Most helpful critical review
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Not that good even for beginners.
on 20 October 2010
I've been coding in Java (amongst other languages) for the last 10 years and have extensive knowledge of coding and OO but even so I bought this book because I have a lot of respect for the Head Fist series and have enjoyed lots of their other titles in the past - I accepted the fact I would be skipping over sections that explain OOP and some of the basics. However, this book was still quite a disappointment for a number of reasons:
* Whilst I appreciate this is a book for absolute beginners. I don't really feel that the rambling explanation of OOP is actually very good or helpful. I think it would have been wiser to just point readers to 'HF OOP' (which I'm sure would cover it far better) and assume readers are comfortable with the concepts instead.
* The book's attention to detail is somewhat uneven. They cover some aspects in nauseating detail and yet gloss over really important stuff like language conventions! I think it was about page 250 or so, in a small footnote, in fact.
* There are LOTS of mistakes. Some of the mistakes had me scratching my head for ages, until I finally decided that 'this book must be wrong' and checked on-line for the errata and found out, yes sure enough the book was wrong. Forgiveable, however, Some of the mistakes are not in the errata!
* The exercises are made much harder by the fact that they sometimes don't explain what the half-empty classes are supposed to do in much detail. This is annoying because the exercises should really be testing your understanding of the language, not your ability to maintain poorly documented code - and that certainly would be a barrier for beginners.
* Some of the features of the language are not made at all clear such as properties vs automatic properties and the syntax for these.There's a lot of inconsistency in the way these are used in their example code. As this is supposed to cover the latest versions of C#/.Net that is really quite unacceptable.
On the plus side, this book is easy(ish) to read and explains the subject matter in a fairly easy to understand way.
It's a shame - the idea and philosophy of this book is good but it's just poorly executed. So I wouldn't recommend this title for anyone really. That said, there are a lot of bad coding books out there and this is probably about average.