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Teaching Web Development on .NET Framework

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Andrea Molinari - University of Trento - Italy 4 Academic Days 2004. The facts. Current ... Andrea Molinari - University of Trento - Italy 8 Academic Days 2004 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Teaching Web Development on .NET Framework


1
Teaching Web Development on .NET Framework
  • Andrea Molinari
  • University of Trento Department of Computer and
    Management Sciences
  • Trento - Italy

2
Introduction my experience
  • teaching academic ICT courses since 1989 with MS
    Technologies
  • programming
  • introduction to programming
  • database programming
  • web programming
  • HCI (What? not Flash???)
  • operating systems (What? not Unix/Linux???)

3
The facts
  • teaching using .NET since 2001
  • two different Universities
  • two different Faculties
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering

4
The facts
  • Current courses
  • Internet technologies/ Internet programming
  • Information systems
  • Advanced Information systems
  • Human Computer Interaction

5
Courses structure
  • 36/48 face-to-face hours
  • 18/24 lab hours (tutorship)
  • two/three months period

6
Topics
  • Programming
  • Internet programming
  • Advanced Database programming

7
Topics
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Labs in Vb.net
  • Internet programming
  • ASP.NET with VB.NET
  • Database programming
  • ASP.NET with VB.NET as test-bed, Sql-server T-SQL

8
ASP.NET reasons of a choice
  • My choices
  • developing research prototypes with ASP
  • previous experience with VB
  • some far-sighted persons asked me to do….
  • technically, I consider it a very good choice
  • strategically (for students), I consider it a
    very good choice

9
VB(.NET) reasons of a choice
  • Academic reasons
  • facilitate event-driven and OO programming
    learning
  • ensure quick programming experience (Windows)
  • vehicle for declarative programming (ex.SQL)

10
VB(.NET) reasons of a choice
  • Practical reasons
  • students/companies want to build Win apps
  • VB.NET and SQL open internship / job doors
  • stage requirements
  • its intuitive and easy

11
VB(.NET) the reasons of a choice
  • My position
  • Bad reputation among some operators, once
    correct, now absolutely unjustified and
    groundless….
  • Relatively simple but powerful, now fully OO
  • ideal for building apps/interfaces quickly
  • most widespread language for windows settings
  • …continue….

12
VB(.NET) the reasons of a choice
  • ……
  • New programming environment framework .NET and
    VS
  • Same language in different settings office,
    macros, various prgms, calculators, ……
  • Used for Internet programming in .NET

13
VB.NET the problems
  • students background
  • Only Java/C
  • VB6
  • a brand new language
  • fantasy-basic
  • many linux-fans
  • perplexity
  • misconception
  • hate no contamination strategy
  • login to Tarantella, or accessing to a linux
    server with VMWare, and W2k running all the stuff

14
The unofficial reasons
  • What? Still VB? Yes, yes and yes
  • cross-environment
  • office, Windows, Web, Mobile
  • easy
  • different to Java
  • not taught in academic settings
  • 25 years with Basic, from HP3000 to PDA…?

15
Why not C ????
  • too similar to Java
  • In that faculties, all students attend billions
    of courses in Java
  • a sort of latent request from students
    …..please, lets see something different….
  • No knowledge reuse? No, I was surprised..

16
Teaching Web development with .NET the syllabus
  • Introduction to C/S programming
  • VB.NET
  • VS / web matrix
  • HTML
  • ASP.NET built-in objects
  • web controls and user controls
  • Data bound web controls
  • ASP.NET Database
  • Multi-tier programming
  • file management, cache, security

17
Whats left out
  • deeper Framework knowledge
  • C/S theory
  • OO
  • cache
  • security
  • XML
  • web server management
  • optimization
  • DB programming
  • multi-tier application

18
Teaching Web development
  • Many different areas needed
  • solid HTML and CSS knowledge
  • VB.NET basics
  • language structure, statements, variables etc.
  • ASP.NET
  • pages, objects, controls etc.
  • DBMS
  • mngt, SQL, connection strings, SP, triggers etc.
  • IIS
  • installation, configuration, management, TT ….
  • The O.S.
  • security, user rights, performance monitor etc.

19
VB.NET inside ASP.NET
  • used from console applications to multi-tier web
    applications
  • console
  • windows
  • web
  • no visual part, only language syntax and
    procedural statements

20
VB.NET
  • the method
  • all the materials is available online
  • approx. 1 theoretical slide, 3 commented
    exercises for each one
  • many examples
  • internet, books, personal
  • slides with code chunks
  • animations
  • live sessions
  • webcast

21
VB.NET
  • The method (labs)
  • the exercise is presented and explained
  • study groups, normally no one is working alone
  • 2/3 students
  • students try to find a solution, an outline is
    given
  • the solution is finally presented by me/tutor and
    commented

22
NON-objectives
  • Full knowledge of the framework
  • impossible to achieve in 18/24 hours!!!!
  • The involvement of students is indispensable
  • self-training
  • books
  • using study groups to increase learning
  • take full advantage of VS
  • I prefer they work hard on coding, at least at
    the initial stage

23
Final exam
  • a project agreed with me (highly recommended…)
  • a fully-functional website
  • no care about the graphics and special efx
  • robust use of VB.NET
  • full usage of the best tools of ASP.NET
  • a DB of min. 6 tables as a back-end

24
The difficulties the students side
  • …other than the usual difficulties in teaching
    programming….
  • web programming many concepts
  • The framework
  • the vastity
  • the similarity with some J2EE concepts
  • short time
  • the parallelism with other courses covering
    similar topics

25
The difficulties2 the students side
  • the most hated topics
  • too many objects and properties
  • too many ways to do the same thing
  • ADO.NET Datasets
  • DB connection
  • setting up MS server (right-click admin)
  • installing the framework
  • HTML, CSS and the browsers war

26
The difficulties3 the students side
  • the most hated topics (and solutions)
  • too many objects and properties ? VS
  • many ways to do the same thing ? come to lesson
    …?
  • ADO.NET Datasets ? take a good book
  • DB connection ? MDB file with physical path
  • setting up MS server ? I told you to study
    W2K/W2k3 as an OS!!!
  • installing the framework ? take the PC with you
  • setting up IIS ? take the PC with you

27
The difficulties4 the students side
  • … but there is one final solution
  • TAKE A GOOD BOOK
  • AND START FROM THE FIRST PAGE!!!

