Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

Book Review: MCTS 70-515 Web Applications Development with Microsoft .Net Framework 4 Self-Paced Training Kit

January 25, 2011 22:44 by Andrew Westgarth

For many reasons I haven’t had much time to blog in the last few months.  This is something with the coming of the New Year I’m aiming to rectify.  One of my other personal/work goals is to complete the Microsoft Professional Developer (Web Developer) Certification.  This requires me to site and pass four exams:

  1. 70-515: Web Application Development with Microsoft .Net Framework 4 (TS)
  2. 70-513: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .Net Framework 4 (TS)
  3. 70-516: Accessing Data with Microsoft .Nest Framework 4 (TS)
  4. 70-519: Designing and Developing Web Applications with Microsoft .Net Framework 4

First on my list of exams to study for and complete was 70-515: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .Net Framework 4.  I had the exam booked for Tuesday 18th January 2011 and I’m pleased to say after a lot of intense and hard swotting I passed the exam.  Due to the severe disruption caused by the bad weather on both sides of the Atlantic it became very difficult to get hold of a printed copy of this book when it was due to be available in the UK.  There was a digital version available but I still like to read a physical book, although I am being tempted more and more of late by the Kindle.  Fortunately I was able to get a copy of the printed book prior to my exam, just!

WARNING: I don’t think this would be a useful review if I didn’t stress at the beginning that while this book covers the topics which the exam covers, it should not be your only resource of learning.  I made use of my attendance of relevant sessions at User Groups, real world experience on projects and additional reading, such as Steve Sanderson’s excellent Pro ASP.Net MVC 2 Framework, Second Edition which is an excellent book for getting to grips with ASP.Net MVC 2.

MCTS 70-515 Web Applications Development with Microsoft .Net Framework 4 Self-Paced training Kit CoverThe Self-Paced Training Kit

The Self-Paced Training kit is an excellent tool to help study for the exam.  They follow a standard package format of the

  • Self-paced study guide;
  • Practice Tests;
  • Over 300 practice and review questions;
  • Code Samples in VB.Net and C#;
  • eBook edition of the study guide.

The study guide is broken up into fourteen chapters, which breaks the curriculum into manageable segments of learning.  One technique for working through these guides is to take one chapter per night and work through each chapter covering the topic in great detail.  Planning to spend extra time when needed.  The chapters discuss the individual topics in some detail, have Labs to go through and get practice in implementing the topic discussed. At the end of each chapter there are Scenario based questions to guide you into choosing the right solutions for the problems faced and there are also review questions for each section.  The fourteen chapters combine to cover the objectives of the 70-515 Exam:

  • Developing Web Forms Pages;
  • Developing and Using Web Forms Controls;
  • Implementing Client-Side Scripting and AJAX;
  • Configuring and Extending a Web Application;
  • Displaying and Manipulating Data;
  • Developing a Web Application by Using ASP.Net MVC 2.

Verdict

This self-paced training guide was an invaluable tool for me in my preparation for the exam.  The guide breaks down the objectives into manageable chunks and highlight areas which need to be covered.  The Labs cover each topic as you progress through each chapter.  My one major criticism of the labs is that each lab often starts by setting up a new project/solution with the same name as the previous lab which is really frustrating.  Personally I would much rather have started a new solution per chapter and modified the solution/projects as I went through the labs in that chapter.  The review questions are a great way to review your knowledge and how much you’ve taken in after completing studying each chapter.  The Scenario based exercises are even better as they make you think how your knowledge would be applied in the real world.

I would recommend buying and working your way through the MCTS 70-515 Web Applications Development with Microsoft .Net Framework 4 Self-Paced Training Kit as part of your preparation for the 70-515 exam, however I would also recommend additional sources to compliment your learning.  For example the MVC area was easier for me to pick up as I have completed some projects using the Framework and have also read other books on the topic, whereas the Client-Side Scripting element was harder for me to pick up as I have had less exposure to that area of study.

If you’re studying for the 70-515 exam good luck and I hope you find this book and review useful!  I’m off to search for materials so I can prepare for my other exams as the equivalent training guides won’t be available for quite some time yet.

Never Was So Much Owed By So Many To So Few

September 15, 2010 10:00 by Andrew Westgarth

Just a small post to issue my personal tribute on Battle of Britain Day in it’s 70th Anniversary Year.

