At the end of September, I got a new job. Woohoo for learning new things!
At my previous position I was a full stack engineer, focusing primarily on backend, inter-service communication via REST and service bus (RabbitMQ), as well as the data model in PostgreSQL and Mongo, and touching deployment tech with Kubernetes on AWS. I also worked with front-end Angular 1.6 and some React “when I had to”. 😄 I really enjoyed being able to work on cross-product libraries and solutions, so I look forward to building these out at my new company.
At my new position I’m again a full stack engineer, but in some different tech. The specific work isn’t set in stone, but I’ll be a core product engineer working on features, bugs, data models, service architecture, and so on. For my first month or two I’ll be working with a new devops engineer on brainstorming and implementing some solutions to modernize our infrastructure, which will be a good way to dip my toes into a new ecosystem.
I’ve done some digging through code my first two weeks, so here’s everything I found that I don’t know, but will be learning over the next coupla’ months!
- What is C#? What main paradigms does the language have?
- What are the main differences between C# and my most familar OOP language, Java?
- What types does the language have?
- What sort of operators does each type have?
- Is there a similar concept to a prototype function in C#?
- Are classes/functions the same as I remember from Java in school?
- Is there an equivalent of Async/Await? Or is that not necessary?
- What sort of syntactic sugar do we get?
- What is LINQ?
- Package managers? What’s Nuget? How does this relate to the NPM model?
- How is C# compiled? I see
.dlland other files too when built. How are these related?
- What is .NET? Is this the same thing as ASP.NET?
- .NET vs .NET core? What’s new? What’s the different between all these .NET and other 3-letter abbrevations?
- What does .NET provide? Is it like a framework for languages speaking together? Or platform agnosticism or something?
- Do I have to use Visual Studio on Windows? Are there alternative tools? Anything on Mac? (I’m gonna miss my iMessage on Mac 😄)
- What’s a
.slnfile? How does everything “get connected” with one another? (My new codebase has a lot of
.csprojfiles that seem to be connected.)
.dlls a C# thing or a .NET thing?
- What is the MVC pattern, and how does it apply when we use Vue as a frontend framework?
- I’ve heard
.dlls are versioned pretty well. How can we leverage that fact? (Builds, betas, releases, etc)
- What prevents us from breaking up our monorepo into separate apps for backend and frontend (and then easily containerize)?
- What are the core concepts relating a HTML screen to controller functions?
- How does data get in the “scope” of the page?
- What are all the words used to describe Vue code? Controllers, directives, functions, services, providers, etc?
- What’s the hierarchy of scopes in Vue?
- I think we use C# instead of JS functions? How does this work?
- What and Why is
- What special syntax does Vue use to put data into templates?
- Raw data insertion
- Structural HTML (
- Conditional, etc
- How are events handled? Clicks/keyboard events? Cross-scope events?
- What are the big players in 3rd party libraries? Routers, event managers, data stores, etc?
- How is Vue adoption? If we rewrite our codebase, should we move to something else (Angular, React, Svelte)?
- Is Vue platform agnostic, or are we tied into the monorepo somehow?
Azure App Service
- What is an App Service?
- Are apps deployed scalable?
- How do apps communicate with one another?
- What does app service provide us that we couldn’t do on bare metal?
Azure Kubernetes Service
- What level of abstraction do we get here?
- Can I get a
kubectlon my command line and work in “pure” Kube?
- What overhead does AKS require? What extra configuration?
Azure Key Vault vs App Configuration for secrets
- What are the downsides of one versus the other?
- Possible response times, incompatability with other services (both inputs and outputs)
- What would we store in either one
Azure Service Bus
- What underlying spec is being used?
- Kafka, RabbitMQ, NoMQ?
- What knowledge can I transfer from RabbitMQ topics/exchanges/queues to here?
- How do messages get routed to the right subscriber? Or do all messages get sent everywhere and the consumer is responsible for consuming the correct ones?
- What all do we get here? Gated deploys and CI and stuff? What else?
- What are the differences between pipelines and releases?
- What options are we given for configuration? I see YAML configuration but only in some areas, maybe this is new?
- Artifacts are a thing again? Is this good? Or do we just use a container store?
Azure Container Store
- What are the main differences from Docker Hub?
- I assume this is private by default, how do we auth? Do Azure Pipelines get free auth builtin?
- What sort of alerting can we get?
- Do we have dead-man switches in case everything dies?
- How can we monitor raw CPU and memory usage for researching bugs?
- What is Front Door? I know we use it but what does it provide?
- How are our domains registered? Is there something like Route53 provided?
- What sort of version control can we put to all this? Terraform compatibilty?
- What’s HCL? Is this related and could be helpful?
- Maybe Microsoft offers something baked in for us?
Phew! That’s a lot to learn. 😂 I’m looking forward to learning more about the Microsoft world. I hope to break any preconceived notions I have about the tech, and hopefully I can bring in my existing knowledge and put it to good use. I also want to see if I can be a part of more architectural conversations, but I want to make sure I keep my noob-biased-opinions far away and come in with an open mind.
I want to follow this post up with a “here’s what I’ve learned” post in six months or a year from now.
When I was interviewing, I talked a lot about how, in spite of how cheesy it is, we engineers we really love learning. We like to take a new problem, apply existing knowledge, and if that’s not enough learn how to fix the problem properly. I really do look forward to getting to know a new codebase, new languages, new frameworks, and a new cloud computing service, as daunting as it may seem right now.
Cheers to learning new things!