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Finally, face to face meetups could be back!

Before the lockdown, the Yorkshire meetup community was thriving, especially in Leeds, Hull, and York. Not a week would go by without a pizza-laden get together with like-minded tech friends.

Of course, these meetings moved to online video when the UK closed to socialising in 2020 and have mostly stayed that way since.

As a good chunk of my working life incorporates coding Umbraco, a content management system which is built on .net technologies, one of my favourite meetups has always been DOTNETYORK, a meetup group where the York .net and c# community get together once a month to chat, present new frameworks and coding methods, have hands-on sessions and socialise. 

This month was different, a proper DOTNETYORK meetup was announced, to take place at the offices of RotaCloud in York city centre where we would learn about the new(ish) Microsoft Minimal API framework. 

Pizza was to be supplied by BJSS, a generous sponsor and we were finally going to meet up as a group. The speaker was Kev Smith who runs the meetup and he gave us a rundown of the minimal API framework including a short history and a quick rundown of the methods and parameters etc. 

a  meetup of people interested in microsoft dotnet technologies

Once the presentation was finished, the group was broken down into pairs (although, we had an odd number so I opted to work on my own instead of joining a group to make three). We were directed to a blog post which explained how to install .net framework 6 on our laptops and had a step-by-step guide on how to create a straightforward URL shortener using the minimal API service.

After a few hiccups I had success, I could open a terminal and start the service running. Posting to the service to set up a link ID and URL worked perfectly, adding without errors. Then the next milestone, opening up a browser and pointing to the server passing an ID using the following URL:

https://localhost:7280/yorkshiretechy

This automatically redirected me to my YorkshireTechy.co.uk site, showing that it was working fine so I had followed the blog perfectly! 

A little time later and all the groups had finished and we all felt like Minimal API masters but the next task was to come. We were to be left to our own devices for 20 minutes or so to extend the code to do something else. The hardest bit of this was not the actual coding, but deciding what to do, what could I add? I decided to add a user-friendly test functionality so that if you add the word "test" to the URL, it would tell you if that ID exists and the site it would redirect to. 

After a little while, and a few errors to be fixed, the code worked and I could breathe a sigh of relief. 

Code on a computer

Entering the following URL into a browser:

https://localhost:7280/test/yorkshiretechy

returns "yorkshiretechy Does exist and redirects to the following URL: https://www.yorkshiretechy.co.uk/"

So, everything is working, I've extended the initial code and I've socialised with really nice people. In addition, i've learnt a lot more about the minimal API framework. What more could I ask for on a Thursday night in November?

This has shown that face-to-face meetups can be a success again and hopefully will be the first of many going into 2023. The turnout wasn't great in terms of numbers this time but it paves the way for better things to come!

Here's to the next one!

If you find this article interesting, could you please do me a favour by sharing it or commenting below, I would love to hear your and other peoples' thoughts on this subject. Thank you

Date: 04 Nov 2022
Author: Craig Pickles (YorkshireTechy)