James' Blog

Dev stuff

Let's build an Alexa Skill with .NET and pizza 🍕

Alexa is the virtual assistant bundled with Amazon's Echo range of devices. Like Google Assistant and Apple's Siri, Alexa offers a Voice User Interface (VUI) to Amazon's services as well as a huge number of 3rd party services through Skills.

Automatically deploy your .NET Core app using Github Actions

I recently discovered Github Actions as an amazingly simple way to set up continuous integration for my .NET Core web apps.

A long time ago, I wrote about how I host my webapps on a small Linux VPS. To deploy a new version I have to build my web app, copy the files over onto my server and then restart my systemd service that starts the dotnet runtime and runs the application.

New Year Update

It's a new year (and decade!) and I like to take stock of what I've achieved and what I plan to do in future. This is really just a post for myself, so don't take too much notice.


I've always intended to start a blog and write up some of the things I've learnt - and I think it helps with the learning process putting thoughts to paper. However, I still hate writing and would rather spend my limited spare time coding something I can see the results of.

Controlling WS2812B strip with .NET Core on Raspberry Pi

I love messing around with LEDs and now you can do it with .NET Core running on a Raspberry Pi!

Hosting a .NET Core app on a Linux VPS

Small Linux virtual private servers (VPS) are a super cheap option to host .NET Core apps.

I'm going to set up an app on a brand new VPS from INIZ - a simple single CPU server with 512MB RAM, 40GB of storage and 1TB bandwidth is more than enough for most simple apps and only costs £15 a year!

Hello, World

Hello. I'm James.

I had no idea how to start a blog, but it's something I've wanted to do for a long time. Enough. Now is the time. You're never going to have a blog until you've written one. And a journey starts with a single step...