Book Review: Beginning ASP.NET MVC 1.0

Beginning ASP.NET MVC 1.0


Simone Chiaretta, Keyvan Nayyeri

My Rating

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As a Web Forms hobbyist, dreaming of my chance to be a career Web Developer, I had seen glimpses of ASP.NET MVC, although did not pay too much attention. The ASP.NET forums were still dominated by Web Forms users and I had no industry colleagues to point out the significance of ASP.NET MVC.

Well, after a comment by a forum member, I decided that maybe I should take note of ASP.NET MVC and subsequently decided I would. Within the space of a few days I then spoke to someone in industry and he told me that ASP.NET MVC was going to be something his company would be using and how it benefits practitioners of good coding standards – design patterns, SOLID principles, testability, maintainability etc

With industry insight and growing intrigue I started reading blogs, watching online videos, and then ordered Beginning ASP.NET MVC 1.0 – knowing that I had negotiated a deal to become a Web Applications Developer using the technology (for that guy who gave me the industry insight. Thanks boss). So now this book was actually my training before starting my new career – I was quite hopeful that it would do a good job.

Reading through the first chapter with my keen eyes, I was happy with the writing style, the flow of the sentences and the way knowledge was presented and backed up with rationales. These initial chapters of the book talked about the MVC design pattern (and its various incarnations) and ASP.NET Web Forms (without admitting it is obsolete and shoddy in comparison to other frameworks like Ruby on Rails). So reading these chapters was quite cosy because the discussion touched on areas I was already familiar with, yet still provided interesting insights such as introducing me to TDD (Test Driven Development).

Once onto the third chapter, basic applications and demonstrations of ASP.NET MVC are slowly explored and explained at quite a steady pace; as is the pattern for the following few chapters which describe the role of, and again show examples for controllers and views.

As the book progresses, it is not just ASP.NET MVC’s inherent features that are presented; there are a number of other vendors’ technologies and open source frameworks too. Notable examples would be NUnit – the unit testing framework, and JQuery – the Javascript library. These are taught in the unit testing and AJAX sections respectively.

Whilst reading this book, a few times, I found myself wondering if I should be following along with the steps, or should be just reading along imagining the scenario being portrayed. As it turns out, you’re actually meant to be following along with the examples – it just isn’t clear. At one point, I did figure out to follow along and write code, but there was no instruction on how to name my project; so I chose my own example name.... but later on the code didn’t work because I’d copied the code out the book and had compiler errors because the name of the project was essential to the naming of the code in the book.

But apart from the above and the (very)  minimal spelling issues (really, not many at all) there isn’t really a lot wrong with this book and if you enjoy your coding and are excited about learning ASP.NET MVC then you will definitely enjoy this excellent learning resource (although now MVC 2.0 is current, it may not be the best choice).

As well as being nicely put together and an enjoyable read, this book had me well equipped to start my adventure as a career Web Developer and has since been a handy resource to have available on my desk. I have no doubts when I say this is a very good book and was worth buying and spending the time to read (and write a review about).

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