Accelerated VB 2008 [Apress]

October 31, 2008

I have been trying to make the transition to the 3.5 framework on my own with mixed success for a little while. After having read this book, I am much further along in my pursuit. This was a book which helped illuminate exactly how much I do not know, which is always a good thing. In most of the topics covered, they point out the differences in value and reference types, and are quick to direct the reader to using the IL to check out the underpinnings for themselves. Being mostly skeptical, I did, and have now started using this newfound ability to peel back the hood and see what makes the whole thing tick. As a result, I came to understand the stack, heap and boxing conversions more.

As far as the meat of the book, there are some great chapters. My favorite chapters were those on Exception Handling, Delegates and Events, Generics, and Threading. These are topics which are not new to VB 2008, but prior to this book I had not spent a great deal of time studying them. Any book which explains threading or generics in a way that I can understand is great to me, which this one does a great job at doing. The examples were not as trivial as I sometimes see in books, but were succinct enough to be used at a later time to try to understand the concepts. In addition, the Best Practices chapter contained some good nuggets to keep in mind and I found the LINQ chapter to be a good primer on the topic.

Overall this was an excellent book which I think could be used as a textbook if someone took the time to write problem sets. I would especially recommend this book if you are like me, and have not had a great deal of formal training but want to fill in some gaps and want to head into the latest iteration of the .NET framework.

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