Monday, August 1, 2011

C# Books

I'm reading the following two books to learn C#.

Visual C# 2010 Step by Step by John Sharp. I usually don't like the step by step books but actually found this book an easy and clear read right from the beginning. More so than my other selection. The book is divided into sections.

Part I contains chapters 1-6 and introduces C# and Visual Studio 2010.
Part II is chapters 7-14 and is titled "Understanding the C# Language."

I'm just starting chapter 13, "Creating Interfaces and Defining Abstract Classes." The book was fairly clear up through chapter 12. I needed some more in-depth analysis of the C# language, so I started a second book.

Beginning Visual C# 2010 from Wrox press. I've read and liked other Wrox press books before and so I had high expectations for this book. Unfortunately I didn't have a good experience in the early chapters. The book is written in a very loose "conversational" style that drives me crazy. I also thought that the book started covering the wrong material, or the right material in the wrong order. This led me to start reading the "Step by Step" book above.

However, after plowing through 12 1/2 chapters of the "Step by Step" book I needed something more thorough. I came back to the Wrox book and found that if anything, this book is thorough. The chapters are longer and they don't revolve around a particular code sample as the "Step by Step" book does, but overall I found reading these books in this order to be helpful and would suggest this approach.

By working through the examples in the "Step by Step" book and manually typing in the code I was able to learn much about the Visual Studio 2010 IDE, some of the C# features and this was useful for me to be led through the samples. I find that working through a specific problem tends to help me the most, particularly when dealing in abstract concepts. It also helps if the examples are relevant to a  real-world problem, but that's asking quite a lot from books of this sort.

I'm in the middle of chapter 11, "Collections, Comparisons, and Conversions" in the Wrox book. Part I of the Wrox book covers chapters 1-14 and is titled "The C# Language." Part I in the Wrox book covers approximately the same material as in the "Step by Step" book, though with a lot more detail. Case in point, I'm on page 253 and Chapter 13 of "Step by Step" but on page 314 and chapter 11 of "Beginning Visucal C# 2010."

I wouldn't consider either as a great book but both were available at the public library.

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