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, websites or things in general. You can find 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, 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.
During my conscription as a firefighter, I was introduced to PHP (5.3) by another recruit and it quickly became my gateway drug to world of web development, and 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 and with some PHP on the side. 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 setup

I have a custom build Hackintosh, which I dual boot into Windows when I need to game. The main components are an i7-8700K, 32 GB RAM, 2x 512 GB NVMe drives and a 1080 TI.

For monitors I have a LG 34UC88 (3440x1440), tilted 90 degrees, which I use for 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 look and sound much more professional and that can be the last little push needed to turn potential clients into actual clients. So I have a Røde podcaster microphone and Logitech C920 webcam.

The tools

Since a development environment is very personal and in the end comes down to preference, please take these with a pinch of salt (in lack of a better term) as what works for me might not work for you.

OS: MacOS
Browser: Brave
Text/code Editor: Sublime Text 3
Other apps: iTerm, Cinch, SizeUp, Stay, Transmit, AirMail, Robo 3T, GitKraken (referral link), 1Password, Dropbox (referral link), Adobe Creative Cloud
Services: GitHub, DigitalOcean (affiliate link), PrivateInternetAccess

This is not an exhaustive list, and it also does not include any communication apps. It does includes most productivity apps and services I use on daily or nearly daily basis.