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No Excuses: HTTPS is Dead Easy to Implement – New Pluralsight Course

Ever since I have been involved in any kind of web development and web technologies, having a secure website running over HTTPS (which is nowadays actually TLS) was a really difficult task. It required very specific knowledge about web servers, about certificate creation and installation, a very specific sequence of steps and a lot of money to renew the certificate(s) every year.

Having a web site served securely was something for the big sites, and the ones who’s services required it (such as banks). However, the last few years have seen a ton of data leaked and services breached. It has almost become an accepted reality that your online data will be sold, leaked or otherwise distributed around the net. These leaks mean that the data you share on the Internet should ideally be secure from end to end, to at least minimise some of the risk.

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Using Happiness as a Career Path

Happiness is a very lose term and it means something different to each person. Pretty much everyone can agree that happiness is something we want in our life and we often strive to achieve. In this article I first published for gooroo.io I explore how you can make it part of your every day work routine and how you can make a living out of being happy.

I would imagine most people aren’t sure what they want to do as a career for the rest of their lives when they come out of high school, university or whatever their last educational step might be. You can’t know every possibility that is available to you, and you probably never will. I worked as an accountant, a teacher, a cinema usher, customer support and fruit & vegetable sales person. And those were all before I started my computer science degree. My point is that you won’t always know what you are good at, what you find exciting or what you want to do for years and years, until you do it.

In this article I’ll share some tips on finding your passion and making a living from it. Tips that have worked for me and that I still live by. Tips for using happiness as a career path, and not just as an occasional state of mind.

Do what you love

It is a cliche and you have probably heard the same advice from a hundred different people. “Do what you love and you will never hate your job”. It isn’t always as easy as that of course and I have had a number of jobs including fruit and vegetable sales person, accountants assistant, consultant, customer support and billing systems engineer, before I found what I really loved doing. Although I didn’t love all those jobs on their own, I now acknowledge that they were all part of my journey to find the right work for me. Without those jobs, some more fun and interesting than others, I wouldn’t have been where I am today.

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What are Digital Realities? – New Pluralsight Course

Just yesterday I did another interview about HoloLens, what it is and how it fits into the world of virtual and augmented reality. It is a question I get a lot at conferences, user groups, client meetings and of course on social media. Had you asked me two years ago it was a reasonably straight forward answer, with three distinct categories of digital realities.

However, as the technologies evolve, and especially with the introduction of Apple’s AR Kit and Google’s AR Core, the lines are blurring. The once firm definitions are becoming more gray so much so that fellow HoloDeveloper Rene Schulte the other day did a 12min video to explain where mixed reality belong. It will likely end up being all the same definition, whether it is virtual, augmented, mixed or something else entirely. It is both exciting and frustrating at the same time.

Back in June 2017 I was presenting at NDC Oslo and while there I recorded a number of play by play courses for Pluralsight. One of those was with my good mate Stephen Haunts (who has glorious hair) on exactly this topic: digital realities. If you don’t know what a play by play is, go read Steve’s post about it in detail.

Pluralsight Play by Play Recordings at NDC Oslo

The course is now live and is a great insight into how you can get started building apps for mixed reality and HoloLens. Go watch the trailer now!

Introduction to Google ARCore Development

I have been experimenting with augmented reality on various platforms for a while, and this article describes how to get started with Google’s AR Core platform. First published on gooroo.io.

In the past couple of years, if not more, the technology of virtual, augmented and, lately, mixed realities have taken a huge leap forward both for consumers as well as enterprise. Initially augmented reality (AR) almost entirely consisted of overlaying data on the real world, triggered by a shape, a logo, a QR code, or something else that could be easily recognised. Most of all it was very similar to a heads up display. Not really interacting with the real world, not really being part of your reality.

In January 2015 Microsoft announced the HoloLens Mixed Reality headset, which was released a year later. The HoloLens took augmented reality to an entirely new level, and Microsoft called this “mixed reality” (MR). The groundbreaking aspect of it is the environmental scanning and spatial mapping capabilities, which means the device knows the physical layout of your surroundings to an amazing degree of details.

3D model of my living room captured with HoloLens

This detailed awareness of the environment means that digital assets, or holograms, knows where their surroundings are and can act accordingly. You can have people sitting next to you on a chair or couch, place digital flowers on top of a real table, have characters navigate your actual living room and much much more. This spatial mapping and tracking capability essentially left other augmented reality implementations for dead.

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Pluralsight Course – Emerging Threats in IoT

The fact is that more and more things are being connected to the Internet. We have the obvious things like TVs, game consoles, cars and smartphones. But have you considered your hair brush, your dog feeder or even your special items for the bedroom? Yes, we are making everything connected and with this comes a lot of questions about privacy, safety and not least security. How do you update your light bulbs, and do you know if your dishwasher is also a web server? These are real questions in the world that we are creating.

