Thursday, 2 October 2014

September Pluralsight Course Recommendations

I blogged in August about some of my Pluralsight course recommendations, and so I thought I’d give another brief roundup of some of the best ones I’ve watched in the last month or two.

Hack your API First (Troy Hunt). With the “shellshock” and “heartbleed” vulnerabilities making national headlines, everyone wants to be sure that their website or network connected application is secure. But do you have the confidence as a developer that you know how to ensure your programs are safe from attack? Troy Hunt has created several security related Pluralsight courses, and they are all excellent as well as being a lot of fun to watch. This latest one gives lots of practical guidance on how you can ensure any APIs your application exposes or uses can be kept secure.

Executable Specifications (Elton Stoneman). Lots of developers (myself included) have embraced the practice of writing “unit tests”, but often these tests are very low level and only cover small components in isolation. What if we could write specifications in such a way that acceptance testing of the whole stack could be automated? Don’t believe it’s possible? Well you might change your mind after watching this course. Elton Stoneman does a superb job of showing the power of the SpecFlow framework. I’ll definitely be watching more of his courses in the future, and looking out for a chance to try SpecFlow on one of my own projects.

F# Functional Data Structures (Kit Eason) F# is a language I find very exciting and I am slowly getting to grips with it’s syntax. The real challenge though is to go beyond simply writing C# code in the F# syntax, and to start taking advantage of the power of functional programming. In this course Kit Eason guides you through the various data structures offered by F#, showing you how, when and why to use them. You should definitely check it out if you are learning F#.

.NET Interoperability Fundamentals (Pavel Yosifovich). Probably the biggest headache for me when I started creating NAudio was having to learn how to interoperate with unmanaged code effectively. I’ve done a huge amount of P/Invoke to Windows APIs as well as COM interop for the more modern Windows APIs, and it has been a painful and error prone process. This is the course I wish I could have watched 10 years ago. Pavel knows his stuff, and really I’d describe this course as an expert chatting about everything you need to know to effectively work with unmanaged code. Well worth watching if you need to do any kind of interop.

So that’s my recommendations for this month. I know there are probably plenty of other good ones I missed, so let me know in the comments what you’ve been watching. And I know my blogging output has been reduced over the summer. I’m hoping to get back up to speed in the near future, and I’ll have news to share about my next Pluralsight course soon.

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