New Course Released : RabbitMQ by Example

I recently released my latest (7th) course over at Pluralsight called RabbitMQ by Example. This course shows you how to make full use of RabbitMQ in your .NET applications. RabbitMQ is a very powerful messaging broker and this course takes a practical look at how to use it by showing you how to build a payments system.

RabbitMQ By Example Course by Stephen Haunts at Pluralsight
RabbitMQ By Example Course by Stephen Haunts at Pluralsight

Here is the official course description :

In this course, RabbitMQ by Example, you will see how to use RabbitMQ by using practical examples featuring a fictional company and a software development scenario based around taking card payments and purchase order payments. You’ll start with an introduction to RabbitMQ and how it compares to Windows’ default queue technology, MSMQ. As well as looking at RabbitMQ specifically, you will look at message queuing architectures, micro services, and how RabbitMQ can work as a broker for handling asynchronous and synchronous messages in this architecture. You will also get to explore the use of the topics exchange for routing and synchronous remote procedure calls. By the end of this course, you’ll be ready to use RabbitMQ in your .NET applications.

The course is split into 8 modules

  1. Introduction
  2. Introducing RabbitMQ
  3. Introducing RabbitMQ Exchanges
  4. Understanding Queuing Architecture
  5. Implementing Microservices and Message Queueing
  6. Installing and Configuring RabbitMQ
  7. Implementing Queueing Code
  8. Course Summary

The example application built in this course is based around the concept of Microservices, so this is a great use case for modern enterprise application development. The feedback from the course so far has been excellent as it has been getting very good ratings, so I am glad that it is helping people.

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Lean Software Development Fundamentals on Pluralsight

I have recently released my latest Pluralsight course called Lean Software Development Fundamentals. The course is an extension to my Agile Fundamentals course and talks about applying some of the principles of Lean manufacturing to the software development world.

Lean Software Development Fundamentals by Stephen Haunts
Lean Software Development Fundamentals by Stephen Haunts

Here is the official course description.

Incorporating lean manufacturing and lean IT principles and practices is essential to delivering software to your customers quickly and easily. This course, Lean Software Development Fundamentals, will help you understand how the lean principles can be applied to software development so that you can more efficiently deliver software. First, you’ll look at how the seven lean software principles apply to a software development team. Next, you’ll discover what practices a team can introduce to help make the transition to lean easier, and how Kanban can help to make a team more efficient. Finally, you’ll also get to think through a fictional example of a software development team delivering a call center application to their business. By the end of this course, you’ll better understand how to develop your software in a lean way, and ultimately, you’ll be able to deliver with increased efficiency.

My New Course, How to Run Effective Meetings, is Now Out

I am pleased to announce that my latest course with Pluralsight, How to Run Effective Meetings, is now released and available to watch. Below is a short sample.

Have you ever sat in a meeting with that sinking feeling that you are just wasting your time. Perhaps the meeting is going nowhere, or there is no agenda? Does the person running the meeting struggle to keep it on topic?

These are all very common problems and I have certainly sat through my fair share of pointless meetings. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

How to Run Effective Meetings by Stephen Haunts
How to Run Effective Meetings by Stephen Haunts

A meeting should be a great platform to bring people together to solve problems, plan projects and drive businesses forwards, and not a drain on peoples enthusiasm.

In this short course I will give you all the tools you need to plan, and run effective meetings so that everyone involved gets something out of the process.

How to Run Effective Meetings by Stephen Haunts
How to Run Effective Meetings by Stephen Haunts

The course has the following main aim:

To discover how to lead and participate in formal or informal meetings and how to make them more productive and successful.

You will learn how to save time and resources by enduring that meetings support business needs.

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Identify the best reasons for holding meetings
  • Prepare for meetings more thoroughly
  • Draw up action-centred agendas
  • Apply the skills of chairing, leading, facilitating and participating
  • Structure and manage conversations in meetings for maximum effectiveness

 

The course is useful to anyone that works in a professional work environment and has to attend or run meetings. By following the advice in this short course you will ensure that everyone can participate and perform their best.

If you are a Pluralsight subscriber, then How to Run Effective Meetings is available for you to watch now. If you would like 1 months free access to Pluralsight to watch this course and checkout others, then get in touch via the contact page on this blog.

New Pluralsight Course Coming Soon

I have recently completed work on my 4th course for Pluralsight. This time I am doing a soft-skills and careers course for the library. The course is called, Conflict Resolution in the Workplace.

Conflict Resolution in the Workplace by Stephen Haunts for Pluralsight
Conflict Resolution in the Workplace by Stephen Haunts for Pluralsight

The course tackles how to spot the early stages of conflict and then drive to a suitable resolution.

The course aim is:

The aim is for you to be able to identify and deal with conflict before a crisis occurs.

And the course objectives are :

  • Identify the different stages of conflict and describe what happens at each stage.
  • Explore your own relationship with conflict and how it can affect performance.
  • Demonstrate how to stop conflict from escalating and move both parties to agreement.
  • Describe what your natural style is for dealing with conflict.
  • Explain the process for the use of negotiation and/or mediation for conflict.
Conflict Resolution in the Workplace by Stephen Haunts for Pluralsight
Conflict Resolution in the Workplace by Stephen Haunts for Pluralsight

The course is useful to anyone that works in a professional team work environment and is suitable to all levels from junior team members through to managers and leaders.

