June CINNUG – Back To The Future

Woah, I had a Back To The Future moment last night.  I suppose that reference, alone, dates me.  Yep, I’m old.  Got an 11-year old daughter.  So what was so back-to-the-future about last night?  Quick Solutions’ Tim Wingfield covered Microsoft’s (holy-cow-it’s-about-time) implementation of MVC for ASP.NET (resources below).  I hear that if you go to the Quick Solutions homepage, the woman highlighted has never actually worked at the company 🙂  I cut my teeth on OO and MVC with PowerBuilder way back when Grady Booch questioned it as a true OO language.  MVC didn’t exist out of the box so we built our own framework and supporting libraries.  Instead of controllers, we called them managers.  We had window managers (view) and process managers (workflow) and all sorts of goodies that made life easy.  Java saw its first incarnation.  And C++ and Smalltalk were the mainstream boundaries of true OO development.

Moving into the web development world I had the opportunity to work with the fusebox framework for ColdFusion, and then build my own MVC framework for classic ASP.  As .NET took off, I headed in some proprietary directions and then into project management.  Since I was no longer heads-down in the code I could never wrap my head around how the ASP.NET model worked, especially when it came to JavaScript.  Last night a flood of memories came back as well as some relief as Tim confirmed that, no, I wasn’t out of my mind, and I could still understand this stuff.  It was interesting to me to see MVC at the forefront of cutting edge to some subset of ASP.NET developers that may be young enough to never have had experience with it – even though it has been around for nearly 30 years [geez, put a fork in me.  I’m done.].

Don’t get me wrong. I couldn’t hold my own against today’s developer.  Even with MVC there are so many aspects of .NET that I’m not familiar with.  That said, I enjoyed seeing the strength of MVC put to work and to see test-first tooling built right into Project -> New -> MVC.

Some of the advantages of the MVC framework include the ability to decouple from the webserver.  This creates an environment where unit testing can happen quite easily.  The developer will gain a lot of control over the presentation with straightforward use of CSS and JavaScript no longer cobbled by the current webforms incarnation of ASP.NET.  Current ASP.NET development can leverage the Routing mechanisms in ASP.NET MVC, and if you have .NET 3.5 SP1 you can use these now.

The New MVC Project will give you everything you need out of the box if I understood it correctly.  So if you have some familiarity with Struts, or another framework, your infrastructure will be setup for you.

To learn more check out some great resources:

Of course, the people make the evening great.  Tonight a ton of people showed up.  Leon put together a seeminly on-the-fly talk on separation of responsibilities when designing classes to end the evening.  JenGrif showed up after pulling a @joewirtley, having fell off the planet for a couple of weeks.  I got the chance to meet Sogeti’s Andy Douglas, who, like me, is a UC A&S grad.  Although Andy graduated from the CS program when it was in A&S.  I also met Ronn Sokol and Akash Aggarwal from First DataNino and I commisserated over the frustration that is twitter.  Mike Levy helped Leon pull off his miracle.  Matt Castro was in the house along with Chris Woodruff from Detroi^H^H^H^H^H^HGrand Rapids.  Then Matt Brewer (he’ll at least microblog – c’mon Matt, get out here and blog!).  Of course Mike Wood.  AND how could I forget Maggie Longshore.  Maggie and I traded jabs at Matt Brewer behind his back as he gets ready to commute by mass transit July 1st.  As usual, the pizza was good and the conversation was better!  If you do dotnet, and you don’t come to these things, you gotta make a point to be here.



~ by Andy on June 26, 2008.

8 Responses to “June CINNUG – Back To The Future”

  1. I feel left out:(

  2. Gosh, Maggie, my apologies. I hate leaving people out. And of all the nicest people to do this to. I edited the post and made sure you got in at Matt Brewer’s expense! Cheers!

  3. Thanks that’s sweet 🙂

  4. Ouch… that hurts you two. I mean… way to kick a man when he’s down. 🙂
    Andy, you forgot to mention how your developer juices started to flow again and you pointed out that error in Tim’s code before anyone else noticed. Impressive. No matter how long it’s been, you never forget how to ride that bike. (pun intended 😀 )

    I think this was the best attended CINNUG so far this year. Kudos go right to Mike Wood, he is really pouring the life blood into this group right now with his hard work in marketing these meetings. A thousand Thanks Mike!

  5. […] June CINNUG – Back To The Future (6/25/2008)Wednesday, June 25, 2008 from cincinnatirecruiter.wordpress.comSolutions’ Tim Wingfield covered Microsoft’s (holy-cow-it’s-about-time) implementation of MVC for ASP.NET (resources below). I hear… […]

  6. Sorry I missed it. But I was able to see Tim do the same presentation tonight at the Dayton .NET dev group. Good presentation. Thanks for the notes, Andy, I feel like I was there.

  7. Dan, you were there. We took the opportunity to burn you in effigy 🙂

  8. Had to unplug for a bit but I was really glad I went. It was good to see everyone again.

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