This past Saturday I attended MKE DOT NET for the third time. MKE DOT NET is a .NET developer conference based in the Milwaukee area. The previous two years the conference was held in a hotel in Pewaukee. This year, they changed things up a bit and hosted it at Potowatomi Casino near downtown Milwaukee. Getting there was a bit difficult because there were a lot of closed off streets, but once I got there it was really nice.
Keynote Speaker: Maria Naggaga
Lots of people are interested in developing in .NET, but the main complaint was that it’s too difficult to learn. Maria presented some up and coming options to make .NET easier to learn for people who are currently developing in other frameworks and languages, like Python or Ruby for example.
After the keynote, I attended several sessions. I will list out the sessions which I got the most out of below:
Hardening Your ASP.NET Core Applications – Brice Williams and Robert Hansen
Cool SQL Server Features Every Developer Should Know About – David Berry
This presentation went over some new features in SQL Server 2016:
- Temporal tables – Every time a row is changed, SSMS keeps a snapshot of the old row values. This allows us to see what the value in a column was at any given date and time. The history table is created and maintained automatically by SQL Server, removing the need for us to write triggers.
- JSON Support – Allows you to store JSON data in a VARCHAR() data type. There are some new functions that go along with this, such as JSON_VALUE to get a value from a JSON object, and JSON_QUERY to pull out an entire array or object.
David also showed Windowing Functions, which was actually released with SQL Server 2008 and later. “Group By on steroids”, Windowing Functions can partition and aggregate data by different criteria in the same statement. One example was the RANK() function, which can find the highest value, partitioning over various columns, and provide a rank for each row. I really need to look into these functions more…
Building Reusable UI Components in ASP.NET Core MVC – Scott Addie
.vbhtml files exist. It’s true. That wasn’t the point of this talk though. Scott showed us a brand new feature in ASP.NET Core V1 called Tag Helpers. Using this feature you can express server-side processing via HTML elements. An example would be:
Hand is the class, Player is a property of Hand. Tag Helpers are really cool for a few reasons:
- They offer great IntelliSense support.
- They eliminate context switching between HTML and C# that you would get with Razor.
- They were designed with testing in mind.
One other cool thing I learned is the C# nameof() feature, which can be used to avoid hard coding class name strings. Usage: i.e. nameof(MyClass) would output “MyClass” as a string.
This event keeps getting better every year. Particlarly, the SQL Server Features and UI Components sessions amazed me! I learned a lot of cool things in this conference, and made note of a lot of things to look into so that I can learn more. Thanks Centare for hosting another great MKE DOT NET!