Brief synopsis of Learn C# in One Day and Learn It Well
Learn C# in One Day and Learn It Well is a short introduction to the C# programming language. It’s focused on syntax and not so much answering how or why things work. It’s succinct and does an adequate job covering the most common features required to get you started. It will not teach you the language well in one day. It’s inexpensive and serves as a quick shot of dopamine; you’ll finish it fast, learn something, and feel a sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, if you don’t immediately quit programming right after reading this thing you’re going to need another book to expand your knowledge. There is, however, something to be said about repetition and incremental achievement milestones. For the price it’s worth a look.
This book is 148 pages in length not counting the appendix and index at the end.
Print and binding quality
This is another Amazon print-on-demand paperback book. I actually like these kinds of books. They all seem to follow the same basic layout, they have the same font size, the margins are the same, etc. The only thing I don’t like about the Amazon print-on-demand books (including this one) is the lack of a title and author name on the spine. I am not sure if this is the author’s fault or if it’s not within his control. I find this annoying, especially once I had more than one of these types of books on my shelf.
The target audience for this book is beginners with limited programming experience. I say limited because I want to highlight that this book may not be appropriate for someone with zero programming experience. Why? Because the author does not explain very basic low level assumptions related to code execution, what IDEs are, what .NET is, etc. This could leave someone with zero programming experience with a lot of unanswered questions. If you’re coming from another programming language this book will get you started quickly, but it will not cover advanced features or techniques you’re certain to want to know.
Relevance to game development
The relevance of this book to game development using Unity 3D is high. However, it won’t teach you anything about Unity-specific functionality. Still, it’s a powerful start and it’s just so easy to finish. If you’re at all intimidated by scripting in Unity (and dense textbooks for that matter) this book will provide a quick confidence boost.
How Learn C# in One Day and Learn It Well should be read
The book should be read from start to finish. However, the index at the back of the book means it can also be used as a quick reference for basic syntax questions when you forget how to implement a language feature.
The author does a great job limiting his scope. Things are greatly simplified and leaned out. As a result you’ll cover a lot of ground in a very short period of time. You’ll never get bogged down in complex explanations because there aren’t any. It’s a functional book focused on syntax. Syntax is just a piece of the puzzle, but it’s a substantial piece and, well, you’re technically programming once you have it down.
What I wish was different
There is nothing substantial I would change about this book. This is because it’s lean and the scope is limited. Anything I can suggest would end up changing the scope. For example, adding more content to cover the complex aspects of C# programming or explaining how and why things work. All of this combined with a low price means there is really nothing to complain about. There is really no way the reader’s expectations will not be met. I think this explains the very high rating on Amazon, but it could also be related to reader ignorance. After all, they don’t know what they don’t know.
The book is well written with very few typos or errors. The author assumes a completely neutral tone. I don’t detect any personality and there are no opinions or advice of any kind. The only thing I detect is spelling variations that suggest the author is British.
Code quality in Learn C# in One Day and Learn It Well
The code examples are very brief and pragmatic. In fact, the author keeps the code examples throughout the book extremely short. This is in contrast to the average author of a computer book. Instead, this author creates one large code example at the back of the book that demonstrates all of the concepts taught throughout the book. This really helps keep the page count down, but might not mesh well with some readers. I could also see this as being overwhelming.
As mentioned above, the author does not convey much of a personality. This is fine, of course. I have nothing negative to say about his writing. It’s merely an objective observation.
At the time of writing the book has 1045 reviews on Amazon and a score of 4.5 out of 5 stars. This book has sold a lot more copies than almost any other C# programming book found on the platform. One of the most helpful reviews states the title is misleading. I would agree with this assessment. You will definitely not know C# well after reading this book. You’ll have, as the reviewer stated, a “barebones understanding” of the programming language at best. I also mentioned above briefly the high rating could also be caused by reviewer ignorance. This is common in materials targeting beginners. They don’t know enough to effectively scrutinize the material.
Should you buy Learn C# in One Day and Learn It Well?
I would recommend this book to someone hesitant to start programming in the C# language. However, if you’re not somewhat familiar with what programming is and how it works I would recommend supplementing this text with something else. If bigger textbooks don’t scare you and you’re hungry for knowledge you can safely skip this one for a more comprehensive selection like Illustrated C# 7 for example. For me this book was nothing more than a self-esteem boost. I felt good plowing through it quickly because the content was so easy to understand. However, the feeling wore off quickly once I realized I hadn’t really learned that much.