. An active member of the .NET community, he is a regular speaker at conferences around the world.

Clifford graduated as an engineer from the Ford Technical Training Centre in 1995. After 11 years as an electrical/mechanical engineer working with Robotics and PLC Programming, he trained to become an Airline Pilot in 2001. Clifford became a Microsoft Valued Professional (MVP) in 2020 and went on to earn it again in 2021.

Current sessions

.NET MAUI What/How and Why

You may have heard the Buzz about .NET MAUI or maybe you have heard of Xamarin and all the monkeys but in this session we will cover.

What - What was Xamarin and now .NET MAUI and how can they help you develop Apps for your business/clients. And what the hell does MAUI stand for as it's not that nice sunny island we all want to go on holiday too...

How - How you as a .NET developer can use your existing .NET C# skills to develop and build Apps that run not just on the desktop but also on mobile platforms like the phone in your hand.

Why - There are 5 Billion mobiles in use around the world split between the App Stores of iOS and Android but do you want to learn Java/Kotlin for Android and then Swift/ObjectiveC for iOS? Do you really want 2 separate codebases? No of course you don't your a .NET Developer so lets use MAUI.

The session will show how to build a Mobile app how all the parts come together and how to deploy the App to the device in your pocket.

We will show how to get the tooling set-up and then how the Single Project is leveraged to run your C# code and using tools like Hot Reload we can live debug on actual Mobile Devices.

A fun session playing with Mobile Apps and for added geekery Aircraft facts and Figures because why not...


Secure those Secrets.

We have all done it committed our precious secret keys to the Git Repo and exposed them to the world. But how do we protect ourselves from well... US being stupid.

In this session I will take you through the Azure Tooling and Azure B2C with KeyVault so that you can keep all the secrets safe.

We will see how a Mobile App written in MAUI/Xamarin and DotNet C# can connect to a CosmosDB without any secret keys yet it can still retrieve data for user display and use.

You will be taken through all the steps from the build of the mobile app and what is required which can be copied into any other Web App like Blazor/MVC etc. so not confined to Mobile.

We will then switch to the cloud and show the set-up inside Azure to configure the secrets and how we protect them including the customisation of the Login with your corporate branding.

It sounds a lot to cover in less than 60 minutes but that is the beauty of Azure it's just a few clicks here and there and your safe in the knowledge that the secrets are safe. You can then push your code to GitHub and not worry about someone hacking your Data the Azure Security team have you covered.


Building a Mobile Flight Simulator

Rebuilding the British Airways Mobile Flight simulator that is used to teach aviation STEM subjects to children or be a centre piece at a Corporate event.

The simulator is based on a Boeing 787 and is fitted into the back of a trailer that can be best descirbed as a burger van. In here you enter the world of flight sitting next to a BA line pilot while you try and land a 200Tonne aircraft.

In building the simulator there is a lot of IOT for the controls and instruments as well as a bespoke Application written to enable the Instructor to be able to control the simulator. This App can control where the Aircraft is, the weather and even throw in an emergency or two.

In this talk I will cover the details of the Simulator and how we built it as well as the Tech used, I will even show the DotNet code that went into the Instructors station.

Come along and really get your geek on with Aviation, Code and IOT all in one talk.

Walk away having learnt how to build your own simulator seen how you can control a simulated world from DotNet and a little IOT as well.


Using the ESP32 and Meadow F7 for .NET IoT Projects

Everybody thinks .NET and C# are for big servers or Windows machines, some in the know understand it now runs on Linux and Mac even your Mobile Phone with DotNET MAUI.

But very few know that you can also run it on a very small IoT device costing just a few £/$'s. Yes, your C# and .NET skills can be used on an IoT project to read data from sensors, control lights or a Servo and with the power of the Cloud hook all this data to your business services.

I this talk we will show how to use your .NET skills on Microcontrollers like the ESP32 or Meadow F7 and give a comparison of the two paths.

Using NanoFramework for the ESP32 and WildernessLabs Meadow for the Meadow F7 we will start with the tools needed and the Hello World of IoT Blinking an LED. We will then move through the stack talking sensors and data before adding the Cloud using Microsoft Azure IoT Hub.

Come and join it no soldering required, but there may be some smoke.

Due to the nature of the small size of the boards will have a 2nd camera on a table top to show the parts.

Target Audience is anyone that is a .NET developer at any level that wants to learn how their skills can be used in the small world of IoT.


Pilot Decision Management

This talk explores Clifford's experience as a Boeing 787 Dreamliner Pilot and the critical decision management skills required therein.
As an Airline pilot, you may be required to make a decision often quickly to react to a situation as it presents itself and you will discover a way to achieve this called TDODAR. This model ensures that you achieve a safe outcome for all on board and Clifford often finds himself using the same model when facing a problem whilst wearing his Dev hat and it's yet to fail him.


