First-Ever Pluralsight Live

Join me and all your other favorite Pluralsight authors at the first-ever Pluralsight Live, September 19th - 21st!

Who?

Authors

  • Simon Allardice

Simon is a well-known, long time author of courses. You might have even already taken some of his iOS courses on Lynda.com. Anything he teaches is pure gold. Not to mention that his voice is as smooth as Sean Connery (I'm not even joking!)

  • Troy Hunt

Security guru and owner and operator of "have i been pwned?"

Also, check out one of his hilariously funny calls with a scammer on Youtube: Scamming the Scammer

  • Scott Allen

Long time Microsoft MVP and owner of OdeToCode. This is your guy for all things Microsoft.

  • John Papa

Google developer expert, author, Microsoft advocate, and Angular nut!

  • Nigel Poulton

I think this guy loves Docker more than his mother! But seriously, this is your guy for all things Docker (he also has a cool voice with his great accent).

  • And many more …

And many more authors: https://www.pluralsight.com/event-details/2017/live-2017-speakers

Other Speakers

  • Michelle Obama

Former first lady!

  • Joel Spolsky

CEO of stackoverflow.com and author of Joel on Software blog

  • Steve Young

Former 49ers quarterback and inspirational speaker.

Performances

  • X Ambassadors

A live performance from these guys. If you don't know who they are, I guarantee you've heard their songs on the radio before:

Renegades

Unsteady

What?

  • Get the lowdown on the latest trends in technology, what’s on the horizon, and understand where you should be focusing your time moving forward
  • Network with some of the most passionate technologists in the industry (like Pluralsight authors!).
  • Get the latest scoop on the Pluralsight platform and how to best utilize it within your organization.
  • Understand how to create a culture of learning within your organization.

Why?

  • A chance for you to meet and mingle with your favorite Pluralsight authors in-person.
  • Not all technology conferences have to be about how to use a technology. Come to get inspired, learn new ways of doing things, and see how others are doing it.
  • Unbiased speakers. The speakers really have no vested interest in getting you to use one technology or another, they’re simply people who are super passionate about one technology or another and they want you to share that same passion.
  • Meet and mingle with some of your favorite companies sponsoring the event: Microsoft, Adobe, Twitter, Pivotal, Salesforce, DemandWorks, and Stackoverflow.
  • The people attending this conference eat, breath, and live technology (myself included). Come and learn with the best.
  • Did I mention the potential for networking?
  • Did I mention I’m going to be there? ;)

Where?

The Grand America Hotel
555 South Main St.
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 USA

When?

Sept 19th - Sept 21st 2017


Hoping to see you there (seriously, say hello if you run in to me!)

Not a Pluralsight Subscriber?

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I currently have two courses on Spring Boot and Spring Cloud

Feel free to sign up here and use discount code 547UNU.

Review of Black Hat Python by Justin Seitz

This time, up for review is Black Hat Python by Justin Seitz by Justin Seitz (who also wrote Grey Hat Python.)

TL;DR: » 4 out of 5 stars.

Audience

This is not a beginner book. It assumes a lot of basic knowledge about security, networking, and Python. It’s also not an expert’s book as most of the stuff you can find online (if you know where to look). I’d put this book at somewhere inbetween intermediate and advanced. If you have a general idea of computer security, hacking, pen testing, etc and a little knowledge (but aren’t an expert) in Python, you’ll enjoy this book.

The 4 of the 5 stars

It just so happens that I fit the audience for this book pretty well. I’m by no means a security expert, nor do I work in the field (I wish), but I feel like I have a good handle on it. Likewise, although I know Python and could probably ‘get-by’ programming something in it, I don’t use it often enough to feel super comfortable using it.

The book is kind of a large collection of example scripts that you might use while hacking or pen testing. The Python code is at an intermediate level/advanced level and as I mentioned not being very good at Python, I had to look up several references. (Side Note: there are a few syntax typos in the book but nothing that shouldn’t be easy to fix.)

You might think that a book with a bunch of example code is kind of lame because you can just look it up online, but it turns out to be pretty useful. I think one of the hardest parts of programming is figuring out where to start. With these examples, you can copy the code and build on it from there. For example, I’ve actually always wanted to write a sniffer just to see how they work. The book takes you through writing a very simple sniffer that you could easily build on.

Perhaps what I enjoyed most about the book was that it got me excited about writing my own Python code for security tools. I guess you could say that it sort of motivated me or put me in the mindset to want to try doing it on my own instead of using everyone else’s tools!

The missing star

I didn’t think I’d ever say this about a book but I think my overall complaint is the length. It’s too short and there are several areas where the author could have expanded/explained things. For instance, with the Scapy library that it teaches you how to use, I was confused with how the ARP poisoning worked until I figured out that because the hardware src was not an argument to the ARP() class, it was set by default to the machine’s mac address (key to the arp poisoning). I was also confused with the / notation for composing packets until I read the Scapy docs

It’s kind of funny, the book can be a bit bipolar at times. One chapter you’re reading it thinking that this type of knowledge would be good for pen testing. The next chapter, you’re thinking, wow, this is real “bad guy” (Black Hat) stuff that I could rarely see a use for other than devious purposes. I’m glad to see these chapters because near the first of the book I was thinking to myself, is the ‘Black Hat’ title just a ruse to get you interested in the book, or are we actually going to learn real hacking stuff. I would have been happier if the whole book was this way but who knows, maybe the author and/or publishing company would get sued :-p

Thanks to my favorite publishing company in the world (No Starch Press) for providing the book for review!

A new, old book review: Ruby Under a Microscope

I’m porting over my review of Ruby Under a Microscope from Amazon.com (link to the review) because I was in the process of migrating my content from my old blog to this blog and did not have a platform where I could post reviews. Enjoy!

The Review

TL;DR: » This book does an excellent job of explaining the C implementation of Ruby. It’s very well organized and takes you on a step by step journey through Ruby. It’s mainly focused on the C implementation but it does describe other implementations, albeit with not as much detail as I would have liked.

If you’re curious for how things work (like me), you’ll really enjoy this book. The seemingly “magic” things that Ruby does all have a clear and straightforward, step-by-step, explanation.

What I liked:

  • The book is well organized and explains some very complicated topics in a very understandable way.
  • Figures are repeated so you don’t have to flip back and forth (a little thing but very helpful)
  • Has a very computer-science-like feel to it. It’s a fun read if you’re a computer science geek like me.

What I didn’t like:

  • The chapter on JRuby is severely lacking in my opinion. Given that the other chapters did a nice deep dive on the given topic, I felt a little bit cheated on the JRuby chapter. This was more of a really broad overview of JRuby with one or two examples.
  • The book explains a complicated topic in several chapters but you’re left to put everything together on your own. I would have liked to have seen one additional chapter that took a sufficient Ruby program and did a full walk through of all the concepts you’d learned in the previous chapters; basically, a top to bottom overview chapter.

Who can/should read this:

  • Anyone interested in programming languages or implementing your own programming language.
  • Those who want to become better Ruby developers.

Prereqs:

  • You’ll need to know a little bit of C to understand the standard Ruby implementation examples but other than that, there’s no prereqs. You don’t really even need to know Ruby that well ( I don’t ). If you don’t understand what the piece of Ruby code is doing, it’s easy to look up online to quickly figure out what it does.