Introducing .NET 4

I recently had a chance to read through the book Introducing .NET 4 by Alex Mackey.

In this book Alex provides an overview of the new technologies that will be coming along with .NET 4 and Visual Studio 2010 ranging from the IDE enhancements in Visual Studio to major new features in the BCL including (but not limited to) the Entity Framework, Code Contracts, Parallel Extensions and the Microsoft AJAX Library (there’s also a section on MVC with some quotes from yours truly).

Code samples are mainly in C# and are clear to understand and to the point.

This is not a book for beginners (despite the “introducing” in the title). The book is probably most useful to developers who already have some familiarity with .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 and are looking to see what’s new in the next version of Microsoft’s development ecosystem.

I did notice some odd formatting issues in some areas, but I believe these have been fixed in the revised eBook and do not significantly affect the readability.

I thought the approach taken in the book was quite interesting – Alex focuses on “breadth rather than depth” and provides you with just enough information to help you get a basic understanding of the topics involved rather than focusing on any one area in significant detail. At first, I wasn’t sure whether this would appeal to me (most of the tech books on my bookshelf are focused on a particular topic) but I found myself really enjoying Alex’s style. I picked up some interesting pieces of information about some areas of the Framework that I’d normally not be exposed to in my day-to-day work. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on BCL changes that shines a light on some of the new classes and methods that are available.

Alex also has a great post on his experiences working on the book for Apress – be sure to check it out.

Written on February 21, 2010