Book review: Effective C# 2nd Ed.

03/31/11

Book review: Effective C# 2nd Ed.

I don’t always agree with Bill Wagner, but he makes me think. He succeeds at that in the second edition of Effective C#.

Like the first edition and More Effective C#, the new book has 50 short articles on good development practices. This edition covers C# 4.0, including some excellent advice on the dynamic keyword. It’s a valuable book with tips for newcomers, advanced developers, and everyone in between.

I have two problems with the book. First, some of Wagner’s advice is questionable. Not every type needs to be serializable, for example, and his discussion of this ignores the different types of serialization in .NET 4. This is the exception rather than the rule; most of his points match my experience. My main concern is junior developers treating his word as Gospel. ;)

My main criticism is the number of typographical errors in the volume. For a second edition of an Addison-Wesley book, this is appalling. Some of these are in the source code, and can make for a challenging read. For example, item 46 on p. 278 shows an example of a boxing bug. Since the collection is generic, though, no boxing occurs. While the book mentions an online errata page, this offers little benefit to the reader. With three technical reviewers, an editor, and a proofreader, I expect better.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5.


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