Nuget behind corporate proxy

If you working behind a corporate proxy, and want to connect to Nuget’s public facing repository, you might need to change nuget settings.

One of the ways of adding the proxy settings is to go to %appdata%/nuget   and add the following properties:

<configuration>
    <!-- stuff -->
    <config>  
      <add key="http_proxy" value="http://my.proxy.address:port" />
    </config>
    <!-- stuff -->
</configuration>

Some people might need to specify username and password as well:

<configuration>
    <!-- stuff -->
    <config>
        <add key="http_proxy" value="http://my.proxy.address:port" />
        <add key="http_proxy.user" value="mydomain\myUserName" />
        <add key="http_proxy.password" value="base64encodedHopefullyEncryptedPassword" />
    </config>
    <!-- stuff -->
</configuration>

Generating GUID in excel

Excel is a very useful tool when trying to manipulate data and seeing the results right away. Using the built-in functions, you can generate a GUID :

The following combination of functions generate a GUID:

=LOWER(CONCATENATE(DEC2HEX(RANDBETWEEN(0,4294967295),8),"-",DEC2HEX(RANDBETWEEN(0,42949),4),"-",DEC2HEX(RANDBETWEEN(0,42949),4),"-",DEC2HEX(RANDBETWEEN(0,42949),4),"-",DEC2HEX(RANDBETWEEN(0,4294967295),8),DEC2HEX(RANDBETWEEN(0,42949),4)))

Formatting Column in Excel to show DateTime

Excel does not have a DateTime category by default for showing data. However, you can use the “Custom” option in format cell window to select the way you want to parse and show the data.

In order to format a column to show data in datetime format, select the column, From the HOME tab expand the Number Format dropdown (grouped under number) and click More Number Formats.

Then go to the Custom section (at the bottom of the list) and type your custom format as following:

dd-mm-yyyy hh:mm:ss.000

Your data will now be shown in DateTime format. For example 29-04-2014 10:05:42.187

Creating Keyword shortcuts for long URLS

One of the ways of saving websites you visit often is by bookmarking them. This makes it easier for you to visit all your favorite websites without memorizing their web addresses. However, since there are so many useful websites out there, our bookmarks tend to be filled with things we found to be interesting, but don’t visit that often. This makes the bookmarking feature not that useful for storing the websites you visit daily.

If sites or pages on a site that you visit often have a very difficult to remember address (I.e http://corp.server-120423.domain.company.net/daily-reports-for-assets-allocation.html), you can create shortcuts so that instead of typing all of that, you can visit the same page by typing : asset-reports.

To do this, we leverage the ability to create custom search engine shortcuts in chrome:

  1. Right Click on Address Bar
  2. Click on “Edit Search Engines”
  3. Scroll to the “Other Search Engine” Section and click “Add”
  4. Give your shortcut a name, then the keyword you want to type (i.e asset-reports)
  5. Give the actual url that it should redirect to and click Add.
  6. Enjoy!

The following GIF shows the steps:

Stack used by popular websites

If you want to know what technology your favorite website uses, you’re often left with guessing or trying to figure it out by looking at website’s source code. And this only helps with learning what front end libraries they might be using.

There are a few resources available now to find what’s powering your favorite websites.

High Scalability is a website that gathers interviews and open information available on technology stack of various websites in one place:

Built With 

 

Getting 3 months free access to Plural Sight

PluralSight is a great resource to keep up to date with new technologies, or picking up new skills. Plural Sight offers courses ranging from Angular to Azure certification training. However, all of this comes with a steep yearly subscription cost. If you sign up for the trial, you can only watch a few hours of the lessons, not enough to make the decision to sign up for the membership.

If you are looking to try out plural sight, you can sign up for the Visual Studio Dev Essentials, and get free 3 MONTH access to the plural sight library, amongst other goodies.

There are three other educational resources that you can try out for a 3 month trial basis absolutely free through the site:

Opsgility: Online training and microsoft azure certification paths.

Linux Academy: Unlimited access to advanced online training and certification courses for 3 months.

WinintellectNOW: On-demand training for software developers: .NET, Xamarin, C#, JavaScript, Angular, Azure, and much more.

Click Here to Access the Visual Studio Dev Essentials Deal

Alternative to Github

GitHub came into existence in early 2008 and radically changed the way source code management is handled. GitHub is a web-based version control repository that uses the Git system of source control management, giving the developers a user-friendly interface to manage their code. Today, GitHub is one of the top Git products, being used by both open source developers, to development teams in large corporations.

GitHub allows anyone to host their code, as long as it’s public. If you want to have private repositories, you must sign up for a paid plan. Students can take advantage of their student plans to get free private repositories, amongst other goodies.

However, there are good alternatives to GitHub that offer the same features, but allow for free repositories. Some of the big ones are described below:

  1. Bit Bucket (By Atlassian)

    Atlassian, the creator of one of the widely used scrum management tool – Jira, have their own Git based source management product. Bit Bucket is a great alternative to GitHub as it provides most of the features provided by GitHub, but also allows for private repos under the free plan. The UI is not as appealing as GitHub’s and the search functionality can use more work. But for a free product, Bit Bucket is great!

  2. GitLab

    Not to be confused by the similar sounding name, GitLab is a completely separate project, managed by a completely different team. GitLab provides more features than GitHub, and like Bit Bucket allow for unlimited private repositories. However the performance is no where near GitHub.

  3. Beanstalk

    BeanStalk is another code management tool that doesn’t require downloading any tool. It is being run by the software company Wildbit. BeanStalk advertises themselves as more than just source management, as it comes packaged with a few deployment tools and processes lacking in GitHub and Bit Bucket.

  4. Apache Allura

    Apache Allura has the benefit of being an Apache Foundation project, but it is a relatively new project. Apache  Allura supports Git, SVN and Hg for code management. The search functionality is more powerful than that of GitLab, but the UI could use more work. It is a free and open source, however it is not hosted. You get the software, and require setting it up on your own server. This is a big disadvantage compared to the other.

References
  1. Git – Wikipedia
  2. GitHub
  3. GitHub Student Plans
  4. BeanStalk

Testing your APIs with POSTMAN

Anyone who develops anything knows that they need tools to test their product. Developing APIs is no different. In order to ensure that you are releasing something that actually works, you need to test your APIs by hitting the endpoints and validating the responses.

I’ve been using POSTMAN to do this task for me. It is a clean, free tool that lets you send requests to your API, with full control on what’s sent (headers, content) and shows the full responses. It also saves your history so you can test an endpoint without having to retype the parameters over and over again.

 

Give POSTMAN a try, and let me know if you are using something else.

Create beautiful GIF user guides

A picture is worth a 1000 words. Pictures are very useful in conveying a message to a diverse use base. You often see images in user manuals, explaining some of the more complicated tasks.

Animation and Videos are worth more than static images! Now instead of taking 10 screenshots to show a process, you can capture the screen and record the process. There are a heap of tools available in the market that allow you to record your screen. However, hosting videos are often complicated, and require plugins to view.

With ScreenToGif, you can record the screen and turn it into a high resolution Gif, allowing you to embed the animated pictures to your user guides.

ScreenToGif recorder screenshot

 

ScreenToGif is open source, and free to download.

Next time you find yourself looking for tools to download to capture your screen, try ScreenToGif and create pictures instead of videos!

References:

https://github.com/NickeManarin/ScreenToGif