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.

Agile Fundamentals Course Now Live on Pluralsight

My new course, Agile Fundamentals is now live with Pluralsight. The course description is as follows :

In Agile Fundamentals, we explore how working on an Agile project has benefits for your development team, your end users, and your organization as a whole. This course starts by exploring the more traditional waterfall process, and then covers why running an Agile team is a good idea. This course is ideal for software developers, project managers, software leadership, or anyone that would have an interest and gain benefit from running an Agile project and delivering maximum value early to your customers.

The course is split into the following modules :

1. Introduction

2. Waterfall Development and It’s Problems

3. What is Agile all About?

4. Common Agile Misconception

5. The Advantages and Disadvantagesof Agile

6. Extreme Programming

7. Scrum

Agile Fundamentals Coming Soon to Pluralsight

Since completing my Developer to Manager course and finishing my first book for SyncFusion, I have been planning, writing and producing my next course for Pluralsight. The next course is call Agile Fundamentals and it’s main focus is to explain WHY agile software development is important to the modern software industry.

Agile Fundamentals Course on Pluralsight by Stephen Haunts
Agile Fundamentals Course on Pluralsight by Stephen Haunts

The course starts out by covering the more traditional Waterfall and V-Model approaches and explains both the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches. The course then talks about an alternative way of working that aims to resolve the many disadvantages of the Waterfall based processes.

The Making of My Pluralsight Course

Recently I published my first course on the Pluralsight called Developer to Manager. As you can imagine I am quite excited by this as I have been a customer and fan of their training library for about 3 years, so being able to get involved was great.

I have had a lot of people ask me about the my experience of becoming a Pluralsight author, so I thought I would write a post explaining the process I have been through. Hopefully if you have heard of Pluralsight, you will find this interesting, but also if you are a new Pluralsight author, I hope you come across this post and it helps you ease into the role.

The Audition Process

I first started talking to Pluralsight towards the end of June 2014. After a few email exchanges I had a short phone interview with a content acquisition editor (Jodi). After this discussion I moved into the audition process. If I am honest, this was quite daunting as I have never done anything like this before, so not only was I coming at this new, I was also going to be heavily scrutinised.

The audition process is fairly straight forward. You have to produce a 10 minute video using the Pluralsight presentation template. The audition video has to have a beginning, middle, and end and tell a complete story. Preferably the audition should have a live coding demo too.

Developer to Manager Pluralsight Course now Live

I am pleased to announce that my first Pluralsight course, Developer to Manager, is now live and available to watch for all Pluralsight subscribers. You can view a demo of the course below.

The course is based off an article I wrote earlier this year called Transition from Developer to Manager. This has been the single most popular article on this blog. I frequently receive emails from people asking advice on moving into a supervisor / leading role, so I hope this course will help everyone who watches it.

Stephen Haunts Pluralsight Author Page
Stephen Haunts Pluralsight Author Page

The course will start off by covering what a typical supervisor / management role looks like and its aim is to set the listeners expectations about the role to help them make an informed decision. The course then goes on to help the listener come up with a 90 day plan to help them make a real impact in the role if they choose to make the leap.

The structure of the course is as follows:

Module 1 : Introduction

Module 2 : What Does it Mean to be a Manager?

Module 3 : Your Team

Module 4 : Your First Month

Module 5 : Your Second Month

Module 6 : Your Third Month

My First Pluralsight Course Update

It’s been a while since I posted an update about my Pluralsight course development, but I am please to say that the course is now complete and has passed all of the peer review and audio/visual review stages. The course now goes off to be encoded into the right format and enters the release queue.

The course will be released on Friday 28th November.

Pluralsight : Developer to Manager : Screenshot
Pluralsight : Developer to Manager : Screenshot

It has been a lot of hard work but I have really enjoyed the process and feel honoured to be a part of the Plurasight family. They are a great company to work for. My first course is called “Developer to Manager” and it is a course that helps developers decide whether going into a team leadership or management role is the right decision for them.

The course is based off an article I wrote earlier this year called Transition from Developer to Manager. This has been the single most popular article on this blog a lot of my articles have been very popular. I frequently receive emails from people asking advice on moving into a supervisor / leading role, so I hope this course will help everyone who watches it.

The course will start off by covering what a typical supervisor / management role looks like and its aim is to set the listeners expectations about the role to help them make an informed decision. The course then goes on to help the listener come up with a 90 day plan to help them make a real impact in the role if they choose to make the leap.

Password Based Key Derivation Functions in .NET

In this article I want to talk a little about Password Based Key Derivation Functions and their use in .NET. A Password Based Key Derivation Function or PBKDF2 as it is known, is a way to encode passwords as an alternative to hashing functions which are susceptible to rainbow table attacks.

Password Based Key Derivation Functions in .NET : PBKDF2
Password Based Key Derivation Functions in .NET : PBKDF2

For this article though I am going to try a different method of explaining it. I am going to talk about this subject and do a little code demo by video. Yes, you have to suffer my voice and video editing. This video was actually recoded back in June, and the astute amongst you will notice that this looks very much like a Pluralsight video. Well, it is, kind of. This is one of my audition videos that I had to produce to  become a Pluralsight author.

I was very pleased with the result seeing as it was my first time recording and editing a video / code demo, and Pluralsight were gracious enough to give me permission to post the video on my blog, but minus the Pluralsight branding, as it is not an official video of theirs.

Now that I have the video recording bug, plus I have paid for all the software and hardware etc, I may do more of these along side my Pluralsight courses.

%d bloggers like this: