Posts Tagged development

Fluent C# Review : Chapter One

I am reviewing an advanced copy of the book Fluent C# by noted .NET author Rebecca Riordan.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Fluent C# Review: The Intro

I have received an advanced copy of  the book Fluent C# by noted .NET author Rebecca Riordan. Since this blog is often about what I am doing, I am going to give you all an inside look at what I feel is the most innovative and groundbreaking method of teaching programing skills that I have seen come along in quite some time. I intend to go chapter by chapter reviewing the concepts of what the book is teaching.

The first thing that grabs you is the cover of the book. It is not your typical programming book cover. It is….almost artsy and fun.

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No computer like lettering or images of how powerful you can become. It makes you want to smile. At first I didn’t like it at all. It doesn’t look feel or look like what a “computer book” should to me or at least what I would expect. As the book began I was stunned. I have never seen a computer programming book look like so!

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The images really just jump off the page at you and grab your attention. I am used to a text learning process. So this was going to be something new. But as I progressed to the end of this chapter I really began to feel like this might be a new way to learn.

I had the opportunity to ask a few questions of the author of Fluent C#. She said that Fluent C# was “an introduction development in the C# language with .NET and WPF, aimed at beginning programmers” and that Fluent C# was different than other C# tutorials because of

“1) learn the way your brain learns, by trial & error rather than lecture and dictation
2) heavy use of graphics appeals to all the senses, making it easier to remember
3) concepts first, details later, just the way the brain works”

All in all I think I am going to find this book an interesting read and definitely a new way to learn. I am very much looking forward to it.

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