Book Review – Head First C#

I’ve recently been reading Head First C# by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman. As usual, the disclaimer is that I received a copy of the book for free in return for the review. I have read other Head First books before and this one was very much in line with those others. For those who are not familiar, the Head First Labs concept is to turn the reading experience around and deliver the information with a lot of other goodies to keep your brain engaged by not having line after line of text blurring into one another. For some people, myself included, this is a fantastic delivery mechanism. Their Head First Statistics book probably helped me with the class more than the textbook did.

This book is no exception. It is well researched and well written. The examples are entertaining and keep you engaged with the book and with the concepts as they build layer by layer until you have a very solid understanding of the basics of C#. This is a book geared to someone picking the language up for the first time. My only complaint is that they are so centered on Windows 8 and the Windows App Store that they had to put out a separate pdf file for people who don’t have or don’t develop for Window 8. For me, I had not yet made the jump, so I needed the conversions in places. However, the book was so new, it wasn’t immediately available.

I would have preferred them target the .NET 4 and 4.5 frameworks from a Windows 7 perspective only because it’s more in use in the enterprise where many programmers are working. They could also use this to isolate the 4.5 improvements a little better and then demonstrate how those improvements are enhanced in the Windows 8 experience. However, I also admit that being able to build a Windows Phone application with C# and XAML was a fun exercise.

Overall, this book is perfect for the slight to moderate ADHD programmer/student who wants to learn, not want to be boredthumb_hfcs, and tries to cram as much as possible in the shortest time available. The whole “series” is fantastic and well worth anyone’s time to use as a good learning tool.

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