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C# Smorgasbord, Filip Ekberg and ReSharper

Filip Ekberg is the author of C# Smorgasbord and a passionate user of ReSharper. In this interview we learn more about Filip, his book and his thoughts on ReSharper.

Hello Filip and thank you for joining us for this interview. Before we get started, please share a bit about yourself and your background.

Filip EkbergHi and thank you for having me! I’m Filip Ekberg, a 26 year old software engineer based out of Gothenburg, Sweden. For as long as I can remember I have always loved technology, and every time that I get to play with something new and interesting, I take that chance and make the best of it! I’ve got a Bachelor Degree in Software Engineering and before, during and after my studies, I’ve used my spare time to work at my own company, where I deliver interesting applications to my customers in .NET. My greatest passion is programming and this has led to me speaking, writing and spreading programming knowledge. Just a couple of months ago my community contributions were noticed by Microsoft and I was awarded Microsoft MVP in Visual C#.

C# Smorgasbord is an interesting title. How did the book come about and why the name?

A little over two years ago I started blogging and speaking more than I’d done in the past. After six months I had so much great material that I felt that I wanted to do something more, so I started exploring how to publish a book. While I soon realized that I couldn’t just take all my raw material and publish it, I had decided that I wanted to create a book out of my work. I had so much material on different topics; everything from advanced programming in C# to more inspirational topics such as how to always improve your ways of programming. Being a Swede, I felt that I wanted the title of the book to resemble that and the word “Smorgasbord” is internationally used to describe something of a vast variety which is exactly what this book is about; a vast variety of C# programming techniques, patterns and practices.

Who is the intended audience of the book, and what three key pieces of information do you want your readers to walk away with?

Interestingly enough, I’ve had both beginners and advance developers read the book and both groups learnt something different. The beginners got an idea of what they could do with C# and how to tackle moderately difficult scenarios. The more seasoned C# programmers gained deeper insight into the topics and could dig down into the more advanced topics such as asynchronous programming, reflection and more. There are three words that describe what the book will give you on a broad level:

  • Explore – Explore C# as a programming language and the possibilities that it gives you in order to create high quality solutions.
  • Improve – Improve yourself and your C# programming skills to become a great developer.
  • Inspire – Be inspired to take a step outside of your comfort zone, learn something new, and use the technologies you explored to create top notch applications.

The price point of C# Smorgasbord is excellent with an eBook version starting at €4.99. Tell ReSharper users why they need this book and what content is specifically applicable to them.

ReSharper logoThis “smorgasbord” has something on the table for everyone who does C#, whether they’re interested in advanced topics such as parallel/asynchronous programming, or more interested in productivity, testing and learning when the time is right to throw away an old code base and re-write everything.

ReSharper is an essential tool for all developers working with C#. When it comes to keeping the code clean, this is the tool you’ll want by your side. As you might have already figured out, there’s a chapter in the book that shows off the most common and useful features of ReSharper when deciding if it’s worth upgrading your code base and when to do so.

What are your favorite ReSharper features? What are other productivity/code quality tools do you recommend and why?

There are lots of very handy things that I love about ReSharper. The ones that I use the most are:

  • Remove unreachable (dead) code
  • Invert if-statements
  • Go to file/type/member

These and some others help me navigate quickly throughout the large code bases that I work with and help me keep the code clean. Even if I could remove dead code manually and refactor my if-statements manually, I can use ReSharper to do this with 1 click and save loads of time in the longer run.

C# Smorgasbord also shows off another tool for managing complex code bases; NDepend. This code complexity tool is great and it’s really something that I’d recommend using frequently.

ReSharper 8 EAP was recently announced. What excites you the most about this upcoming release? Is anything missing, in your opinion?

As I am a big fan of the “Go To” shortcuts, and the new improved “Go To Everything” is really interesting to me. I think it’s a great idea to have all of these in the same place, since learning one shortcut is easier than learning three or four different ones that essentially do the same thing.

I can’t really say that I am missing anything in ReSharper. Even when I compare it to the competitors there’s nothing ReSharper doesn’t have that I’d like it to. If I have to be a bit picky though, I think the next step could be to focus on the performance in huge and complex solutions.

Overall though, I think ReSharper is very good and it’s something that I’ve had as a requirement from my employer to give me ever since I first heard about it.

Your book was self-published. Do you have any advice for would be authors?

The best part about self-publishing is that I had full control over everything, although that can also be very hard and stressful. It worked out very well for me. I’ve compared my own experience with others that have gone with known publishers, and we established that I would without a doubt love to write a sequel to C# Smorgasbord, while many of the authors that went with a publisher would never want to do it again.

I’ve written a bit about the self-publishing process and I believe that if you’re thinking about writing a book, you should self-publish! It’s a great experience and a lot of fun.

How do we order C# Smorgasbord? Any last words?

C# SmorgasbordYou can get C# Smorgasbord in three different ways: Print, Kindle and an eBook bundle (PDF, ePub, Mobi). The printed version is available on Amazon, which also has a link to the Kindle version. What is interesting is that if you get the printed version, the PDF, ePub and Mobi are free. If you just want the eBook bundle including PDF, ePub and Mobi, you can get that for €4.99.

I believe there’s something for everyone at this smorgasbord, so grab it and let me know what you think of it. So far there’s been a lot of great reviews out there. Remember, it’s never too late to learn something new and never stop spreading knowledge.

Thanks to JetBrains for having me do this interview, I’m a huge fan of all your products and I look forward to what the future has to offer.

Thank you very much Filip for the interview. We wish you all the best on a successful sequel to C# Smorgasbord.

Filip is the founder of SmartIT eSolutions Sweden and also works at Star Republic. He has been working as Software Engineer since 2005.  You can learn more about Filip on his blog and follow him on Twitter @fekberg.

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