Before I get into the details of the book, it is important to know that the audience of this book is not for novice programmers or experience non ASP.NET developers. To really get value from this book, you should have some decent exposure to ASP.NET under your belt.
With that said, this book is a very good overview of both ASP.NET MVC and Test Driven Development (TDD). It takes the reader through the process of developing a whole application using the Test First methodology. I found this interesting in that some decisions Emad made initially were later refactored in the book as the application evolved and changed, which is a great way to see the value of TDD and its approach.
This book covers quite a few advanced programming concepts that may be new to you such as various Design Patterns (Strategy, Null Objects, Repository, etc…), Design Principles (Open-Closed Principle, YAGNI, DRY, Inversion of Control, Single Responsibility, Convention Over Configuration, etc…). Emad does a good job about explaining these concepts as he approaches them in the application.
About the same time that I was reading this book, I was in the process of evaluating various tools and frameworks to use for a new ASP.NET MVC v2 project I am working on. I found it interesting that Emad ended up choosing most of the same tools that I had at the time such as: MbUnit, Ninject, Moq, and jQuery. If you are familiar with tools other than the ones he chose at the time of writing this book, you should be able to easily substitute your favorite tool instead. Most of the competitors for these tools have basically the same features.
Since this is a new book, I did run across numerous typos, references to code that wasn’t displayed, refactored code that wasn’t indicated in the text, and several other minor issues, but all in all I knew what Emad was getting at and it wasn’t hard to follow his train of thought. I submitted these inconsistencies to the Errata to hopefully clean up these small issues for future printings of this book. I posted my findings and you can review them online.
I highly recommend downloading the source code from this book (which you can do for free). It is one of the few projects that I’ve seen that has a plethora of Unit Tests to look at and get an idea of how to test your ASP.NET MVC project. I’ve seen numerous other ASP.NET MVC projects that only have a minimal number of Unit Tests and don’t really give you a good idea of how you could get good Code Coverage.
If you are interested in getting a jumpstart into both ASP.NET MVC and Test Driven Development, then I think this is a great book for you to get. However, if you aren’t so sure about TDD and you just want to get up to speed on ASP.NET MVC, then I might recommend you get one of the other beginning ASP.NET MVC books such as:
- ASP.NET MVC 1.0 Quickly by Maarten Balliauw
- ASP.NET MVC 1.0 Website Programming by Nick Berardi, Al Katawazi, Marco Bellinaso
- ASP.NET MVC Framework Unleashed by Stephen Walther
- ASP.NET MVC In Action by Jeffrey Palermo, Benn Scheirman, Jimmy Bogard
- Beginning ASP.NET MVC 1.0 by Simone Chiaretta, Keyvan Nayyeri
- Pro ASP.NET MVC Framework by Steven Sanderson
- Professional ASP.NET MVC by Rob Conery, Scott Hanselman, Phil Haack, Scott Guthrie
- Programming ASP.NET MVC by Chris Sutton, Tim Barcz, Derik Whittaker
- Note: A danger of listing books is that I may have missed one ;) If so, please leave a comment listing any of another ASP.NET MVC book published as of the date of this blog post and I will be happy to add it to the list.
Thank you Emad for all of your hard work on your book. I enjoyed reading it over my extended Labor Day weekend :)
Updated: You can view the Errata document I put together listing all the inconsistencies, typos, minor issues, etc… online.