# Sunday, 05 September 2010


It has been almost a decade since I first learned C#. It didn’t take me long to become productive in this language; but years later, I am still uncovering its secrets. There are two reasons for this:

  1. C# is a relatively complex language and new features are added with each release. There is a lot to learn
  2. In many cases, C# offers multiple ways to accomplish the same task and it’s not always obvious which way is best for my project.

In Effective C#, 2nd Edition, Bill Wagner attempts to demystify C# by explaining much of the inner workings of the language and by providing specific advice points to improve your coding.

The book assumes a basic understanding of C# syntax. It builds on this understanding in two ways:

  1. Explaining the implementation details of the language
  2. Providing advice on how to use the language and the .Net libraries in your coding.

The second edition of this book includes new features introduced in C# 3.0 and 4.0, such as lambda expressions and LINQ.

The book is split into 50 chapters and each chapter advises developers on a specific coding preference. Wagner backs up his advice with an explanation of the inner workings of the C# language. Among the questions that Wagner answers are:

  • What is the difference between readonly and const and which one should I use and why?
  • What new C# feature reduces the need for multiple overloads?
  • When and how do I need to explicitly dispose of objects?
  • What does it mean for a variable to be statically typed as a dynamic variable? Does that even make sense?

I learned something new in nearly every chapter. Some chapters shed more light on topics that I thought I knew well. Other chapters introduced me to concepts about which I knew very little. And a few chapters contained information so complex that my head began to hurt (I'm looking at you, IDynamicMetaObjectProvider).

With 50 chapters of solid advance and concise explanations, everyone beyond a beginner level in C# can benefit from this book.

Effective C-Sharp book