Posts Tagged virtual brown bag

Virtual Brown Bag on Feb 2, 2016

Last week both George an I couldn’t make it to the VBB, but JB came through and shared more of his Earlang, Elixir and Phoenix love. The video is up and running so you can catch up (I just did!):

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Some thoughts on the Virtual Brown Bag meeting for October 14th 2010

Another Thursday, another fun Virtual Brown Bag. JB shared some more Rails/Heroku love today, and how he’s implemented the registration/login feature of http://www.virtualbrownbag.com. The more I hear and see things about Rails/Heroku, the more I like it. I need to find me some time to start messing with those things.

We had a special request from Mark, one of our frequent VBBers: he wanted to see a little example of MVVM, and maybe have a little talk on MVC.

I showed a very simplistic sample of a WPF app, where we started with having most of the code in a code-behind for a window, and then moving the code out into a ViewModel. We’ve covered the core differences between MVC (Model-View-Controller), MVP (Model-View-Presenter), and MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel, or also known as Presentation Model). The idea bein  g that they’re all “presentation patterns”, aimed to better structure the code that sits closer to the User Interface.

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So why so many different patterns just for that? Well, each one has a slight different structure to cater for the scenario have at hand. In MVP, the Presenter takes care of providing behavior to the View. The View does nothing more than delegating things to the Presenter. This allows the Presenter to be reused independently of the View, and it’s also testable.

In MVVM, the ViewModel gives shape to the data coming from the Model, tailoring it to the View needs. For instance, the Model may have separate properties for Address, City, State, whereas the View calls for just a single property representing the Full Address; the ViewModel will handle just massaging of the data. ViewModels fit in nicely with WPF/Silverlight due to their data binding features.

In MVC, the Controller is usually the one responsible for executing behavior, and in web applications the Controller is usually the point of entry for the user to execute operations: when the user either enters a URL in the browser directly, or clicks something on the page that sends a request to the server, there’s a Controller intercepts the call and takes the appropriate action.

ViewModels are commonly used in MVC applications as well, but different than in WPF/Silverlight applications, they only provide the “data reshaping” aspect of it.

Even on a MVVM WPF/Silverlight application you may find “Controllers”, usually helping out with the way the application flows through menus and screens.

MVP is usually the best bet for WinForms and WebForms applications. So why not use MVVM in a WinForms application? Because MVVM leverages the WPF/Silverlight data binding capabilities, which in WinForms aren’t that great.

As with all design patterns, there isn’t one presentation pattern that’s the silver bullet to all applications. Depending on context, requirements, etc., a single application may mix and match these patterns: have a Login screen implemented using MVP, whereas an order placement screen may be implemented using MVVP, whereas a more complex composite screen may be using MVVM with a Controller added to handle the flow between the different parts of the screen.

This post isn’t supposed to be nothing more than a brain dump as to what we’ve discussed at the Virtual Brown Bag this week. Please make sure to take the time and go do some research and experimentation on your own.

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Some thoughts on the Virtual Brown Bag meeting for October 7th 2010

I’ve enjoyed Scott Hanselman’s “two must have tools for readable web” post, and have been following that kind of workflow for sometime now. I’ve tried Instapaper, but decided to just stick with Evernote for that as well. I use the Readability bookmarklet to get rid of the noise, and send the whole page to Evernote. I then apply a “read later” tag to it, and usually read things later on on my iPad.

I’ve incorporated Posh-Hg in my setup. It gives nice tab completion in Powershell for the Mercurial commands, and it also customizes the command prompt to display some useful information (such as what branch I’m currently on, how many files added/changed/deleted, etc.)

Favorite Things, according to the VBBers

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I asked attendees about their favorites things they’ve either learned or shared at the Virtual Brown Bag. This is the kind of things I got:

  • Productivity Tools (we’ve covered a good number of tips and tricks overtime on tools such as CodeRush, ReSharper, Executor, etc., and we’re certainly going to continue doing so).
  • Feeling I’m on the right track with development
  • Knowing I’m not alone in my questions concerning development
  • I appreciate the help of those of us less experienced in development (great, we’ll certainly continue covering things for all levels)
  • Git
  • Rails
  • Pomodoro Technique
  • LINQ tips and tricks, like the .Any(x => x.Condition) instead of the .Count(x => x.Condition) > 0
  • I love what you did replacing a switch using a Dictionary<DayOfWeek.Action>

Things that I’ve personally learned/enjoyed since we started:

  • How people step up and help us keep the VBB’s going:
    • Zach Young: who allowed us to use the Virtual Alt.Net LiveMeeting room to host the VBB, as well as processing the recordings, posting it to Viddler, and listing it at the VAN site.
    • JB: who’s helped out being the host several times when I couldn’t make it (usually because I’m travelling). Not to mention the tons of things he’s shared, besides bringing www.VirtualBrownBag.com to life.
    • Ed Evans: who’s taken the initiative to create a wiki page for the VBB
    • Jared Lobberecht: who’s stepped up and automated the process of processing the videos, so they become available online just a few hours after the meeting has ended.
    • Brian Shroer: who’s been updating the wiki live during meetings, with timestamps, notes, links, etc.
  • At one of the VBB’s over a year ago, I was showing SlickRun, and then somebody showed Executor, which I’ve switched to and can’t live without.
  • A few weeks ago, somebody asked me if I could do an intro to Mercurial/Branch by Feature. That was fun. Even though I’m a total beginner with Mercurial, I think I was able to do it, which proves the point that Mercurial is such an easy source control system to use.
  • Sharing both Evernote and the Pomodoro Technique have been fun for me, and I’ve noticed people on Twitter talking about it, so that’s great.

The Live Virtual Brown Bag session at the Houston TechFest 2010 was well attended, and I hope we’ll be getting more and more attendees every week now. At the TechFest we’ve launched t he official site for the Virtual Brown Bag, containing information on what the VBB is all about, links to the Wiki and Recordings, and a place for people to post their suggestions on things we could talk about. Make sure to check it out!

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Material from Houston TechFest 2010

I’ve had a great time presenting at Houston TechFest 2010. The sessions I’ve paired with JB and George went really well, and the Virtual Brown Bag session worked out great. Thanks everybody who attended to those sessions.

We’d really appreciate if you could take a minute or two and rate the sessions, along with giving us some feedback, so we can improve them in the future. You’ll find the material to be downloaded at those links too!

Design Patterns

Virtual Brown Bag

Synchronized Development for Distributed Teams

Tips and Trips to Boost Productivity

And now I’m off to go see Nevermore (my favorite metal band) here in Houston! 🙂

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