My First Pluralsight Course

Build A Better Blog
This is my new Pluralsight course Build a Better Blog with a Static Site Generator.

I'm really excited to announce my first Pluralsight course: Build a Better Blog with a Static Site Generator.

I haven't talked about it because I wasn't sure I'd pull it off. I'd estimate that it takes me between two and three hours of work per finished minute of video. Whew!

I'll blog more details about the course over the coming weeks, but the super short version is that you can't get a faster, more secure, and more scalable blog than with a static site generator.

With typical blog engines each page is assembled from a database entry and one or more template files for each reader unless you go to extra effort setting up a cache of some sort.

With a static site generator you render your site from simple Markdown and YAML files to a plain old HTML site. You can use Git to version and deploy that site whole cloth to your server.

I've been using the static site generator DocPad for about a year and a half at this point.

You can read more about the series of misfortunes that led me to this point:

If you have a chance, check out my course and please rate it!

Thanks! jeffa


Inro To Nuget Package Creation

Slides for my Intro To Nuget Package Creation talk.

Here are the slides for my Introduction to Creating Nuget Packages lightning talk.


Check Out Visual Studio Online

Video From Build Conference 2015
Visual Studio Online session Video from Microsoft's Build Conference 2015.

There are a number of great source control hosting services on the web.

GitHub is probably the best known at this point, but there are a few others worth investigating.

I personally use GitHub for my public, open source projects and BitBucket for my private repos.

A surprising choice for hosting Git is Microsoft's Visual Studio Online. What? Microsoft?

Sign of the apocalypse! Cats and dogs, living together!

On the surface Visual Studio Online, or VSO, is a fair clone of BitBucket.

In both cases you get an unlimited number of private repos as long as you have 5 or fewer developers.

Where VSO becomes very interesting is when you look beyond source control at its other offerings.

First of all you get project management help complete with bug tracking and Kanban boards.

What I find most interesting, however is the build server.

I should say build service since it let's you run your builds on pre-built virtual machines in a pool you don't have to manage.

If you've worked with the older, XAML based build configurations from Microsoft, you are probably skeptical. Well, skeptical and possibly scarred.

I always found that build system to be an abomination, so I wasn't super optimistic when I heard about the new version.

It's been several months since the Build conference, but I finally watched the video linked at the top of the post.


Not only is the new build system composed of sensible text files instead of chopped up and hidden behind a myriad of dialogs, you can actually build more than just .Net apps!

Now you can build anything from Java apps, to Node.js apps, to fricken' IOS apps!

Well, to be fair you can't build IOS apps on a Windows VM, but you can link out from the build system to trigger build steps on a Mac. At least they say you can. I don't have a Mac, so I can't prove it.

I've spent some time over the past few days setting up a build for work in VSO, and I'm impressed enough that I'm considering moving some of my Git repos from BitBucket to VSO.

I can't promise you'll be as impressed as I have been (I am easily entertained, after all), but I do recommend you check out what Microsoft has to offer. For personal projects with fewer than 5 developers it's free, so check it out!