Conflict Resolution in the Workplace by Stephen Haunts for Pluralsight
Conflict Resolution in the Workplace by Stephen Haunts for Pluralsight

The course tackles some of the following subjects.

  • Detecting the warning signs of conflict.
  • The stages to resolution.
  • Identifying your conflict resolution style.
  • Anger
  • Listening skills
  • Assertive behaviour
  • Your rights in the workplace
  • Negotiating and Mediating
Conflict Resolution in the Workplace by Stephen Haunts for Pluralsight
Conflict Resolution in the Workplace by Stephen Haunts for Pluralsight

I have completed production on the course and I expect it to be out within the next month or so. It has been a fun course to research and write and I hope that it is useful to people.

Universal Windows Platform Guidance for Windows 10

Fellow Pluralsight author Lars Klint has released a Free Pluralsight webinar to help developers get started with Universal Windows Platform development under Windows 10.

If you are serious about  getting started with this platform, then I also recommend the Microsoft Virtual Academy series which will help jump start you

Practical Cryptography in .NET Course Released by Pluralsight

I am pleased to announce that my latest course, Practical Cryptography in .NET has been released by Pluralsight.

The course description is as follows:

As a software developer you have a duty to your employer to secure and protect their data. In this course you will learn how to use the .NET Framework to protect your data to satisfy confidentiality, integrity, non-repudiation and authentication.

This course covers random number generation, hashing, authenticated hashing and password based key derivation functions. The course also covers both symmetric and asymmetric encryption using DES, Triple DES, AES and RSA. You then learn how to combine these all together to product a hybrid encryption scheme which includes AES, RSA, HMACS and Digital Signatures.

The course is aimed at teaching developers about the importance of protecting sensitive data within their systems.

Practical Cryptography in .NET Coming Soon to Pluralsight
Practical Cryptography in .NET Coming Soon to Pluralsight

As-well as giving lots of technical background, the course will be very practical with lots of live code demonstrations. The course will be split into the following modules.

1. Course Outline and Introduction
2. Cryptographic Random Numbers
3. Hashing Algorithms
4. Secure Password Storage
5. Symmetric Encryption
6. Asymmetric Encryption
7. Hybrid Encryption
8. Digital Signatures
9. Secure String
10. Course Summary

Modules 2 – 6 covers a lot of theory and practical advice on using what is built into the .NET Framework. Module 7 on Hybrid Cryptography takes this a step further to combine a lot of the cryptographic primitives discussed into a cryptography scheme that gives the flexible key management benefits of RSA with the benefits and speed of algorithms like AES which includes full authenticated integrity checking.

Practical Cryptography in .NET Coming Soon to Pluralsight
Practical Cryptography in .NET Coming Soon to Pluralsight

This then gets expanded on further by introducing the concept of Digital Signatures to build in non-repudiation into the system.

Practical Cryptography in .NET Coming Soon to Pluralsight
Practical Cryptography in .NET Coming Soon to Pluralsight

The course has been a lot of fun to produce and I hope you find it useful. Protecting data is something that every developer should take very seriously and this course gives you all the tools you need to protect your companies data from ex-filtration by hackers or anyone else that wants to cause organisations harm.

Big Balls of Foam

Recently I purchased a new ultrabook laptop to replace my desktop computer. The laptop is great but I encountered one problem, the laptop fan. I am using the laptop with a docking station and had the laptop on top of the desk. After a while the fan kicks in and it is fairly noisy. It’s not too noisy that it is a major problem, but when I am recording modules for Pluralsight, the noise can be an issue as the laptop was near the mic.

I mitigated this a little but repositioning the dock under the desk. When the laptop is docked I use 2 HD screens, so I wasn’t concerned about using the laptop screen in this situation, and docking under the desk certainly reduced the noise to the Microphone. Whilst this was a big improvement, I was still picking up the fan noise in my recordings.

Kaotica Eyeball
Kaotica Eyeball

I asked on the Pluralsight authors mailing list how people deal with laptop noise as there are quite a few people who use Ultrabooks or Mac Books and there was a few solutions. One was doc the laptop on the other side of the room using a very long cable. I certainly wasn’t going to do that. The other was to buy a device that attaches to the microphone called the Kaotica Eyeball.

The Kaotica Eyeball is acoustic treatment that attaches to a condenser microphone and it is essentially a dense ball of foam with a fabric pop shield at the front. The idea is that it blocks out ambient room noise and focuses sound from the front of the eyeball onto the mic. I was sceptical at first, but after doing some research on-line I decided to buy it. It’s not cheap at $200 but I have to say the difference this has made to my recordings is remarkable. I recently started production on a new Pluralsight course and for the first module I used the eyeball attached to my Microphone. The clarity in the recordings in astounding, and my editor thought so too as the early feedback was that the audio quality was very good.

If you do voice recording work or even record vocals in a less than optimal room, then you should definitely get one of these. I do my recording in a spare bedroom, so treating the room with acoustic tiles is not an option, so this is a much better way of doing it.