28
The difficulties-5 around me….
  • many resistencies in setting up a classroom with
    MS server environments
  • Linux is dominant in academy and in the
    technicians preferences
  • lab technicians ignore many server-side aspects
    of MS technologies
  • Trustworthy computing is far away…..
  • at the best, they use MS for printing and sharing
    files
  • the result NO services, NO IIS, NO SqlServer

29
The difficulties-6 around me….
  • It should be….
  • a distributed development environment
  • …but it is…
  • a 127.0.0.1 environment
  • Problems (from my point of view) no real world
    feeling about
  • publishing
  • versioning control
  • development team management

30
The difficulties-7 around me….
  • It should be….
  • VS 2003
  • IIS
  • SQL Server
  • …but it is…
  • web matrix and (sometimes) its web server
  • Access
  • notepad
  • Virtual machines, emulators etc.

31
The difficulties-8 the market….
  • some facts kill the motivation in promoting MS
    technologies in academy
  • few ISP
  • available for deploying ASP.NET web sites and
    related technologies
  • available for using top-class back-end DBMSs
  • MS technologies are changing too fast respect to
    software life-cycle
  • openness of MS products, prices, F/OSS…
  • something is changing…

32
Final comments my experience -1
  • some influent roles inside academy dont approve
    the use of MS technologies as part of a learning
    process
  • am I particularly unlucky?
  • Though officially the teacher has the freedom to
    choose….
  • … lets say…..no stimulation in using MS
    technologies
  • in case of competition for contract positions, a
    non-MS teacher could be preferred

33
Final comments my experience -2
  • sometimes I hide the usage of MS techs
  • appreciated by companies
  • in the end, appreciated by students
  • not so appreciated for
  • internal projects
  • academic projects
  • EU projects
  • public bodies projects/collaboration

34
Final comments my experience -3
  • Official motivations for this ostracism
  • too expensive
  • not F/OSS
  • I dont know it
  • not trendy
  • too market-oriented

35
Final comments
  • Motivation too expensive
  • not completely exact
  • IISASP.NET free
  • Web Matrix free
  • MSDNAA for the OS
  • in case of large usage of this formula (many
    colleagues said really all free?), is MS still
    available?

36
Final comments
  • Motivations not F/OSS
  • true, current initiatives are too blended

37
Final comments
  • Motivations I dont know it
  • REALLY true
  • MS technologies largely used in high-schools, not
    used in academy
  • Unix academic background is still prevalent

38
Final comments
  • Motivations not trendy
  • in academy, teaching MS technology is not a good
    visiting card
  • nowadays, the free/opensource movement is largely
    dominating didactic activities
  • I totally disagree with this vision
  • University is probably the last place where
    people will have the chance to see different
    technologies and approaches

39
Final comments
  • Motivations its too market oriented
  • I dont want to explain general concepts with a
    proprietary technology
  • partly true, this is a problem for MS that must
    be solved
  • …though I was never embarassed by market
    technologies….

40
Results
  • pros….
  • many enthusiastic students
  • many of them developed the final project as a
    real-world website for someone
  • companies appreciate ASP.NET skilled people
  • our research group have skilled people for
    research prototypes

41
Results
  • …and cons
  • no coordination with other courses
  • too little time for all the topics
  • few resourses
  • really tough for those who dont like prgm

42
Results
  • Students
  • pass the exam (95.4)
  • I dont remembet a student taking the exam at the
    first session
  • the content of the project is larger than
    expected but…
  • …the additions are not optimized
  • no one asks for additional books or sources
  • some attempts to copypaste from Internet

43
Results
  • What do they appreciate of ASP.NET?
  • fastness in creating a full-branded website
  • simplicity in doing that
  • potential for their future job
  • the development environment
  • the integration with the OS
  • ASP.NET 2.0….?

44
Results
  • What do they NOT appreciate of ASP.NET?
  • .NET vastity
  • doing same thing in different ways
  • being a MS technology
  • ASP.NET 2.0

45
Results
  • What do I NOT appreciate of ASP.NET?
  • .NET vastity
  • the difference between programming and design
  • some things corrected in ASP.NET 2.0

46
Results
  • other aspects
  • better to teach to non-MS students rather than
    old VB6/ASP programmers
  • Deep knowledge of
  • HTML, Javascript, CSS
  • necessity at least of
  • one preceeding module
  • one following module

47
My wishing well…
  • less ostracism in academic settings
  • more time the topic is vast as the tools are
  • more coordination with other modules
  • programming, operating systems, database
  • more MS o.s. concepts, on the server side
  • leaving the desktop approach to MS
  • services, security, authentication, performance
    monitoring….
  • XML….

48
My wishing well…
  • As we are forging future MS customers, from MS as
    a whole, I would expect
  • more investments
  • more care
  • more support
  • … to academic teaching problems
  • more partnerships on the teachers side
  • you dont solve the issue just with MSDNAA
  • TechEd?
  • probably, a different marketing strategy on
    Academic settings

49
  • Thank you for your attention, waiting for
    comments….
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