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Head First C# [Paperback]

Andrew Stellman , Jennifer Greene
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Dec 2007 Head First

Head First C# is a complete learning experience for object-oriented programming, C#, and the Visual Studio IDE. Built for your brain, this book covers C# 3.0 and Visual Studio 2008, and teaches everything from language fundamentals to advanced topics including garbage collection, extension methods, and double-buffered animation. You'll also master C#'s hottest and newest syntax, LINQ, for querying SQL databases, .NET collections, and XML documents. By the time you're through, you'll be a proficient C# programmer, designing and coding large-scale applications.

Every few chapters you will come across a lab that lets you apply what you've learned up to that point. Each lab is designed to simulate a professional programming task, increasing in complexity until-at last-you build a working Invaders game, complete with shooting ships, aliens descending while firing, and an animated death sequence for unlucky starfighters. This remarkably engaging book will have you going from zero to 60 with C# in no time flat.

Product details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (6 Dec 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596514824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596514822
  • Product Dimensions: 3.9 x 20.1 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 363,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A Learner's Guide to Real-World Programming with Visual C# and .NET

About the Author

Jennifer Greene studied philosophy in college but, like everyone else in the field, couldn't find a job doing it. Luckily, she's a great software tester, so she started out doing it at an online service, and that's the first time she got a good sense of what project management was. She moved to New York in 1998 to test software at a financial software company. She managed a team of testers at a really cool startup that did artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Since then, she's managed large teams of programmers, testers, designers, architects, and other engineers on lots of projects, and she's done a whole bunch of procurement management. She loves traveling, watching Bollywood movies, drinking carloads of carbonated beverages, and owing a whippet. For more information about Jennifer, Andrew Stellman, and their books, visit

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A guidebook to learning, not a reference manual 14 April 2008
I've read enough books on programming to know what to expect before I even open the cover: intro, jargon definitions, syntax definitions (that gets you about 50% through the book), n-chapters with explanations/examples of major features, a chapter with stuff that didn't fit anywhere else, The End. A bit like learning to speak a foreign language by reading the dictionary and then reading a book on grammar: dry and completely backwards.

Head First C# takes a much more effective approach. From the start you are using what you learn and building upon that base with successive lessons. New concepts are introduced and explained when you have the necessary context to understand them. Examples are not snippets of code in isolation. And praise the heavens, none involve the worn-out Employer/Employee, Customer/Order/Address class cliches. The final project is a Space Invaders clone... code you might actually enjoy writing. What a novel idea.

If I had any complaint it's that the visual style is a bit busy. Mostly because I'm used to reading reference manuals, but I guess the style is what "kids" like these days. I certainly would have preferred a book like this when I was new to the programming game. The lighthearted approach of the does not sacrifice a depth of understanding. Buy this book and a C# reference manual. Learn with this one, and look up the fine points in the other.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ecellent Introduction to C# and to Programming 30 July 2008
I needed a quick introduction to C# to help me to build an ASP.Net web application. I really needed to understand the coding that was given to me so that I could make some modifications, and this excellent book did the trick. It appears light-hearted on the surface, but actually makes some serious inroads into the language, and the information really sticks.I feel confident with C# now and have gained more insight into programming in general. The application that I was working on was a success, and I owe it all to this excellent book. If you are looking for an intro into programming with C# then I cannot imagine a better place to begin than with this book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C# for the person who doesn't already know C# 30 April 2008
Having just completed the first section of the book, I would like to update my comments.

I say completed rather than "finished reading" because this book really is a series of very hands-on mini tutorials that build upon each other to give the complete novice first a solid, lasting and applicable grounding in programming concepts, increasing in complexity (though only at a rate which the book has ensured that ANY reader can follow) until finally the novice has become a confident, self-reliant C# programmer able to apply his/her skill to any programming assignment.

Not a reference book by any means, rather a VERY cheap course where the coach is personal, black on white on paper and has to be read at your own speed of understanding and assimilation rather than bearded, sweaty, overpaid and having to be listened to. The order of teaching is precise, giving you what you need at the right time rather than resorting to the all too familiar "but we will cover that later, in chapter 724" and the pace is pitch perfect leaving no-one behind, bringing the reader's attention back to things covered in previous chapters so that he/she is sure to have committed the processes but also the jargon to memory with regular revision activities such as crosswords and puzzles.

