Trying to catch up with .NET

I’ve really fallen behind with recent developments in the .NET ecosystem. At work, I spend most of my time in Dynamics AX, so I don’t get to work on a lot of pure .NET stuff. I’ve been trying to get current, but it’s really an uphill battle. Stuff changes faster than I can keep up!

I just finished a book on ASP.NET Core, ASP.Net Core Application Development: Building an Application in Four Sprints. (Even just reading the title on that book is exhausting!) I posted a review on Goodreads, so I won’t repeat myself here.

I have a little extra respect for the book, because it includes a quote from Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts:

Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. ‘Be Prepared’ in this way, to live happy and to die happy — stick to your Scout Promise always — even after you have ceased to be a boy — and God help you to do it.

I think this was in the chapter on refactoring code. So with respect to programming, I guess it means I can die happy if I’ve done my best to refactor poorly-written legacy code, renaming obscurely-named variables, reducing cyclomatic complexity, and all that good stuff.

Anyway, while I got a lot out of that book, I didn’t really come out with what I’d call an actual working understanding of ASP.NET MVC. I mean, I understand the basics, but I’ve got a long way to go. And there’s so much related stuff to learn too. One thing I’ll say is that this book had the first explanation of dependency injection that actually made sense to me. (I’d heard it described in podcasts before, and had probably read a few blog posts about it. But I don’t think I really got it until the explanation in this book.)

I’m also trying to read ASP.NET MVC 4 in Action right now. This one dates back to 2012, so it’s a little frustrating trying to reconcile stuff in this book vs. the way ASP.NET Core 2 works now. But it seems like a good book so far.

ASP.NET Core 2 is pretty recent of course. Here’s a What’s New in ASP.NET Core 2.0 post from July and an Announcing ASP.NET Core 2 post from August. (The new Razor Pages feature is pretty interesting, by the way. I listened to a podcast about it last week.)

The two ASP.NET books mentioned above are both available via my ACM Safari subscription, so that’s how I’ve been reading them. There’s a lot of good stuff there. I’m also getting a little bit of use out of my Pluralsight subscription, but probably not enough to justify the cost. It was really useful for the SharePoint stuff I watched on it a while back, but for general .NET stuff, there’s plenty of free video training out there, through Channel 9 and other sites.

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