The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

Winston Churchill. House of Commons, August 20th 1940.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/september/15/newsid_3521000/3521611.stm

Never_was_so_much_owed_by_so_many_to_so_few

thefewjpg

Awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for 2010

July 6, 2010 13:25 by Andrew Westgarth

As is the case with most of my blog posting of late, it’s well.. late and in a big queue, but seeing this is relatively time sensitive and the fact that I’m over the moon again.  I thought I’d jot a quick post.

Last Thursday (1st July 2010), I was very pleased to receive an email from Microsoft to inform me that I had been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for 2010 – Internet Information Services (IIS).  This is the third consecutive year I have received this and as I’ve mentioned before I am extremely humble to be associated with a great group of technical people around the globe.  I’ll be aiming to continue my efforts to help the community and deliver as much content as I can to aid and spread knowledge. 

Categories: MVP | Microsoft | IIS
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Search and Deploy – Slides from NxtGen Manchester April Event

May 13, 2010 22:32 by Andrew Westgarth

Finally I am uploading my slides and links to demos from the session I delivered at NxtGenUG Manchester on the 21st April, for those who attended thanks for coming along I hope you enjoyed the session, and I’d like to offer a massive apology for taking so long to post the slides and links to the demos.  My session covered the Web Deployment Tool including the integration in VS2010 and I also covered the IIS Search Engine Optimization Toolkit.  Download the slides from my Slides & Resources page.

MS Deploy Resources

SEO Toolkit Resources

Three Great Events in The North East in April!!

March 24, 2010 21:50 by Andrew Westgarth

header_td

As part of the Microsoft Tech Days UK 2010, a week of free events for Developers and IT Professionals, there are three great events of note running in the North East.  The Sharepoint User Group are hosting a great night at the Cinema in Stockton, and then NEBytes are pleased to welcome Jesse Liberty for a special evening of Silverlight in addition to the Monthly meeting covering Office 2010 and Preventing SQL Injection Attacks.  Best of all- all three events are FREE!!!!

Monday 13th April 2010 – SUGUK – Sharepoint 2010 and Free Screening of Clash Of the Titans at Stockton-on-Tees Showcase Cinema

sugukMicrosoft and Combined Knowledge have funded a great evening to celebrate the launch of Microsoft Office Sharepoint 2010.  Join the Sharepoint User Group at the Showcase Cinema in Stockton-on-Tees to see a short presentation on the new features in Office and Sharepoint 2010, followed by an Open Mic “Ask the Experts” session on general SharePoint topics such as business adoption, Sharepoint designer, VS 2010 and Office focussed development in general, before settling down with Popcorn to watch a free screening of the new blockbuster – Clash Of The Titans!

For more information and to register - http://suguk.org/forums/thread/23041.aspx

Friday 16th April 2010 – NEBytes – Jesse Liberty – Silverlight Geek – Newcastle-upon-Tyne

nebytes-logo-final On Friday 16th April 2010, NEBytes are pleased to welcome Jesse Liberty, the self styled Silverlight Geek and a Senior Program Manager in the Silverlight Development Team at Microsoft, to Newcastle as he makes his way round the UK as part of his UK Tour .  Jesse will be delivering the following session:

Building A Highly Extensible, Decoupled Silverlight Open Source Application with MEF and RIA Services using Lean, Test Driven Development, An International Team of Volunteer Programmers,  and lots of Advil.

This talk will use the Silverlight HyperVideo Platform open-source project on CodePlex as a case study in building highly extensible Silverlight applications. Among the topics we will focus on are:

  • New features in Silverlight 4 and how they made life easier
  • The Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) added to Silverlight 4
  • WCF RIA Services for connection to a back-end db
  • Handling inter-module communication when the requirements are that modules cannot assume which other modules will be created, there can be no dependencies on order-of creation and unanticipated modules must be able to communicate with existing modules.
  • Using Markers, Injected Markers and polling to trigger events while viewing a video.
  • A Quick introduction to Lean, TDD and Kanban.

