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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Build a Simple CRUD App with ASP.NET Core, MySQL, and Twilio

In this article, we’ll be building an MVC task management form with .NET Core 2.2. We’ll also be showing how to integrate with a MySQL database from MVC, and how to use Twilio to send SMS messages to your app that will add new tasks to your list. .NET Core and MySQL are both free and open source technologies. The new ASP.NET Core can run on Linux and in Linux Containers, and MySQL is one...

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Secure Applications with Certificate Pinning

In the famous 1993 cartoon from the New Yorker, one canine sits at a PC, looking at another, and says, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” More than a quarter of a century later, digital certificates have made us more certain who we’re talking to online, but there are still problems that mean we can’t be 100% sure. Certificate pinning serves to close that gap by narrowing down the certificates we accept from...

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SAML: What's Behind SSO

Apple’s recent announcement of a single sign-on (SSO) solution, Sign in with Apple, has developers everywhere thinking about how to incorporate it into their application’s infrastructure. Apple is hardly the first organization to introduce SSO—it’s a security-focused methodology that has been available for years—and one of the protocols behind it is SAML. The SAML protocol lets users prove their identities across multiple applications with just one set of login credentials. It was ratified in 2002...

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Hashing Techniques for Password Storage

Picture yourself a year from now. Someone just put your entire password database on Pastebin. User accounts are being hacked by the thousands and your local privacy regulator just called to have a chat. Depending on the hashing algorithm you were using to store your user passwords, you could be in a lot of trouble. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so how does hashing work and what...

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Build Continuous Integration with Jenkins in C#

“It works on my machine.” If you’re a developer, or you work with developers, you’ve heard this phrase one too many times. If you’ve been in the industry for a while, you may even have the coffee mug, tee shirt, or mouse pad. It’s fair to say that if Bart Simpson decides to embark on a career in software, “It works on my machine” will be the new “Eat my shorts”. Jokes aside, it represents...

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The Hardest Thing About Data Encryption

Encrypting data is all about making sure that only the right people can view the data you’ve encrypted. There are two primary forms of data encryption: symmetric and asymmetric. While you can easily Google “symmetric encryption best practices” and figure out the best algorithms and developer libraries to use (more on this later) to encrypt and decrypt data, one thing isn’t so easy: figuring out how to properly store and manage your data encryption keys....

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How to Have the Best Meetings in Your Life

If I could sum up the amount of time I’ve wasted in meetings over the span of my career, it would be staggering! I’ve been in countless frustrating meetings where rabbits were chased down endless roads with no hope of return, dead horses were beaten beyond recognition, or the loudest person bullied the entire discussion with their personal agenda. Chances are you’ve had your share of exasperating meetings, too. Years ago I was introduced to...

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Building Scalable Laravel Apps with PostgreSQL

Laravel is one of the hottest frameworks for backend and full-stack development of Web applications today. It boasts a large number of quality features out-of-the-box, but it’s still easy to learn the basics. The community is vast, and there are tons of free resources available on the Internet. This sample application will use Postgres as the backend database system, Okta for user authentication, and Heroku for quick deployment to a scalable platform. Heroku is a...

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Servlet Authentication with Java

It can be very satisfying to build an application “the hard way”, using few conveniences. This approach helps you understand core development principles and the inner workings of everyday abstractions. That’s why today, you’ll build an application from the ground up using Java Servlets with a login form. There are more modern, technologically savvy ways to handle authentication within your application, namely OAuth 2.0 and OIDC, which I will touch upon later. However, this post...

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