Welcome to BTI420

Welcome to BTI420! This post has information that helps you get started in the course.

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Course introduction

Welcome to BTI420!

In this course, you will learn to create ASP.NET MVC applications with entry-level functionality, which are hosted on the Microsoft Web Platform.

Through this process, you will learn foundational concepts, skills, and technologies that will enable you to create high-quality intermediate- and advanced-level web applications in the future. These foundations will include:

  • ASP.NET
  • The .NET Framework, and the Framework Class Library (FCL)
  • The C# programming language
  • Visual Studio 2013
  • Web browser development tools
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) Express
  • Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern
  • Event-driven programming
  • Object-oriented and component-based software development
  • User interface design fundamentals
  • Configuring a personal computer to do BTI420 course work
  • Deployment to a hosted service provider (e.g. Windows Azure)
  • SQL Server, and its Management Studio application
  • Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework for data access

Coming into the course, you must have some experience and success programming object-oriented software in C++. This means that you must have passed BTP200.

In addition, you must have some experience and success with internet client programming, and you must “get” the server-based web application concept. This means that you must have passed BTI220 and BTI320.

I’m also counting on database experience and success gained in BTD210 and BTD310.

In summary, I am counting on you having some experience and success in the following foundational concepts, skills, and technologies BEFORE starting this course:

  • Object-oriented software development using C++
  • HTML5 programming (JavaScript, the DOM, HTML, and CSS)
  • SQL DDL (data definition language) and DML (data manipulation language)
  • Windows operating system experience, so you can install, configure, and use new software

In addition to the above list, you need the ability to learn quickly and effectively. You will be expected to learn (through watching, listening, reading, doing, and helping others) a significant amount of material. This learning will be done incrementally, so you must keep involved during the course to be successful. Based upon the experience of other students, you WILL fail the course if you don’t keep up, and/or attempt to “cram” for a test, assignment, or exam.

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How can I get started?

Get the required textbook, as shown on the BTI420 Resources page.

Learn how to use the professor’s web site. It has general information, and course-specific information.

If you want to do BTI420 course work on your own personal computer, get and install Visual Studio 2013.

There are two sources for the software:

  1. Microsoft DreamSpark web site
  2. The College’s software downloads area

The Microsoft DreamSpark web site enables higher-education students to get and use Microsoft software in their studies. The site is at dreamspark.com, and the product catalogue is at this link.

On that page, you will see a link for Visual Studio Professional 2013 with Update 4. (That’s current, as of January 2015.) Following that link will enable you to get the software (after you sign in, or create an account).

You can also download the software (as an ISO image) from the College’s software downloads area.

  • After you login to the downloads area, you will see the list of software categories (white characters on a blue background)
  • Click the MSDN category
  • About two-thirds of the way down the list, locate this entry:
    Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 X86
  • That’s the one you want – it claims to be 2.82GB in size
  • After installation, you will have to separately install “Update 4”

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How to use these course notes

Every class/session will have notes posted on this web site.

All notes will be linked from the index page: petermcintyre.com/bti420/notes

Study this page’s URI to learn the naming convention for a specific notes page.

Your professor plans to post the notes at least two days before the class/session begins. Before you come into a class, you are expected to read / skim / study / contemplate the topics covered in the notes.

The format and style of the notes pages will vary. At times, they will be terse, with headings and keywords that are intended to guide the student through the topics. At other times, they will be lengthy, with narrative that explains and supports the topics. Expect a full range of formats and styles between these extremes.

Class/sessions are important. This is not a distance education (online) course. The notes do not attempt to capture everything that must be communicated in the course of learning a topic.

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What do I expect from you?

Before a Tuesday class, I expect you to prepare for the class. This means:

  • Read and study the class notes page
  • Read and study the linked documents
  • Make your own notes, including questions that you have

In other words, do not come into the classroom expecting somehow to soak up knowledge like a sponge. You need to prepare before class, so that you understand the topics and their context.

In the Tuesday class, I expect you to be an engaged and actively-learning participant. This means:

  • Listening effectively
  • Asking and answering questions
  • Writing notes
  • Doing the in-class exercises and activities

Before the Thursday or Monday computer-lab-room class, I expect you to prepare for the class. This means:

  • Read and study the current assignment
  • Practice its contents, and/or get started on its contents

In the Thursday or Monday computer-lab-room class, I expect you to be an engaged and actively-learning participant. This means:

  • Being prepared to split your time between new topic learning, and working hands-on with the topic or the current assignment
  • Asking and answering questions
  • Writing notes
  • Working on the current assignment

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Regarding the workload, it will simply not be possible to confine this course’s learning experience to the scheduled four periods per week. I expect you to spend some of the in-class time working on the assignments, but you must spend time out-of-class to complete the work.

That being said, you will encounter problems and delays. Please follow my general rule: If you cannot solve the problem within 20 to 30 minutes, then stop and set it aside. Seek help from your professor, or from a classmate who knows the solution to the problem. Do not thrash. Do not attempt to ‘wrestle the problem to the ground’. Others will not think any less of you when you ask for help. You’re here to learn, so take advantage of the course’s resources and delivery to help you learn.

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