My New Course, How to Run Effective Meetings, is Now Out

I am pleased to announce that my latest course with Pluralsight, How to Run Effective Meetings, is now released and available to watch. Below is a short sample.

Have you ever sat in a meeting with that sinking feeling that you are just wasting your time. Perhaps the meeting is going nowhere, or there is no agenda? Does the person running the meeting struggle to keep it on topic?

These are all very common problems and I have certainly sat through my fair share of pointless meetings. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

How to Run Effective Meetings by Stephen Haunts

How to Run Effective Meetings by Stephen Haunts

A meeting should be a great platform to bring people together to solve problems, plan projects and drive businesses forwards, and not a drain on peoples enthusiasm.

In this short course I will give you all the tools you need to plan, and run effective meetings so that everyone involved gets something out of the process.

How to Run Effective Meetings by Stephen Haunts

How to Run Effective Meetings by Stephen Haunts

The course has the following main aim:

To discover how to lead and participate in formal or informal meetings and how to make them more productive and successful.

You will learn how to save time and resources by enduring that meetings support business needs.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Identify the best reasons for holding meetings
  • Prepare for meetings more thoroughly
  • Draw up action-centred agendas
  • Apply the skills of chairing, leading, facilitating and participating
  • Structure and manage conversations in meetings for maximum effectiveness


The course is useful to anyone that works in a professional work environment and has to attend or run meetings. By following the advice in this short course you will ensure that everyone can participate and perform their best.

If you are a Pluralsight subscriber, then How to Run Effective Meetings is available for you to watch now. If you would like 1 months free access to Pluralsight to watch this course and checkout others, then get in touch via the contact page on this blog.

Practical Tips for Talking at Usergroups and Conferences Part 1

Since becoming a Pluralsight author in July 2014, I have been working toward increasing my own personal brand. Part of this has been about getting out into the programming community and talking at User groups. I did my first talk in January of this year and have since done many talks. I was initially quite nervous about public speaking but I have enjoyed the process very much and I intend to increase the amount of talks I do in 2016.

Stephen Haunts talking at the Leeds Sharp Usergroup

Stephen Haunts talking at the Leeds Sharp Usergroup

I have learnt many things along the way whilst preparing and delivering talks so I thought I would write this post to talk about what I have learnt. If you have experience in this area and also have your own tips from public speaking it would be great to hear them in the comments for this post.

I have split this into two posts. Tips for before you deliver your talk, and the actual delivery itself.

Continue reading

RabbitMQ Series Part 7: Getting Ready for Some Code Examples

Now that we have covered a lot of the introductory material for RabbitMQ, this part of the series will look at developing software to interact with the message broker as both a producer and a consumer. First we will take a look at the RabbitMQ client library. Then we will introduce the business scenario used for the sample applications. Before we start looking at the individual examples we will take a quick look at the common code shared between them. Then we will move onto the actual code examples themselves.

The code for this series can be found here.

These example will include:

  • Basic queues
  • Worker queues
  • Publisher and subscribers
  • Direct routing of queues
  • Topic based publisher and subscribers
  • Remote procedure calls

RabbitMQ client library

To develop software against RabbitMQ you will need to install the RabbitMQ client library for .NET.  Before we look at how to install the client library, let’s take a brief look at what it is. This series will not serve as an in-depth guide to the whole client library API. You can read a more in-depth document for the client library that explains the full library from the RabbitMQ site. This section will serve as an introduction to the library and the examples in the rest of this series will help you cement your understanding further.

What is contained in the Client Library?

The RabbitMQ .NET client is an implementation of an AMQP client library for C# and other .NET languages. The client library implements the AMQP specification 0-8 and 0-9. The API is closely modeled on the AMQP protocol specification with little additional abstraction, so if you have a good understanding of the AMQP protocol, then you will find the client library easy to follow.

The core API interfaces and classes are defined in the RabbitMQ.Client namespace. The main API interfaces and classes are:

  • IModel : This represents an AMQP data channel and provides most of the AMQP operations.
  • IConnection : represents an AMQP connection.
  • ConnectionFactory: constructs IConnection instances.

Some other useful interfaces and classes include:

  • ConnectionParamters: configures a ConnectionFactory.
  • QueueingBasicConsumer: receives messages delivered from the server.

Continue reading

Getting Started with Microsoft Band Development

Fellow Pluralsight author Lars Klint has just released a recording of a user group talk he did in Denmark which was about the Internet of Things and more specifically getting started with the Microsoft Band.

As a band owner myself, I have been wanting to get involved with developing against this device to read sensor data now that I have started down the Universal Windows App road, and this talk give you a good introduction so that you can get started right away.

I highly recommend watching it.

You can get started on your Microsoft Band Development journey by going to the official developer site.