Head First C#, 3rd Edition
A Learner's Guide to Real-World Programming with C#, XAML, and .NET
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: August 2013
Pages: 960

Head First C# is a complete learning experience for learning how to program with C#, XAML, the .NET Framework, and Visual Studio. Fun and highly visual, this introduction to C# is designed to keep you engaged and entertained from first page to last.

You’ll build a fully functional video game in the opening chapter, and then learn how to use classes and object-oriented programming, draw graphics and animation, and query data with LINQ and serialize it to files. And you'll do it all by creating games, solving puzzles, and doing hands-on projects. By the time you're done, you'll be a solid C# programmer—and you'll have a great time along the way!

  • Create a fun arcade game in the first chapter, and build games and other projects throughout the book
  • Learn how to use XAML to design attractive and interactive pages and windows
  • Build modern Windows Store apps using the latest Microsoft technology
  • Learn WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) using the downloadable WPF Learner's Guide
  • Using the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern to create robust architecture
  • Build a bonus Windows Phone project and run it in the Visual Studio Windows Phone emulator

Projects in the book work with all editions of Visual Studio, including the free Express editions.

Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
oreillyHead First C#, 3rd Edition
 
4.0

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (9)
  • Helpful examples (6)
  • Well-written (5)
  • Accurate (4)
  • Concise (4)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Novice (7)
    • Student (6)
    • Intermediate (5)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (5), Sys admin (4)

    Reviewed by 9 customers

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    5.0

    It's the best C# book!

    By Akalyn

    from Dnipropetrovs'k, Ukraine

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Head First C#, 3rd Edition:

      It's the best C# book, I've ever read!
      A lot of examples and a lot of practice tasks. In my opinion the best experience - read this book in combination with something like "Pro C# 5.0 and the .NET 4.5 Framework 6th Edition By Andrew Troelsen", so you'll get a lot of practice and theory.

       
      4.0

      So far so good

      By Pete

      from Nelson, New Zealand

      About Me Student

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Head First C#, 3rd Edition:

        I'm using Visual Studio 2013 with Windows 8.1 and I've managed to build the first project, Save the Humans. Horay! Took 4 attempts but I got there in the end. Probably didn't follow the instructions exactly the first 3 times.
        The only thing that differed from the examples given in the book on how things should be is this line that was auto-generated for me:

        public sealed partial class MainPage : Save_the_Humans.Common.LayoutAwarePage.

        Instead of the Save_the_Humans.Common.LayoutAwarePage line after the colon I just had the one word, Page. The program worked as described despite this difference.
        I found the instructions clear and well set out with good side notes and tips.

        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        A little behind the times

        By ja8944

        from Germany

        About Me Developer, Student

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand

        Cons

        • Not For 81 An Vs2013

        Best Uses

        • Not For 81 An Vs2013
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Head First C#, 3rd Edition:

        Good Book but i had expected it to be more up to date on the software.

        (6 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        First program does not work

        By Herb Smith

        from Aurora, Il

        About Me Sys Admin

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Concise
        • Easy to understand

        Cons

        • Too many errors

        Best Uses

          Comments about oreilly Head First C#, 3rd Edition:

          The boot appears to built around Win 8 and Visual Studio 2012. The very first program they have you build "Save the Humans" does not work with Visual Studio 2013 and Windows 7. Even with following the special Win 7 WPF instructions from the Web site, it does not work.
          Checked against posted code and I match 100%. After deleting my code and cutting and pasting post code, I code a message in error list. It basically said startButton_click was undefined and asked if a using directive or assemply reference was missing. I can tell you the code for startButton_click was in place. As learner I have no clue if using directive is missing

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Head First C# is on point

          By RateControl

          from East Lansing, MI

          About Me Sys Admin

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Novice

            Comments about oreilly Head First C#, 3rd Edition:

            I received this book, for being a part of the O'Reilly Blogger Book Review Program.

            I started with Head First C#, going in with a blank slate. I'm a sys admin and DBA by trade, so I wanted a programming book that was at my level.

            This is that book

            I am big fan of how the book opens with writing code for a simple program. After that it moves into the logical and syntax of what just happened. This may or may not work for everyone, the style of "follow me, and do what I do, then I'll tell you why", it works for me. For anyone who learns-by-doing, this book is for you.

            The writing style if informal, which, doesn't speak to every type of reader, but it works for me. The book takes the teeth out what could be the heavy subject of C#. The little call-outs, cartoons, and exercises break up the monotony of learning a programming language, they provide brief respites. The examples and directions are easy to follow. The book builds on previous chapters, so one could skip forward to later chapters if the book is a bit slow.

            I don't have a whole lot of negative to say about this book, it hit all the spots that I was looking to itch. If one is looking for a reference book, this isn't it. It's just not setup like that. I will definitely tell friends and co-workers (who aren't programmers), who want to learn C#, that this is the book.

