Internet is for many individuals their number #1 source when it comes to information of all kind. It’s usually an inexpensive and a fast way to get wanted information and if not found then there exist a great number of Q&A forums.
Despite the easy access via Internet I still prefer to read printed books, especially when it’s about new areas of interest. For me the main advantages for using printed books are:
- They usually give more input on ‘why and when’ then just ‘how’ which is important to get a better understanding from a broader perspective.
- They have been reviewed both from a technical point of view as well as from a general view. Most publishers have an errata page for each book which is regular updated and the code used in the book is available for download.
- I can bring the books with me where ever I want as they are available without the demand of a computer.
- They allow me to make marks and comments whenever I want to do it.
- They have become less expensive for the last years (at least in Sweden).
- They can be sold in second hand.
When it comes to publishers within the field of programming I prefer the following:
- Addison Wesley
For me these publishers stands for high quality and offer many times books that are above the average level and also avoid ‘gracefully’ to try to cover ‘every aspects’ on the subjects.
Professional VB 2005
Authors: Bill Ejven et al
Target audience: Experienced classic VB/VBA developers
The book introduces the readers to .NET Framework, VB.NET, Security and Error handling, ADO.NET and ASP.NET. This book is good although it cover, in my opinion, to wide number of areas. I prefer books where the author(s) focus on few areas in order to get a deep on the subjects.
Pro VB 2005 and the .NET 2.0 Platform
Author: Andrew Troelsen
Ever since I read Andrew Troelsen’s book ‘COM and .NET Interoperability’ I like his writing style and this one does not get me disappointed. Like the above book from Wrox it tends to cover too many areas but not as much as the one above.
If You consider which book to choose between these two books then I strongly recommend to select this book. Especially as it cover in one chapter (in an understandable way) COM and .NET Interoperability.
Pro .NET 2.0 Windows Forms and Custom Controls in VB 2005
Author: Matthew MacDonald
Target audience: Intermediate – Advanced
In many ways this is an excellent book on the subject and offer also two very good appendix about ‘Creating Usable Interface’ and ‘ClickOnce’. It’s well written and very clear on many things and for me it’s the book that encourages me to really explore things with Windows Forms.
So if You believe You’re part of the main target audience then this book should be considered as a ‘must’.
Object-Oriented Programmning (OOP)
During all the years I’ve been around it has always been ‘hype’ around OOP and to the fact that classic VB/VBA don’t support Inheritance and Polymorphism. Despite the lack of it I can only conclude that many solutions created with classic VB/VBA works excellent and continue will do it. The point here is that You don’t need to feel that it’s a must to learn everything about OOP in order to create workable solutions with VB.NET.
If You really want to learn OOP then I strongly suggest that You check out the following two books on the subject:
Visual Basic.NET Class Design Handbook (Coding effective Classes)
Authors: Damon Allison, Andy Olsen and James Speer
Target audience: Intermediate – Advanced
In my opinion this is The Book on the subject. They manage to ‘isolate’ the book to only deal with OOP which I highly appreciate, i e one book cover a specific area only. If You’re concerned on the topic then this book is highly recommended.
An Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming with Visual Basic.NET
Author: Dan Clark
Target audience: Beginner – Intermediate
Clark’s book introduces the readers to the Unified Modeling Language (UML). In my opinion this can be an advantage as it offer a platform to learn OOP in a more structural and in a logic way.
What may be an annoying aspect to consider when it comes to buying book is that MSFT has a extremely high pace of new releases of .NET Framework and VB.NET. However, books can always be useful although they are not ‘state of the art’.
What’s Your opinion about books and do You have any good books to recommend for the .NET – world?
In an upcoming blogpost I will present some books that explicit target Visual Studio Tools for the Office System (VSTO) and Add-ins.