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.

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Pluralsight Course Progress

It has been a while since I wrote anything about my new Pluralsight course that I am authoring, and someone asked me the other day how it was getting on, so I thought I would post an update. Things have been a little slow since I signed my authoring agreement. I signed the contract the day before I went on holiday for 2 weeks. Then when I got back I wrote my course proposal and got it signed off by a Content VP at Pluralsight. After that, I was away for another week before I properly met my new editor.

Pluralsight Course Microphone Setup
Pluralsight Course Microphone Setup

I have now met my Editor, done my training and have started producing the slides and material for the first module. Tonight I recorded the intro module for the course, edited it in Camtasia, and rendered a version ready to submit for my AV inspection. I am now full flow in producing the slides for the first course module.

Pluralsight Course Being Edited in Camtasia
Pluralsight Course Being Edited in Camtasia

As you can see from the picture above, my first course is called “Developer to Manager” and it is a course that helps developers choose whether going into a leadership role is right for them. The course also presents a 90 day transition plan to help people that have decided to make the move into management. This course is loosely based off of an article I wrote on the same subject earlier in the year, which has been a very popular article on this blog.

This is the start of the production journey for this course. It will be a lot of work, but I am looking forward to getting stuck in. I am aiming to try and get the course completed and submitted for the end of October.

Screencast Pluralsight to Chromcast from an Android Device

I am a big fan of Google’s Chromecast media key as it allows you to play Netflix, Plex, BBC iPlayer and Youtube on TV’s around my house (I own 2 Chromecasts). I am also a huge fan of the Pluralsight training library, so much of a fan that I applied, auditioned and successfully became a Pluralsight author.

Pluralsight : Hardcore Developer Training
Pluralsight : Hardcore Developer Training

Not so long ago, Pluralsight updated their IPad and IPhone app to support playing their content to a Chromecast device but the Android app did not get updated. I don’t know when or if the Android App will get updated, but there is an alternative that works very well, so you can indeed play Pluralsight courses on a decent TV.

Screencast Tablet Screen
Screencast Tablet Screen

In a recent update to the Chromecast software on android devices, you now have the ability to cast your tablet/phone screen to your TV. This is demonstrated above where I have cast my Google Nexus 7 screen to my living room TV.

I’m Now a Pluralsight Author

I am really pleased to announce that I have recently completed the Pluralsight Audition process and have been accepted as a new training author. I will be working with an editor at Pluralsight over the next week or two to agree what my first course will be.

Pluralsight : Hardcore Developer Training
Pluralsight : Hardcore Developer Training

I am quite excited about this, as through this blog, I have been trying to help people both from a technical and career progression / self development standpoint. Also, the creative process of constructing a course is quite fun. I will blog about the process once I have completed my first course.

Part of the audition process required me to produce a 10 minute course using a decent condenser microphone (Samson C01U) and using Camtasia Studio for capturing and editing all the footage. My background in music composition and sound design, meant that the editing process was already quite familiar for me.

I look forward to getting stuck into producing the first course, and hopefully it will be done within the next couple of months.