NEBytes are also looking at putting on a Geek Dinner afterwards, so if you’d be interested in attending let us know when you register for the NEBytes – Jesse Liberty – Silverlight Geek Event

Wednesday 21st April 2010 – NEBytes -  “Office 2010” and “Preventing SQL Injection Attacks” – Newcastle-upon-Tyne

nebytes-logo-finalOn Wednesday 21st April 2010 NEBytes will be holding their regular monthly event and will be covering the topics of Office 2010 and Preventing SQL Injection Attacks.  We are pleased to welcome Colin Mackay to cover Preventing SQL Injection attacks and we are very pleased to have NEByte’s very own Jonathan Noble and Ben Lee covering Office 2010 at the event:

Office 2010 - Ben Lee and Jonathan Noble

This summer Microsoft will release Office 2010. While this is more of an evolution from Office 2007 rather than the revolutionary jump from Office 2003 into the world of the Ribbon UI, there are still a number of new features in the desktop applications that make this release interesting. In addition, 2010 sees Office head into the cloud with the all-new Office Web Apps. In this session, NEBytes' own Ben Lee (@Bibbleq) and Jonathan Noble (@jonoble) will highlight their favourite new features across the whole suite and also demonstrate how to manage, secure and deploy Office 2010 to the desktop, including delivery using App-V.

SQL Injection Attacks and Tips on How To Prevent Them - Colin Angus Mackay

In light of some recent events, such as the man who was convicted of stealing 130 million credit card details through a SQL Injection attack, it is imperative that developers understand what a SQL Injection Attack is, how they are carried out, and most importantly, how to defend your code against attack.

In this talk Colin Mackay will demonstrate a SQL Injection Attack on an application in a controlled environment*. He’ll show you where the vulnerable code lies and what you can do to harden it.

Although this talk uses C# as the application language and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 as the database engine many of the concepts and prevention mechanisms will apply to any application that accesses a database through SQL.

* Demonstrating an attack on a system without the owner’s consent is a breach of the 1990 Misuse of Computers Act, hence the controlled environment.

Colin Angus Mackay is a Software Developer living in Glasgow. He has been programming since the age of 9 starting with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. He became a professional software developer in 1994, using a Smalltalk based language called Magik. In 1996 he started using C++ commercially and in 2002 migrated to the emerging language of C#.

Colin has received a number of awards including Code Project MVP (for 5 years) and Microsoft MVP (for 3 years). He is a member of the British Computer Society and a Member of the Institution of Analysts and Programmers. He is currently the chairman of Scottish Developers and has organised the last two Developer Day Scotland conferences (with a third in the works).

You can find out more on his blog at: http://blog.colinmackay.net.

Go to the NEBytes April Event Registration Page and sign up now!

Introducing North East Bytes (NEBytes) a new Microsoft Usergroup for the North East of England

January 4, 2010 22:39 by Andrew Westgarth

nebytes-logo-final

I’m pleased to announce a new User Group in the North East of England, based around Microsoft Technologies, North East Bytes (NEBytes) – http://www.nebytes.net .  We have decided to start this group in order to help Developers and IT Pros in the community with the constant battle to learn, stay current and broaden their knowledge.

We run monthly meetings every third Wednesday of the month (except on the second Wednesday in December – to allow time for Christmas parties and shopping!) at Newcastle University.  Each meeting consists of two one hour presentations (one Developer topic and one IT Pro topic) and we have refreshments, food, giveaways and prizes.

Attendance at our meetings is completely FREE!! The venue is provided kindly by the University, our Speakers kindly provide their time for free, and we as organisers provide our time for free to organise the events.  We will provide refreshments and we also provide hot food, all we ask is if you would like to partake in the the hot food, please make a small donation towards the cost via the open contribution box at each meeting.

Our Launch event is to be on Wednesday 20th January 2010, we are delighted to have Mike Taulty visiting to cover Silverlight and James O’Neill to cover Hyper-V.  We are really looking forward to this great event and hope to see lots there to help us celebrate our launch!

Andrew, Jon, Damien and Ben.

DDD8 – 30th January 2010 – Call For Speakers Open

December 11, 2009 11:18 by Andrew Westgarth

Yes folks, the date has been announced so put it in your calendar!!  The eighth Developer Day Event at Microsoft’s UK Campus in Reading has been announced for Saturday 30th January 2010!  Call for speakers has now been open so if you’ve always thought of submitting a session – get to it!!!   It’s a really rewarding experience and a great way of getting experience.

I’d better get writing my abstract(s) for submission!  The link to submit yours is - http://developerdeveloperdeveloper.com/ddd8/

Black Marble and Microsoft – Free Visual Studio/ALM Event in London 17th Dec 09

December 8, 2009 13:46 by Andrew Westgarth

Black Marble and Microsoft have announced details of a FREE event covering Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and Application Lifecycle Management in London on Thursday 17th December 2009.  Full Details are below:

Microsoft and Black Marble present Visual Studio 2010 and Managing the Application Lifecycle.

