Book Review - Head First C#
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Published: 09 Nov 2010
Abstract
C# is one of the most popular programming languages and there are lot of traditional style books available on the market. However, many developers are on a lookout for a book with a difference. Head First C# is one such book which examines the tough concepts of C# in a different manner with lot of figures, puzzles and comic style references.
by Anand Narayanaswamy
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Introduction

C# is one of the advanced programming languages used by millions of developers all over the world. However, in order to take full advantage of the language a good reference material is required. There are plenty of books available on the market, but Head First C# by O'Reilly Media is a book with a difference. The book attempts to cover all aspects of the language in a comic style format.

Inside the Book

The book is divided into 15 chapters. Chapter 1 examines the basic layout of Visual Studio 2010. The author clearly points out the procedure which you need to follow with the help of arrows and notes spread across the whole page including the basic steps for deploying a Visual Studio project.

Towards the end of the chapter, you will find interesting crossword puzzle. While chapter 2 covers coding related aspects such as usage of if-else, for-each statements, chapter 3 examines the usage of objects in C# application.

Chapters 4 and 5 discuss types, references, encapsulation, inheritance, interfaces, abstract classes, enums and collections. The author has provided lab exercises under the heading C# Labs which I hope will be useful for beginners and advanced developers to become productive with C#.

While chapter 9 examines the usage of files, chapters 10 & 11 provides a detailed overview of exception handling, events and delegates. The author has provided code samples I chapter 12 but I am unable to understand its real purpose. The explanations are well supported by relevant screenshots and pointers which surely guide developers in their quest to learn C# language.

Chapter 13 covers the usage of graphics in C# with the help of comprehensive explanation and examples. The content includes animating a set of picture file and creation of custom user control including the coverage of advanced graphics concepts.

I hope this chapter will be highly useful for both beginners and advanced developers. Chapter 14 examines the usage of objects including some of the advanced techniques such as object serialization, finalizers and much more.

The final chapter provides a detailed overview of LINQ with the help of source codes. The book also includes an appendix which covers advanced concepts which should be mastered by every C# programmer. I would prefer to see coverage of ASP.NET development in future releases of the book.

Conclusion

I feel that beginners who are accustomed to traditional books will find it difficult to follow Head First C# because of the unique and comic style of the content. They need to devote little time to go through the various pages of the book and become familiar with the presentation. However, the book will be useful for advanced developers as it contain lot of code examples and puzzles in the form of crosswords.

About the Reviewer

Anand Narayanaswamy (Microsoft MVP and Technical Editor of ASPAlliance.com) is the author of Community Server Quickly. He works as an independent consultant based in Trivandrum, India and runs www.learnxpress.com and www.dotnetalbum.com

About the Book

Title

Head First C#

Author

Andrew Stellman, Jennifer Greene

Publisher

O'Reilly Media

ISBN - 13

978-1449380342

Edition

2'nd Edition, 2010

Pages

848

Price

Print: $49.99

Rating

****

 



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