Azure Storage == Hosting

Are you looking for a reliable and affordable option to host your static website? Well then, Azure Storage could be an option worth considering.

What is Azure Storage?

The Azure Storage platform is the cloud storage solution provided by Azure; it provides different storage services for diverse needs.

For the sake of this post, we will be focusing on Azure Blobs. Among different purposes, Azure Blobs is designed for serving images or files directly to a browser, distributed file access, video and audio, log files, backup and restore files and analysis data.

Azure Blobs can be accessed via HTTP/HTTPS via different Azure services or client libraries.

What is a Static Website?

Please note that the type of Website that we will be hosting in Azure Storage is a Static Website.
A Static Website is, by definition, a web page that is delivered to the user’s web browser exactly as stored, in contrast to dynamic web pages which are generated by a web server.

However, it is important to understand that a static website do not necessarily means boring, plain HTML sites, it just means that hosted files will be served as they are stored with no processing done on the server side.

This means that we can have a static web application with code that runs on the client’s browser, which executes all king of complex functionalities and getting dynamic data from cloud functions or external APIs. This does not sound completely static, right?

Therefore, you can host any web application which runs on the client with whichever framework or technology you prefer, as long as it does not need server processing; in another words, an application that can work with read-only files on the server.

Host a Static Website with Azure Storage.

With Azure Storage, you can serve static content directly from a storage container named $web.
To enable website hosting on your Azure Storage account you just need to sign into your Azure account, locate your storage account and enable the Static website option.

Once you have enabled the Static website option, the only thing left to do is to upload your static website files. You can do this very easily using the Storage Explorer which is built into the Azure portal.

Apart from the Storage Explorer, you can upload your files using the different methods that Azure provides like AzCopy, PowerShell, CLI or any custom integration.

With the files in place and the Static website option enabled we can go and type the URL provided by Azure for our static website.

That’s all, our static website is alive. Now, you can go and look at my Hello World static website hosted by Azure Storage.

The Pomodoro Technique: A Developer’s Perspective

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s (I was not born yet 🤯). The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.

Getting Started

  1. Choose a task. The first step is selecting the task you want to complete. As a prerequisite, having an already prioritized list of tasks makes this step a whole lot easier, I’ve been using Microsoft To Do (formerly Wunderlist) for several years now so this is how I keep my life organized. I have task lists for different aspects of my life, personal, development, work, etc. so it is very easy to just pick the top task from any of this list and start.
  2. Start the Pomodoro. This step is about commitment, you make a small oath to yourself: I will spend 25 minutes on this task, and I will not interrupt myself. We are surrounded by interruptions, external and internal, notifications, emails, you name it; so you need to commit and make sure you’ll not be distracted from your task. The standard length of a Pomodoro is 25 minutes.
  3. Work. Immerse yourself in the task for the next 25 minutes. That’s it, just work and focus on the task.
  4. Record it. When the Pomodoro rings, record it. That’s it, you’ve successfully completed an entire, interruption-less Pomodoro.
  5. Take a break. Breathe, meditate, grab a coffee, walk or anything not work-related. The standard length for short break is 5 minutes.
  6. More breaks. Every 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break, yes, more breaks! Once you’ve completed four Pomodoros, you may take a longer break. The standard length of a long break is 15 minutes.

Ok, after this short introduction let me share my experiencing after using The Pomodoro Technique as a developer for several years now. 🍅

It worked for me! However, I’ve done some modifications, I found that most of the times 25 minutes chunks are not enough to achieve a significant piece of work, and the amount of time I spent to get back on track is too much, that leaves me with very little time of focus on each Pomodoro.

So, I’ve opted for increasing periods by 2, so instead of 25 minutes for focus I spent 50 and the same goes for breaks.

There you have it, Pomodoro technique is just and old productivity strategy among many others, but I’ve found that it works for me, it allows me to balance my time between work and active breaks and also, it allows me to measure the time I spend doing some particular tasks which is very useful for my estimates as a developer.

Azure ❤️ Containers

Mustafa Toroman, MVP for Microsoft Azure, shared with us the talk “Azure loves Containers” as part of AP’s Dev Talks Meetup. I enjoyed it a lot so I just felt like sharing.

Enjoy!

Mustafa published several books on cloud technologies. Lately, his focus is on designing new solutions in the cloud and migrating existing ones to the cloud. Mustafa possesses over 40 Microsoft certifications. Also, he has held the MCT title for many years and has been awarded the MVP for Microsoft Azure for the last four years in a row. He often speaks at international conferences about cloud technologies and now it’s time for Dev Talks Meetup where he will cover topic ‘Azure Loves Containers’.

Containers are the latest big thing in the cloud. They are light, fast, and consistent. And they fit very well into DevOps. Azure offers multiple container options to choose from. And each one of them makes deployment of our applications easy. Let’s see how to build your containers and deploy them anywhere.