avatar-quorralyne.jpg Heather Downing

The Most Exciting Promise of .NET 5

It’s time to get jazzed about the future of the .NET ecosystem! It’s hard to believe that .NET only came out in 2002. There are so many versions of the framework, rapidly changing the places a C# developer could create and support. The entire ecosystem just turned 18, and it has been confusing at times with versioning. I fell in love with how powerful the platform was, but often, choosing to upgrade to the latest...

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What I Learned After Working Remotely for a Year

What happens when you suddenly need to work from home due to a myriad of reasons? Whether it’s the daily expectation or an occasional occurrence, working remotely has it’s benefits and challenges. After coming to a fully remote team at Okta, I discovered a few things about the reality of working outside of an office building that I’d like to share. Communication is EVERYTHING When Working Remote I discovered that my communication skills actually improved...

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Why CLIs Suck (and GUIs are Better)

Posing this question on Twitter, I was amazed at the amount of responses it got: Check the thread out here. There were definitely some great points from both sides, but I wanted to explore my take on the choice in more depth. For clarity, GUIs are Graphic User Interfaces, and CLIs are Command Line Interfaces. Let’s start with: WHY COMMAND LINE INTERFACES SUCK (Don’t worry, it’s not that dramatic - just using a catchy title!...

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Tech at the Edge of the World: Offline Applications

In January of 2020, I was fortunate enough to join a 16 day voyage to Antarctica, and speak at a tech mastermind conference called AntarctiConf. Going to see the seventh continent was one of the coolest experiences of my life, and to top it all off I was joined by other incredible like-minded tech geeks and coders! I highly recommend adding Antartica to your travel bucket list as well, it is such a life-changing place...

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6 Simple but Powerful Habits for Effective Developers

What a year it has been! As I reflect on all I have learned in programming in 2019, there are a few exciting standouts that I wanted to share with you. By adjusting our thinking we can adopt better habits, therefore kind of setting up our own “action automation”. When you consider your New Year’s Resolutions as a software engineer, try a few of these suggestions out below. You might be surprised how much the...

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Three Developer Tools I'm Thankful For

What a year it has been! As I consider what this holiday season means to me, I am reminded of how insanely fortunate I am to be part of Okta. Before I go any further, I absolutely must give a shout-out to my fantastic teammates Randall, Lee, Aaron, Micah, Matt, Brian and David along with our fabulous supporting crew Brent, Lindsay, Krishna and Alyssa. Surrounding yourself with high caliber people makes all the difference in...

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Why Every Developer Needs to be a Generalist

Context, as they say, is king. The age-old question of exactly what a software developer should focus on learning has been crossing my mind a lot lately. More than ever, our technology is evolving at a furious pace - and the coding world is definitely feeling the pressure. It can be overwhelming to choose where to pay attention and what to dismiss as a passing fad. So what are you to do? Let’s look at...

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Goodbye Javascript! Build an Authenticated Web App in C# with Blazor + ASP.NET Core 3.0

Curious what the experience would be like to trade in Javascript for C# on the front end? You are about to find out! For many years, Javascript (and it’s child frameworks) have had their run of the DOM (Document Object Model) in a browser, and it took having that scripting knowledge to really manipulate client-side UI. About 2 years ago, all of that changed with the introduction of Web Assembly - which allows compiled languages...

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The Best Travel Tips for People In Tech

Here on the Okta Developer Relations team, we travel a lot (like, a lot) and we’ve learned a few things to make it easy. We’ve tried out countless suggestions over the years and I’ve rounded up the very best ones from my team to share with software developers getting their travel groove on. It’s all about making the trip less stressful and more enjoyable, and these tips are sure to get you well on your...

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5 Minute Serverless Functions in Azure without an IDE

Microsoft Azure makes it incredibly easy to get a basic API/microservice up and running quickly! If you are unfamiliar with building serverless architecture in the Microsoft ecosystem, using Azure Functions has become a quick way to get back-end code up and running that is easy to understand and usable for anyone. In this tutorial, we will set-up an API endpoint using the HTTP Trigger invocation that you can use with any front-end site. I use...

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5 Reasons Why You Should Give Visual Studio for Mac Another Try

Visual Studio has not always been as user-friendly on the Mac as it is on a Windows machine. Lately, however, the stable release of VS for Mac is really starting to feel like a simple, but luxurious cousin to Visual Studio 2019. Different, but related. Installation on a Mac is quick, simple, and allows you to get into coding right away - whether you are already familiar or an Apple-only dev getting into something new...

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The Top 5 DevOps Automation Tools .NET Developers Should Know

Not too long ago, deployments were done by hand - manually pushed to a physical server somewhere in a building your company owned. The software engineering world has come a long way since then, and we have more options than ever get our code and data live, automatically. Here are a few tools every C#/.NET developer should know that can help with that process, vetted by some of the best software leaders in the business....

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Alexa, Sign In Every Time: Voice-Only Authentication Verification in .NET

Authentication for voice, specifically Amazon’s Alexa, has its limitations. The initial Account Linking process Amazon provides for identification works for many scenarios, but it is only done once (signing into the skill via the Alexa mobile app or website), and all subsequent sessions with the skill are linked - no log-in screen presented again. I’ve often been asked what the options are for verifying every time a user engages with an Alexa skill. For example;...

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AWS Lambda vs Azure Functions for C# Serverless

As a C# developer, I became interested in how using a serverless function could complement existing projects I had done in ASP.NET 4.x. Enhancing ecosystems by using it for new requirements - without starting over from scratch - really had appeal. AWS Lambda came along first, with Azure Functions emerging onto the scene a couple of years later. In this post, we will briefly examine my experience getting started on both after using the .NET...

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Use Firebase with Your ASP.NET MVC App

Working with databases hosted online has become easier over recent years. The emergence of Database as a Service (DaaS) specifically makes quick integrations much easier. It is important to keep application user data separate from personally identifiable information, especially in this day and age. When using a third party auth provider like Okta, user information like a name or email address can be stored by that provider directly in their system, benefitting from their oversight...

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User Account Linking in Alexa with ASP.NET Web API

REST APIs are often written for enterprise-level companies as a way of allowing a client-side application to access core business logic. For many companies, simply extending their existing API by adding an endpoint for Alexa integration is the best way to manage that flow. For this example, you will use an existing Web API project on ASP.NET 4.7 and demonstrate how to link existing users to the Alexa skill the first time they access it,...

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Visual Studio 2019 Tips and Tricks

Microsoft recently released the preview of Visual Studio 2019 for Windows, and it’s got lots of improvements and features! After reading the release notes, I reached out to Allison Buchholtz-Au and Kendra Havens on the Visual Studio team at Microsoft to get an idea of what features should be configured immediately after downloading and installing this shiny new IDE. After they showed me a couple of quick tips, VS 2019 started to feel like the...

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Build a CRUD App with ASP.NET MVC and Entity Framework

Interested in building a secure ASP.NET MVC website that allows users to handle their own data with ease? Let’s walk through creating a basic application that allows the creation, reading, updating, and deletion of data (CRUD) with Entity Framework by your users while managing them easily with Okta. For a fun example, we will create a web application that lists upcoming rocket launches for space enthusiasts! You will have everything you need to get up...

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Go for liftoff at Okta!

T-minus 3… 2… 1… I’m blasting my way into the Developer Relations world like Alice discovering Wonderland and it’s fantastic cast of characters. I am so curious, and excited, and all of the feels that come with coming to Okta! Officially stepping into the Developer Avocado (er… pardon me, Advocate) role and bringing the love of .NET, voice and IOT to the party. Who is this Lady Nerd? Well, for starters I am obsessed with...

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