I have been writing software on .NET for 10 years, mostly C#, until I fell in love with F# and functional programming. I enjoy arguing about code and how to make it better, and get very excited when discussing testing or F#. My other professional interests are applied math and machine learning. If you want to know more about me, you can check out my blog here or find me on Twitter as @brandewinder.
Most developers aren’t too excited about developing for Office applications – with good reason: until recently, it involved writing VBA code using an IDE which was top-notch in the early 90’s but hasn’t evolved since. Not any more: since Microsoft introduced VSTO, you can add custom features to Office 2003 and 2007 applications and documents, using .NET languages and Visual Studio 2008.
This is a fantastic marketing opportunity for developers. Companies large and small all use Office, and typically have numerous documents automated with VBA, which are crucial to their business. These tend to be large, and hard to maintain and scale. Yet users are often reluctant to move away from the familiar Office environment, and embark into a development process they don’t know well.
VSTO is a great way to bridge the gap, and get the best of both worlds. You can start with a working prototype (their document), and refactor it to use .NET technology, while leveraging the familiarity of the Office user experience, and lowering the cost of adoption.
In this session, I will share with you my experience developing with VSTO. I will specifically focus on Excel, because it is widely used by finance departments to develop highly automated workbooks.
If you want to write “clean code that works – now”, you should look into test-driven development. In a nutshell, the idea of TDD is to first write automated tests, and only then the code that should pass the test. It is a simple and methodical way to write good code, fully tested from the get-go; beyond that, it also promotes better design, and helps keep your sanity during projects.<br/>
My goal in this session is to get you started with TDD, so that you are ready to use it the moment you leave the room. I will demonstrate how TDD works on a small example, using both open-source tools like NUnit, and the testing tools Microsoft has added to Visual Studio 2008.<br/>
This session is aimed for beginners. The examples and tools will be in C#, but should be straightforward for Java developers as well.