Pseudorandom

A Gentle Rant About the Usability of User Accounts

Recently I was involved in a massive migration project involving IdentityServer and OIDC. But that’s a story for another time. This post comes from the other side of the tracks, from the point of view of a mild-mannered user trying to create and manage their user account on your site. As software people, one of our main goals should be to delight our users. Unfortunately, as a user myself, I am often underwhelmed, frustrated, and decidedly un-delighted when faced with managing my user account.

Who Crowned Misinformation?

It was 1983, and the Internet was an infant with fresh poo in its diaper, cooing for attention. Now an aging millennial, the diaper is long gone. The cries for attention, however, have become the raucous worldwide cacophony of the digital age. And the poo? It’s everywhere, as you can see in the above pie graph I just made up. The founding fathers of the Internet hoped to usher in a new Information Age, facilitate the sharing of Big Ideas and the free flow of information across cultural, linguistic, and national boundaries… Yup, totally nailed it.

Rules I Run By β€” 10,000 recreational kilometers and counting

Hi, I’m Ty, and I’m a runner! πŸ‘‹ Recently I ran past the invisible 10,000 kilometer mark. The journey? Amazing! And educational. So far I’ve managed to avoid serious injury, and keep a smile on my face. I’m grateful for the advice of running buddies and loads of running books, blogs, and videos. Here I’ve compiled a concentrated list of “running rules” that may help you get faster, stay injury free, and never lose that mid-run smile.

Cryptocurrency Trading for Dum-dumsβ€Šβ€”β€ŠWait… It is?

“Hey, can I make money trading crypto?” — For technologists, this question is starting to feel like the new, “Can you fix my computer?” Except that this question is so much worse, the stakes so much higher. So my response is to get all shifty and uncomfortable, launching into an super subtle staring contest with my drink. Of course, the short answer is an eyebrow scrunching, lip puckering, “um… yes…?”. And yes, that’s a “yes” couched delicately between two ellipses, like an egg in the mouth of a Golden Retriever. Because “yes” is also the answer to a question like, “Can I be a spaceman and fly to the moon?”

What if COVID-19 were a JIRA ticket? β€” A Lesson in Bug Prevention.

I saw a tweet the other day that said, “the scariest thing about COVID-19 is that it looks like a JIRA ticket.” That is scary! Gets you thinking though: What if COVID-19 were a JIRA ticket for a software bug? Can we unearth a lesson or two about how to prevent bugs from sneaking into our haloed code repositories and affecting our users?

If Programming Languages Were Running Shoes

What if your favorite programming language was actually moonlighting as a running shoe? What would it feel like to run in it? Say no more, because here they are, and in no particular order. It’s just a heap of running shoes. C Programming in C is like running barefoot. It’s just you and the hard asphalt, the bare metal. Or maybe the grass, if you’re fortunate. In fact, you may need some grass, after your first buffer overrun pierces your foot and leads to that humiliating international incident.

To Trust an Extension

“Voice hoarse, I heaved a huge shoulder-slumping sigh. I’d just wanted to maximize the thing. Instead there I was yelling at all the kids on my lawn, throwing rocks at a cloud, ranting on about non-existent terms like Trust-Driven-Development. Who hurt me, you ask?” It was the forth annual company campout and we were huddled around the fire pit swapping horror stories gathered from the dark depths of the software industry, holding the fire at bay with an array of steely s’more forks.

Front Toward Enemy - When a "Killer Feature" Becomes Friendly Fire.

Can your product’s “killer feature” — that amazing bit of utility that sets it apart from the competition — actually drive customers away from your product? Consider one example.

Build an SMS Bat-Signal Powered by Twilio and Azure Functions

Wouldn’t it be cool to send out an SMS SOS with the touch of a button? Like your own private SMS Bat-Signal! I’ll show you how to do it using Twilio and an Azure Function. Here’s an overview of the simple architecture: /--> | |--> πŸ“± |--(HTTP POST)--> [ Azure Func π›Œ ] ---> | Twilio |--> πŸ“± \--> | |--> πŸ“± Simple, right? Let’s paint the clouds red, 160 characters at a time. 🀜 πŸ’₯ πŸ€›

Email Killed the Death.io Star

Not so long ago, in an office so very close, an imperial trooper used the same [email protected]$$w0rd on every single site. The onus of easy peasy pwnage led to separate and proper passwords for important sites, led to plasticky back pats, led to proud promotions. But an imperial trooper’s memory banks are only yea big and only hold yea many passwords.