Sebastopol, CA--Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene believe there has never been a better time to learn C#. One reason is the imminent release of C# 3.0. "Microsoft is releasing some really awesome improvements in C# 3.0," says Greene. "A lot of the things that people can do in just a few lines with 3.0 would have taken much more code just a year ago. Not to mention the release of Visual Studio 2008 Express--a few years back, you had to buy programming tools from Microsoft. Now you can download them for free, and that gives people a great way to learn C# without spending a lot of money."
"That's right," Stellman agrees. "There are all sorts of new features in the Visual Studio 2008 and C# 3.0 that will be released this month."
But improvements to the language arenít the only reasons why it's a good time to learn C#. Stellman and Greene have joined forces as authors once again to produce Head First C# (O'Reilly, US $49.99), a brain-friendly guide to the popular language, making it easy for just about anyone to tackle the subject.
"Currently, it's very hard for both beginning programmers and people who have experience with other languages to learn how to work with all the great new features. We're giving them an easy way to learn," says Stellman.
Head First C# is a complete learning experience for object-oriented programming, C#, and the Visual Studio IDE. Written for your brain, the book covers C# 3.0 and Visual Studio 2008, and teaches everything from garbage collection to extension methods to double-buffered animation. Readers will also master C#'s hottest and newest syntax, LINQ, for querying data in .NET collections, SQL databases, and more.
If you've never read a Head First book, you're in for a treat. Head First authors know that your time is too valuable to spend struggling with new concepts. Using the latest in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multi-sensory learning experience, Head First C# uses a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works, rather than a text-heavy approach that'll put you to sleep.
"The bottom line with any book is that you can't really learn to program from reading," says Stellman. "You only learn to program by solving problems. And that's what we set out to--give the reader lots of practice solving increasingly complex and fun programming problems. If you enjoy building things and working out how things work, Head First C# is for you."
"If you've got some programming experience, this book will be especially fun" adds Greene. "There are a lot of Visual Basic programmers who will have a leg up when they start this book. We kept them in mind and tried to give them an entertaining and fast-paced experience. But someone who has no programming experience at all should still have no trouble learning C#. It's a great language to start with, and we made sure to give beginning programmers everything they need."
Andrew Stellman, despite being raised a New Yorker, has lived in Pittsburgh twice. The first time was when he graduated from Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science, and then again when he and Jenny were starting their consulting business and writing their first project management book for O'Reilly. When he moved back to his hometown, his first job after college was as a programmer at EMI-Capitol Records--which actually made sense, since he went to LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts to study cello and jazz bass guitar. He and Jenny first worked together at that same financial software company, where he was managing a team of programmers. He's since managed various teams of software engineers, requirements analysts, and led process improvement efforts. Andrew keeps himself busy eating an enormous amount of string cheese and Middle Eastern desserts, playing music (but video games even more), studying taiji and aikido, having a girlfriend named Lisa, and owing a Pomeranian.
Jennifer Greene studied philosophy in college but, like everyone else in the field, couldn't find a job doing it. Luckily, she's a great software tester, so she started out doing it at an online service, and that's the first time she got a good sense of what project management was. She moved to New York in 1998 to test software at a financial software company. She managed a team of testers at a really cool startup that did artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Since then, she's managed large teams of programmers, testers, designers, architects, and other engineers on lots of projects, and she's done a whole bunch of procurement management. She loves traveling, watching Bollywood movies, drinking carloads of carbonated beverages, and owing a whippet.
More information about Head First C#, including table of contents, index, author bio, and samples
Head First C#
Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene
ISBN: 0-596-51482-4, $49.99
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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