If you are an intermediate to advanced programmer who wants to get to grips with VB.Net, especially if moving from VB6, then this book is about the best you could buy. The author assumes familiarity with various concepts such as object orientation and explains all subjects in a very unpatronising manner. Balena goes into more detail than most other authors I have read on this subject, often explaining what is going on 'under the hood' which leaves you with a richer understanding of any given topic. The content is comprehensive and the style concise. I'm off to have a look at what else this guy has written...
I wonder why nobody else has "rated" this book, the best book I have read so far. It acts as "my bible" alongside many other books on the same subject. It goes much deeper than the usual books and gives invalueable examples with a lot of smart techniques. This is not a beginners book, but a book you return to again and again. I exspecially love his way of teaching in class fundamentals, inheritance, interfaces and delegates. A "must read" for any serious VB.NET programmer! The only thing I might be missing was some more functional sample code on the accompaining CD!
A very well structured manual. Although it has few full code examples (plenty of snippets that won't work in isolation) I found it a very good book to read through. Normally I grow tired of pure 'text' books that do not require a great deal of work within the IDE also, but this is an exception. Certainly not for the beginner, if you're already experienced in VB6 then this is an excellent reference book to use. I use it in conjunction with 'Professional VB.NET 2003' by Wrox, for those explanations within the Micosoft book that I have trouble comprehending.
I'm at University and took a .NET developer job for my placement year. Before doing this job I had only worked with VB6 and had not done any .NET work before. I used this book as my core reference throughout the whole year and have read it back to back many times.
It has helped me with numerous problems and taught me to be a proficient .NET developer. I would recommend it to anyone learning or working with .NET 1.1.
I used my 'Programming Visual Basic 6.0' by Balena until it dropped to pieces, it was so good. This version covering VB.net is good, but I've not found it to be quite so useful as it's forbearer. One or two things I've wanted to look up have come up with 'This feature is not covered in this book' (i.e. Remoting, Windows Forms Data Grids). Through trying to cover both Web and Windows applications, some things have been overlooked which is disappointing. One other point is that the binding is absolutely horrendous - I have loads of pages hanging out of the book and I treat my books well. My wrox books, for instance, some of which receive as much attention as this volume, are still in excellent condition. For a book costing more than £30, this really isn't good enough. Nevertheless an excellent book which you will use a lot (and see fall to pieces!).
Balena is a genius in what he writes, there is everything covered pretty much and best of all balena explains techniques and why you would actually need them in the real world. excellent for all round.net, even more fascinating the database chapters are exceprionally good! highly recommended