Top 5 resources to learn .NET Core web development

04 Jul 2017

When it comes to something as new and quickly changing as .NET Core, and all the other tech that runs on top of it, such as ASP.NET Core and Entity Framework Core, it can be quite daunting trying to keep up with all the changes that Microsoft keeps introducing after finding a seemingly sane and workable solution.

Luckily, .NET Core 1.1 has been released some time ago, and now we’re into 1.1.2 version. If you’re using any previous versions of 1.1, consider upgrading, since the latest version contains the fix for a security issue found earlier.

So things are looking relatively stable for 1.x version of .NET Core, and while quite a bit of turbulence swirls around upcoming .NET Core 2, this shouldn’t stop us from getting up to speed with the current release. With this in mind, I would like to list some of the top resources that should help you learn .NET Core as well ASP.NET Core.

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Virtual Academy or MVA is a good resource, though watch out for outdated supplementary text still referring to .NET Core 1.0, as well as be ready to encounter invalid references to field names/class names/command line options that got renamed. Otherwise, it’s a great starting point if you just entering ASP.NET Core development and prefer a detailed, step-by-step guided tour.

Some of the courses to look at:

Again, in case you run into outdated instructions or code in the videos, make sure to check out course-related Github repositories, those are more likely to contain more up-to-date versions of the example source codes.

ASP.NET Core Documentation

This is the more up-to-date cousin of Microsoft Virtual Academy from above, and most of the content is just good old text, which is easier to read at your own pace, but it also contains fewer errors and outdated references due the to ease of maintenance and community participation.

Don’t be afraid and have a browse, it’s definitely more friendly than your regular MSDN documentation, as it contains plenty of tutorials, as well as an overview of architecture fundamentals. There’s a dedicated section for ASP.NET Core MVC that covers the building of websites and APIs.

For offline access, you can download a hefty PDF (over 1k+ pages).

FREE (yes, free) limited 12 months Pluralsight Subscription

Pluralsight is a paid service with quite a few online courses on various topics, including .NET Core development. You can get a free (albeit limited) access to Pluralsight courses for 12 months if you sign up for Microsoft Visual Studio Dev Essentials program. After signing up, get your free Pluralsight subscription by clicking on “Get Code” under “Pluralsight” card in “Education” section:

Pluralsight access code

Following Pluralsight courses on .NET Core are available:

I think it’s a great option, and the only reason I am not listing it as the first one in this article is that I am not sure for how long this is going to be available, so jump on the bandwagon and get yourself some free courses while you can.

Stackoverflow Documentation

Stackoverflow Documentation project was created with a noble goal in mind – to create an up-to-date repository of various examples, how-tos and “getting started” guides.

To date, its ASP.NET Core section has 25 articles, followed by .NET Core (9 articles) and ASP.NET Core MVC (3 articles).

The best thing about the whole project is that you can contribute by writing articles, adding new chapters and fixing bugs in the code examples. This project is most likely to contain up-to-date examples.

.NET Core Guide

This is an assorted collection of installation manuals, various tutorials, deployment and migration guides. It’s quite loosely connected, so don’t expect a lot of structure and guidance from this source, it may leave some gaps in your understanding of .NET Core.

You can download all of the .NET Core Guide content as one single PDF (of over 2k+ pages at that, so be warned!).

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I hope this post helped you to pick some useful resources, please share your discoveries in the comments – I’d love to add your favorite site to the list!

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