This is the first book on C# that I have found that doesn't explain jargon with more jargon. Instead, it gives you similes, comparisons, metaphors from common human experience which help the reader understand how various elements of the programming language work.

One third of the way through it I have already learned more than my £3000 course with a well marketed IT training body *cough-skillstrain-don't-do-it-to-yourself-cough* has been able to teach me in a quarter of the time .

Five star with no hesitation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A course, not a reference manual 7 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At last! A book that is designed for people to learn from.
Previously I had looked at various C# books and PDF books and they seemed to all take an approach analogous to learning English by reading a dictionary and a grammar guide.
This is superb. By the end of chapter 1 you've made a mini contacts database application.
A couple of chapters after that and you've made an animated "game".
And it's readable! This is the programming book I've been looking for.
I come from a VBA background, so programming isn't too scary, but object-oriented stuff was a bit of a mystery. I'm beginning to see the light, and I'm only up to chapter 7.
Someone deserves a medal for this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the revelation I'd hoped for 8 Nov 2011
By Splossy
Maybe I'm not clever enough to get it but I didn't find this book to be all that suitable for a neophyte programmer. I initially liked the way it jumped into getting a program written and then explaining what was going on. However I was expecting the gaps in my knowledge to be filled in as the book progressed but was disappointed to find that, no, that really was the coverage of that subject. So I found myself with an unhappy feeling of never really knowing all I needed to know at any point. It's a good attempt at applying a somewhat novel learning style to the subject but I didn't find it worked very well in reality.

EDIT: I've revised my opinion of this book (from 3 to 4 stars) since spending more time with another book: Microsoft Visual C# Step by Step. That book is much more of a traditional teaching book and does a better job of telling you all you need to know. However, it doesn't come with enough hands-on exercises. So I started to read some Step by Step and then coming back to Head First. The combination is ideal. My previous gaps are filled in by Step by Step but I get my practice and my mind exercised by Head First. The Head First method of learning is indeed superior for beginners believe because you are challenged to use your knowledge and understanding continuously. This is actually quite exciting. If they had combined with with the depth of explanation Step by Step has it would be 5 stars and perfect.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars So you wanna learn C#?
It's great. I might have to update the review once I'm at least halfway with the book, but for now I have to say, yes, do buy it if you need or want to learn C#. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alisa
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful for Beginners
As a beginner, I love this book. This book has so many examples to work from. Visual style of the book is really good, it explains stuff to you in such a easy manner. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr A Haidary
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great book I recommend it I absolutely anyone who wants to learn C# and I mean really learn it because it's not a guide its more like a teacher
Published 11 months ago by Demian
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent fun learning
Like many other reviews, I am finding this book an excellent introduction to C#. Practical and fun, I am making considerable headway through the projects and tasks placed before... Read more
Published 19 months ago by J. Prior
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent & Fun
This is an excellent book which takes the dryness out of programming literature and is written in a novel and fun way. Read more
Published on 14 Jun 2010 by Mr. M. C. Michel
4.0 out of 5 stars Head First C#
Great book for begginers explains how to do everything step by step with lots of tutorials and examples. Read more
Published on 1 May 2010 by Adam Gnourie
5.0 out of 5 stars A visual treat
I found this book to be very helpful and a very entertaining method of getting up to speed with C#. It follows the usual Heads First style of offering a fun oriented approach to... Read more
Published on 14 Nov 2009 by W. Boles
3.0 out of 5 stars Hands-On Tutorial Book
Get your hands dirty writing C# code! This book explains code in a very innovative way: how things work, why and let you master the concepts by doing it. Read more
Published on 8 Nov 2009 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish!
I bought this book based on the reviews.......did the reviewers actually read this book!
It's probably the worst self learning book I have come across, full of junk that makes... Read more
Published on 1 Oct 2009 by Phil Nelson
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing
Having previously bought and read 'Head First SQL' which I quite enjoyed, I found this book difficult to follow and understand. Read more
Published on 14 July 2009 by Richard J. Flanagan
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