Head First C#, 2nd Edition
A Learner's Guide to Real-World Programming with Visual C# and .NET
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: May 2010
Pages: 840

You want to learn C# programming, but you're not sure you want to suffer through another tedious technical book. You're in luck: Head First C# introduces this language in a fun, visual way. You'll quickly learn everything from creating your first program to learning sophisticated coding skills with C# 4.0, Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4, while avoiding common errors that frustrate many students.

The second edition offers several hands-on labs along the way to help you build and test programs using skills you've learned up to that point. In the final lab, you'll put everything together. From objects to garbage collection and from exceptions to interactions, you'll learn C# in a way that engages and entertains your brain. Here are a few of the topics you'll learn:

  • Start by building a useful application with pre-built components in Visual Studio 2010
  • Discover how objects work, using real-world examples
  • Store numbers, text, and other basic data types using primitives
  • Save complex data in files and databases with great C# tools
  • Build intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces by following simple rules
  • Design your code to catch exceptions -- things you don't expect
  • Develop good programming habits, such as refactoring code and applying unit tests
  • Learn how web services put your programs in touch with the rest of the world
  • Make it easy for other people to install your software
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O'Reilly MediaHead First C#, 2nd Edition
 
3.1

(based on 11 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

70%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (6)
  • Helpful examples (5)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

  • Too many errors (4)
  • Difficult to understand (3)

Best Uses

  • Novice (4)
  • Intermediate (3)
  • Student (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (7)

Reviewed by 11 customers

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(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Incomplete code, inmature writing.

By Vic

from Bangalore, India

About Me Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples

Cons

  • Difficult to understand
  • Not comprehensive enough
  • Too many errors

Best Uses

  • Expert

Comments about O'Reilly Media Head First C#, 2nd Edition:

I bought this with high expectation as because of my pas experience with Head First series.

To my surprise the book lacks consistency, mature writing and a complete, sense revealing code.

The examples are incomplete hence confuses a reader, hard to follow up with the author. Most of the code mentioned is incomplete and hence putts the beginner in the delima that weather he has missed something.

Must have been reviewed before publishing by a senior author.

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Worst Programming Book Ever!

By Very disappointed

from Manchester, NH

About Me Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • It's A Lovely Paperweight

Cons

  • Difficult to understand
  • Not comprehensive enough
  • Too many errors

Best Uses

  • No One

Comments about O'Reilly Media Head First C#, 2nd Edition:

This book was required for my C# programming class. I find this book incomplete, hard to follow, and impossible to understand. I finally had to buy an additional C# programming book (from a different publisher) to fill in what this book lacks in basic information on C# programming.

An example: pg 537's solution to the Case of the Golden Crustacean. The author gives the reason the code passes the event information to all objects (rather than 1, which was the desired result), but the code that actually performs the desired result is never given. Also if you try to recreate the code that is given in your own copy of Visual Studio, there are 7 errors.

I'm a seasoned VB and Java programmer who has read a number of programming books over the years. I've enjoyed other books from O'Reilly, especially their "Nutshell" books, but I won't by a Head First book again. This has to be the worst one I've ever had the displeasure of reading. Bad book... DO NOT BUY.

(7 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Great concept.... poor execution!

By C# Newbie

from GA

Verified Reviewer

Pros

    Cons

    • Difficult to understand
    • Too many errors

    Best Uses

      Comments about O'Reilly Media Head First C#, 2nd Edition:

      This is my first (and possibly last) HeadFirst book. The concept is wonderful however I have never bought a book with so many mistakes in it. I counted 11 on page 88 alone (2nd edition)! The missing images (just blank spaces shown in some cases) and syntax coding errors make it really hard for someone learning C# to figure out if the problem is with them or the book. ARGH!!! :o(

      (8 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      a disaster...

      By Grizzled Geezer

      from Renton, WA

      About Me Programmer-writer

      Pros

      • A great idea for a book

      Cons

      • Atrocious non-editing
      • Too many errors

      Best Uses

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Head First C#, 2nd Edition:

        "Head First C#" should have been one of the classic works on programming, but it's a mess. And it's NOT the writers' fault.

        A competent editor would know that any attempt to produce an "Alice-friendly" book, heavily illustrated and with an ongoing conversation between the author and the reader, wouldn't be easy. Getting it right takes time, but it appears O'Reilly didn't budget the support needed. Despite the three reprints of the first edition, and two versions of the second (I've only seen the first), many errors remain. Some of the typos are so bad, you can spot them while flipping the pages.

