Getting the most of your time spent on social media

Collage photo consisting of multiple images from Unsplash.
Collage photo consisting of multiple images from Unsplash.
Collage photo consisting of multiple images [1], [2], [3], [4] from Unsplash.

Introduction

If you’ve watched The Social Dilemma, it becomes apparent that the goal of social media giants is to keep you on their platform for the longest time. Based on your likes, interests, engagements, time of the day and so many other factors, the intelligent computers running complex algorithms are able to show you more content that you might find interesting and keep you active by giving you regular dopamine shots. …


And resolving a malformed Azure DevOps Extension package error

VSIX logo placed on a background image from Unsplash.
VSIX logo placed on a background image from Unsplash.
VSIX logo placed on a background image from Unsplash

Introduction

I was recently updating my Azure DevOps Extension that I had published in the Visual Studio Marketplace. The last time I made an update to this extension was in 2019 but I already had everything in place including a DevOps pipeline, so I thought this should be easy. Well, almost. When I got to publishing the extension, I encountered an error. This article aims at unpacking the error and the solution applied to fix this.

Problem

I made my changes, all the unit tests passed and even the build pipeline generated a VSIX package — so far so good. However, when the release pipeline kicked in, it failed with the following error while trying to deploy the VSIX package to the Visual Studio Marketplace. …


Spin up a WordPress website within minutes

WordPress logo and an Azure App Service icon placed over a photo from Unsplash
WordPress logo and an Azure App Service icon placed over a photo from Unsplash
WordPress logo and an Azure App Service icon placed over a photo from Unsplash

Introduction

While creating WordPress content for my YouTube channel, I relied on using my Azure experience to host a WordPress website. This works out great because with just a few clicks and at no extra cost, I can spin up a WordPress website very easily, and once I’ve completed recording my video content, I can delete all the resources. In this article, I’ll give you a quick introduction on WordPress and then I’ll explain the process of installing WordPress on an Azure App Service.

Wait, what’s WordPress?

WordPress is a very popular CMS software that you can use to easily create websites. You can create a whole range of websites right from a simple personal portfolio to a complex learning management system. …


A neat and fast way to convert your Word document to HTML

Featured image containing an arrow drawn from Word logo to HTML5 logo representing the topic for this article.
Featured image containing an arrow drawn from Word logo to HTML5 logo representing the topic for this article.
Background and arrow from Unsplash. Microsoft Word logo on the left and HTML5 logo on the right.

Introduction

I’ve come across this problem multiple times now, maybe a few of you have faced the same too. I’m talking about that time when you were sent a Word document and were told to transfer its contents onto a website. Yes, that time. What did you do? Did you copy-paste the contents and then typed the HTML tags by hand? What if I told you that there was a better way? Don’t believe me? Read on to be delighted.

Problem

Imagine you’ve been given multiple pages worth of content in Word and have been told to transfer this on a website. Not only must all the content be transferred, but the formatting of the content must also match the Word document. …


Includes generating an API from Markdown files and a lot more

Featured image for this article showing a person working on redesigning their website.
Featured image for this article showing a person working on redesigning their website.
Photo from Unsplash

Introduction

Earlier this month, I released a major update to my website that I had been working on for many months. This update was packed with a lot of technical changes like rewriting and redesigning my website, adding an API to host my portfolio information, adding multiple other microsites and a lot more. This article aims to unpack all of these technical changes and hopes to inspire other minds that might read this.


Never miss an invoice or an important email with Microsoft Power Automate

Featured photo of a waterflow representing Microsoft Power Automate
Featured photo of a waterflow representing Microsoft Power Automate
Photo from Unsplash

Introduction

I’ve been using Microsoft Power Automate for a while now to keep track of my monthly utility and energy bills, as well as other important communication. This way, I don’t forget to pay the bills, I don’t forget to respond to important emails, and copies of these emails are stored and organized in Trello; making it easy for me to search through the archives. The image below is a workflow that I designed for my personal situation. …


Fancy something different today?

Twitch logo on a background created using Canva.
Twitch logo on a background created using Canva.
Twitch logo on a background created using Canva.

Introduction

Do you have a prerecorded video that you’d like to live-stream to Twitch? Sure, there’s a bunch of tools out there that will allow you to upload prerecorded videos not only to Twitch but also to YouTube and Facebook Live, but wouldn’t you like to try doing it the old-school way?

All humour aside, this article is meant for novelty purposes only. I’m hoping that some readers will be fascinated to learn something that they might have not known of before, just like I did when I learnt this.

Step 1: Setting up your Livestream

Hopefully, if you are reading this, you might already have a Twitch account. If not, it’s fairly straightforward to sign up. After you’ve logged in, click on your profile on the top-right of the screen to bring up a dropdown. From the dropdown, click on Video Producer. …


A three-stage process to automating a release pipeline

Photo from Unsplash blended with Azure DevOps and Netlify logo.
Photo from Unsplash blended with Azure DevOps and Netlify logo.
Photo from Unsplash blended with Azure DevOps and Netlify logo.

Introduction

I recently deployed a static website to Netlify from the Azure DevOps release pipeline. Although my source code was in a Git repository, I couldn’t connect my repository to Netlify straight away as Netlify only supports GitHub, GitLab, and BitBucket at the moment. Instead, I had to take another route which I will expand upon here. In this article, I’ve recreated the scenario and have highlighted the approach I took to solve the problem at hand.

Assumptions

For the sake of brevity, let’s assume a few things:

  • You’re familiar with Azure DevOps.
  • We have a build pipeline set up that runs every time code is checked into the master branch and creates a deployment package — a ZIP file with the website contents — as the output of this build pipeline. …


The time when Cloudflare went down and took a large piece of the internet with it and how the CEO handled the situation

An image of Superman symbolising leadership in a difficult situation.
An image of Superman symbolising leadership in a difficult situation.
Photo by Yogi Purnama on Unsplash

Crisis leadership is the actions a leader can take before, during, and after a crisis to effectively reduce the duration and impact of these extremely difficult situations [1]. While many companies and the people running these companies have a crisis plan in place, they may not have actually tested their plans, or the plans may be inadequate. Tough times like this really puts ones character to test. This article aims at reflecting how Matthew Prince, the CEO of Cloudflare, dealt with a recent outage at Cloudflare which had a significant impact on the internet.

“Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself. He imposes his own stamp of action, takes responsibility for it, makes it his own.” …


Demystifying the process of creating low-content and no-content books

Examples of low content books published by Clyde D’Souza on Amazon.
Examples of low content books published by Clyde D’Souza on Amazon.
Examples of low-content and no-content books I’ve published on Amazon. Copyright © Clyde D’Souza.

Introduction

I’ve recently completed publishing over 50 low-content and no-content paperback books on Amazon and thought it would be the perfect time to pause and reflect on the journey so far. I also wanted to document the process of creating and publishing a book. I’m hoping you’ll find this useful!

No-content and low-content books

Like no content at all? Yes, pretty much.

Unlike a regular storybook, no-content books have no written content at all. Examples of books in this category would be sketchbooks, colouring books, and ruled and bullet journals.

As you might have guessed, low-content books contain very little written content in it. Examples of books in this category would be a daily schedule planner, writing prompt journals, sketchbooks, colouring books, ruled and bullet journals, and crossword and sudoku puzzle books. …

About

Clyde D'Souza

Software developer. Teaches online at @skillshare. Created @lightnsparknpo. Author of http://mamatellmeastory.clydedsouza.net

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