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I start a job this summer doing work in ASP.NET 4 (C#). I plan on working with some legacy code as well as MVC.

I want to get a running start. I have good understanding of HTML/CSS/Javascript, and pretty good understanding of C# itself, Design principles, Design Patterns, and understand masterpages, basic MVC2, and code behinds for web forms.

  • In your opinion what aspects of ASP.NET are the most important to master for web applications?
  • What do you value most in your usage of ASP.NET?
  • Do you have a recommendation for understanding the internals of ASP.NET itself?
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First things first, take any information about practices or standards that come from the domain *.microsoft.com, and ignore those, also delete any bookmarks or favorites you have to them as well. –  MVCylon May 24 '11 at 17:22

4 Answers 4

Webforms: Understanding the page life-cycle and post-back mechanism, ViewState and Session State. Know the standard controls.

MVC: Understand how HTTP works (GET, POST requests, for example). Understand separation of concerns. Dependency Injection. Know your HTML, JavaScript by hand. jQuery.

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Isn't that pretty much what he listed he knows? –  Sergio Mar 2 '11 at 14:13
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Yes there is overlap. However, he asked for my opinion. –  WeekendWarrior Mar 2 '11 at 14:24

ASP.NET Webforms

A proper understanding of the page lifecycle, the request pipeline and state management (cookies, sessions, viewstate, ...) will be a great benefit.

ASP.NET MVC

Make sure you understand how HTTP works (difference between POST and GET), how routing, controllers and views work together and how you can influence them.

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+1 for page lifecycle. This is something very important that is often overlooked when learning ASP.Net. –  Tyanna Mar 2 '11 at 14:58
    
+1 for page life cycle –  k25 Mar 2 '11 at 16:02
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i would also add - cookies/sessions/viewstate and the advantages/disadvantages of using them –  k25 Mar 2 '11 at 16:03
    
@k25 - cookies, sessions and viewstate are included in "state management". The advantages and disadvantages of using them are of course part of understanding them :-) –  Kristof Claes Mar 2 '11 at 17:55
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@Kristof Claes - Yes you are right. But beginners (at times) do not pay attention to such details. Myself included when I started. Initially I was using Sessions a lot and then reduced the usage if unnecessary. So I thought an emphasis is required ;) –  k25 Mar 2 '11 at 23:30

Sounds like you're way ahead of the game already. Really though, nothings going to prepare you for digging into other people's code (which you'll be doing a lot, especially in the enterprise world). By that I mean, work on your soft skills. I've found those to be just as, if not more, valuable than my programming skills.

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What I would suggest you look deeper into:

  • jQuery and jQuery UI
  • AJAX and Web Methods
  • Repeaters
  • Dynamically created controls. In particular, their lifecycle, viewstate quarks, and how events are processed.

I've noticed that in a lot of legacy code, controls are created and added to the page via the code behind more than they should be.

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Repeaters make you learn just about everything. –  JeffO Mar 2 '11 at 16:30
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@Jeff O - I love repeaters. I tell all new web devs under me to read up on them. The make life so much easier. –  Tyanna Mar 2 '11 at 16:35
    
Can you recommend any good sources. ASP.NET has a few tutorials. A google search was pretty frustrating. –  JeffO Mar 2 '11 at 21:55
    
@Jeff O - I like this link: msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc163780.aspx And for nested repeaters: codeproject.com/KB/aspnet/AspNetNestedRepeaters.aspx –  Tyanna Mar 3 '11 at 20:14
    
Thanks Tyanna. I guess if you can nest repeaters you can do about anything with it. –  JeffO Mar 3 '11 at 21:17

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