Introduction to C# Joes 2 Pros: 1 (C# Exam Prep 70-536) Paperback – 10 Jun 2010
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The book introduces C# using the console window and does not teach the .NET Framework. I think this is a logical progression in C# and you'll be glad you finished the book. I'm guessing that (.NET) may come in the next book that Mr. Bako writes for C#. Honestly, I can hardly wait for it. When will that book get written and published? That's hard to tell.
I highly recommend this book as an introduction to the language. You'll get your feet wet with C# and you'll make sense of the language to where you won't be lost when it comes to incorporating the .NET Framework later. If you already program in another language, you'll whiz right through this book. If you're new to programming period, you won't get lost and you'll feel much more confident in using your new skills. You'll gain that confidence if you make sure that you do all the exercises in the book. They're not hard and they get you thinking. Definitely worth the time it takes to do them.
Here's hoping Mr. Bako writes the intermediate level C# book soon. I haven't seen anything showing that it is in the works. Only a comment or so written in the book. I'm currently working on the .NET framwork with C#. Call it impatience, but I need to keep going with the language.
The book does a great job of teaching the very basics of C#. If you're on the fence about getting it, don't hesitate and go for it! The price is right and it's not a 1000 page tome to muddle through either.
What an incredible difference. It literally opened my eyes to what I was trying to learn. Every chapter was well paced and well thought out. There were plenty of opportunities to code and to learn new skills. and each chapter's skills were building all the way through the book. I cannot wait for the next book in the series. I cannot recommend the Joes2pros series enough. Fantastic.
If you have zero programming experience, this is the book to begin your journey. C# is an extremely user-friendly language, and Visual Studio is probably the easiest programming environment to learn it. It's such a smart environment that it almost writes the code for you. This book is just a taste of learning to program. You won't be writing that million dollar app based on this book. However, this book is akin to learning the alphabet. While there is much more to writing an essay than simply knowing the letters, you at least have to be familiar with letters and syntax before you can write prose. You have to know how to walk before you can run and this book is great at that.
The author does a fabulous job of introducing the beginner to programming. He doesn't get cutesy. No funny cartoons. No bad jokes. He just talks to you in plain language like your friend would. I much appreciated it. He's very thorough at discussing concepts and talking about the points that need to be understood, without going into the minutiae. Almost every lesson builds on the previous lesson so as you progress through the lessons in sequence, you'll be repetitively repeating certain tasks until they become second-nature.
The problem with many beginner books is they begin by talking at such a low-grade level about details that aren't important (the details become important later as you get further into understanding but details that are not important when you're first starting). And then they make leaps in logic or skip over things as almost if the author got bored with spending so much time on little things and then jumps into the meat of things. Some books will be like, "this is what a method is, this is how a method is constructed, let's write a method". This author doesn't do that. He explains the concept and uses analogies so that people can relate. You understand the purpose of doing something before you do it. You will feel confident that you can talk about classes, methods, and constructors without being inundated with minutiae. I will say that chapters 1-10 are brilliantly written. After that, things get a little dicey and there are some things that he asks of you that wasn't really covered in previous sections (you'll realize this when you see the sample code answers that are provided by the author). Not that chapters 11 and beyond are poor or anything. But compared to the earlier chapters, they don't quite measure up.
a tip: the author purposely built lessons that build on things learned in previously lessons. This forces repetition in typing code that instills into you how to write the code without looking up how to write the code. At first, the lazy side of you may say just to copy and paste things you typed earlier so you don't have to type them again. DON'T DO THAT! that will defeat the repetition and you won't learn as well. By the time I was writing code in chapter 6, my fingers hit the keyboard immediately writing code from things in chapter 3 without me having to look up syntax or looking at old code I wrote. also, don't cheat yourself by looking at the answers or code before you write your own code or do your own answers to the quizzes. There were a couple of times where he set up a programming challenge where I was a little lost and I wanted to see how the code should look. Your knowledge will grow immensely if you don't look at the sample code before writing your own code.
For those that want one book that does it all, I don't think there is one. I have both this book and the Head First C# book and I would say they complement each other. It's kind of unfair to compare the two because Joes is only a 300 page book and the Head Start is 800 pages. I will say that I think Joes is the better first book to begin with. The way the writer speaks is much more straightforward and much more commonspeak. When I first started doing the Head Start book (after reading Joes), I can totally see the problem areas in the Head Start book where if I didn't know some of the things from the Joes book, I could be a little lost. The Head Start book sounds like a really sharp C# programmer was trying to dumb down the language but his knowledge ends up seeping through anyway and making the commonspeak not so easy. You casually flip through the Head Start book and at the surface, it seems like a really easy book (and it probably is an easy book for a person who's already a programmer but new to C#). But when you dig deeper into the content and the concepts, there's a lot of things the author should've covered but just kind of glossed over whereas the author covered some other things in details that weren't really that critical for a beginner.
But like I said before, the Joes book is like learning the alphabet. Which is the really key first step. But it's not enough as a be-all beginner book. And that's where another beginner book like Head Start C# comes in handy. For a person that has experience in programming and just wants to get started in C#, I'm not sure this book has enough for him. The main thing that a novice programmer may benefit from this book is how C# may differ from a language like C++ or how Visual Studio behaves. I would say that this book is more for the total beginner who's new to programming. For the total beginner, this book is amazing.
I will say this. I loved the Joes C# book so much and I read that he may release more books for C# in the future so that's a day I'm looking forward to. His writing style is simply excellent.
The writing style is relaxed, yet it maintains a professional tone. Topics are explained well with good -- working -- examples. The points to ponder at the end of each chapter are helpful. The quizzes are short and to the point. The challenges are encouraging and help build your confidence.
I'll update this review once I am done.
To be fair I have general programming knowledge and was looking for a book to refresh me on my C# fundamentals when I bought this. So I am not a complete lay person reading this book. But I think someone starting out would find this book very valuable. Looking back I feel confident I would have too.