Shop Talk: 2020-08-24

The Recording

The Panelists

  • Kevin Feasel
  • Mala Mahadevan
  • Tracy Boggiano

Notes: Questions and Topics

Working with ORMs

Our primary topic for the evening was working with ORMs. We’re data platform specialists, so the feeling is generally fairly negative toward ORMs, but I tried to give the “pro” side a reasonable airing, as there certainly are valuable uses for them.

One of the key things about ORMs to consider is that there are two major varieties: lightweight ORMs (also known as micro-ORMs) and their heavyweight bretheren. Two examples of micro-ORMs that I personally like are Dapper and FSharp.Data.SqlClient. These are small wrappers around ADO.NET which create simple objects from T-SQL statements and stored procedures. They save the development time of mapping result set outputs to .NET classes / record types without adding a lot of overhead. For that reason, I’m a big fan of using them.

On the other side, we have heavyweight ORMs like Entity Framework and NHibernate. These do a lot more and aim to create a single development experience in C#, so that developers don’t have to think in two languages. They also work well with fluent APIs like LINQ, translating those statements into SQL queries.

As far as performance goes, micro-ORMs are faster in most cases. Products like EF and NHibernate can generate some really nasty SQL and cause performance problems on complicated queries. But if you stick to fairly simple queries—especially simple insert, update, and delete operations—heavyweight ORMs can save you a good bit of time.

Tips for Creating a Presentation

The secondary topic for this evening was tips for creating a presentation. Mala, Tracy, and I have all put together presentations and so have several of the great people in chat. We talked about some ideas on how to get into presenting and shared a few stories of things that go wrong, with the expectation that hey, stuff happens but the presentation still works out in the end.

Mala’s Book Corner

Mala has two book recommendations for us:

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