Click here to register for this event

Date - 17-Dec-2009

Session - All Day

Time - Registration from 9:30am, Event Starts at 10:00am. Lunch at 12:30pm. Event ends at 4:30pm.

Location - Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Place, London NW1 4LE

Type - Seminar

Welcome to the Microsoft/Black Marble exploration of developer tools and application lifecycle management, now taking place in London for your convenience.

Visual Studio 2010 is being designed inside and out to give developers and development teams every advantage in getting the next ground-breaking application to market – quickly. The upshot is that your business gets to reap the rewards of tomorrow's efficiency today.

Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2010 will deliver new capabilities that embrace the needs of the users in the application lifecycle – from architects to developers, from project managers to testers.

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is the coordination of all aspects of software engineering - including the formulation and communication of business and technical requirements, code design and architecture, project tracking, change management, coding, testing, debugging, and release management - by using tools that facilitate and track collaboration among and within work teams.

Application development is one of the most strategic activities in IT. Whether the business goal is improving customer satisfaction, streamlining operations, or extending into a new market, the applications that underpin business initiatives and provide differentiation are critical to success. Application development teams that predictably deliver business-critical applications can help a company maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace and drive top-line growth.

Come along and find out how Microsoft's Developer Tools are changing as well as how Team Foundation Server, Best Practice and Testing can be implemented to help your business manage its application lifecycle successfully.

Great Profile Pictures by Mandy Charlton Photography

December 8, 2009 09:58 by Andrew Westgarth

Profile Portrait One     Over the last few years when I’ve been fortunate enough to have sessions accepted at various conferences, user group meetings and events, I’ve been asked for a profile picture.  Most of the time I hide behind the picture of the Code Monkey, designed by my good friend and excellent designer, Roddy Lang.  However increasingly I’ve been recognising the need to get some decent pictures taken.  One problem!  I HATE having my picture taken as I’m never happy with the results, be that because of low self image, or the fact that what I see in the mirror is not what I see in the picture.  So a few weeks ago I contacted a local photographer, Mandy Charlton of Mandy Charlton Photography, and set her the challenge of taking some portrait shots of me which hopefully I would like at least one.

I’d been following Mandy Charlton on Twitter for about 18 months and had seen some of her work through tweets and posts on her Blog.  We arranged the shoot on a Sunday morning in Newcastle and spent an hour taking various poses and shots in lots of Being Supported by a Walldifferent locations.  Mandy has the ability to make the subject of her shoots very relaxed and comfortable.  Even better the results are amazing!  I was extremely pleased with the results of my shoot and I was very, very impressed with the speed with which my gallery was available to be reviewed.  Mandy offers a variety of formats for purchase, but I went for digital downloads as they were more suited for my intended use.  The results are in this post, and once again I have to say I’m very, very pleased with them.  Thanks Mandy!

So if you are in the North East and looking for some great portrait shots, family photos, wedding photography, maybes even a boudoir shoot, get in touch with Mandy Charlton Photography – you won’t be disappointed!

Is it Reggie Kray?Or Maybe It's Ronnie KrayHell It Might Even By Stick!

Richard Todd OBE, 1919-2009

December 7, 2009 22:51 by Andrew Westgarth

Richard Todd OBE as Guy Gibson in The Dam Busters I just wanted to write a note to recognise the sad passing of Richard Todd OBE.  It was his excellent portrayal of Wing Commander Guy Penrose Gibson, VC, DFC and Bar, DSO and Bar, in the 1954 film The Dam Busters, that sparked my deep interest in the wartime life of the Royal Air Force 617 Squadron.The Dam Busters Poster

I was saddened to hear late on Friday night of his passing, not only was he a great Actor, in  fact my yardstick for a good war film is to check whether he or John Mills are in the case, he was also a real life war her, having been in the Parachute Regiment and one of the first to land in France on the 6th June 1944.

The Times has an excellent obituary of this true gentleman - Richard Todd: actor who played Guy Gibson in The Dam Busters | Times Online Obituary 

What to be British is “it means fairness, good sense, decency, kindness, politeness.” – Richard Todd OBE



MCTS

Post calendar

<<  April 2014  >>
MoTuWeThFrSaSu
31123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829301234
567891011

Disclaimer

The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

© Copyright 2014