Tuesday, 27 March 2012

ASafaWeb gets a bit more culturally sensitive

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Do you ever get that sense that [insert culture here] seems to totally dominate everything to the total oblivion of everyone else out there? This sort of thing usually gets people a bit cranky but it turns out I’ve kind of being doing it a little bit myself with ASafaWeb.

You see, ASafaWeb works by looking at how a website responds to certain requests then and from those responses it draws some conclusions about how the thing is configured. For example, if ASafaWeb sees a response like the one below, it knows that custom errors have not been configured correctly:

An English custom error message

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Monday, 26 March 2012

SSW TV: Protecting your web apps from the tyranny of evil with OWASP

Monday, 26 March 2012

SSW TV

There’s an excellent home-grown Aussie free learning resource which I suspect is a bit new to a lot of developers: SSW TV. SSW is a local Sydney development shop headed up by Adam Cogan, a Microsoft Regional Director and ALM MVP. I offered to talk a little about web app security to their user group a couple of months back and we recorded Protecting your Web Apps from the Tyranny of Evil with OWASP which recently went live on their site.

Having just watched this video, I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. If you’re interested in security in ASP.NET and would prefer to consume the information by watching  just over an hour of video rather than reading through 255 pages of my free eBook, take a look at the video. It’s publicly accessible via the link above, on YouTube or embedded below to make things super easy:

Thursday, 22 March 2012

I’m StillAlive (and so is my AppHarbor site) – site monitoring made awesome

Thursday, 22 March 2012

As many of you know by now, I’m particularly fond of AppHarbor. They continue to provide a totally awesome integrated CI and hosting environment, continue to offer a means of taking the service up for free (as well as recently adding some commercial offerings), and most importantly to this post, they still have a great selection of very cool add-ons.

One of those add-ons is StillAlive which is awesome for two reasons: Firstly, it’s a local Aussie company and secondly, it actually provides a very valuable service that’s going to help me address a niggling problem with ASafaWeb running on AppHarbor.

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Friday, 16 March 2012

Browsing the broken web: a software developer behind the Great Firewall of China

Friday, 16 March 2012

I absolutely love coming to China. It’s a country that manages to hold onto a long, rich history whilst also moving into the future at an extraordinarily rapid pace. We also all know that China heavily censors the websites that can be accessed via the Internet.

I work quite frequently with a number of people in China and I’m always conscious that there is certain material I’d like to share with them which they won’t be able to access. I’m not talking about anything politically or culturally subversive, I’m talking about simple resources which software developers work with on a daily basis as part of their job. Or at least those outside China do.

So what’s the experience like for them? What can those of us outside of China learn about what our peers behind the Great Firewall can do, and more importantly, cannot do? Here’s a little snapshot of what it’s like trying to access typical resources I’d use on a daily basis from home but were not accessible to me whilst in Shanghai this week.

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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Inside the Microsoft MVP summit chocolate factory

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Being awarded an MVP title and attending the annual summit is a little like getting your hands on one of these:

Wonka's golden ticket

Suddenly you feel all Charlie Bucket, ready to gorge on the wonders that exist behind the doors of the mysterious Ballmer Wonka chocolate factory. Whilst an extensive amount of the information shared remains under NDA (more on that shortly), I’d like to share some insight from the program and the event which might shed some light on some of the mystique.

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Thursday, 8 March 2012

Microsoft MVP of the Year, 2011

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Well this was a very nice email to receive:

Congratulations on being awarded MVP of the Year based on your contributions in 2011!

It seems I must have done something(s) pretty right in my first year of MVPdom and word has it that my free OWASP Top 10 for .NET devs eBook tilted the voting in my favour. So for everyone who downloaded, RT’d, +1’d, liked, emailed and otherwise said nice things about my work, a heartfelt “thank you”!

Now I’m not the only MVP to receive this award; there are some other names that also received the same accolade and it’s very illustrious company to keep. I joined them for a dinner with S. Somasegar (“Soma”), Senior Vice President of the Developer Division and other luminaries from Microsoft whilst over at the MVP summit last week.

Well actually, “luminaries” barely does them justice; invitees included Scott Hunter (Principal Program Manager Lead for the ASP.NET team), Scott Hanselman (another Principal Program Manager – who should need no introduction if you work with .NET), Jason Zander (Corporate Vice President for the Visual Studio Team) and Anders Hejlsberg (lead architect for C# – possibly the most luminous of luminaries!)

Over the course of the dinner and at other times during the summit I had the privilege of meeting and talking to each one of these guys, something that will remain a summit highlight for me. Opportunities to speak casually with guys like Jason and Anders over a pinot grigio don’t come along every day!

Speaking to the other MVPs of the Year was also a highlight. I made some fantastic connections with folks who are at the absolute peak of their craft and as with all the MVPs I met last week, were more than willing to help on a whole range of fronts – just because they’re those kind of people. There’s not necessarily any financial upside or personal value to them beyond the simple pleasure of sharing their knowledge and passion with likeminded people.

I’ll write more about the summit a little later, but for now I have a nice little addition for the office:

MVP of the Year award

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