Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

I am prepping for my first .NET 4.0 upgrade exam (70-521) that I want to take in a couple of weeks.  I purchased the Microsoft “official” training kit and worked my way though it over the last 7 days.  In a word – “terrible”.  In two words – “really terrible”.  In three words – well, you get the idea.  Why do I think this book is a waste of time?

  • There are little, if any, code samples to explain a concept
  • The material is not cumulative, nor is there a unifying application/project to tie concepts together
  • The actual explanations are overly wordy and opaque
  • The code samples, when they exist, are examples of anti-practices.  Consider this nugget from the first chapter:
  • foreach(FontFamily F in Fonts.SystemFontFamilies) { ListBoxItem l = new ListBoxItem(); l.Content = F.ToString(); l.FontFamily = F; listBox1.Items.Add(l); }

(Yup, this was written by someone who considers themselves a professional programmer)

  • The book’s size is due to listing each enumeration value in chart form – basically unreadable.
  • The pictures are in black and white
  • Each chapter ends with helpful “exercises” like “Build a calculator program” or “Practice creating resources” without any guidance on how to do the task or any final answer to check against.

I ordered some other WPF books that were recommended – I’ll spin through them in the coming weeks.  Until then, I am just puttering around with WPF – which is my new BFF (sorry WF)….

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