        One of the book's biggest problems is that it seems aimed at two audiences -- someone new to programming, and experienced programmers who want to learn C#. I don't feel "Head First C#" does justice to either. (I would have gone with the latter.)

        Poorly edited technical books aren't new. I'd like to see technical publishers commit themselves to accurate, well-written, easy-to-understand documentation. But it's not going to happen in my lifetime.

        (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Superb approach!

        By Valosaurex

        from Australia, NSW

        Verified Reviewer

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Head First C#, 2nd Edition:

        I'm entirely a beginning programmer & I've continued on from Head First: Programming to this book. Perfect transition and extremely friendly for the average brain-sponge.

        Still surprised how well you end up remembering everything. If want want a shoe into the C-like Syntax that is programming I implore you to join us in this Brain-loving guide to C#!

        (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Good for a new programmer learning C#.

        By Peter

        from San Diego

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand

        Cons

        • Too basic

        Best Uses

        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Head First C#, 2nd Edition:

        This is a good book for someone with little programming experience to learn the C# language. It is NOT a reference book. It is NOT a good book for a programmer with significant experience in other languages.

        This book is written in an engaging manner, but that wears thin quickly if you understand the general concepts. The book is clearly written, and easy to follow. It has some good examples, but not all of the algorithms have been adequately thought through.

        Sometimes, the authors didn't properly balance the amount of time spent on the various constructs of the language, in comparison to the real-world use of those constructs.

        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Good Starting Point

        By AM

        from San Diego

        About Me Developer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about O'Reilly Media Head First C#, 2nd Edition:

              This is a good book, but definately directed towards beginners with little to no programming experience with Object Oriented Programming.

              If you already have a good understanding of Object Oriented Programming and are just trying to learn C#, you should probably look elsewhere.

              But if your goal is to learn C# AND Object Oriented Programming, this book is a good starting point.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great book for beginning C# programmers

              By Blair Baker CIO MBA

              from San Diego, CA

              About Me Chief Information Officer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Easy to understand
              • Engaging and Quirky
              • Helpful examples

              Cons

              • Not a reference book

              Best Uses

              • Novice

              Comments about O'Reilly Media Head First C#, 2nd Edition:

              This is a great book for beginning C# programmers. The style of the Head First series of books is engaging and a little quirky. The authors specifically mention this as a promise in the preface and proceed to deliver on the promise.

              As an IT executive whose programming days are way, way behind him I found that the authors expected you to have a firm grip on the material before moving on. This makes this book more of a tutorial for programmers and not the best reference book. I read the book to better understand what programmers who may work for me are up against and to better allow me to speak their language and truly understand their concerns. To that end, the book fulfilled its promise.

              I read this book in digital copy. For me, the jury is still out on reading technical books in bytes; novels yes, technical - probably not, but my overburdened bookshelves love it.
              The book does have some inadvertent and intentional mistakes. Some are maddening and some reflect time-consuming troubleshooting mistakes that happen in the real world. I tip my hat to the Microsoft leaders of the San Diego .NET Users Group who patiently explain the differences to us.

              I WOULD recommend this book to beginning C# programmers or people who would like to learn C# and would prefer a tutorial approach. I would further suggest seeking out a .NET Users Group for guidance. I would NOT recommend this book as a reference guide.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Easy to follow, a very good book

              By fooschamp

              from San Diego, ca

              About Me Designer, Developer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Easy to understand
              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate
                • Novice
                • Student

                Comments about O'Reilly Media Head First C#, 2nd Edition:

                I thought this was a very good book for learning C#. If you put the time in and do all the exercises, you should have a good grasp of the language by the time you finish.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                From GFM Review of Head First C#

                By GFMann

                from El Cajon, CA

                About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Concise
                • Easy to understand
                • Helpful examples
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Expert
                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice
                  • Student

                  Comments about O'Reilly Media Head First C#, 2nd Edition:

                  I really enjoyed reading this book. I'm a very visual learner and seeing breaks in print to graphics to different styles of font helps keep my attention. For a beginner I recommend this book if you learn the way I do. And will defintely use it as reference. However, this is not just a reference book with just small snippets of code -- it was explained in a way that will help you remember ( at least for visual learners).

                  My husband who is more an audio learner, he found the changes in font and graphics got in the way of his learning style when he tried to read and understand a concept. He likes just plain text and coding examples.

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