Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary electronic copy of this book by the publisher. In no way was I directed on the content of my review. Opinions are mine alone.
Why would you buy a Visual Studio 2013 book instead of just using the Internet to find what you need? Simple, time and content. The amount of new features and ways to do things in this version is substantial. Mining the Internet you are sure to miss many gems that could make a large difference to your day-to-day work. Going through this book you will benefit that a team of people has done the work for you. Ensuring they have included everything and the content is correct for your easy perusal.
- Chapter 1 gives a very good overview of the new additions to the main tool you use each day.
- Chapter 2 gives a very good starting place for Windows 8.1 development. It will get you past the new stuff quickly to allow you to get into the code.
- Chapter 3 goes over Web Development with MVC 5 and the new One ASP.NET model.
- Chapter 4 uses some I’m not dead yet WPF ("WPF remains the recommended choice for developing desktop applications on the Windows platform. Visual Studio 2013 itself is a WPF application", p 118) WF, WCF and .NET application development.
- Chapter 5 Debugging Enhancements
- Chapter 6 Asynchrony in .NET
- Chapter 7 C++, I skimmed this one, but the C++ developer should be thrilled, and it makes me want to learn DirectX.
- Chapter 8 Team Foundation Server features from a users perspective. Great features that many developers aren’t utilizing that can very much help day-to-day. If you are managing a TFS server though, you’ll want more than what is provided here.
- Chapter 9 is on languages TypeScript, Python and IronPython. TypeScript I knew and understand, but I have no idea about Python, and don’t really want to, but it’s good to know it’s available if that’s your flavour of choice.
- Appendix contains recipes on Installers, Submitting Windows Store apps, Visual Studio Add-ins and extensions, and creating your own snippets.
The "There’s more…" sections littered throughout are valuable on there own, revealing many power user features I was unaware of. The recipe format of the books make it a great reference to have on-hand. Going to the relevant recipe within the book will be a faster and more reliable process than going online.
I intended to flick through this book quickly and dive in on a couple of chapters. I however could not help but go through it all. The capabilities we have available to us, just from Visual Studio is amazing. Going over it all I can’t help but think of all the possibilities and opportunities. Now I must get back to coding.