MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-502): Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.5—Windows® Presentation Foundation (PRO-Certification) Hardcover – 22 Jul 2008
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About the Author
Matthew Stoecker, MCP, has written numerous books and articles on Microsoft Visual Basic, Visual C#, Windows Forms, and Windows Presentation Foundation, including the SELF-PACED TRAINING KITS for Exams 70-511, 70-505, and 70-502.
Top customer reviews
The book sticks to its subject matter. Ie there's no wasting time showing how to declare a variable or here's how to connect to a database. It assumes you have basic .Net experience.
It's not too thick - I'm dumbfounded by some of these books that are 1000's of pages long. In addition each lab is also to the point.
This book is nicely worded, you don't have to read the text 3 or 4 times trying to figure out what the author is saying.
There's an accompanying set of practice tests that anyone doing the exam should purchase and do anyway.
Good book - was very impressed.
It lacks depth everywhere. Other books are definitely thicker AND contain a LOT more relevant information. It certainly doesn't reek with wisdom. The only relevance for the test lies in the test questions on the CD (and those are more like an introduction to the real test questions).
What I don't like about the book:
- there where quite a few examples mimicking how to position controls like in the window forms world (not explicitly trying to make a point of it).
- The pages could have been used to convey more information and less redundant walkthroughs. More concise visual code in the print would've been better instead of asking the user to open files during a walkthrough repeating an identical presentation).
- A lot of basics for every day professional work are missing
If it were'nt for the test questions I wouldn't recommend the book at all. There are much better alternatives out there e.g.
Pro WPF in C# 2008: Windows Presentation Foundation with .NET 3.5, 2nd Edition
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
But still, I would recommend this book to any developer who 's totally new to WPF and loves learning by doing labs. Also a decent book for teaching an introductory WPF class. I just wish it has some advanced material on design of professional looking GUIs.
The content itself is a bit scattered and has many forward-references. This is, however, understandable given that WPF is a fairly holistic technology that can't be easily dissected. As such, two passes of the book are highly-recommended to ensure a solid understanding of the topics - examples presented in the beginning of the book will take on better meaning after a full pass of the book. The chapters tend to group content appropriately and in great depth. It is very easy to understand the workings of WPF, which is really what Microsoft Certification is all about - understanding, not memorizing.
As with most training materials, there were some mistakes, but these were limited to typos in the text - if you stick to the C# track, you will see almost no errors; the Visual Basic examples were more error-prone. The (few) chapter summary questions are simple, yet require the reader to have paid attention, providing good checks for later review.
In terms of learning gaps, there were some aspects of the test that were not covered in sufficient detail, but they can easily be corrected with some MSDN reading. For example, XPS document creation is not covered, though opening XPS documents is touched upon. By-and-large, everything is at least mentioned, though. The practice tests will accurately identify which areas you need to read-up on using MSDN.
Coming to the point of the practice tests, the engine was much improved over the 70-536 test software. Many of the questions are representative of questions on the exam and you will find several areas not covered on the book showing up as questions - these are the areas that merit additional reading. There was only one error in the test questions, but if you read the explanation, you'll find that you are probably correct.
Overall, I found this to be an excellent resource that, in the end, gave me an exceptional understanding of WPF and prepared me well for the exam.
Update: when I changed the Project Properties, Advanced Compiler Options, Targe CPU to "x86", the project for the Chapter 5 lab (lesson 2) compiled and ran perfectly.
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