The first chapter went into detail about the history of Microsoft Technologies (and a few others) and how they've impacted web development. The book talked about the HTTP request, and what happens after there, which was good for me as it has always been a weak point. I've understood the page lifecycle, but never fully understood what is going on in the server.
It is important to know it because it is a key change from a set of Web forms to an MVC application. The routing is a big key in asp.net MVC applications for a variety of reasons. Personally, I hate long hard to read URLs. They look unprofessional and are awful for SEO. The book continued to talk about how your file structure doesn't really have to match the path in a URL. You can move your files around and be totally fine. I never thought about this with my previous MVC applications (As they were just tutorials), but that saves me a huge headache. Whenever you're in an agile environment with a young application, you will change how files are structured. This saves me a huge head ache because the URLs would change and that means bookmarks break and so on.
Other little things were mentioned in this chapter about how Ruby on Rails had an impact in getting MVC out the door by Microsoft, what MVC really is in a programming sense, testing, cleaner HTML and a few other things that I was already aware of. Until I read it here, I didn't realize how much of a change Microsoft has made by going open source and using third party tools like jQuery. I guess I just don't stop to look at the big picture sometimes, and that is what this chapter did, and it did a fair job at it.