This month we've got James Bender on how to build the REST API of your dreams, and Atif Aziz talking about mining structured data from the web.
James has been involved in software development and architecture for 18 years. He has worked as a developer and architect on everything from small, single-user applications to Enterprise-scale, multi-user systems. His specialties are .NET development and architecture, TDD, SOA, WCF, Web Development, cloud computing, and agile development methodologies. He is an experienced mentor and author. James is a Microsoft MVP, Chairman of the Central Ohio Day of .NET and former President of the Central Ohio .NET Developers Group. James's book "Professional Test Driven Development with C#: Developing Real World Applications with TDD" was released in May of 2011.
When it comes to web data scraping (mining structured data from the web), the .NET landscape is quite dull & dry. Sure you have some cool libraries for HTML parsing and an HTTP API comes with the .NET Framework but the code and ceremony to get them talking gets ugly quickly. It's certainly not the code you'd show to your mom/dad/boss to make them proud. So often you shamefully have to resort to other languages and their rich libraries like Scrapy for Python that make you green with envy. That is, until hopefully now.
Come join an exploratory talk on how you can scrape data off the web in .NET like a rockstar striking all the right chords with your audience; how you can do it interactively, iteratively, declaratively, generically & in seconds, just like them script kiddies except we can do it statically with C# & compile-time guarantees that come with type-safety. You'll be doing it with a fraction of the code, be that parsing HTML, tables or posting forms. Along the way, we'll touch on topics like functional (caution: explicit content with frequent uses of the M-word), immutability, state management, composition, dependency injection, testing & more. Wait, what does all that have to with web scraping? As Morpheus would say, “I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” :) Hopefully there'll be something for everyone in this talk, even if you're not mining data from web.
Atif Aziz is a software developer and open source maintainer and contributor.