Early in my career, when I wanted to learn a new technology, I’d sit in the bookstore aisle and I’d work my way through each of the available books on the given subject. Put in enough time in a bookstore and you can learn just about anything. I used to really enjoy my time in the bookstore – but times have certainly changed. Whereas books used to be the only place I could find solutions to my problems, now they may be the very last place I look.
I have been working with the ASP.NET MVC Framework for more than a year. I have a few projects and a couple of major deployments under my belt and I was able to get up to speed with the framework without reading a single book*. With so many resources at our fingertips (podcasts, screencasts, blogs, stackoverflow, open source projects, www.asp.net, you name it) why bother with a book?
Well, I flipped through Steven Sanderson’s Pro ASP.NET MVC Framework a few months ago. And since it is prominently displayed in my co-worker’s office, I tend to pick it up as a reference from time to time. Last week, I’m not sure why, I decided to read it cover to cover. Man, did I eat this book up. Granted, a lot of what I read was review, but it was only review because I had already learned lessons by piecing the puzzle together for myself via various sources.
If I were starting with ASP.NET MVC (or ASP.NET Web Deployment in general) today, the first thing I would do is buy Steven Sanderson’s Pro ASP.NET MVC Framework and read it cover to cover.
Steven Sanderson did such a great job with this book! As much as I appreciated the in-depth model, view, and controller talk, I was completely impressed with all the extra bits which were included. There a was nice overview of BDD, view engine comparisons, a chapter dedicated to security and vulnerabilities, IoC, TDD and Mocking (of course), IIS deployment options and a nice overview of what the .NET platform and C# offers. Heck, Sanderson even include bits about webforms!
The book is fantastic and I highly recommend it – even if you think you’ve already got your head around ASP.NET MVC. By the way, procrastinators may be in luck. ASP.NET MVC V2 Framework can be pre-ordered. You might want to jump right into the second edition and find out what Sanderson has to say about MVC 2.
* Actually, I did read through the free bits of Professional ASP.NET MVC 1.0. But it was just a chapter – albeit a really long chapter.