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Stephens' C# Programming with Visual Studio 2010 24-Hour Trainer Paperback – May 17 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox; Pap/Dvdr edition (May 17 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470596902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470596906
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 19 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 953 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ivan Ceban on Sept. 6 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome book with witty examples and clear explanations! At some point it becomes an interesting science fiction that captivates you to the last page
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book expecting that I this is more of a crash course on how to program in C# since it comes with a DVD Video. But as I reading this book and following the exercises, I realise this is a very basic book. I just shows you how to create a form and how to use the controls as well as some simple coding.
Although I learned some techniques in this book such as how to use the Anchor, Dock properties of controls as well as the different formats of ToString() and date formats, don't expect that after finishing this book you will be good enough that you know everything you need to be able to create a C# application, you still need to read another book to sharpen your programming skill.
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Amazon.com: 28 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
The fastest way to learn C#! July 19 2010
By astroguy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not the only book I bought to learn C#, but after a lot of searching, it's the one I believed could get me "up and running" in minimum time. After a few days with Rod's book and DVD combo, I'm more convinced than ever it's "that good" if you are just getting started with Visual C#. And don't let the title fool you--there is a lot of breadth in the book and sufficient depth to keep you occupied, even while Stephens makes the learning enjoyable.

I'm fairly experienced with the Visual Basic product line (through VB6) and initially intended to move to .NET programming with Visual Basic 2008. Yet, for a number of reasons (mainly to rewrite a commercial application) I decided to learn C# instead. I do not write programs for a living, however, and I'm largely self-taught (OK, one class in college--FORTRAN--which I hated and swore would be the last of my life. It was!).

Rod's book is perfect for me and a lot of others, I believe, who 1.) think learning a language isn't necessarily linear--that is, start at the "beginning" and study each topic in turn until you become fluent and 2.) want to start being productive right away and 3.) don't want to be buried by minutae before understanding basic concepts. He deftly avoids these potential pitfalls quite nicely.

The book is very well organized and cross-referenced which makes study and review very straightforward. Stephens has a great feel for knowing what you need and when, and often anticipates where the questions will come from before you think to ask. Rod explains patiently but compactly--a fluid style that carries through the entire way. He really is a master trainer that teaches "at your desk" versus from a lecturn--and I think you'll like that approach a lot. I certainly do.

Predictably, the book begins by familiarizing you with the programming environment (i.e., the tool you'll use to write programs) but it's an important section and offers solid advice on using the Visual Studio framework. You'll want to refer back to it well after the rest of the book is familiar.

He then explains how to get the "visual" part of your program going--things like using fundamental controls (text boxes, buttons, etc.) and menus. From there, you move on to incorporating calculations and logic--backbones of virtually every program.

The next sections cover Object Oriented Programming (OOP) and do a lot to de-mystify its nature and implementation. Classes are covered in detail with concept descriptions of things like "encapsulation, inheritence, and polymorphism" , amongst others, as well as getting on to the nuts and bolts: properties; methods; raising events; and structures. A host of related ideas are also fleshed out like, collections; arrays; interfaces; overloading plus a whole lot more.

Following that are chapters with popular topics (graphics, databases, LINQ, files, WPF and more) that, while relatively introductory, will still allow you to write non-trivial code. They are largely independently so if there is something you want to find out about, you can easily jump in and out in whatever sequence suits you. Best of all, after completing a chapter, you'll know enough to ask meaningful questions and begin to explore beyond the book if there's something you need to know more about.

Two things really make Stephens' package unique but without a hint of gimmick: the DVD material; and the "Try It" and "Exercise" sections. The DVD, because it's so handy, might tempt you to focus on the videos at the expense of the book, at least to start....

