Old Dog, New Tricks

I’ve been learning a lot of new “stuff” lately.  I thought I’d share my pain.

Most of my development in the last 10 years or so has been of the following flavors of things:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio.  I’m accustomed to it, I like it, I’ve grown with it.  And I’m probably going to stay with it, so if you have a zeal for another IDE — I’m happy for you, but no, I’m not changing that.
  • Some of my development has been Windows Desktop applications.  I know a lot of people that still use PCs for most of their “real work”, and a lot of things I’ve been doing just “live better” there.
  • Virtually all of my development has been using Visual Basic.  But it’s getting more and more difficult to find good/working/recent (meaning “up to date”) examples and troubleshooting guidance on VB, so it’s about time I tried diving a little deeper in C#.  I’ve stubbed my toe on C# every time I’ve dabbled in it, but I haven’t really given it the “honest try” that I should.
  • My web development, however, while being centered around Microsoft’s ASP.Net, has been using the old traditional “Web Forms” approach.  Again, I’ve been “comfy” using that approach for years.  But the MVC approach — short for Model View Controller — has some elegance in it that I really appreciate.  Again, my attempts to pound MVC in my aging brain have met with resistance… until a couple of weeks ago, when I found a great video tutorial on Pluralsight.  I’m finally “getting it”.  But of course, the course and most of the examples I find are C#, not VB, so I’m multitasking as I cram “new stuff” in my head.
  • Most of my web hosting has either been in a corporate IIS environment or on GoDaddy (Windows hosting, mind you).  Along with my MSDN subscription I have a monthly credit for Azure usage, and while I’ve poked around that beast a little, off and on, I’ve been hesitant to dive in with full force.  Like everything else, I’ve poked a toe in only to find “this one’s too hot, this one’s too cold.”  But — you guessed it — I’m taking the plunge now.
  • Lastly, my experience with SQL has been more of the old school, “let’s define some table and columns using SQL Server Management Studio”.  And while I’ve read about Entity Framework a little, I haven’t been close enough to any to even poke a toe in it, except that now that I’m diving deeper into MVC, I’m running into it more… and I like how it “feels”.

So here I am now, programming a multiple-application web site, hosted on an Azure Web App Service, writing in C# using ASP.Net MVC with Entity Framework/Code First.  And most days, I actually make real progress!

This morning was not so good, though, as I tried to implement SendGrid to ship out Confirmation Emails from my user registration process.  I used SendGrid before earlier this month while I was searching out resources to use in my new development project… but that was VB-based.  Today, I had all sorts of issues getting it to work in my C# project.  I finally went back and forth between the two projects and checked out the NuGet package versions, and turned out my VB SendGrid was 6.3.4, and the C# SendGrid I loaded this morning was 7.0.2.  Was this major version difference the real problem?

When I went to the SendGrid site, I was immediately flushed with emotions — good and bad.  There it was, in big block letters:


I was mad and relieved at the same time.  But now I’m calm, and moving on to more learning.

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