Last week I attended a VERY cool talk on some new ways to do parallel programming, using the Task Parallel Library (TPL) introduced in .NET 4.0. Microsoft has made it so easy, that even a frozen caveman programmer like me can do it! If you are trying to decide what to learn next month, put this near the top of your list.
I told my coworkers what I learned, and took 10 minutes to show them. They started using it that same day. Amazing! I applied the ideas and tools to a long-running console application we have developed that converts data from legacy systems to our new Microsoft CRM 4.0 installation. I have already saved over 20% in runtime duration. I will blog about that later after I do more research. This will be of interest to others writing data conversion programs.
I don’t want to trivialize parallel programming. These tools do not take away the need to avoid or minimize interaction with shared state. But I am saying that the amount of time you will invest is much less than it was just one year ago.
The talk I attend on May 17, 2011, was given by Jeff Brand, our local Microsoft Developer Chief Encourager. I love his talks. He knows a lot, and conveys it very clearly and quickly. I wish I could present as well as he does. It was sponsored by our local Robert Half office, and organized by Rachel Hogan. Thanks for the great learning opportunity, and for the sandwiches, Rachel!
Below is the announcement.
This session will introduce the core concepts aroundusing the Task Parallel Library introduced in .NET 4.0. Starting off witha discussion of why we need parallel programming, the session will move intoexamples of using the TPL. Demos will include a comparison of TPL vs.traditional threading, new language structures, and LINQ. Attendees willleave with a firm understanding of TPL, where it can be used, and where tostart to learn more about parallel programming.