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Best Kept Secrets in .NET Paperback – September 13, 2004
I would really recommend that you have this near you when you code and slowly start using tip by tip -- .NET From India blog, Anand M., September 8, 2004
About the Author
Deborah Kurata is a software developer and the bestselling author of Doing Objects with Visual Basic 6.0. She is among the highest-rated speakers at software development conferences worldwide and is the cofounder of InStep Technologies, a leading software consulting and training firm.
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I'm a somewhat experienced programmer, and a lot of what I read I found to be best practices that most introductory books on a variety of subjects will feature. The book's magic is that the tips are consolidated to within a single bound title, relieving the reader of needing to buy and read multiple titles to acquire such knowledge.
The book's finer points are evident in the many code samples being featured in both Visual Basic .NET and C#, and the book's succinct nature. Author Deborah Kurata doesn't spend hours poring over concepts; she just gets right to the point and lets you know how you can use a certain trick in your .NET programming. On that point, there's also a nice discussion of using regular expressions and operator overloading, and a good preview of refactoring in Visual Studio 2005 (at the time of this writing still in early beta).
However, I was disappointed in the fact that there wasn't a chapter on such secrets for web development with ASP.NET, and leans heavily towards those programming for Windows Forms (there are faint mentions of using web.config for web projects, but that's about it). This makes the book more applicable to desktop developers, and unfairly denies the browser crowd of using this book for their work.
Still, I came away with a couple of morsels that I'll take with me, such as the ability to use VB .NET's IsNumeric function in C# by referencing Microsoft.VisualBasic.dll. As with most APress titles, it's made the stand the test of time, with heavy paper and sturdy binding, so it's great as a desktop reference.
Overall it makes for a nice, quick read - priced pretty decently.
Deborah is a frequent contributor to CoDe magazine, which I always read, so I had high expectations. While I think that the tips and techniques don't always qualify as "best kept secrets", they are all very valuable. In fact, I believe that all junior programers should be required to read this book. Here's a small sample of the topics in the book:
12 ways to search for code
Accessing External Tools
Windows Forms techniques
Aliasing Data Types
I have to admit that I already knew most of these techniques. Why do I like this book then? Because I've been using .NET exclusively for over 3 years now, and I've had to learn this information the hard way. This is why I'm recommending the book to all junior programmers and those less familiar with .NET. This book will help you learn to use Visual Studio and .NET to get the most productivity out of your programming time.
Apart from its name, it's generally a good book for beginers and average book for mid-level devs and skim through for seniors in case they won't know how to store code snippets in toolbox. I liked the improving unit testing and defensive development sections along with much ADO and hidden tricks in VS.NET. The Apress roadmap explains the intended audience and its a good match but generally, I'd recommend Coder to Developer for this particular genre of IDE/Process learning.
What's really funny is that, at the end of the book, the author declares that if you said "I didn't know that" at least once while reading her book, then the book "met its objective of revealing the best kept secrets in .NET." That self-congratulatory statement is so illogical and false I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Literally 90% (I made careful marks of the content that was at least slightly informative to me) of the book's "secrets" are extremely basic, tepid, well-known practices.
Most recent customer reviews
APress 2004 ISBN: 1-59059-426-6
Reviewed by Steven Mullins, HuNTUG member
"The Secrets to...Read more