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Logging: A Developer’s Secret Weapon

Many years ago when I started my first job as a developer, one of the things that I noticed was that it was always difficult to solve an issue that our end users were having. Often, we’d try to replicate the problem, be unable to, and end up having to call the user and ask … Continued

Developers – Make Everything Idempotent

“Idempotent” – probably one of my favorite words. What does it mean? Oxford Dictionary: Denoting an element of a set which is unchanged in value when multiplied or otherwise operated on by itself. The definition above is a bit cryptic and reflects the origin of the word as it relates to mathematics. For developers, … Continued

Tips for Improving Entity Framework Core Performance with Azure SQL Databases

I’ve worked with Azure SQL databases for years, mostly from some flavor of Microsoft’s Entity Framework. These days, all of our new apps are using Entity Framework Core. Here are two small things that I’ve noticed people tend to forget over the years that can improve your app’s Entity Framework/Azure SQL experience. 1. Enable Connection … Continued

Getting Started with Laravel Development on Windows Subsystem for Linux with VS Code: A Complete Guide

The Windows 10 Anniversary update gave a gift to developers in the form of the Windows Subsystem for Linux, or WSL as it will be referred to throughout this post. Starting with Ubuntu available first, there are now several flavors of Linux that can be installed on Windows 10 through the Windows Store. Previously for … Continued

How To Fix Windows 10 Timeline Not Showing Any Items

The Windows 10 April update offers several new productivity features, the most notable of which is the new timeline. The timeline allows you to view and resume previous activities, both from the computer you are on and from other devices. For heavy users of Visual Studio and MS Office products on multiple devices, this could … Continued

Adding an Action Extension Icon to a Xamarin iOS App

Action extensions are a great way to more deeply integrate your app with iOS. While building these extensions is well documented, getting an icon to show up is not, particularly in the Xamarin iOS arena. Below along the bottom row is an example of some built in extensions that work with Safari: Note that the … Continued

Exploring the UnitConvert API in .Net Core

UnitConvert is an API that we created that makes it easy to convert any plain text measurement to another compatible measurement, get information about the measurement, or compare with another measurement. Why is this useful? Here are a few scenarios where UnitConvert could be used: Translate your app’s speech recognition data/spoken units into a standardized … Continued

Adding Touch ID, Fingerprint, and Windows Hello Authentication to your Xamarin Forms App

Recently, I worked on an application built with Xamarin Forms that needed to force the user to re-authenticate on every use for security reasons. It’s a pain to have to type out your password on a phone every single time you use an app, so the obvious choice was to allow the user to authenticate … Continued

Why You Should Use a Private VSTS Agent for Your CI Pipeline

We do a lot of ASP.NET Core projects that get deployed to Azure. Continuous integration and testing is important to us, so using Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) made sense. For most of our projects, we have check-ins to certain branches of our git repositories automatically triggering publishes to Azure staging environments. We started off … Continued

ElePass Now Enters Public Beta

In November, we started work on our first big idea as a software development group – to build a password manager tool designed for agencies and their workflow, ElePass. We spoke with several different agency leaders to understand what tools and processes were currently in use within their agencies and how to improve on those … Continued