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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming C#, 4th Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Jesse Liberty
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5
Not well put together

I work through every example in a book to make sure I'm not glossing over important details as I read. What I found in this book was a real mess of code from one example to the next. Many times the code examples appear to be building on each other as you progress through each chapter but if you actually work the examples, you find that variable names are different, naming conventions are all over the board, and you end up spending time trying to figure out what changed instead of focusing on what you're supposed to be learning. It also felt like a lot of the concepts were just being tossed into the text instead of being treated thoroughly. I will say that I just had to stop after chapter 5 so it may get better but I'm really disappointed so I'm giving it a low rating.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Critical Testing Processes: Plan, Prepare, Perform, Perfect
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Rex Black
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Practical and powerful

Critical Testing Processes is excellent. As usual, Rex Black offers testing information based on methods he's found to be successful, so you know you aren't just reading about abstract theories. This book is full of practical and usable solutions to common problems. Whether you've been in testing for a long time, are just starting out, or are curious about what it is those testing people do, this book delivers. The story of a testing team, woven throughout the book, helps to provide an understanding of how the methods discussed in the book can apply to real-life scenarios. The issues and problems faced by the team in the story are those we commonly face in the industry, and the solutions they use provide workable models for the same issues I face in my work.
My first read through was cover-to-cover, which I recommend because you get the full spectrum of the testing story, from start to finish. However, I now pick up the book and dig into any relevant chapter, as a reference when I'm trying to solve a specific problem. That is the real power of this book...it isn't a one-time read, it's an ongoing guide, useful project after project.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Server+ Study Guide
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Brad Hryhoruk, Diana Bartley, Quentin Docter
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
1 Thumb down, on a 2 thumbs scale.

I can only feel sorry for users of the 1st edition, because this 2nd edition is bad. The chapter material is all over the place, chapter questions are short sighted, and the available answers to chapter questions are frequently wrong or short sighted also. The only reason I didn't give it 2 thumbs down is because it was an improvement over the Microsoft A+ book which started my CompTIA certification effort. I recommend the "All In One" series whenever available.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: C# and the .NET Platform, Second Edition
Publisher: Apress
Authors: Andrew Troelsen
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Andrew Has Written Another Classic

I've been purchasing books written by Andrew for a number of years. His writing style, examples, and way of explanations, IMHO, are on par with Dino Esposito, Nathan Wahlin, and other well known authors. This book is particularly well suited as a training book for the novice programmer (If read front to end) and as a reference for experience programmers. The only topics I missed are no-touch deployment applications and smart phone applications which are relatively new and may be slightly off-topic for this book. However, if Andrew is writing a revision to this book and includes these and newer topic such as generics I'd LOVE to proof it :) hint hint... Seriously, if you are seeking a good book on C# that covers all the basics of the language and .NET framework, moves into more advanced use of C#, this is the book.