Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Video review for "Hands-on Application Development with ASP.NET Core and Angular"

This video from Packt explains step by step how to build a sample application in Angular and ASP.NET Core.  The video is targeted to developers who have some working knowledge of development in this workspace. 

The video is broken down into sections:

Section 1: Getting Started
Section 2: Preparing Data Models and Database
Section 3: Building the APIs
Section 4: Angular Components Setup
Section 5: Angular Services
Section 6: Order Service Setup
Section 7: Finalizing the App

As the titles hint, the sample application is an 'orders' app.  The user is guided through the construction from tools setup to testing.

Each section is further divided into segments (usually 3 of them), each about 5 minutes long.  I found this an excellent setup, as each video is long enough to provide the necessary content but not so long that my attention started to wander. 

Raihan Taher (the instructor) spoke clearly and at a reasonable pace.  One small complaint:  viewing the series in a browser, I didn't find any speed controls to speed up or slow down the presentation.  I really like learning by video, but I like it best when I can control the pace.

The entire video shows the instructor's desktop, with accompanying instructions "now we do this, then this, then this..." so the user gets to see every step along the way as the sample application is built.  There is little in the way of 'overview' material, so the viewer is given practically no high-level information about Angular or ASP.NET.  The result: You may not understand why you are doing something, but you are given instructions on how to do it successfully, at least in one situation.

Watching this video is a lot like getting on-the-job training from a competent co-worker.  You are given everything you need to build a simple application.  (If you want to understand how you built it, or how to build something a little different, you will have to do some further study.)  This seems fine to me, this is an excellent springboard to Angular/ASP.NET development.  Once the user has followed this course, they are adequately prepared to begin the learning journey.

As a further benefit, this video makes use of Visual Studio Code, an excellent free IDE.  The instructor provides plenty of nice usage tips, these are valuable on their own.

If you're looking to get started with Angular on ASP.NET, I would recommend this video.

Happy viewing!

The video can be found here

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Book Review for 'Hands-On Cloud Development with Wildfly'

Hands-On Cloud Development with WildFly Book Cover

This is a nice book that gives a high-level explanation of a multitude of tools used in modern cloud development. 

The book starts with a history of Enterprise Java Development, then turns to Wildfly Swarm.  Swarm is the JBoss equivalent of Spring Boot, allowing developers to choose the Java components required ala carte instead of coming packaged in an all-in-one application server.

The next stop is at Arquillian, which makes unit-testing of Enterprise Java applications practical. 

In all of these cases, the depth of instruction is restrained.  You aren't given enough material to master the topics, just enough to run a working example.  This is good technique for a book that targets a wide tech footprint.

The next chapter introduces cloud computing and Red Hat's OpenShift container operating framework.  This chapter covers a lot of territory, introducing  hot topics like Docker and Kubernetes along the way.  If you aren't yet caught up in cloud development, this chapter will be very valuable for you.

The next few chapters cover some necessary topics for cloud computing, namely storage and networking.  Invaluable also.

The book next moves on to Jenkins, token-based security (as used in cloud solutions) and some application development sugar (in the form of Hystrix.  At the time of this review, Hystrix is under assailment from other tools and looks like it may not be the long-term winner.)

The final chapter makes some predictions about possible future directions.

All things considered, this is a book with a very ambitious tech footprint.  It does a pretty good job of covering all of the above (some pretty important topics) while giving the reader a fair amount of hands-on practical experience.

For coders on the front-side of the cloud computing slope, I'd recommend this book.  It's a shortcut to contemporary development knowledge.

The book can be found here and here.

Happy coding!