Announcing ASP.NET 8 Best Practices

ASP.NET 8 Best Practices took a year-and-a-half to write and I'm happy to announce the release of my new (and first) book

Written by Jonathan "JD" Danylko • Last Updated: • General •

Front cover of ASP.NET 8 Best Practices

I feel this was as good a time as any to make an announcement.

Over the period of 30 years, I've worked with a number of developers from small government teams to Fortune 100 companies on development teams. I've learned a number of skills and lessons from mentors, peers, and "creative" individuals. From those experiences, I've seen various techniques, design patterns, and learned why things were coded the way the way they were. From architects and senior developers giving hardened lessons to me "from the field" to personal experiences of disasters on a corporate level, the experiences have been valuable.

Since the inception of my blogging in 2006 (previously called DCS-Media), I've been learning better ways to write ASP.NET websites and C# code, understanding it, and then presenting what I've learned to the community through DanylkoWeb.

With that said, it gives me great pleasure to announce my first book called ASP.NET 8 Best Practices from Packt Publishing. The book is meant to be a reference for ASP.NET developers whether they're beginners, intermediate, or experienced developers.

Why ASP.NET 8 Best Practices?

With the recent release of .NET 8, the book is not meant to be a "What's New in .NET 8," but use the latest language features of .NET 8 to demonstrate why something is considered to be a more common way of writing code.

The book is a culmination of everything I've learned, experienced, and felt (yes...emotionally) over the years of being a web developer and architect since .NET's inception. Microsoft has always been my "bread and butter."

There were recommendations to change the name of the book to something other than "Best Practices" since a best practice is almost considered an opinionated term. The entire book is based on recommended or common ways of achieving something in ASP.NET 8. As mentioned in the book, your mileage may vary. Every recommended approach in the book may not suit your particular scenario and could be considered an alternative option for the situation.

The amount of time and experience put into the book was not simply a year of writing, but almost 25 years of writing ASP.NET code (30 with Classic ASP). ;-)

What tool did you use to build the GitHub workflow images in Chapter 1?

I used MermaidJs which is absolutely amazing! If interested in the MermaidJs "source code" for the images, let me know and I'll send them along.

What are the Chapters of the Book?

When approached about writing the book and asked about the content, I believed the best approach was to partition the chapters into what an ASP.NET developer would experience throughout the breadth of their career.

I've always been a fan of real-world reference books and wanted this book to be written as such for .NET developers.

With that said, each chapter is broken into thirds:

  • The first 1/3 of a chapter is the overview/introduction to the topic with terms and concepts
  • The second 1/3 contains small, bite-sized nuggets of "best practices," or recommended approaches to the chapter's topic
  • The last 1/3 is a demo/example combining everything from the chapter (where applicable)

The chapters of the book are:

  1. Taking Control with Source Control
  2. Building Software with Software (CI/CD)
  3. Best Approaches for Middleware
  4. Applying Security From The Start
  5. Optimizing Data Access Using Entity Framework
  6. Best Practices with Web UIs
  7. Testing Your Code
  8. Catching the Exceptions with Exception Handling
  9. Creating Better Web APIs
  10. Push Your Application with Performance
  11. Appendix: Programming Guidelines

When a developer starts their career, it's usually knowing how to check code in and out of source control and the different types of branching. Then, knowing how to deploy your software through continuous integration and continuous deployment. I've been told shipping is a feature!

Once the basics are presented, we proceed to focus on more ASP.NET-related technologies like common ways to write Entity Framework Core, Web UIs, testing code, Web APIs, and finally, knowing how to improve ASP.NET performance.

The book is meant to contain "evergreen" content. This means the content should (at least) try to stay relevant over the next five years. Developers are able to refer to the book when needing common questions answered regarding a specific topic or wanting to know how to structure their code based on recommended strategies.

How long did it take to write the book?

I didn't realize how much work went into writing a book. Even on a part-time basis. While I'm not a Matt Eland (author of Refactoring using C#) who can write a full book in six months, it's been a struggle to dedicate the time to write.

I started writing the book back in October/November of last year (2022) and just finished it before the month's end (November). It took about a year.

Packt Publishing has presented me with such an opportunity and their team has been nothing but supportive and helpful throughout my journey of writing my first book.

An immense gratitude and thanks to the Packt Publishing team including Nivedita Pandey, Namita Velgekar, Anamika Singh, Simran Ali, Manthan Patel, Sonam Pandey, Aamir Ahmed, Tejashwini, Sach, and finally, Jane D'Souza. The team has been instrumental with keeping me on track and providing details of the book publishing process.

    How did you get a book deal?

    The actual moment when it occurred took a while for the seeds to grow into something. I feel the combination of writing posts on my blog and guest-posting on other blogs is what triggered the opportunity.

    Packt Publishing approached me last year and asked if I would be interested in writing a book titled "ASP.NET 8 Best Practices." They mentioned how the blog posts were "insightful and inspiring" and wanted to present the opportunity to me of authoring a book.

    Since this was a bucket-list item, I decided to take the opportunity to write the book.

    A year later, the book is published.

    Current Reviews From the Web

    Conclusion

    I am extremely grateful for everyone's feedback regarding the content in the book (technical reviewers as well).

    The book is something I'm very proud of and am grateful to a number of developers, architects, and mentors for the experiences they've bestowed upon me.

    I hope everyone enjoys the book.

    Code on, devs...code on!

    Did you buy the book? Was it helpful? Did I miss something you thought should be in the book? Post your comments below and let's discuss.

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    Picture of Jonathan "JD" Danylko

    Jonathan Danylko is a web architect and entrepreneur who's been programming for over 25 years. He's developed websites for small, medium, and Fortune 500 companies since 1996.

    He currently works at Insight Enterprises as an Principal Software Engineer Architect.

    When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, he replies, "I like to write and I like to code. I also like to write about code."

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