The Frustration of Tutorials and Walkthroughs

I have an issue with how most software developers learn to write software.

Like me, a lot of developers learn on their own by searching for who to do stuff in the internet. This is great and of course I doubt there is much you CAN’T find with this method.

However, when I start learning new technologies – for example when I first started looking at MVC quite a few years back (I started on MVC2) – I found that all the tutorials, including Microsoft’s, taught in such a way that was really quite bad programming practice.

Now I’m not saying it’s ALL bad, but recently I’ve been looking at various training courses online, and the majority all show the same thing – they teach you how to CODE, but they don’t really teach you how to write software.

Example. One MVC course which promises to teach you how to be a ‘complete’ developer, went through the basics – create a project, create a class, here’s what a for loop is, here’s what a while loop does. etc etc.
However there was NO mention of SOLID principals, no real explanation of Object Orientated programming, of using interfaces and abstractions. Dependency Inversion and a whole multitude of good programming practices simply ignored.

As a junior developer I found this VERY frustrating.

Of course, now I’ve been around a bit, I do understand a lot more – but it’s actually been quite a painful journey if truth be told. It does however explain why a lot of software houses don’t really like to employee freelancers who have only ever worked on their own.

So anyway, to address this woeful shortcoming, I have actually created my own course.

I created it on a site called – if you’ve never used it have a look – it’s pay per course rather than subscription based, but they do often run very good deals – and some of the courses are really very good.

Please, checkout my course here

There’s a substantial discount on what will normally be charged, and I’ve had over 1000 students within a few days! So I guess there are some people out there who actually want to learn how to write software properly!

The great thing about is that you get life time access to the courses – and that includes UPDATES. For example in my course I’ll be adding lectures on Module Injection and splitting your views up using Partial Views – another underused technique.

And I would welcome input please – what do you think most programmers miss my learning from random searching?

Bundling Not Working when deployed

If you deploy an MVC site to a server that DOESN’T have the full MVC package installed (e.g. you just want to copy the binaries with your site) then bundling will not work correctly.

To expand on this the page simply will not render the css or scripts but if you look at the source HTML the actual bundled scripts are written correctly – it’s as if the actual ‘files’ they relate to don’t actually exist.

This fix is to simply ensure the system.web.optimisation.dll has copied to your site bin folder and then add the following to your web.config:


<remove name=”BundleModule” />

<add name=”BundleModule” type=”System.Web.Optimization.BundleModule” />



MVC4 / ASP.NET 4.5 on Windows 2008 gives 403.14 – Forbidden

If you manually deploy and ASP.NET MVC application to a windows 2008 Server that has the .NET Framework installed but NOT the actual MVC Tools the server won’t know how to handle and route incoming requests.

There are a number of issues, depending on the version of Visual Studio and patch level you are using.

Older versions of VS simply were not putting all the required DLLs in the bin folder – specifically System.Web.Razor, System.Web.WebPages, System.Web.MVC etc.

So the quick fix (or part of the fix) is the manually add these files to the deployed application.  Later Visual Studio SPs actually addressed this issue.

The next problem is that even with these files the server still didn’t know what to do, and therefore the final piece of the puzzle is a web.config change to tell it what to do.

A lot of posts suggest adding the following under <system.webServer>

<modules runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests=”true” />

This will work, however is not really recommended as it handles ALL requests (e.g. html, css, jpg) as apposed to just the cshtml files.

Therefore a better solution is as follows:


      <remove name=”UrlRoutingModule-4.0″ />

      <add name=”UrlRoutingModule-4.0″ type=”System.Web.Routing.UrlRoutingModule” preCondition=”” />

      <!– any other modules you want to run in MVC e.g. FormsAuthentication, Roles etc. –>



This is generally considered a far better fix.

Now you just have the usual rights issues to deal with….