ASP.NET Crash Course

The shortest and most productive 24 hours of my life.

I'll be the first to admit that I am not a programmer or a developer or software engineer. Sure, I've written fairly complex scripts using VBScript and T-SQL and have even tried my hand at C. In everyday life, however, I am a database administrator and network analyst who works alongside real life developers and I am amazed at what they can do with code. I decided to jump into learning ASP.NET because, quite frankly, I wanted to know what all of the talk was about. I also wanted to be able to speak intelligently about our current projects using this new environment. Like everyone else, I knew that ASP.NET was the next almighty development platform, poised to do away with software incompatibility by use of a Common Language Runtime that could support a multitude of languages. I figured that a good book would contain beginner and advanced topics but be a quick and informative read. Teach Yourself ASP.NET in 24 Hours was just that.

I did not get a chance to hold onto the book for very long as the team of developers that I work with hounded me to borrow it for their projects, with comments like, "I have something due this Friday, can I borrow this book tonight? I promise I won't spill beer on it." When I finally regained possession of the book, I was relieved to discover that it seemed to be directed to the beginner-level programmer with a chapter devoted to common programming logic such as loops and if/then statements. By chapter 4, however, the discussion of namespaces (which are an integral part of ASP.NET) slowed me down a little because there was really no code I could reference to follow along. Eventually I progressed on to keying in code snippets from the book and downloading source code from the book's Web site. I was eager to jump to the chapters that dealt with Microsoft SQL Server database connections and XML. The book delivered on both aspects. All of the code I downloaded worked perfectly in Visual Studo .NET. I was able to easily modify the code to select information from a database I had created and not just the ubiquitous Northwind, giving me that real-world experience immediately.

I'd definitely recommend this book for neophyte programmers who have access to Visual Studio .NET. Though many advanced topics are covered, this book is really an introduction to ASP.NET. For me, though, it was a great tool for quickly learning the fundamentals. After going through each chapter, I realized that I will most likely not become a programmer because of this book but now I can appreciate the language and be able to hold my own at design meetings.

About the Author

Rodney Landrum is an MCSE working as a data analyst and systems engineer for a software development company in Pensacola, Florida.  He has a new book from Apress entitled ProSQL Server Reporting Services.


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