How I keep my personal information secure while travelling

How I keep my personal information secure while travelling

Something I’m conscious of when working from the road, particularly when connecting to open wifi networks in cafes or co-working spaces is keeping my personal information secure. Given I rely on my Mac to make a living, I’m also keenly aware of the need to maintain a comprehensive backup strategy so that in the event my Mac is lost, stolen or suffers a failure of some kind I can get back up running quickly on a new machine. These are some of the steps I take to prevent unauthorised access to my accounts and ensure I’m always able to access a full backup of my data if disaster strikes.

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How I achieved location-independence

How I achieved location-independence

When I was in Kuala Lumpur back in February I met Chris Dodd, the Australian guy behind Chris the Freelancer. We hit it off instantly so when we ran into each other again in Chiang Mai and he mentioned that he’d like to interview me for his Inspirational Nomads series I of course said yes. It was a great opportunity to talk about how I cultivated my new location-independent lifestyle, with the hope that it might encourage others to make a similar move.

I’ve republished the full interview below.

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What I've learned in my first six months as a web developer

What I've learned in my first six months as a web developer

In September 2015, after around nine months of self-directed learning I landed my first role as a web developer (with Icelab, a design studio with presences in Canberra and Melbourne). In the time since I’ve experienced plenty of highs (and lows) but in all it’s been a great start in the industry, even if I did feel like an impostor for much of the first couple of months. In no particular order, these are a few of the lessons I’ve learned in my first six months as a developer.

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Simple authentication in Rails

A common feature of most web applications is authentication, and the associated requirement for passwords to be stored securely. There are a number of gems available that can add this functionality to your app (the most well-known of these is probably Devise) however if your needs are relatively simple it’s quite easy to build this from scratch.

I needed to add simple authentication to the app I built as part of Tealeaf Academy’s Rails course and below is a broad overview of how I went about it (if you’re looking for a step-by-step guide, this Gist is a good place to start).

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Environments in Jekyll

Adding the ability for visitors to comment on your posts is a great way to build a community around your site and also to hear from those who may not be inclined to reach out in other ways, whether that be via email or Twitter or Facebook.

I opted to use Disqus to provide commenting functionality to my site and upon logging into the admin console recently I noticed that a number of discussions had been created with a URL beginning with http://localhost:4000/. After some investigation I discovered these were being created when I was running jekyll serve to preview my site locally and particularly when I’d added the --drafts flag to preview my draft posts. I’m not sure whether there is a downside these ‘phantom’ discussions being created but to make managing my discussions easier I wanted to prevent it happening again.

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