3D printed Bionic Hand a little IOT and a Xamarin Mobile App

Description
Meet Kayden, a local 15yr old young man and close family friend, who was born with no left forearm and hand.
The National Health Service (NHS) is an amazing service in the UK, however their prosthetic provision is both basic and expensive (to the NHS).
Surely with modern technology we can not only improve the lives of young people like Kayden but also demonstrate how we can do it more cost effectively than current options.
This talk details how I set about building on the wonderful work of the OpenBionics team to provide Kayden with an alternative to the NHS prosthesis.
We'll discuss:

- How 3D printing of parts for the hand can be much more effective (cost and function) than fibre glass moulds

- Using home 3D printing we can create a viable articulated hand

- Using off the shelf commodity IoT boards from Adafruit can be used to program the hand (and how this is more viable than alternative approaches) but more recently in the project moving to the new WildernessLabs F7 board so that the whole project in DotNet.

- Creating a Xamarin application to connect via Bluetooth and provide customisation and control options for the hand and the challenges of UI design for those with accessibility issues.

- How this option can reduce the costs from £000's to several hundred £s and is being done as an Open Source project which will hopefully lead to designs and kits being available for others around the world to build their own.
Attendees will learn about and see demos of:

- The 3D printed hand and related components
- Programming of the IoT board and sensors (In DotNet and C#)
- Creation of the Xamarin application to customise the hand.
- Bluetooth connection options.

Please note: Kayden and his family have given express permission to use his name and images for this talk.


Team skills at 600Mph and 40,000ft.

As an Airline pilot I have to work as a member of a close nit team to ensure that the 200 tonne aircraft with 215 people get from point A to point B without featuring on that nights news. We often do this as a team of 12-14 people, most we have never met before with differing views and experience. So how do we manage this to ensure that we act as One Team to achieve a safe outcome.
My talk will be about the skills Crew use day to day in the Airline industry and how they too could help your team work together. From CRM (Crew Resource Management), the dreaded SARAH cycle to little tricks to get the team together and working towards the common goal.


.NET on tiny IOT Meadow Boards.

Description

It's a fact that DotNET has been around for 20 years and was once just the preserve of Windows, but has in recent years moved to Mobile using Mono and Xamarin, but still big powerful systems and processors.
However, thanks to the work of WildernessLabs there is now the Meadow F7 board, a small form factor IOT board based around the Adafruit Feather. This means you can now write your Dot NET C#/F# code and truly run anywhere.
The idea of this talk is to show that your existing DotNET skills can be used on IOT platforms without the scary Arduino version of C, you really do now have the skills to write code that will run anywhere.
I am just a DotNET dev like you, I don’t work for WildernessLabs and this is not going to be a sales talk about the Meadow system, I backed the Kickstarter and I just enjoy playing with IOT. I want to show you that it’s scary and you too have the skills to diving in and get that LED blinking after that you can automate the home.

We'll discuss:
- The process of setting up the Meadow board and getting that first Hello World Blinky light going.
- Brief explanation of the board and tooling
- Demo a more complex system where the board is battery powered measuring sensor values and reporting this to an Azure function for processing.

This talk has been given at meet-ups as a lightening talk taking elements of the larger talk.

Target Audience for this will be beginners to IOT.


Xamarin File->New to on your Mobile device

Description

Xamarin and Mobile apps may look and feel scary, how do I write C# code on my Windows/Mac machine to target a Mobile device from Apple or Android even the new Surface Neo/Duo?

What special skills do I need and how can I get my code running on my phone?

I have a killer idea that will take over the world, but I just don't know where to start?

Our company wants an App rather than a mobile ready web page so that it works offline, we need access to the device hardware like the sensors, but we don’t know how?
We don’t want to build an IOS app then an Android App we want to build a Cross Platform application, but we are a DotNET shop?

If these are questions you have pondered, then we will take you from File->New to running app on your device.

Along the way we will talk about the basics of a Xamarin Application and the development cycle including recent changes like Hot Reload and Hot Restart to speed up that cycle.

We will then finish with a look at AppCenter which is used to distribute your application to a test team so you can get that all important feedback on your killer idea.

Attendees will learn about and complete the following:
- How to install the required Visual Studio tools for Mobile development.
- Introduction to Xamarin and the templates like Shell and Xamarin.Forms
- Build out a working Application including the use of Xamarin Essentials to access the device hardware, for example the Accelerometer, GPS, Torch and Network stack.
- Package and build the application locally so you can run on the emulator and your own connected Device.
- Connecting your application via GitHub to AppCenter so that the application is built in the cloud and pushed to your test team every time you commit.

