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Head First C# [Paperback]

by Andrew Stellman, Jennifer Greene
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Confront and Conquer Advanced C# Concepts
Learn how to build a fully animated, colorful simulation of a beehive with a free chapter from Head First C#.
There is a newer edition of this item:
Head First C# Head First C# 4.2 out of 5 stars (26)
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Book Description

December 3, 2007 0596514824 978-0596514822 1

Head First C# is a complete learning experience for object-oriented programming, C#, and the Visual Studio IDE. Built for your brain, this book covers C# 3.0 and Visual Studio 2008, and teaches everything from language fundamentals to advanced topics including garbage collection, extension methods, and double-buffered animation. You'll also master C#'s hottest and newest syntax, LINQ, for querying SQL databases, .NET collections, and XML documents. By the time you're through, you'll be a proficient C# programmer, designing and coding large-scale applications.

Every few chapters you will come across a lab that lets you apply what you've learned up to that point. Each lab is designed to simulate a professional programming task, increasing in complexity until-at last-you build a working Invaders game, complete with shooting ships, aliens descending while firing, and an animated death sequence for unlucky starfighters. This remarkably engaging book will have you going from zero to 60 with C# in no time flat.

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

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

About the Author

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. For more information about Jennifer, Andrew Stellman, and their books, visit

Product Details

  • Series: Head First
  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (December 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596514824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596514822
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 8 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
110 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars *Learn* C# July 12, 2008
Head First C# was my first experience with the Head First series, although I have since also purchased the excellent Head First Design Patterns (Head First).

This book is designed to teach you C# from the beginning. Technical books can generally be categorized as either tutorials or reference texts -- and this is absolutely in the tutorial category. It's intended to be read and worked through in order, from start to finish. If you already know C# and are looking for a reference text, look elsewhere. If you're an experienced C++ programmer looking to learn C# but are already very familiar with object oriented programming, consider checking out the excellent and concise Accelerated C# 2008 (Accelerated). If you're an experienced C# programmer and just want to learn the advanced features of C#2 and C#3, you'll again want to look elsewhere, and you couldn't do better than C# in Depth: What you need to master C# 2 and 3.

But if you want to *learn* C# and object-oriented programming, and especially if you have little or no prior programming experience, look no further than this fantastic book. If you're reading reviews of the book, then you probably know two things: it has an unusual style and some quirky humor, and it has a bit more than it's fair share of errors. These two things are true, but there's a lot more about the book that you should know, and that's mostly what I want to talk about in this review. Before I move on, though, let me say two things.
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143 of 160 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book badly needs an editor April 6, 2008
By Art
As an experienced programmer, I've found this book to be very good at getting me "up and running" and writing my own C# code (I'm about 1/3 of the way through).

However, the book is clearly intended to be appropriate for less experienced programmers as well, and I think it would be very confusing for someone who didn't already have a fair amount of programming experience.

Specifically there are a lot of typos and errors in this book which would, I think, make it very difficult for a beginner to know whether they're doing the right thing or not. In a lot of cases, I find it difficult to tell what I'm supposed to be doing in a given case because, for example, I'll be told to create a particular field or method for an object, and then I won't be told (directly or indirectly) what I'm supposed to use it for. Then, in the exercise "solution", I will see what the field is used for, but that functional requirement was never stated as part of the exercise description.

Sometimes the reader will be told to create a particular field or method as "private" and then, two pages later, the solution will show it as a "public" field. As an experienced programmer, I can usually guess that the book has made an error in a case like this, but I could easily see a beginner wasting a lot of time due to errors like this in the book.

Here are the specific errors I've found just today:

Page 265:
The "Sharpen Your Pencil" exercise shows a line that states:
Bees[6] = Bees[2];
But the solution shows it as
Bees[6] = Bees[0];
Which makes it impossible for the reader to come up with the correct solution.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Way To Learn C#!!! February 19, 2008
The one thing that most (nearly all) technical books have in common is that they are B-O-R-I-N-G. While this works for many people looking to just get to the meat and potatoes content, if a newbie or beginner wants to be able to LEARN from a book they are at a loss.

That's where the 'Head First' line of books comes in to play.

If you have never read a Head First book you are in for a treat when you sit down and start reading. Nowhere in a HF book will you be bored as these books aren't looking to just teach, but teach in a FUN, interesting way. It's tough to explain a HF book other than it's an experience in itself. Filled with a design, content, and writing that jumps out at you, these books are looking to get you excited to turn to the next page and/or chapter and want to keep reading.

I think that the C# Head First book is one of the best I have had the pleasure to read. With over 700 pages of content spread over 15 chapters, this is a wonderful book for newbies that want to get coding right away. Filled with all the stuff that you would expect from such a book: basic programming constructs and declarations, object oriented discussion, file IO, exception handling, delegates, and even the newest M$ technology LINQ!!

If you are new to using C# and want to learn in my opinion possibly the best way possible, pick up this book FIRST and use all other guides as references. If you want boring books that are full of drab info and light on the enjoyment, this isn't for you (highly unlikely).

A pleasure to read and easy to learn from, this is one great book on C#.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry Annoying
I'm relatively new to programming and this book is a pain in the backside. The chapters all start very slow and theirs too much repetition then all of a sudden theirs a really hard... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Roisin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book for learning how to program!
All of the Head First books are fantastic and the C# book is no exception. Even though its a bit older, all of the principles still apply (and you save almost $20 from the most... Read more
Published 13 months ago by MB
4.0 out of 5 stars As expected
A very good read, well thought out and knowledgeable. My only issue with it is that it does not address what happens if you do something and it does not work, a common error or... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Sean Yarrison
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for beginners/ those looking to learn a new programming...
After having a few years of experience in VB.Net I wanted to learn visual c# but didn't know where to start. Read more
Published 15 months ago by S. Coyne
4.0 out of 5 stars Head first. C# review
Head first C# Is a fine book, it teaches you a lot of things. Not the best but it is fine.
Published 17 months ago by pilotblaze1
THIS BOOK IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH KINDLE 3.4!!!! DO NOT PURCHASE!!!!! Apparently they have changed the kindle requirements.. if you have an older kindle do not buy this book! Read more
Published 18 months ago by Bobby D. Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars Does not work on Windows 8 Kindle Reader App
I enjoy the book, however, I can only enjoy it using the "legacy" Kindle reader for PC on my Windows 8 OS. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Christopher F. Conner
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent explanation of interfaces, delegates, and inheritance
I've been doing c# for a couple years now, and mainly performed things in what I consider "non-fancy" ways. Read more
Published on December 9, 2010 by Christy L. Maeding
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book brought down by poor editing and coding errors
This is my first foray into the Head First series and I must say I love how they approach teaching a new language. However, this book is far from perfect. Read more
Published on July 17, 2010 by Nicholas DiMucci
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for those starting out.
I love the fact that the first chapter of this book finishes with you building a functional program. Read more
Published on April 8, 2010 by C. Nakagaki
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