Author: Michael Halvorson
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Aimed at: Novice VB programmers
Pros: Logical approach
Cons: Covers topics that are too complicated for beginners
Reviewed by: Mike James
The problem with most step-by-step books is that they are light on theory. This means you end up following the instructions to achieve some result or other but don’t necessarily understand why it all works. You quickly discover that this is the case when something goes wrong and you can’t sort it out. As step-by-step books go this one isn’t bad. It follows a reasonably logical approach but it goes too quickly at first, then too slowly and then too fast. It’s not the author’s fault but rather the very nature of a step-by-step book that aims to convince you that you can program by page 10. If you read the text that surrounds the steps then you will learn some basic programming ideas but you have to concentrate because they might seem unimportant embedded within some complicated example. For a reasonably short book aimed at the beginner it also goes too far – ADO and ASP .NET are not topics that are easy to swallow when you are still coming to terms with flow of control and objects. The conclusion has to be that this is a good book of its type but make sure that a step-by-step approach is really what you need.
<Reviewed in VSJ>