Alex Mackey

Technical Lead

Melbourne (VIC, Australia)

An experienced development team lead, author & speaker with over 15 years’ experience specializing in web and .net technologies. I have lead teams of up to 15 and had management responsibilities for up to 4 staff. I have written two books: Introducing .net 4.0: With Visual Studio 2010 and Introducing .net 4.5 published by Apress and have spoken at a number of large conferences in the UK, Ireland and Australia including TechEd, Web Directions, Remix and Australian ALM. Additionally I have developed two courses for online training provider Pluralsight on the WebGL framework three.js and Microsoft Edge for Web Developers.I am very active in the development community and have been awarded the Microsoft MVP award for the last 5 years - C# in 2010 & 2011 and Internet Explorer: Development in 2012, 2013 and 2014). I setup (in Australia) and run the community conference which is now running for its 6th year with over 400 delegates registered.I have lead development on a number of complex web based applications & integrations and have extensive experience of working and travelling abroad & interstate having spent time working in the Australia & NZ, Middle East, America, Canada, UK & Ireland.

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Articles by Alex

  1. Famous Software Bugs

    Despite the best of intentions and processes we all screw up sometimes.I think pretty much every developer has made a screw up of some kind over their career (and if you haven’t you are either very lucky, unaware you have done so or prob not doing anything interesting!).The following is a list of high profile software errors I have compiled from various sources.Some of these issues are quite old now & documentation is limited so if I have made an error or reported the issue incorrectly please...
  2. Building Resilient Systems

    No one likes using an unreliable computer system.There can be few things more annoying (in terms of 1st world problems anyway) than having an application freeze and losing a load of work.Losing work is annoying but what if the system performed a more important function such as managing your bank account or maybe even helping an aircraft navigate?Systems reliability is also critical for user uptake & acceptance. A now somewhat dated study by Bailiey & Pearson (1983) found the top 5 factors...
  3. Microsoft Edge Extensions

    One of the most requested features for Microsoft Edge is extensions – and for good reason!Many of us take for granted being able to use browser based plugins such as LastPass’s password manager or extensions for existing applications such as EverNote, OneNote & Skype. One of the first things I noticed when playing with Edge was the lack of a password manager which made everyday use very hard.The omission of extensions in a browser has the potential to severely impact uptake from every day users...
  4. C#7 Features

    At the Build 2016 Future of C# presentation Dustin Campbell and Mads Torgersen from Microsoft discussed a number of features planned for C#7.Before we begin it is important to note that all the features I will discuss are subject to change both in terms of syntax and indeed whether they make the cut for the final version so don’t be too surprised if there are a few changes still to come!So you want to play with these features not just read about them – how do you do it?First up you will need to download...
  5. What is the actor model?

    The Actor model is an approach to software design that has undergone a resurgence recently and I have being spending some time the last few months learning about this area and associated frameworks.The Actor model is probably better known on platforms such as Scala & Erlang but the .net platform also offers a number of implementations such as & Microsoft’s Project Orleans (these are by no means the only options but probably the better known).But what is the Actor model anyway and...
  6. Brain Computer Interfaces

    Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) are a link between the brain & an electronic device and are utilized in research, repairing functions for patients suffering disabilities such as blindness and perhaps in the future for augmentation.Inspired by a chapter in a book called More than human by Ramez Naam I recently gave a talk at BuzzConf on an overview of BCIs and was amazed by just what is possible - this stuff is no longer (and hasnt been for some time) the subject of cyberpunk novels.Before we...
  7. Developer Etiquette – Code Review and Pull Request Comments

    One subject I have been meaning to write about for some time is developer etiquette – or simply how to be a dev & not a jerk!Before we begin I am happy to admit I have made and continue to make many of the mistakes I am going to discuss so er I'm speaking from experience here..Developer etiquette is a huge area and there are many topics we could discuss but in this post I want to focus on pull request/code review comments.There have been several high profile spats in the open source world and...
  8. Visual Studio 2015 and Roslyn Compiler

    This is the first in a series of articles covering upcoming changes in Visual Studio 2015.In the future I hope to explore the following areas which have undergone significant changes & enhancements:Before we get started its worth noting that if you want to play with the new features in Visual Studio 2015 yourself you have two choices:Install the CTP 5 preview (Microsoft recommend that you may not want to do this on a production machine given this is a preview release).Using an Azure machine...
  9. Is Math Broken in JavaScript? (Part 1)

    One of the most reported bugs in JavaScript is “Math is broken!” (see this for an example).This issue normally manifests itself with something like the following:0.1 + 0.2 != 0.3And I think you could probably be forgiven for expecting the answer to this to be 0.3…However open up the console in your favourite browser and you will find you have the following answer:0.30000000000000004Whilst some of you might know this problem has got something to do with floating point do you know why beyond this?
  10. Is Math Broken in JavaScript? (Part 2)

    In my previous article we talked about how we might represent a number in memory and that the obvious way probably is not the most efficent. We then discussed another way - allow me to introduce IEEE-754..IEEE-754 is an incredibly important standard in software development & electronics and its used in a large number of programming languages such as JavaScript, C# and Java. Amongst other things it defines how numbers should be held, how they work together and how to handle errors.Well the simple...
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