It’s Microsoft, after all

The news that will interest most of .NET developers today, is Microsoft decided to sack project.json and come back to MSBuild.

We feel lucky because we held off the transition to ASP.NET Core, but the other teams in my company might not be as happy. They will have to move back – and that means there will be a delay in developing new features. (Yes, we invest in a pre-release framework, because that’s what you need to do to stay ahead of your competitors)

You might say you saw it coming.

It’s not the first time Microsoft creates something cool, lets some of us fall in love with it (or even have our lives depends on it), the eventually kills it off.

Remember Silverlight?

Or XNA?

Or Windows Workflow Foundation 3.5? Technically there was WF 4.0, but the API:s were entirely changed, to the point that we can consider Microsoft killed WF and created something else with the same name.

Sadly enough, this is not uncommon in the software industry – especially in a big company like Microsoft. Microsoft has many divisions, each division has many teams and those teams, unfortunately, *compete* with each other, sometimes. Sometimes they win. Sometimes they lose the battle and their product is killed in a favor of other product from other team. It’s not something super secret about Microsoft – in fact – it’s quite well known.

It’s bad habit, without a doubt. You invest your time into learning it. Your company invests their money into using it. And then you have to start all over, again. You can still keep using the technology, it will not just die, but the does mean you put yourselves in the risk of lagging behind and security threats.

This time, it’s slightly better because the ASP.NET Core, technically, has not been released yet. It’s still bad because Microsoft should have made the decision before the Release Candidate, but I feel lucky. What if Microsoft makes it to ASP.NET Core 1.0, and we use it, then they kills it off in 2.0? What if we invest hundreds of development hours into it and then spend another hundreds of hours reverting back?

For me, personally:

It’s good thing this time we don’t have to learn a new thing. It’s bad thing this time we don’t have a new thing to learn.

 

 

Never send me my password

I’m not a security expert myself, not even close, but for more than once, I’ve been greatly concerned about the risks for having accounts in several websites. I wonder myself why did the developers there go with the decisions that bad.

It’s already bad enough to use HTTP on your register/login page . It’s even worse when you send me my password in plain text. Either the one I chose or the one you randomly generated for me.

Oh please, I know what my password is
Oh please, I know what my password is

And this has happened more than once. Each time, it raises my eyebrows higher and higher. I don’t want to rant here – but it takes great deal of ignorance or laziness, or both, do do such as bad practice about securities.
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What not to do with your newsletters

Newsletter is a powerful communication channel – it keeps your customer informed, and even more, keep then engaged . Truth is, most of your customers won’t visit your website often, and newsletter is a very good way to keep they coming back. I myself – am an example of those customers – most of my purchases were made from newsletters. A good deal shows up and I just buy it – even thought I don’t really need it. Yes it’s not the best habit in the world, but it’s the way marketing works. You get a good sale, I get a product that I might need some day. Everyone is happy, well, might be except my wife.

However, like other channels of marketing, mistakes can be made with newsletter and drive your customers away. Make sure to avoid these:

Sending too many newsletters:

Unless your customers explicitly say that they want to get your newsletter everyday, it’s best to avoid to do so. Even if your site is full of interesting content, keep in mind that if customers received too much emails from you, their interests might wear out. It’s bad when customers start getting a habit of “Oh another mail from <blah blah>, just ignore it”. It’s even worse if they don’t open your newsletter at all, or simply create a rule to delete it.

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Hiring process might suck, and how to fix it

I recently read this post F*** You, I Quit — Hiring Is Broken
found it interesting. If you have time – read it (and of course you should have, because this blog is far less famous than medium – the combination of page views for post in this blog is very likely to be much smaller than that single post).

I feel bad for the author for being in such situation – getting rejected 5 times in a row, is a hard thing to swallow. Especially when he is considered famous in developer’s world/ and has big passion in coding. And it’s not the first time, we hear someone rants about the hiring process, and it’s very unlikely to be the last. Let’s agree that the hiring process for developers might suck.

But then, it’s the way it works.

The first time no offer given, it’s probably their fault. The second time no offer given, it’s probably a bad luck. The third time no offer given, it’s probably your fault.

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UX design lessons – from a metro perspective

When I come to a new city, I usually pay close attentions to its metro system. Of course, it rarely shows up in TripAdvisor as an attraction of the city, but for me, it’s not only a necessity (based on a quite tight budget, public transportation is almost always our first choice), but also can tell a lot more about the history of the city, the people and the daily life here.

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New York metro system . Make sure you don’t look at the rails.

I’m not a traveler myself, I have visited only Rome, Paris,  Venice, Florence London, San Francisco and New York, and of course Stockholm – where I am living. Venice and Florence have no metro I’d know of, and I only tried BART (Bay area rapid transport) in San Francisco, so only metro systems in remaining cities count. In those five, I know Stockholm metro system (tunelbanna) the best, and like it the most, so this post can be highly biased opinion. If I did misunderstand a metro system, kindly point it own.

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What not to do with your login/register page

This post is strictly my personal opinions, it does not represent my employer’s views in any way.

Login/register page is essential to any site, especially any Commerce site. You should always follow the proven, established practices, but yet many sites still have issues with their login and register page. Make sure that you do not do anything mentioned below:

  • Use HTTP for login/register page.

You might say “What?”. It’s 2016 already and certificate is cheap as hell (even free, if you count Letsencrypt). Still, there are Commerce sites use HTTP for login/register. This, sadly, happens to one of my favorite sites, itsajten:NonHttps (1)

In case of itsajten, there is not much of sensitive information an attacker can get if he sniffs the network and gets my password. I’m in Sweden and almost everything is transparent, even my income. But still, it does mean that I’m subject to social engineering attack. I notified itsajten about this but never heard from them since – which is a pity. They are otherwise very nice and they offer some of the best prices on the item I interested.

 
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