            (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great learning tool for C#

            By Jeff

            from Cincinnati, OH

            About Me Developer, IT Manager, Sys Admin

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Casual Tone
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Plenty Of Exercises
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Rusty Pro
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly Head First C#, 3rd Edition:

              Head First C# takes a hands-on, instructional approach to object-oriented programming in C# in a casual tone, making the information easier to absorb. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to learn how to develop applications in C#. For a more detailed review, please read on.

              ABOUT ME

              I'm an IT professional with about 10 years of industry experience in various roles. Most of my work has been in client-facing roles in Systems Integration, Professional Services, IT Project Management, and IT Management. Despite getting a degree in Computer Science in 2005, I had yet to have a job where my primary responsibility was programming and software development—the entire reason I got into this field.

              I was always a good programmer, but other intangible skills had always positioned me to be more useful in other hybrid roles between business and technology stakeholders. I decided recently to move the career needle back towards my passion, and so I began the retraining process. I had done some programming in my various positions, but as it was never my primary responsibility, I was a bit rusty.

              WHY I BOUGHT THIS BOOK

              I settled on Head First C# because I was looking for a book that would ease me back into the world of Object-oriented programming, as well as C# as most of my education had been in C++. I was also looking for a book that would reinforce my learning with plenty of questions, exercises, and labs. This book does both of those things very well.

              With a degree in Computer Science, I obviously understood OOP concepts and was comfortable with seeing code and syntax. What I wasn't comfortable with at this point was my ability to recall all I had learned, and I was unsure what had changed since I last beat up the semicolon key on my keyboard. With repetition, turning questions back on me to get me thinking, exercises, labs, and engaging examples, this book allowed me to gain back that confidence and learn plenty of new things as well.

              LAYOUT AND ORGANIZATION OF THE BOOK

              The book starts right off with having you write a Windows Store App in C# to get your feet wet with C#, programming, and XAML. This is a confidence builder for newbies to programming and for those of us returning, a nice "Welcome back!" After that, all exercises go back to using Windows Forms to focus on teaching OOP, Computer Science concepts, and C# until XAML is reintroduced in chapter 10. For me, this allowed me to rediscover familiar concepts at my own pace while learning some new ones.

              The second half of the book (everything after Lab #2) moves into building Windows Store Applications with XAML, some intermediate topics like exception handling, events, and LINQ, and good software design using the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern. The book really takes the time to try to teach you not just programming, but software development.

              CONCLUSION

              Head First C# is a good, all-in-one teaching tool for anyone looking to get their hands into C# development. Beginner and intermediate developers alike will get some value out of this book.

              I'm finishing up the final lab in the book this week and will be moving onto a combination of C# reference books and exam prep guides next as I work towards my MCSD. Head First C# definitely put me down the right road to be able to attack those goals head on!

              NOTES

              As with all technical publications, it is recommended to utilize online resources such as forums, errata, and other supplements made available by the publisher to get the optimal learning experience. I actually won a few of the "bounties" for the labs! :-)

              As I've seen other reviews note, if you're not using Windows 8, you need to use an accompanying PDF with WPF equivalents to the XAML Windows Store App exercises. The authors clearly state this on page xxxviii: "We wrote this book using Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8 and Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop." They also state that Chapters 3 through 9 don't require Windows 8, and you can do the rest of the exercises using WPF desktop apps instead of Windows 8 apps using a provided PDF. I personally just upgraded to Windows 8, though I felt it important to clarify that all of this is clearly noted in the "What you need for this book" section of the introduction.

              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Clear, concise, easy to learn

              By brencode

              from Spokane, WA

              About Me Designer, Developer, Sys Admin

              Pros

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

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate
                • Novice
                • Student

                Comments about oreilly Head First C#, 3rd Edition:

                This book is simply the best guide to programming ever made.

                (10 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                A Very Frustrating Update

                By Alehotep

                from London, England

                About Me Maker

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Easy to understand
                • Helpful examples

                Cons

                • The Format

                Best Uses

                • Novice

                Comments about oreilly Head First C#, 3rd Edition:

                I have been impressed by these books as they make tough subjects interesting. I had bought the previous edition as an e book and was struggling with the format (finding the vital code text very small and a bit awkward to navigate). So I thought I would update to the latest edition on paper also so I could use it as a reference more easily. Unfortunately the first few chapters are entirely devoted to Windows 8 format. There is a PDF which you are encouraged to download that allows you to build the same projects on earlier operating systems, but this does mean I have ended up reading from a screen again, just what I was trying to avoid by buying the book. It even says in the Appendix that it would be a good idea for Windows 8 users to go back and build the projects using the older (WPF) way. It would have seemed a better idea to make that the content of the book and release a PDF for Windows 8 users, rather than exclude the many of us who have not updated yet.

                (16 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great book for the typical ADHD pro

                By The Professional Heretic

                from Independence, MO

                About Me Developer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Easy to understand
                • Fun
                • Helpful examples

                Cons

                • Too Windows8 Centric

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate
                • Student

                Comments about oreilly Head First C#, 3rd Edition:

                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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