While I think that's 'OK' when you're poking around, once you get serious, you'll realize that the book chapters and the videos go hand-in-hand. I suspect this is particularly true if you're new to programming. Even still, the videos don't cover everything in the book (though, as an aside, there are a few things mentioned in the videos that the book doesn't address.) The videos are well-paced but move right along. Of course, you can watch as often as you like and pause or rewind as needed.

Beyond that, there is simply no substitute for rolling up your sleeves and trying to practice what you've been learning about. The book accommodates that by providing directed study which guides your efforts and provides reasonable challenges. I think you'll find that to be a significant benefit! And how about this--you can email Rod, download source code used in the book and access blogs and forums about C#. The book is really a gateway to a great set of resources!

The only nits I have are small ones...

First, the narrative on the DVDs, while perfectly audible, appears to be the "raw" recording with no post-processing to filter out the occasional background noise. I was a bit surprised by this initially, but soon paid no attention to it.

Second, you might have to play around with your computer monitor's display resolution settings to optimize the video. (I settled on 1024x768 which seemed to work best for me.)

Lastly, and this really can't be considered a nit, Rod's book won't be the last if you want to really dig into all of C#'s nooks and crannies. You'll be able to do a lot with it (really), just not everything. But it will give you a fantastic and reasonably comprehensive start, even if you are new to programming--I'm sure of it.

