Attending Live 360! Conference in Orlando, FL provided me a great opportunity to learn a lot about Microsoft technologies. Mindfire Solutions has a unique CTC program under which I got the opportunity to attend this international event. It was a 5 day pure technical event where various workshops and sessions on different Microsoft technologies took place. This conference targetted not only Visual Studio track but also various other tracks like SQL server, Cloud etc, so people (speakers/audience) from various roles like developer, DBAs, IT management etc could get together and share experience and knowledge.
All the planning and arrangements were very well managed by Mindfire Solutions and I had a very nice experience in staying, attending and learning from these sessions and workshops from 10-14 Dec, 2012.
In total, I attended 2 workshops and 13 sessions. Almost all of them were quite good but some of the one which I liked most are:
- Intellitrace, What is it and How Can I Use it to My Benefit?
- AKA! webforms is still not dead
- Static Analysis in .NET
- What’s New in the .NET 4.5 BCL
- Workshop: Services – Using WCF and ASP.NET Web API
- The LINQ Programming Model
- Patterns for Parallel Programming
While attending various sessions and workshops I had a chance to interact with some of the speakers and developers and also visit the stalls of various vendors who came to showcase their products.
Everyone was excited to explore and learn the new features in VS 2012. Most of the sessions were focusing on the new features and enhancements in ASP.net 4.5, Parallel Programming, WEB API and MVC4.
Some of the new areas which I explored and got to know more in depth are:
WEB API and WCF
With the release of new ASP.Net WEB API there was some curiosity in almost of every .NET developer working on WCF that what are new ASP.NET WEB API and how much it is similar or differs from WCF. This workshop was exactly as per expectation which walked through the WCF concepts. All complex configuration of WCF were discussed. I got to learn some interesting things like Internally WCF and WEB API are from two different teams and WEB API is not replacement of WCF services. However WEB API can be considered over WCF Rest for building true RESTful applications on the .NET Framework. WEB API features HTTP Programming Model and Uses MVC routing engine for custom routes.
Throughout my professional career I have been working on Windows and ASP.net web application. I had a chance to learn about the ASP.net MVC 3 but never worked on it so I was especially looking for this workshop “Mastering ASP.NET MVC4 in Just One Day”. In 8 hour the speaker has created a personal website and walk through the various aspects of ASP.Net MVC 4 like
• Web API
• Mobile Web Applications
• Advanced Features
We also learnt about the various technical challenges involved in upgrading the MVC 3 to MVC4.
Static Analysis in .NET
Being a member of code catalyst team this session was very helpful for me. I came to know about various tools and points to be considered during code review. The demo regarding the code analysis in VS 2012 was really nice. I also got to know that performance of code analysis in VS 2012 is much better than previous versions. In previous version i.e. VS 2010 when code analysis was enabled it was taking a lot of time and was really slow but in the new version, VS 2012, it is considerably faster. Also the steps for adding team level or project level rules was interesting.
.NET 4.5 BCL
In this I got to know about the various new methods available in C# 5 and VB 11 for Asynchronous programming. It was primarily focused on file and network based APIs and how to take advantage of these two amazing keywords async/await. Prior to .net 4.5, there was no way to stop a regular expression from completing its task but in 4.5, Regex methods now accept a TimeSpan value. In .net 4.5 Read-Only Dictionary is added. Also in .net 4.5 ZipArchive and ZipArchiveEntry have been added so basically file can be zipped or unzipped using .net native code and various other new features to be discovered and implemented..
Being an ASP.Net developer and when I found so many sessions, workhops and focus on MVC4, it somehow felt that ASP.net 4.5 was being missed a bit. This session provided a lot of new features of ASP.net 4.5 which are really nice. Some of them were – Model Binding, strongly typed data type, Value provide query string, Add ScriptManager to Global.asax, Enabling 4.5 Request Validation at field level, await, Async Modules & Handlers and better support for HTML 5. It do also has some additional updates and support for performance improvements and bundling and minifications.
Apart from these there were many other areas which I also learned during VS Live like LINQ, Entity Framework, Parallel Programming, ASP.NET MVC4, SPA (Single Page Application) etc..
Once again I will like to thanks Mindfire and its unique CTC initiative which gave me an opportunity to attend a world class technical event and enhance my knowledge to improve my ability to write better codes, do code review more efficiently, mentor and help other teams members which will directly or indirectly help us deliver better.
Author – ANUJ KUMAR SAHU