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Visual Studio 2010 Best Practices Paperback – August 24, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Ritchie

Peter Ritchie is a software development consultant. Peter is president of Peter Ritchie Inc. Software Consulting Co., a software consulting company in Canada's National Capital Region specializing in Windows-based software development management, process, and implementation consulting. Peter has worked with such clients as Mitel, Nortel, Passport Canada, and Innvapost from mentoring to architecture to implementation. Peter has considerable experience building software development teams and working with startups towards agile software development.

Peter's range of experience ranges from designing and implementing simple standalone applications to architecting distributed n-tier applications spanning dozens of computers; from C++ to C#. Peter is active in the software development community attending and speaking at various events as well as authoring various works including Refactoring with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (August 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849687161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849687164
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,231,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Ritchie's book is best appreciated by a reader who already is using Visual Studio 2010, but who perhaps wonders if there are ways to improve her current habits. The book's advice varies. Some is high level, and can pertain to any programming language. While other parts of the text are very specific to the perculiarities of VS 2010.

At the high level, any programmer would do well to ruminate on Ritchie's remarks. Like avoiding pragmatic re-use. This refers to the very common practice of a programmer finding sample code and then bunging it into her existing program. Without perhaps carefully parsing to check for unintended side effects. You should be doing the latter anyway, if you are experienced enough.

Another piece of advice is to avoid the not invented here syndrome. This refers to when a piece of functionality is available externally to your company. But because it was not written inside the firm, you decide not to use it and proceed to reimplement the functionality yourself. There are several drawbacks. The first is the amount of time you or your co-workers will need. The second is that perhaps the resulting code will not have been well tested. Especially if it is new code, after all. Whereas suppose there is indeed an external library that you know to have been written and extensively tested by a reputable organisation. You should think carefully before writing your own supposedly equivalent package. Ask yourself where you can best add value. It usually is not in replicating others' work.

Another section of the text talks about source code control practices. What has happened in recent years is that third party websites have sprung up that offer server hosting for this. Including github, bitbucket and phase2.
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Format: Paperback
I'd like to thank Packt for providing me with a review version of Visual Studio 2010 Best Practices eBook.
In fairness I also know the author Peter having seen him speak at DevTeach on many occasions. I started by looking at the table of content to see what this book was about, knowing that "best practices" is a real misnomer I wanted to see what they were. I really like the fact that he starts the book by really saying they are not really best practices but actually recommend practices.
As a Team Foundation Server user I found that chapter 2 was more for the open source crowd and I really skimmed it. The portion on Branching was well documented, although I'm not a fan of the testing branch myself, but the rest was right on. The section on merge remote changes (bring the outside to you) paradigm is really important and was touched on.
Chapter 3 has good solid practices on low level constructs like generics and exceptions.
Chapter 4 dives into architectural practices like decoupling, distributed architecture and data based architecture. DTOs and ORMs are touched on briefly as is NoSQL.
Chapter 5 is about deployment and is really a great primer on all the "packaging" technologies like Visual Studio Setup and Deployment (depreciated in 2012), Click Once and WIX the major player outside of commercial solutions. This is a nice section on how to move from VSSD to WIX this is going to be important in the coming years due to the fact that VS 2012 doesn't support VSSD.
In chapter 6 we dive into automated testing practices, including test coverage, mocking, TDD, SpecDD and Continuous Testing. Peter covers all those concepts really nicely albeit succinctly. Being a book on recommended practices I find this is really good.
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Format: Paperback
Visual Studio 2010 Best Practices by Peter Ritchie is an book providing tips and practices for both beginners and professionals when working with Visual Studio 2010.

The book covers various aspects of visual studio, going from Source control, Programming, Deployment, Automated Testing and more.
Each of the topics is well detailled, starts with a nice overview and is easy to read.

Looking deeper into the domain of QA and automated testing, chapter 6 covers how to facilitate Visual Studio for test driven and behavior driven development and the importance of automated testing.

Overall a interesting read with some great tips and tricks.
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Format: Paperback
When I first read the title of this book, I wondered why they were publishing a Visual Studio 2010 book right before the launch of Visual Studio 2012. I hope this does not turn off any potential customers because the majority of the recommendations Ritchie gives in the book apply to development with both VS 2010 and 2012. And contrary to the book's title, he does not like to call them best practices.

"I call them 'recommended practices' instead of 'best practices'. The superlative 'best' implies some degree of completeness. In almost all circumstances, the completeness of these practices has a shelf-life. Some best practices have a very small shelf-life due to the degree to which technology and our knowledge of it changes."

While this is not an introduction to Visual Studio or the .NET Framework, most Visual Studio developers should find this book useful. Those who are less experienced with .NET will be able to take these recommended practices to get into the world of .NET on the right foot. Even those developers who consider themselves experts in Visual Studio will probably find some new nuggets of wisdom.

The practices discussed in the book range from architecture to C# language features to toolsets. Each recommendation is discussed with examples and then distilled down to two statements, a Context and a Practice. Here's an example around data transfer and messaging:

"Context: When dealing with data that needs to be actioned independently and asynchronously.
Practice: Consider command classes."

I have over 17 years developing with Microsoft tools, and I enjoyed reading Visual Studio 2010 Best Practices. I recommend reading it cover-to-cover and then keeping it on hand as a reference guide.
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