One final thought--be prepared to highlight, write notes to yourself in the margins, flip-back and forth, review and the rest of the things needed to become a programmer. Some things never change, even if Stephens has made it a whole lot simpler and more fun. Highly, highly recommended!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
The book does the job.. June 15 2010
By Cody - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm coming from C++/MFC background and wants to pick up on C#/WPF. I used C# before but not extensively, so I wanted a book to help me review on the Windows Form controls. This book does nicely especially with the videos provided. If you have a background in C# working with console, this book will give you a good introduction to the controls. You will be able to understand the controls and be able to get started immediately. The try-it exercise is a nice plus. You follow the steps by steps guide. Overall, it's a good book if you have some background in C#. Be warn though, if you're totally new to the programming environment and never program before, you will get lost eventhough the book says no previous programming required.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Great starting point, but know what to expect... Nov. 26 2010
By ewomack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The field of computer programming has changed irrevocably since the days of line-by-line typing. Programming used to involve typing on a novel-length scale, with millennial durations to match. Today, Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) that require dragging, dropping and clicking have arrived. Many of these generate large sections of code to reduce both typing and, possibly, tendonitis. As such, deep knowledge of these tools has become almost as important as knowing the details of the programming language itself. And that's exactly where "Stephens' C# Programming 24-hour trainer" begins. Lesson 1 dives the reader into the IDE headfirst. Many C# books start with Console programming, which resembles old style line by line coding. Not here. This book dives into Windows forms from the get go. Of course, this approach has advantages and disadvantages. Ingrain the word "24-hour trainer" into your mind when purchasing this book. First, this book will take anyone, even a highly caffeinated speed-reader, more than 24 hours to complete. But even if someone with a sponge-like brain were to digest the whole volume in 25 hours, that person would only have a high-level, almost superficial, understanding of the C# language. That said, this book will teach anyone how to create simple windows forms programs in a relatively short time. But some of the more advanced topics receive a mere sprinkling. Still, the concept of starting small applies here as well. This book lays a great foundation for more detailed study. But anyone who wants to program as a vocation will definitely need to move past this book. In that case, the far bulkier, but also far more detailed, "Beginning Visual C# 2010" by Karli Watson, et al, may serve as a better starting point. That book delves into the nuances of the C# language, involves far more typing, and also covers web programming. This 24-hour trainer covers no web programming whatsoever, but a similar book, "ASP.NET 4 24-hour trainer" fills the gap. So be aware that "Stephens' C# Programming" only covers Windows forms programming, or programs designed to work on Windows desktops. Prospective web developers should probably look elsewhere. Regardless, those looking to build desktop applications, and get up to speed quickly, will find this book a perfect starting point. Apart from an overview of the now crucial IDE, this book discusses menus, toolstrips, dialogs, debugging, using variables, arrays, collections, enums and strings. It also introduces decision code such as if, while, and for statements. And of course no C# book can escape the subject of classes and Object Oriented programming (OOP). This book doesn't give a deep explanation of this vast subject, so absolute newcomers may still need reinforcements for complete comprehension. But the discussion remains adequate for the depth of the entire book. Just be aware that OOP has quite a bit more depth to it than presented here. Following a discussion of interaction with the file system, printers, and forms themselves, the final section gives a taste of what's to come. Most modern programs require database connections and data manipulation. That topic deserves a book in itself, so the treatment here merely scratches the surface. One quibble, those using Visual Studio 2010 Express (the free edition) may have trouble finding the "Server Explorer" mentioned in chapter 38. It doesn't exist in this version. Look for the "Database Explorer" instead. Next, the equally large topics of LINQ and WPF receive fly-by attention. Though these sections provide nice introductions, more study on these topics will be required to do anything really interesting with them. Still, as said, these sections introduce the topics very nicely. So go into this book with the right expectations. You will spend more than 24 hours studying it. You will not learn web programming and you will need to study more to accomplish higher-level programming. But everyone starts somewhere, and this book, rife with examples, presents one very good starting point.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Good beginner book Aug. 12 2010
By J. Warren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I haven't been using Visual Studio since it was only C++ and used MFC for the interface. That is why I was glad to review this book and learn something.
The book itself does not cover any web programming which is fine for a beginning book. I know many who want to dive in and make a stunning website but applications are easier to write and learn. Most of the information in the book is relevant to asp.Net programming.
The DVD that comes with this book isn't a DVD. That is to say you can't watch the lessons on your DVD player. You will need to have a computer with a DVD player to view the lessons. I expected this but others buying the book should be better informed. Nevertheless, the lessons presented were on the topic in the book and covered what was necessary while introducing something new occasionally.
The lessons cover a complete concept well without overwhelming the reader with information. At the end of each lesson there is a four section before the exercises: try it, lesson requirements, hints and step-by-step which covers the important parts of the chapter making sure the reader is prepared for the next lesson. This incremental help does the trick for most people who will ever understand C#. These lessons build on each other and the code being written by the reader becomes more robust over time which helps show how to make a core piece of software and how to expand it.
The book starts with an introduction to the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) which should be in all C# introductory books. Anyone starting fresh with Visual Studio would freak out at its behavior and wonder why these boxes keep popping up while typing and what to do about them. What are all these windows and how do I get rid of them or move them. Basically all the 'obvious' stuff that new users don't know. The book covers also covers other beginning concepts: variable types, classes, structs etc. I do like that it talks about naming conventions which new programmers need to use.
There are many tips throughout the lessons which add a small concept to the lesson. I wish these tips were also listed in the back in their own chapter since there were many good bits of information in them that I could see I'd want to be able to find again.
My criticisms of the book are very small. The Linq to Objects chapter had four items bolded (LINQ to SQL, LINQ to datasets, LINQ to XML, LINQ to Objects) and you will find two chapters with on SQL and Objects but find a tip box on dataset and nothing on XML. And as I was reading the code in the book, I was wondering what a 'partial' class was and why I didn't get the whole class. That question went unanswered.
Overall this is an excellent book for those who are unfamiliar with programming. It is a good guide and will lead the reader every step of the way. Those who have done object oriented programming don't need the programming concepts in this book but may find the IDE, Visual Studio database connection and syntax descriptions helpful. Any who have more experience than this will find this a quick read gleaning some new information but probably not enough to be worth it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Must Buy for Beginning Programmers July 26 2011
By mpthemaster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The two major things that stuck out of this book for me were the videos and exercises. The videos give extra tips and are a great visual aid, while the exercises really help you practice and learn the material. So if you're new to programming and/or C#, then this book is good for you!

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