Skills and Equipment required:
- C# Skills to a beginner/Intermediate level
- Basic knowledge of XAML
- How to use GitHub tooling
- Pc/Mac for development work
- Mobile device Android or IOS

The Workshop would ideally be for 2 days but can be compressed into a day if required but this will reduce the abilities of the Application they will build.

If the workshop is too much then this can be given as a very compressed Talk session but rather than walking the attendee's through the tooling and getting them to do the work it will just be a Powerpoint and Visual Studio demo.


Pilot Critical Decision Making skills

Learn how to make time critical decisions just like airline pilots do around the world. As developers we all love a good framework well would it surprise you that pilots have a framework for making a team decisions on what to do in any situation be it an emergency, sick passenger or bad weather. The session is 40 minutes learning the TDODAR framework and then a fun exercise using the new skill in a team exercise to resolve a situation under time pressure you have less than 20 minutes GO!


Past and future events

NDC London 2022

9 May 2022 - 11 May 2022
London, England, United Kingdom

NDC Oslo 2021

29 Nov 2021 - 3 Dec 2021
Oslo, Norway

Build Stuff 2021 Lithuania

17 Nov 2021 - 21 Nov 2021
Vilnius, Lithuania

DDD East Midlands Conference 2021

2 Oct 2021
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom

Thames Valley Umbraco Meetup

"Pilot Decision Management" - Clifford Agius (Freelance developer, Boeing 787 Dreamliner Pilot)

This talk explores Clifford's experience as a Boeing 787 Dreamliner Pilot and the critical decision management skills required therein.
As an Airline pilot, you may be required to make a decision often quickly to react to a situation as it presents itself and you will discover a way to achieve this called TDODAR. This model ensures that you achieve a safe outcome for all on board and Clifford often finds himself using the same model when facing a problem whilst wearing his Dev hat and it's yet to fail him.
28 Nov 2019
Reading, England, United Kingdom

.NET SouthEast Meet-up

3D printed Bionic Hand a little IOT and a Xamarin Mobile App

Meet Kayden, a local 14yr old young man and close family friend, who was born with no left forearm and hand.

The National Health Service (NHS) is an amazing service in the UK, however their prosthetic provision is both basic and expensive (to the NHS).

Surely with modern technology, we can not only improve the lives of young people like Kayden but also demonstrate how we can do it more cost effectively than current options.

This talk details how I set about building on the wonderful work of the OpenBionics team to provide Kayden with an alternative to the NHS prosthesis.
We'll discuss:

- How 3D printing of parts for the hand can be much more effective (cost and function) than fibreglass moulds

- Using home 3D printing we can create a viable articulated hand

- Using off the shelf commodity IoT boards from Adafruit can be used to program the hand (and how this is more viable than alternative approaches)

- Creating a Xamarin application to connect via Bluetooth and provide customisation and control options for the hand

- How this option can reduce the costs from £000's to several hundred £s and is being done as an Open Source project which will feedback to the bigger project.

Attendees will learn about and see demos of:
- The 3D printed hand and related components
- Programming of the IoT board and sensors
- Creation of the Xamarin application to customise the hand.
- Bluetooth connection options.

Please note: Kayden and his family have given express permission to use his name and images for this talk.
19 Nov 2019
Brighton, England, United Kingdom

MK.NET - Milton Keynes .NET Meetup Group

Cliff returns to MK.NET to talk about a heart warming project involving a 3D printed bionic hand he created to help a friend.

-------------------------
Meet Kayden, a local 14yr old young man and close family friend, who was born with no left forearm and hand.

The National Health Service (NHS) is an amazing service in the UK, however their prosthetic provision is both basic and expensive (to the NHS).

Surely with modern technology we can not only improve the lives of young people like Kayden but also demonstrate how we can do it more cost effectively than current options.

This talk details how I set about building on the wonderful work of the OpenBionics team to provide Kayden with an alternative to the NHS prosthesis.
We'll discuss:

- How 3D printing of parts for the hand can be much more effective (cost and function) than fibre glass moulds

- Using home 3D printing we can create a viable articulated hand

- Using off the shelf commodity IoT boards from Adafruit can be used to program the hand (and how this is more viable than alternative approaches)

- Creating a Xamarin application to connect via Bluetooth and provide customisation and control options for the hand

- How this option can reduce the costs from £000's to several hundred £s and is being done as an Open Source project which will feedback to the bigger project.

Please note: Kayden and his family have given express permission to use his name and images for this talk.
17 Sep 2019
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom