Stephens' C# Programming with Visual Studio 2010 24-Hour Trainer Paperback – May 17 2010
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From the Back Cover
Get started programming C# with this versatile resource
Eager to learn Visual C# programming? This unique book-and-DVD package geared toward those with no programming experience presents easy-to-follow lessons, reinforced by step-by-step instructions, screencasts, and supplemental exercises to help you master Visual C# programming quickly. You'll first discover how to write, debug, and run desktop applications that interact with the user and the computer. You'll then progress to more advanced lessons that teach you how to apply object-oriented concepts, perform calculations, manipulate files and strings, interact with simple databases, and more. All of this will give you the skills to write your own customized Visual C# programs.
Stephens' C# Programming with Visual Studio 2010 24-Hour Trainer:
Shows you how to use the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) and the controls that make up a user interface
Demonstrates what variables are and how a program uses them to calculate results
Describes techniques for controlling a program's flow, making decisions, and repeating operations
Explores how to create and use advanced class features such as generics and operator overloading
Highlights steps that enable a program to interact with the operating system
Walks you through the basics of database programming
Wrox guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think. Written by programmers for programmers, they provide a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.
On the DVD
Don't just learn—do!
The lessons within the book are each accompanied by an instructional demonstration on the DVD.
You'll learn to:
Build a simple word processor
Handle errors so your programs don't crash unexpectedly
Use methods to make your programs simpler and more robust
Make your code easier to modify and debug
Simplify how to initialize objects
Overload arithmetic operators to make a ComplexNumber class
Build a program that can copy and paste text and images from the clipboard
Please see the DVD appendix for details and complete system requirements.
About the Author
Rod Stephens is Microsoft MVP and the author of more than 20 books and 250 articles on C#, Visual Basic, Java, and other programming topics. He is a regular contributor to DevX (www.DevX.com) and also an ITT adjunct instructor.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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!
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.
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