Jessica Engström

The girl with the Batman/Spider-Man tattoo


How to create a WordPress blogg in Azure

In Azure portal click ”on marketplace”, there you can find a huge amount of apps and services. One of them is WordPress, so let’s search for that.


There are a few WordPress options, click the one that is just called “WordPress” to read more about it and then click ”Create”.


Pick a name for your blog, this needs to be unique since it’s a part of the URL.
Click ”Database”


I’m using ”Mercery” here, since it is free and I have no use for anything larger at the moment.
You can also change the location to one that is closer to you. I’m using West Europe.

Don’t forget to read the legal terms.

Click ”create” and azure will set things up.


This is what it looks like when it’s done. Click on the URL to your blog to start WordPress.

You need to choose language, pick a username and password and such, and then you just click ”install WordPress”.
After a few minutes you will have to sign in to WordPress with the credentials you just created.


And that is it! This is the WordPress dashboard where you can find themes, templates, settings and stuff. You can tweak your blog to fit your personality.


This is what it looks like if you do no tweaking at all.

That’s all there is to it, now go create a blog or two!

How to create a website in Azure

Go to the Azure portal and click ”web apps”.
Choose a name for your site, this will also be part of your URL, so it needs to be unique.

When you are satisfied with your name, click create.


Azure will then work it’s magic for a moment.


This is what the control panel looks like, and we can see the URL to our page we just created.



You can simply click the URL from the control panel to get to your page.


And there it is, your website in Azure!
Full support for GIT, FTP and you can push directly from Visual Studio as well.

Have fun!

How to Activate Azure in DreamSpark

Start by clicking ”Student” and ”download software”.


Then ”go to the student software catalog” there you will see all the things that are included. Software, courses, a developer account and much more.
To activate Microsoft Azure, you need to click on “Microsoft Azure for DreamSpark” under ”Servers & Applications”.


Now it is time to register.
You can enter your phone number to verify by text. Once that is out of the way we just have to wait it will take few minutes until Azure is configured.



When Azure is done you can start managing your services in the Azure portal. There is even a big button for you to click for easy access.

Have fun playing around in Azure!

Hour of Code is the non-profit organization behind the initiative to show that anybody can learn the basics of computer science, and give every student at least one Hour of Code.

One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages and is suitable for all ages.
The global movement reaches tens of millions of students in over 180 countries.

It's free to join in, both as a student and as an organizer.
Last time I checked there were 162 748 Hour of Code events planned around the world.


The main event takes place during December 7-13, but anyone can host an Hour of Code anytime and anywhere. They've chosen that date because it coincides with Computer Science Education Week.

You can find the tutorials here. They are clearly marked with suggested age categories, and all have different themes. For the younger students there are for example Star Wars, Minecraft and Frozen to choose from.
There are also a number of partner tutorials ranging from javascript and scratch to python and TouchDevelop.

Don't have devices or internet at your school or usergroup? No problem, they have even thought of that with their series of unplugged computer science material.
The suggested age range is 4-104 years.

I think it's a fantastic initiative, and our usergroup Coding After Work is naturally participating.

How to activate DreamSpark with a verification code?

DreamSpark is a program that Microsoft offers some schools and students.
You get a whole lot of software and other goodies in the program. You can read more about that here.

A few schools are not enrolled into DreamSpark program, and this blog post is about just that. If you have a verification code for DreamSpark, this is how you activate it.

What you need

DreamSpark voucher code
Microsoft account (formerly Live ID)

What you do

If you already have a Microsoft account skip to step 2.

1. Do you have an Xbox, Windows Phone, Hotmail or account, use that. If you don’t, just go to Microsoft account signup and create an account. You can use your current email address, like Gmail, yahoo, outlook etc. or create a new one.

2. Go to Click “Student” and “create account” and you’ll get a popup window, click “continue” on that.

3. Fill in your information and “continue to verify”

4. Choose ”I was issued a verification code” and fill it in, then ”verify”


Now you’ve unlocked the awesomeness that is DreamSpark!

Swetugg conference

Back in April 2014 I met up with a couple of dev-friends over dinner and brainstormed ideas. Not only did we have good food, we also decided to do a Swedish, low-cost, .NET conference.

And so the planning began, we are 5 people on the board and we have another 7 members on our Swetugg Events committee.

It was super fun and a lot of work to put together a conference. None of us had done it before. Luckily two of the board members have awesome employers so they could take time to work on Swetugg during work hours and Jimmy and I do a lot of other events so we are used to planning stuff like this.

The hardest part about the conference was probably the schedule (besides finding a suitable venue). How do we decide if the speaker get a large or small room? How do we decide what topics to book? We were 3 people working on picking the talks and we are interested in different things so I think it worked out fine.

We got a lot of positive feedback during the event (and after) so based on that, I would say the event was a success Open-mouthed smile

But I didn’t only co-organize and work during the conference, I also did a talk about design.
My session concentrated on how to think when it comes to colors, typefaces, pictures and why. Also how to do an easy logo and icon for your app without having a designer on the team.

You can find my slides here. (In Swedish)

Explaing design With superheroes and ponies

Now I’m off to plan the next event, Hackathon season has begun!

Coding after work 2014

I got asked to send some pictures from our hackathons this year so I thought why not make a blog post about it.

