.NET Windows Development: Everyday Tips, Tricks & Optimization

By Alberto Población

“What comes after the “…For Dummies” book? There is a big gap between the introductory/beginner books and the rest of them. Beginners looking for that next step usually find it to be a steep climb. This book helps to fill that gap.” – Dustin Davis

Amazon: $37.00

I recently received my copy of “.NET Windows Development: Everyday Tips, Tricks & Optimization”. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how thin it was. There is only about 250 pages which is exactly how I like my tech books. Some readers like the bible style books with 1000+ pages, but this isn’t that type of book.

“.NET Windows Development: Everyday Tips, Tricks & Optimization” is packed with problem/solution/better solution sections with necessary details where required. There is little, if any, fluff or filler in this book and I appreciate that. Reading is time-consuming and I dislike wasting my time on filler. I usually skim over what I think is wasteful material and try to get back to the good stuff, but sometimes I end up missing something.

The book contains seven chapters of which each is dedicated to its own topic. There is no lead-in so you can jump around the chapters in any order you wish. As the title suggests, each chapter contains either tips & tricks for solving some common issues or improving performance or right-to-the-point introductory text of a feature set.

  • Accessing Data – this chapter focuses on data access and performance using easy to implement techniques. I especially found the use of SqlBulkCopy helpful.
  • New features in Windows 7 – I found this chapter very interesting as it shows how your applications can integrate with all of the new Windows 7 features such as jump lists and icon overlays.
  • Using Graphics – This chapter focuses on GDI via the System.Drawing namespace.
  • Creative Use of Serialization – This is one of those chapters where beginners will benefit. The author introduces serialization (Xml, Binary, Soap) and when to use each and then dives into the how by exploring some uses for serialization.
  • Some Uses for Reflection – Just as the previous chapter, an introduction that wastes no time.
  • Various Techniques that Should Be Well Known, But Sometimes Aren’t – Various techniques including encoding.
  • A Few Tips for Windows Forms Applications – Various topics concerning Windows Forms. I enjoyed reading about the new Windows 7 dialogs.

Since this book focuses on Windows Forms instead of WPF,it might be considered outdated even though it was written in 2010. On the contrary, I believe this is what gives the book more respectability. Getting to the point without worrying about the latest and greatest is so refreshing. The contents of this book are still relevant to today’s development and just about everyone can find something to take away and apply to their daily work.

The price for the book is a bit steep at $37.00 (from Amazon), but overall I recommend this book especially to beginners who need that next step to be a small one.