Happy New Year. Yes, yes, I know, it’s February, but December and January have been absolutely insane with work and a few projects coming to a close at the same time so blogging and YouTube videos and blog posts took a temporary back seat. But I am back. I thought I would update on what I have been up too.

A Gentle Introduction Book Series by Stephen Haunts
A Gentle Introduction Book Series by Stephen Haunts

First of all, in December I released 2 more eBooks’. The first is about public speaking and the second is a follow up to my Agile software development book about Lean software development. I am really proud of these books and I have much more on the way, but I had to halt working on them in January to get some other projects completed.

Advanced Secure Coding for the Enterprise Workshop by Stephen Haunts
Advanced Secure Coding for the Enterprise Workshop by Stephen Haunts

That other project was putting together a 2-day security workshop that I was going to be teaching at the NDC Security event in Oslo, Norway. The workshop was called “Advanced Secure Programming for the Enterprise in   .NET”, and it was about the incorporation of cryptography in your software solutions to protect your companies data. This was all material that I have taught and spoken about before, but I had to collate it all together into a structured workshop, that is both informative and practical.

I delivered the workshop in Oslo, and it was a great success. I had a very eager group who paid to take the class, and we had a blast together. Overall I achieved some excellent satisfaction ratings afterward which made it all worth it. It was also fun being at the same event as my good friends Troy Hunt, Scott Helme and Dominick Baier. One of the fun things about going to these events is catching up with friends.

As well as completing the preparation for my secure coding workshop, I also had to finish my latest Pluralsight course that I have had in production. The course is called Blockchain – Principles and Practices. It is about the theory of how blockchain data structures and algorithms work. It has been a fun course to write, but also a challenging course, but I got it all recorded and edited in January. At the time of writing this post, I am waiting for my final peer review to complete and the course to go live.

Sound Libraries by Stephen Haunts Available on Sounds.com
Sound Libraries by Stephen Haunts Available on Sounds.com

Another project I have just completed too is a bit of a curve ball as it involves some work I used to do years ago before me and my wife had kids. I used to design and create professional sound and sample libraries that are aimed at musicians and TV sound editors. The libraries were quite successful for a part-time business, but it became hard to do after we had kids due to the amount of noise I needed to make. Anyway, to cut a long story short, a company called Native Instruments, got in touch in December to say they were setting up a subscription-based sound sample marketplace and they asked if I wanted to stock my back catalog on there. I said yes, and after signing all the contracts, I had to prepare my libraries and metadata for upload. These libraries are quite large (60gb+) so it took a while to sort out, but all my libraries are now available from sounds.com, which is fantastic. I am also going to be making some custom content for them too in the not too distant future.

So, overall it has been a busy few months. I am not complaining though, it has been fun. I am next delivering the workshop in March at an NDC Conferences event in Copenhagen, so I have a few tweaks to make to the material based on feedback, so I will be doing that this month, along with getting 2 further books ready for release. I am also aiming to write another chapter for my APress book month too. It was a bit daunting leaving my job last year to work for my self, but I am glad I did it, and this will be the first full year of going it along.

I am excited about the future, but I always have that sense of slight fear of the unknown, but it is that fear that helps keep you driven. I have lots of conference appearances planned this year so I will be traveling loads, which is loads of fun as I can work on my projects anywhere in the world.

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