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Review of Developing Windows Based Applications for VB.Net and C#.Net

By Andy Warren,

Recently we made the decision where I work that all developers should pass the MCAD within 12 months as a part of our effort to move all new projects to .Net and to raise the bar for minimum proficiency. Agree or disagree with certification, it's a good way to get everyone moving and it gives a decent metric of progress towards the goal. How it works out....we'll see!

Anyway, the point of this is to talk about the book we selected to use as an initial study tool - Developing Windows Based Applications with Microsoft VB.Net and C#.Net. Hardcover, 541 pages, retails for $69.99, about $49 from Amazon. The MCAD is fairly new and there isn't a lot of choice for study materials. Book includes a 60 day eval of .Net Pro edition on DVD plus a fully searchable ebook.

The book consists of 10 chapters, starting with the basics of the framework, working through objects and forms, finishing up with chapters on security and deployment. So far we've worked our way through chapters 1-4 and have found the material fairly easy to understand. If you've never programmed this book isn't going to work for you. If you have programmed and have a decent understanding of objects it should work fine.

I didn't expect to like the book because of the dual coverage of VB and C#. I'm a VB guy, yes, and if you prefer C#, that's ok with me! I can do what I need to do in VB and since it's now a first class citizen, why would I want to change? Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to see how it works out in the book. All code examples are duplicated in both languages and the differences where they exist are clearly explained. I may not want to use C#, but being able to read it is worthwhile for sure an this is a great way to get comfortable with it. Have to say it's interesting seeing some of the differences. Nothing huge, but interesting all the same. (Read the book!)

It's an exam prep book and so covers a lot of ground. If you're looking to learn either language, I think you'd be better off looking for an intro book rather than this one. I'm also reading Programming Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and will try to write something up on it in the next few weeks.

I'll report back once I've had a chance to work through the Transcender exam and take the actual exam, let you know if the book does a good job of exam prep. So far I think it does, but who knows until you take the test? (Note: I won't write anything that will violate the exam NDA, just comment on whether I think if you study using the book you'll be properly prepared for the exam.)

Anyone else pursuing MCAD or MCSD for .Net? Found a book you like or have you tried this one? Add your comments to the article using the link below.

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