Make Your Debugging Life Easier

Sorry for the delay in posts, May has been a very busy month. In order to accurately debug or profile an external assembly or library (AKA one you’re not directly compiling), you need the associated PDB filesto accompany each of the DLLs. These files give the debugger some information about the compiled assembly so that your debugger or profiler can become aware of function names, line numbers, and other related meta data. [Read More]

Who Loves Interns?

The topic at hand is interning. More specifically, string interning. “What is string interning?” you ask? Good question. As you may or may not know, strings are immutable reference types. This means that they are read-only and a pointer will refer to the string’s location on the heap. Typically, a new string is created and stored within your application’s memory each time that you assign a string – even if the same string is defined repeatedly. [Read More]

What is a Virtual Method, Anyway?

Something which I feel carries a lot of confusion in the .NET realm is virtual methods. During interviews, I tend to ask candidates about virtual methods: why and when they’d use one, what the purposes is, how a virtual method “works” under the hood, and how it differs from “shadowing”. Surprisingly, in what has probably been over one hundred interviews with senior-ish candidates, I don’t believe that more than one or two of them have answered anything about virtual methods correctly. [Read More]

Why Use Interfaces?

I’m a bit tipsy at the moment, so hopefully this post goes well. A question that I like to ask while interviewing individuals is: “why would you want to use an interface?” I get a ton of answers that span the supposed gamut of programming; some are good and some are of course terrible, however I’d like to share some input on what I feel is the importance of interfaces. [Read More]

An Overview of Generic Constraints

This is my first post. I hope that it doesn’t suck. As of .NET 2.0, Microsoft introduced the concept of generics. Generics is a concept that allow you to “template” methods and types such as classes and interfaces in a (generally) type-safe way. Upon compilation, generic type metadata is stored in IL, and JIT’d as you reference the generic method or class with an actual type at runtime. Value types each get their own “copy” of the JIT’d generic code, whereas reference types share a single instance of the code. [Read More]