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Image Cropping, Zooming, and Scaling with Angular and JavaScript

When building a web application there is a good chance you’re going to need to work with images eventually, even if it is something as simple as allowing a user to upload a profile image. In theory this is a simple task, but in reality, your website theme is probably anticipating images of a certain resolution or aspect ratio. If the user tries to upload an image that doesn’t meet your requirements, it might break your theme.

We’re going to see how to include image manipulation capabilities in your Angular application using the popular cropperjs JavaScript package.

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TPDP Episode #28: Coding Bootcamps vs Traditional Computer Science Degrees

I am pleased to announce that the 28th episode of The Polyglot Developer Podcast titled, Coding Bootcamps vs Traditional Computer Science Degrees, has been released to all of the major podcast networks!

In this episode I’m joined by Ben Nelson, founder of Lambda School, an increasingly popular coding bootcamp and an alternative approach to a Computer Science degree that you’d typically get at a four year or more institution. The topic that we discuss is around coding bootcamps in general, not limited to Lambda School, and how they could be beneficial for new developers attempting to enter the workforce.

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Getting Started with Building Chatbots using AWS Lex and Node.js

Amazon and a lot of cloud vendors such as Microsoft and Google have services around machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and virtual assistants. A popular one that might come to mind is Amazon Alexa, something I’ve written quite a few tutorials around over the years.

The concept around Alexa is simple. Provide the Alexa service some audio, have that audio converted into text or some other format that can be evaluated, execute some code, and respond with something to be spoken to the user. However, what if you didn’t necessarily want to use a virtual assistant with audio, but integrate as part of a chat application in the form of a chatbot?

In this tutorial we’re going to look at using Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lex, which is a service for adding conversational interfaces to your applications. If you’re coming from an Amazon Alexa background, the concepts will be similar as AWS Lex shares the same deep learning technologies.

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Monitoring GPS Data with the NEO 6M and Arduino

I recently wrote a tutorial titled, Configuring Visual Studio Code for Arduino Development, because I’ve been exploring the Internet of Things (IoT). Up until recently I’ve only had hands on experience with Raspberry Pi, but I’ve been expanding my knowledge with Arduino.

I have an Arduino Uno and a GPS module, so I thought it’d be a good idea to demonstrate how to use the two together.

In this tutorial we’re going to see how to monitor a NEO 6M GPS module connected to an Arduino using a few lines of very simple code.

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Configuring Visual Studio Code for Arduino Development

I’ve been playing around with an Arduino Uno recently, something new to me since I’ve always only used Raspberry Pi hardware. Many Arduino devices, or at least the Uno like I have are inexpensive and a lot of fun to play around with. However, the development experience out of the box isn’t exactly what I was familiar with or happy about. To develop and push code to an Arduino you need to use the Arduino Desktop IDE. If you’re like me, you’re a one IDE type of developer, so having to work in a different environment is a little less than ideal.

It doesn’t have to be that way when developing with Arduino though.

In this tutorial I’m going to walk you through configuring Visual Studio Code for Arduino development. You’ll be able to write code, deploy to hardware, and monitor the output.

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Password Hashing and JWTs for NativeScript Apps with an Express.js Backend

When building an application that allows users to have accounts, you have to ensure that access to these accounts is secure. When building a user account system, an important factor to keep in mind is how passwords are stored. Storing passwords as plain text is a complete rookie move that leaves your users vulnerable to all sorts of data breaches.

The best way to protect passwords is to employ hashing and salting and in this tutorial, we’ll show you exactly how to do this. We’ll also show you how to generate JSON Web Tokens (JWT) on a Node.js server backend that can be used to authenticate and authorize users, as well as how to store those tokens on the client NativeScript application.

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TPDP Episode #27: Static Website Generation with Hugo

I am pleased to announce that the latest episode of the Polyglot Developer Podcast has been published and is now available on all of the major podcast networks!

As many of you know, The Polyglot Developer is a static website composed of strictly HTML, JavaScript and CSS. There is no backend technology, no database, nothing dynamic, and as a result it is fast, cheap to operate, and easy to maintain.

This episode, Static Website Generation with Hugo, will shed some light into static site generation and how it differs and is advantageous over the popular alternatives such as WordPress and Drupal.

There are many static site generators available, but the focus of this episode is on Hugo, a popular generator because of its speed and functionality. To talk about Hugo, the core maintainer of the open source project, Bjørn Erik Pedersen, is on the show.

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