In this fourth play by play course with my good mate Troy Hunt, we dive into what devices are making this world so difficult and what the real problems are with these. We look at precedents for where it all went wrong and what happened. We discuss the worst examples that Troy has come across in recent years and how the incidents impacted the industry.

Of course, we also discuss solutions to securing your IoT devices, both as a consumer and as a developer. Developers need to take ownership of all the vulnerabilities that are constantly exposed, fix them, and then document the solutions for the entire industry to learn from.

Join us for this very relevant, entertaining and very educational course on Pluralsight. See you there.

Watch the course trailer here

Using Geo-Location in Your Web App

I am currently building a new web product that relies on client location to a large extent. During the development I had to learn about the geo-location API for use within HTML5 compatible browsers, and thought I’d share how simple it is to use. Article first published on gooroo.io.

The use of GPS data has become second nature for most everyday tasks. The most common scenario of finding your way from A to B using GPS is obvious, but there are a lot of other uses as well. When you ask to find the nearest store on a company website, GPS is used. When you log into Facebook in a foreign country and you subsequently get ads for all of the Swedish natural foods you can eat, GPS is used. When you ask Google to remember where you parked your car, GPS is used. And many more ways.

Using GPS in your web app is not difficult, but there are a few points to note and some pit falls to avoid. This article will show you how to use the GPS hardware on the user’s device, and then take that one step further to use Google’s Map API to reverse geo-code the result and make it some kind of useful.

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6 Ways to Add More Hours to Your Day

Mentoring is a very broad term in my vocabulary, but it covers all the things that make people better at being people. I tend to focus on peoples’ strengths and not their deficiencies. Doing that means you get more positivity in your life and the sense of achievement and momentum increases dramatically. This article focuses on some of the things you can do to create more time to do what you are good at. First published on gooroo.io.

Over the last year I have started doing a lot of mentoring of mainly technical people. Based on almost 20 years of experience in the technology industry I found that I have formed routines and procedures that can be beneficial to lots of other people. Especially within the tech-community there are a large number of people who, in my opinion, could benefit immensely from having a mentor in their life to help them move forward, set goals, achieve more and be more.

I find it highly satisfying to help people be more than they thought they could be, and lead them on a path of success and achievement. The one thing I hear from all of them consistently is “how do I find more time in my day to do more?”


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Getting Started with Windows Template Studio

Microsoft has for a long time been pioneering developer tooling with Visual Studio as the main backbone of the effort. The investment continues and is not likely to ever stop. For this reason, change is necessary and some tools will disappear as their use becomes less, and new ones will appear. This article was first published on gooroo.io

Developers are always looking for shortcuts to make their programming more efficient and let them focus on the fun bits. Deep down inside developers are lazy people that don’t want to do boring work. Repetitive work. About a year ago I finished a Pluralsight course on building your first Universal Windows App, which aimed to give developers a great shortcut for building apps for Windows 10. It took me three goes to finish the course (Microsoft kept moving the goal posts), but I was happy with the result. The course focused on using App Studio, which essentially is a code completion tool. A tool that generated really well structured and usable code, meant to be extended and built on top of. And now App Studio has received the death sentence. Slowly being moved to the drawer of broken dreams.

Instead we now have Windows Template Studio

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Pluralsight Live – The Next Step

In 5 weeks a brand new type of technology and learning event called Pluralsight live takes place for the first time. It is a mix of learning, networking, and emerging trends, but in a way that connects learners, authors, managers and content owners. Here is my journey to Pluralsight Live.

The Beginning

Three and a bit years ago I attended my first Pluralsight Author summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was my first year as Pluralsight author with only two courses under my belt, and I was extremely excited to go and meet all the other authors. At the time there was about 400 authors, with maybe 15 in Australia. I wanted to go for a couple of reasons.

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Europe Trip 2017 – All the Things!

I am writing this as I sit in a comfortable Danish train on first class enjoying the space and enjoying the expectation of what lies ahead. As I zoom towards Hamburg to pick up the family and spend three weeks in Europe visiting friends, family and discovering new places, I think back of the last three and a bit mad weeks. The biggest trip I have ever done in terms of conferences, user groups, presentations, workshop and so much more.

Having been travelling for conferences and other work commitments extensively for the past 4 years, I have now come to a point, where any travel needs not only expose my brand and my content to a new and larger audience, but I also need to be able to fill out any spare time with other work and exposure. Being a freelancer and independent software developer, my time is always in demand, either for paying bills, building brand or, of course, spending with my family. Every decision to spend time away from home needs to be an absolute win.

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