programming

Hello C# 8, goodbye null reference!

Hello C# 8, goodbye null reference!

Say hello to C# 8.0 and goodbye to those nasty little null-reference exceptions!   That’s right, Microsoft is getting ready to release yet another major version of the language!  This has been common knowledge for a little while now, so I may be slightly behind.  Behind or not, I still wanted to bring it up.  I am excited about all of the changes and features coming in the new C#.  I don’t have the time or the space here to cover all of them but I will touch on some of the most drastic and useful features being added in.

 

Null references

Brace Yourself, NullRef Exception incoming

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.  Everything compiles, we run our program eagerly awaiting it’s output.  Then BAM!  A big nope screen is thrown in your face, saying something about a NullReferenceException.  Believe it or not Null References were suppose to be a thing of the past a long time ago.  Thankfully the C# designers have finally gotten around to trying to get rid of them.   Currently by default all reference types as well as variable types are nullable, this is all about to change.

Non-nullable by default

Starting with C# 8.0 reference types, by default, will be non-nullable.  Now this isn’t to say that you can’t make them that if you so choose, but again this is by default.  The C# compiler is also going to help you on this quest by throwing some helpful warnings if you forget to check for nulls or forget to make them nullable.   Take a look at the example below:

 

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ISomeType notNull;
ISomeType? mayBeNull;

notNull = null; //This will throw a compile warning
mayBeNull = null; //This won't

Another nice aspect about this is now it will also throw a warning if you forget to check if a nullable is actually null. This is a feature I believe is going to come in very handy. Take a look below:

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ISomeType notNull = GetSomeType();
ISomeType? mayBeNull; = GetSomeType();

mayBeNull.Execute(); //This will throw a warning (we didn't make sure it wasn't null!)
notNull.Execute(); //This will run fine

if(mayBeNull !=null){
  mayBeNull.Execute(); //This won't throw a warning (because we checked)
}

 

Records

I’m sure most of us have worked with POCOs, creating numerous classes that are simply just going to be used to define a data structure and hold it.  Traditionally this meant writing out a whole new class and defining it’s properties.  Thanks to C# 8.0 we now have records!  With records you can easily and quickly create these “container classes” with one line of code!  For example, instead of having to type of this:

 

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public class Person: IEquatable<Person>{
  public string FirstName { get; }
  public string LastName { get; }

  public Person(string firstName, string lastName){
    this.FirstName = firstName;
    this.LastName = lastName;
  }

  public bool Equals (Person other){
    return Equals(FirstName, other.FirstName) && Equals(LastName, other.LastName);
  }

  public override bool Equals(object obj){
    return (obj as Person)?.Equals(this) == true;
  }

  public override int GetHashCode(){
    return FirstName.GetHashCode() + LastName.GetHashCode();
  }

  public void Deconstruct(out string FirstName, out string LastName){
    FirstName = this.FirstName;
    LastName = this.LastName;
  }
}

 

Now you can just do this and get the same results!

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public class Person(string FirstName, string LastName);

Now, I don’t know about you but this is definitely one of the more helpful features that I’ve seen.

 

And many more!

 

These are just two examples that I decided to speak on simply because I find them fascinating but there are many other features in C# 8.0!  Check out the links below to find out more!

3 New C# 8 Features We Are Excited About

Posted by DCCoder in News, Programming, 0 comments
Comments are useless, sometimes evil!

Comments are useless, sometimes evil!

That’s right, I said it. Comments are evil. But wait a minute, I hear you say, they tell us about the code, help us explain what is going on, etc etc.  I’m not saying comments can’t be useful in code, of course they can, but that vast majority are not.  Most that I have seen are simply useless and some are even downright evil.

“Code never lies, comments sometimes do.” – Ron Jeffries

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Posted by DCCoder in Design and Best Practice, General, 0 comments

Nola Hack Night

A social gathering of the technical and tech-curious. Work on a side project, complain about javascript parsers, ask questions about programming homework, get help learning.

The meetup is very popular with generally more than 20 people per week. Because it’s every week, rain or shine, most people don’t RSVP. Don’t worry, come on by.

Automated UI testing with Selenium [Part 2]

Automated UI testing with Selenium [Part 2]

In Part 1 we set up Selenium and created our first test showing a browser being opened and then immediately closing.  While that was interesting, I don’t know many people that would be super exciting by that alone.  Since the whole point of these tutorials is UI testing, why don’t we actually test a UI?  In this article we’re going to walk through creating a few more tests to actually log in to a website and verify that only a user with the right credentials can log in, we don’t want just anyone logging in now do we?

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Posted by DCCoder in Programming, Tutorials, 0 comments
Automated UI testing with Selenium

Automated UI testing with Selenium

It seems everyone is making the move towards automated testing these days, and why shouldn’t they? How many times have you been working on a web project and had to constantly retest the same thing over and over simply to verify that it works? Or maybe you’re an analyst on the surface but a code monkey at heart and would like to blend the two together? Enter Selenium.

What is Selenium? Selenium is a browser automation framework. I was exposed to it a few years ago when I was still heaving into web scraping. Selenium is perfect for UI testing as it can easily mimic an actual browser with human input. You can even change the type of browser you want! Ok, so hopefully by this point you’re interested (or maybe not) and want to get started.

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Posted by DCCoder in Programming, Tutorials, 0 comments
Why are software developers paid well?

Why are software developers paid well?

My coworkers and I have had many conversations about what our job actually is. Is it coding? Testing? Design? What about our skills translates to higher pay over those that do more demanding jobs? (Think police, first responders, military)

Even my own family seems shocked when they hear that I make a decent living sitting in front of a computer typing and in meeting rooms all day.  According to UsNews Money, in 2016 the median salary for a software developer was $100,080 annually.

 

This pay is for good reason, it comes down to three basic factors:

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Posted by DCCoder in General, Professional, 0 comments
C# for Beginners [Part 2]

C# for Beginners [Part 2]

In the previous tutorial we covered some basic structure of a C# program and what it looks like.  I would like to build upon that knowledge and cover some of the basic syntax of C#, some of this may be slightly repetitive from the previous tutorial but it is important to get this basic syntax down. Continue reading →

Posted by DCCoder in Programming, Tutorials, 0 comments
C# for Beginners [Part 1]

C# for Beginners [Part 1]

Ok so yesterday I received a request to do a C# tutorial covering the basics of the C# language. This will be a short multi-part tutorial on the basics of C#. In Part 1 we’re going to cover some basic structure and syntax.  I do not intend to get too in-depth but cover just enough to allow others to be able to start writing simple programs and get comfortable with the language syntax.

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Posted by DCCoder in Programming, Tutorials, 0 comments