Book Review: Async in C# 5.0 by Alex Davies

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Sunday, November 17, 2013


I’ve been hearing about async/await forever but didn’t really had a chance to use it until recently.

After playing with asynchronous code for a while I felt I needed to close a few gaps in my understanding and so I looked for a book to provide me with the complete story.

I’m glad I’ve found Async in C# 5.0 – while relatively short (108 pages) it was all I needed to get up to speed.


The book starts with the introduction chapters I came to expect – what is asynchronous programming, why you should write asynchronous code and how to write it manually.

On chapter 4 the book really gets interesting we’re introduced to the new C# keywords and using real world scenarios the author walks us through implementation details, task based Asynchronous pattern (TAP), threading details and a lot more.

The book is short and to the point, you get the whole picture – from usage to implementation details and common usage without a lot of “fluff”. I like this pragmatic approach, along with the informal tone makes the book a very easy read.

I like the fact that the author dedicated a full chapter to unit testing (11) but I found it too short and it lacks a few strategies to testing asynchronous code.

I found chapters 12 and 13 a little too specific – they are about async in ASP.NET & winRT. While important for some developers I didn’t find them useful and they seemed to merit there own book for those who do.

The last too chapters are about how the compiler handles async/await and performance – advance topics which I enjoyed reading about. There are a mandatory read for those who really want to understand what happens under the hood.

I found this book good for those who want to get up to speed (and can handle the pace) or as a reference book to those who already use async/await.

I know I enjoyed reading it and plan to re-read parts of it again to fully understand how to make my old compiler do new tricks.

Software news – October 2013

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Friday, November 01, 2013

October just ended but I still want to shine a light on new and improved software that were released this month:

nDepend v5.0

In the beginning of this month a new version of this great tool was released with a lot of new features that makes this tool even better.

If you don’t know what nDepend does – either of to the nDepend site or read the review I did a while back on nDepend and been using it since – from my machine and as part of the nightly build.

The new version has the expected VS2013 support along with other time saving goodies – such as the new Trend Monitoring take the evaluation for a spin and see for yourself.

TrendChartsOnDashboardAnd if there’s a feature you’d like to see in their next version – nDepend has a new UserVoice site where you can request it.


It’s the Visual Studio extension I needed but didn’t know I want…
Writing code for trivial, mundane tasks such as serializing a string, reading from file always sends me to Google or StackOverflow because frankly it’s hard to keep all this information inside my head.

Flow streamline this experience by making sure you do not need to leave the comfort of your Visual Studio. After adding this extension from the Flow site you can use it by writing a comment inside your IDE.

I’ve checked and it works perfectly in both C# & C++ and it really helps.

OzCode Release Candidate

With great pleasure I bring to your consideration they new tool from CodeValue (where I work).

OzCode is an innovative debugging tool which supercharge your debugging experience by adding a lot of useful capabilities to your favorite IDE (Visual Studio).

It’s essentially debugging on steroids brining a lot of functionality that is well hidden inside Visual Studio along with new cool features.

The tool is free of charge at the moment – download it and give it a spin.

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