About

Hi, I'm Mark Eliasen, self-taught web developer with a history in InfoSec and cyber security.

Hi, I'm Mark Eliasen, self-taught web developer with a history in InfoSec and cyber security. Today I try to focus on making things which are helpful in some way (or entertains me). I also enjoy helping others improve as developers both technically and personally.

During breaks or when I am not working I tend to make silly little apps, proofs of concepts, websites and other things. You can find a small selection of some of the things on my other website www.sirmre.com.

Me - 2019

The background

I started programming somewhere around the age of 13, working on custom versions of an open source MUD, among other things. I get involved in cyber security, in the form of hacktivism, when I was around 15-16 I think, going places I shouldn't be and finding things I shouldn't find. I took a break for a couple of years from most computer related activities, other than gaming, due to some close calls.

At 20, during my conscription as a firefighter, I was introduced to PHP (5.3 at the time) by another recruit and it quickly became my gateway drug back into programming and the world of web development; I have been a web developer ever since.

The languages

My first programming language was Visual Basic 6.0. Shortly after I got comfortable in VB, I dived into C++ since I was curious about how trojans, viruses and backdoors worked, so I dug through source codes and tried to modify them. I believe some of it was also in C#, but I don't remember it that well.
Later I did some basic HTML, CSS and JS, but I didn't stick with it as I found it ugly and tedious to do. I am not surprised given the state these where in back them.

Today I code mostly JavaScript (React, NodeJS), Flutter (Dart) and with some PHP on the side. I am really enjoying Flutter so far, and it has completely replaced ReactNative for me.

Languages I have been looking at, which could be of interest or I wish to get more up to speed with, are (in no particular order):

  • Python
  • Rust
  • Go
  • Scalar
  • Kotlin
  • C/C++
  • C#

Security

I kind of always thought I wanted to become an ethical hacker, but after rediscovering programming I mostly try to keep up to date with what is going in security and focus mostly on the web security part of it.
Although white hat security won't give me the same rush, it does give me a much stronger sense of pride - also it won't land in me jail so that is a bonus :).

In the end, a black hats only need to get it right once, while white hats have to get it right all of the time.

The dev setup

I have a custom build Hackintosh, with a i7-8700K, 32 GB RAM, 1x 512 GB NVMe drive and a RX 580, running MacOS Mojave.

For monitors I have a LG 34UC88 (3440x1440), tilted 90 degrees, which I use for mostly communication apps (WhatApp, Skype, Mail, Browser, etc), and a Dell P4317Q (4K) which is my main monitor for work.

For when I am mobile I use a MacBook Pro (early 2015).

For anyone working remote or freelancing, having a good microphone and webcam is, in my opinion, essential. You will come across as much more professional and that could bc the last little push needed to turn potential clients into actual clients. With that said, I have a Røde podcaster microphone (there are other and better options available today, in my opinion) and a Logitech C920 webcam.

The tools

Since a development environment is very personal and in the end comes down to preference, please take this as inspiration only, what works for me might not work for you.

OS: MacOS (Mojave)
Browser: Brave (With uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger being being must-have extensions)
Text/code Editor: Sublime Text 3 and Android Studio (Flutter)
Other apps: iTerm, Cinch, SizeUp, Stay, Transmit, AirMail, Robo 3T, GitKraken (referral link), 1Password, Dropbox (referral link)
Services: GitHub, DigitalOcean (affiliate link - get $100 in credit over 60 days), AWS, and a VPN (I currently use PIA).

This is not an exhaustive list at all, but it does include most productivity apps and services I use on daily or near daily basis.