My focus today will be on Chapter One. Chapter One opens with an introduction to what application development is. It takes the reader through the simple problem of a messy paper stack and through a picture flow chart attempts to show the reader how the problem is to be solved and equate it with the same process of writing a windows application. It is unlike anything you have ever seen in a development book! But it is also one of the most clear renderings of the application process that I have seen.
They introduce you to the “clients” that are to appear throughout the book, two cooks named Neil and Gordon. (Incidentally the editor happens to be named Neil….coincidence? I think not!). It encourages you to take breaks at certain strategic points throughout the book as well. Neil and Gordon hand out their requirements and Riordan helps you get through it. She even begins the process of explaining the Agile software development methodology. It then introduces UML (Unified Modeling Language) and why it should be used. That and Agile are actually advanced topics perhaps left to a later time but I get why they do it here.
In the first project the book attempts to take you down the path of creating your requirements but before you see a single line of code you see the requirements explained in an easy to understand real life example. Then before you know it you have been introduced to database schemas, class diagrams and screen layout concepts all really done in a beautifully illustrated way. Extremely well done!
When there are words that need to be defined they are set out like so, so that they stand out from the rest of the page (see example below). Again hard to miss and it really catches the eye.
It goes into JIT (Just in Time Debugging) and the CLR (common language runtime) explaining what it is and how it is used. Of course at the end there is the obligatory review of the chapter. The only difference is this one is beautifully illustrated.
I don’t know about you but I am certainly looking forward to chapter two as we get more into the nuts and bolts of what is happening.