Multi-Factor Authentication Sucks

For the last seven years or so I’ve been building developer tools to help make user authentication and authorization simpler and more secure. When I’m not building tools to help secure web applications, I’m often writing articles, creating videos, and educating developers on web security best practices. I care a lot about web security. With that said (and I almost feel guilty admitting this), I think multi-factor authentication (MFA) sucks. It’s slow, annoying, frustrating, and...

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Build Components in JavaScript Without a Framework

Everyone has their favorite framework, and most developers aren’t shy about sharing those opinions. I guarantee you right now two developers are arguing about their favorite frameworks. Personally, I’ve been using JavaScript frameworks since JQuery was introduced. I’ve written applications for clients using Knockout.js, Angular 1+, React (since before v15), and have made some small learning apps using Stencil and Vue. One of the great things that all of these frameworks bring to the table...

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Use Sass with React to Build Beautiful Apps

When you are developing web applications with React, you know that writing the JavaScript code is only half of the story. The other half is implementing the design using style sheets. When your application becomes larger, using plain CSS style sheets can become tedious and unmaintainable. Sass is one of the most popular alternatives to CSS. It extends the CSS language with variables, mixins, and many other features. It also lets you divide up the...

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Semantic Versioning Sucks! Long Live Semantic Versioning

Hello, fellow developers. Have you ever been bitten by transitive dependencies changing in minor releases? I have. Semantic versioning is supposed to prevent this, and sure, semantic versioning is a great idea at its core, but when its guidance is not followed it sucks. People release minor versions without backward compatibility all-the-time. TL;DR? Semantic versioning sucks because humans get involved. In the early days, I don’t recall having much of a problem with dependencies and...

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OAuth 2.1: How Many RFCs Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

The OAuth working group agreed last month in Singapore (IETF 106) that work will begin to update the current OAuth 2.0 Framework to a potential version 2.1 encompassing all the latest recommendations and best practices around the specification. This is in part due to the maze of documentation that developers need to understand when getting started on the topic to choose the correct flow and implement the best security posture for their application landscape. By...

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Kotlin: A Beginner's Guide and Tutorial

Kotlin is a modern, statically typed language within the JVM. Kotlin is a cross-platform, multi-purpose, free and open-source language developed by JetBrains under the Apache 2.0 license and has constructs for both Object Oriented and Functional programming styles, which can be mixed. It can be used for web development, server and client, and mobile development, using most Java IDEs. Kotlin is an awesome option for Java developers because it is concise, expressive, and safe. According...

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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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How to Customize Your Angular Build With Webpack

If you’re a frontend dev in the world today you’ve probably heard of (and possibly even used) webpack. The Angular build process uses webpack behind the scenes to transpile TypeScript to JavaScript, transform Sass files to CSS, and many other tasks. To understand the importance of this build tool, it helps to understand why it exists. Browsers have very limited support for JavaScript modules. In practice, any JavaScript application loaded into the browser should be...

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A Quick Guide to Integrating React and GraphQL

If your application consumes a ReST API from React, the default setup will give you ALL the data for a resource. But if you want to specify what data you need, GraphQL can help! Specifying exactly the data you want can reduce the amount of data sent over the wire, and the React applications you write can have less code filtering out useless data from data you need. There are a lot of GraphQL clients...

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What's New for Node.js in 2020

In 2019, Node.js turned 10 years old, and the number of packages available on npm crossed one million. Downloads for Node.js itself continues to rise, growing 40% year over year. Another significant milestone is Node.js recently joined the OpenJS Foundation, which promises to improve project health and sustainability, as well as improve collaboration with the JavaScript community at large. As you can see, a lot has happened in a relatively short amount of time! Every...

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