on 4 June 2009
Writing your own programs is fun and made easier by a good development tool such as MS Visual Basic (Express). I taught myself the basics by watching free learning videos and free "How Do I?" examples from microsoft's MSDN (online) library. Yet, despite the practice, it is hard to get sufficient overview. You need to have a good foundation to become a seasoned developer and make full use of the features of object oriented programming.
Beginning microsoft Visual Basic 2008 provides these fundamentals in a clearly written way with examples and "how it works" explanations. Each aspect of the lanuage is briefly introduced and provides the background that you need to continue on your own.
A few minor points, not as much about the book, as about the back-up by Wrox. Some of the downloaded code samples do not work properly because the user may have a more recent version of the Net FrameWork installed. Also, attaching a database and rewriting a connection string may be a simple thing from the point of view of the somewhat experienced programmer, but could be a realy frustrating excersise for the truly novice. These matters probably do not belong in the book, but could be addressed on the Wrox web site.
Finally, copy-protection is understandable, but one should seriously consider selling the heavy book together with a PDF version on disc. Nevertheless, lots of value for a low price.
on 29 May 2009
Thearon Willis and Bryan Newsome did a great job in this book.
Although their work is called "Beginning [Microsoft Visual Basic 2008]", I was pleasantly surprised it was a lot more than that. The book takes a complete programming-ignorant user and turns him/her into a seasoned Visual Basic coder who can achieve fairly complex solutions.
The book is made of 25 chapters, 5 appendixes and a whopping 800+ pages covering almost all possible aspects of modern Visual Basic implementation. You will have probably learnt most of how Visual Basic 2008 works by the time you reach Chapter 10. There are some chapters covering specialized topics such as database handling, web projects, and developing for mobile devices.
I have to admit I did't finish the book, but it left me wondering: it seems so complete that I can't imagine what "Professional Visual Basic 2008" (published by Wrox as well) might add other than good coding practices and mission-critical application tweaking.
The only reason I won't rate it 5/5 is that I would have wanted this book printed in colour. Visual Basic programming is all about visually-pleasing coding. Why not learning as well?
on 24 June 2010
As an experienced programmer it's always easy to discount other languages or fall into bad habits. I bought this book simply because I was transitioning to VB 2008 and wanted to make sure I was doing the basics correctly. I found this book clear, reasonably concise without being sparse on details and nicely written. I would say that I suspect that anyone who is completely new to programming will have to spend quite a bit of time doing some background research on some of the things that are raised, but don't let that put you off. This is a great book for getting started, and if you have some idea of programming basics this is a still a lovely book to sit and have a go at.