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Head First C#, 2E: A Learner's Guide to Real-World Programming with Visual C# and .NET (Head First Guides) Second Edition Edition

92 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449380342
ISBN-10: 1449380344
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Book Description

A Learner's Guide to Real-World Programming with Visual C# and .NET

About the Author

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 owning a pomeranian. For more information about Andrew, Jennifer Greene, and their books, visit

Jennifer Greene has managed just about every aspect of software development during her career. She spent the past 15 years building software for many different kinds of companies, including small start-ups and huge companies. Jenny's built software test teams and has helped many companies diagnose and deal with habitual process problems so they could build better software. Since her start in software test and process definition, she's branched out into development management and project management. Jenny is currently managing a large development team for a global media company.


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Product Details

  • Series: Head First Guides
  • Paperback: 840 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (May 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449380344
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449380342
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Andrew Stellman is a developer, architect, speaker, agile coach, project manager, and expert in building better software. He has over two decades of professional experience building software, and has architected large-scale real-time back end systems, managed large international software teams, been a Vice President at a major investment bank, and consulted for companies, schools, and corporations, including Microsoft, the National Bureau of Economic Research, Bank of America, Notre Dame, and MIT. He's had the privilege of working with some pretty amazing programmers during that time, and likes to think that he's learned a few things from them.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By evannever on August 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been out of coding for almost 10 years and decided to get back into it recently. Since I'm focusing on .Net technologies I thought jumping into C# would be the right step. I read most of the reviews for this book and the gist I got was: it was good for beginners, well written, but full of errors.

I have found only two of those to be true: The second edition of this book seems to be mostly error free. I'm about half way through and I *think* I've found only one error so far (this was very minor too). All of my code has compiled and I haven't had any issues at all. The book is very beginner oriented but moves at a good pace. The concepts come fast and things like class diagramming and coding styles are seamlessly worked in to the lessons.

The book teaches C# and object oriented programming from the beginning and I can't recommend it enough for someone who is starting out or has been out of the game for too long (like me). Make sure you get the second edition and you wont be disappointed.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Jacob D. Ryf on June 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, please understand this is my first review and I am still just a programming student and this is my first experience with C# but not the C language. I've taken two classes in C++ and one in Visual Basic, so I'm not a newbie but at the same time I still wouldn't consider myself intermediate.

I'm writing this review having only read the first 100 pages of the book because I wanted to state that, as of this writing, the current edition of this book that is selling (Pub: May 2010, 2nd ed) there have been NO errors. If you are considering purchasing this book, please be aware that (again as of this writing) there have only been 2 reviews of the newest edition (2nd ed, May 2010). All previous reviews are of the November 2007 edition which was apparently filled with errors. If only would list them separately we wouldn't have this problem.

Now, a brief review of the content. The first impressive thing about this book is that it takes into consideration how our brain works and learns and it explains this to you a bit before getting into the subject of the book. It uses a lot of pictures and repetition (repetition via text and program exercises) to help you remember things which studies have shown makes a big difference in the way our brain stores data. (I know this from reading 'Brain Rules' by John Medina).

Anyway, so far in the first 100 pages, we've lightly covered the basics; variables, if statements, loops and program structure (namespace, class, method, statements). When I say lightly, I mean it doesn't go into every type of variable or all the details of a method. I feel this is a good approach for a first time coder because trying to remember everything a method can do in one chapter just isn't going to happen.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steven Harclerode on November 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
I think this book would be very good for someone who is somewhat artistically inclined. There are such people who are programmers, although I think more of us are sequential, left brained thinkers.

The book could get someone new to C# up and running fairly quickly. There's still a ton to learn even if everything in the book was mastered, though. In particular, there's not a lot of discussion about Web development. To be fair, that's not the stated purpose of the book.

I've been programming in C# professionally for many years. Most of what was in the book I knew fairly well, although I definitely gained some new insights from some sections, especially the discussion of events and delegates. This is the first book I've ever seen that puts the discussion of events first, and I think it works very well.

No book is perfect, but I did find the illustrations and the Question / Answer sections stimulating. If you're looking to learn C#, and you find most technical books boring, this is probably a good choice.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By LCW on December 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Due to my work, I have to learn c# for some projects. I bought this book and I don't regret it.

I am a Java developer so I have some programming experience. Yes, if you are completely new to programming and OO concept, perhaps you may feel confused and hard to understand while going through this book, because it spends a lot of pages on step-by-step and practical exercises, and sometimes the exercises are quite long and linked.

So... if you just want to read the book while you are sitting comfortably on your sofa, this book isn't for you.
If you are like me want to actual learn C# skill and get them to burn deeply in your head, you have to face your computer monitor working with Visual studio all the time. Then you should buy this book.

This book contains 3 labs for you to test and summarize you skill. Those labs ask and guide you to make games so it is quite fun... espectially the 3rd lab. It is about to make a shooting game. Once I finished the lab, I was very delighted because I got ZERO c# experience before. How would I support I could make a shooting game after 3 weeks reading and practicing on this book? It was just a miracle.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Wow...lots of typos...horribly sequenced...and only getting worse. on April 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've had this book for a few months. After reading numerous reviews of C# books I chose this book because it seemed to have the most positive reviews. From reviews I was aware of some typos but the extent to which typos make the book difficult to use is becoming more and more apparent.

I'm around 200 pages in and have learned a fair amount, but mostly because I've doubled up with tutorials at [...]. Their are 200 C# tutorials there for free and without 20 or 30 of those behind me, this would be an increasingly frustrating book. Actually it IS increasingly frustrating, but because I'm starting to put together a knowledge base from another source, I'm becoming more aware that the problems are largely with this book as opposed to my ability to learn.

The Dog Track simulator project is far too difficult for where it is placed in the book - near the beginning of a "beginning" level book. It makes very little sense to expect a "learner" of C# to be able to put that program together.

I obviously haven't finished the book and it's unlikely that I will. But I'm starting to think this book suffers from the same problem as many of these books - multiple authors. Apparently there are only two authors, unlike some of these books who have a half dozen or so "experts" contributing but with no coherence whatsoever, all writing at a very high level, seeming to gear their "teaching" more toward glorifying their own abilities as opposed to just teaching the information they're getting paid for. But these two authors still can't seem to be on the same page. The more I think about it, the more confused I get as to why this book is so confusing, especially if there are "only" two authors.
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