Tips and Tricks books battle it out…

I recently read two books on very similar topics related to .Net development. They were Best Kept Secrets in .Net (Apress) and Visual Studio .Net Tips and Tricks (The Marketplace for Digital Content).


Both have quite a bit of information about nifty features that are included in VS.Net. I found most of the tips to be very handy, especially given that most of my experience had been in VS6. I think either book has value and is a worthwhile read.


However, if I were to pick which one of them I liked better, I’d go with the Apress book. Some reasons for this were:

  • It seemed to contain more information than the other.
  • The print quality was far better.
  • The writing seemed to be clearer.
  • The Apress book had greater readability thanks to better use of bolded text for things like hot keys, etc.


I would say, though, that there are two items that were of particular importance:


Hot keys: The Apress book was written from the perspective that a programmer hates to take their hands off the keyboard. Anytime I have to grab the mouse to do something, I find myself wondering if there is a more efficient way. The Apress book focuses very much on operating the IDE from the keyboard, which I really liked. I felt like the other book wasn’t particularly good about giving hot key combinations for the more nifty functions.


Examples and tip arrangement: I thought the Apress book arranged its tips in a more logical order. The Apress book, for example starts with operation of the IDE. The other doesn’t get to the IDE for a couple of chapters; it seems to start in the middle.


Again, both books are worth reading, but I thought the Apress book was better.

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