We run a user group called Coding after work, where members can come and work on their own projects and get help if they need any.
Even thought both of us (Jimmy and I) is heavily focused on Windows Platform Development (the area we both are MVP’s in) any type of projects are welcome.
We even have a few linux and mac users and members are working with PHP, unity and of course C# (ASP.NET and Windows phone/Windows).
Many of out attendees are students but our age span is 17 to 68, and we have even had a couple of 7-12 year olds making apps at our hackathons.


Code evenings

Number of unique attendees: 136

Total number of attendees attending: 383 it is an increase from last year with 52% =D

But we also did some hackathons Ler

Easter (28h)


Location: Know IT
Date: 2014-04-26 – 2014-04-27
Attendees: 55
Men/women: 66% / 34%

With some help from Microsoft DPE Danwei Tran Luciani we  (Jimmy, Tomas, Pontus and I) had one-on-one sessions with the attendees where they could talk about app ideas, code reviews and design.


//Publish/ (25h)


Location: Microsoft Sweden
2014-05-16 - 2014-05-17
Attendees: 59 + 10
Men/women: 70% / 30%
38 apps where submitted

There were two types of events, one that Microsoft DPE (50-70 attendees) should arrange and satellite events for user groups 15-20 attendees.
We got asked if we wanted to plan the DPE event which we of course did =)
The second day we had “bring your children” where we showed them how to use App Studio, there were 7 children from the age of 6 to 13 and they made 12 apps.


Unity Training day (15h)


Location: Microsoft Sweden
Date: 2014-10-04 – 2014-10-05
Attendees: 72
Men/women: 80% / 20%

In 2013 Jimmy and I got the opportunity to attend Train the trainer - Unity in Helsinki, where we met Andy Touch.
Andy came to Sweden and we thought this was an awesome opportunity to do a mini hackathon.
We did a code along where Andy showed how to make a game from start to finish.
The feedback we got was really good and we will probably make some similar events in 2015.


Halloween Hackathon (28h)


Location: Sågen, Haninge
2014-10-26 - 2014-10-27
Attendees: 41
Men/women: 65% / 35%

Lots of attendees came in costume, our focus at this hackathon was to help attendees work on their apps so that they could submit is on our X-mas hack.


X-mas hack (27h)


Location: Sågen, Haninge
2014-12-13 – 2014-12-14
Attendees: 26
Men/women: 61% / 39%

December 13 is Saint Lucia's Day in Sweden, many people had other plans already and some even had tests in school.
The number of attendees dropped for this hackathon.

Jimmy and I presented our talk from TechDays (developer.UX=true; ) it was really appreciated.

We also had choir singing in true Lucia spirit, followed by one of them (9 year old boy) publishing an app (Me helping him in the pics above)


So basically 2014 was loads of fun and we are already planning 2015 =)

Fitness plan - The results

Okay, so my plan to update often failed miserably for so many reasons.
But here is the result and recap of my fitness plan.


When we started out on Get Up and Code in March, I weigh 78kg (172lbs)


The goal was to get me fitter and lose some weight, about 10kg (22 lbs) and to be able to run a 10k in November.

The plan

Gym 3 times/week, 10 000 steps/day, couch to 5K 3 times/week, 1500 kcal/day

Potential obstacles

The potential obstacles was my ankle that acts up from time to time, trying not to overdo it and work out too much, chocolate and eating out due to events and conferences.

The road to now

After a while my husband started to come to the gym with me, that has helped me a lot. It's much easier to keep the motivation and not overdoing it when you workout with someone.
With that said, at times I managed to overdo it anyway, he got stronger so much faster and I don't like to "lose" :P
My ankle DID act up, and it didn't do it any good by continuing anyway. I got myself a very good physical therapist and focused on core and ankle stability and I wasn't okayed to run until late October and only 2 times/week for max 15min.
Since I need to keep my physical therapist busy OR that I'm a tiny tiny bit stubborn and impatient I kinda hurt my shoulder (Impingement in my Supraspinatus). Okay, I fess up, I couldn't take that Jimmy did a heavier military press than I did, and I didn't quit working out even though it hurt :P


Today I weigh in at 68-69kg (149-152 lbs)
I'm stronger and in better condition.
For the Tunnelrun in November I realized that I haven't been able to run for 5-6 months and the longest I ever ran was 5k, so my hopes wasn't that high.
Before the start I set the goal for running 2-3K, hoping that I could make it to 5k. Stubborn as I am, determined to achieve my goal, I actually manage to run the whole 10k without walking even a meter :D
I wouldn't recommend it if you haven't run for that long though, because I was unable to walk the next day :P

Left: Representing geek with my warm-up clothes
Right: After the 10k

The future

Even though I've reached my initial weight goal, I still want to get more fit.
My new goal is to at one time get so fit that I can cosplay as Harley Quinn at the SciFi faire (Winter 2015 or 2016).
I will try to not put to much focus on the actual weight from now on and concentrate on measurements and results as a reference.
What I really need to work on is my impatience and tendency to overdoing everything. I need to find a sustainable pace so I don't get restless but also not hurt myself.

And for those of you who are thinking "Wait a minute, isn't she a Marvel girl?! Harley is DC" well, still a Marvel girl, but COME ON! Harley Quinn is not only hot, she is super cool too :P