Kirk Evans Blog

.NET From a Markup Perspective

.NET: The Gospels

A friend looking to get into software development and eager to start his career asked what he should read to get started.  I don’t think I’ve ever posted this list, so here it is.. The New Testament of .NET, starting with the Gospels.

  • If there is ONE book that you should read to be a great .NET programmer, it is Jeffrey Richter’s Applied .NET Framework Programming.  If you know what a loop looks like in JavaScript, VB, C++, VB.NET, and C#, and you know what a foreach loop in C# is really doing… then you will completely get this book.  If not, go back and learn just those two concepts and then run to the store to buy this book.
  • If you want to be a great ASP.NET programmer, then buy Fritz Onion’s Essential ASP.NET book.  Read it cover-to-cover, and work very hard to understand every concept presented.  If you understand this book, then ASMX web services will be a complete no-brainer, just some silly syntax to memorize.
  • If you want to be a great Windows Forms programmer, then buy Chris Sells’ Windows Forms Programming book.  Read it cover-to-cover, and memorize this book.  If some of it didn’t sink in, but go back and re-read it.  There is absolutely not a word wasted in this book.
  • If you want to be a great overall .NET programmer, read Don Box’ Essential .NET Volume 1: The Common Language Runtime.  Honestly, you should read Richter’s book first to get the most out of this book, and like the others you should not cheat yourself by skipping a single page.  It’s just a shame that there was never a Volume II.

The rest of the New Testament of .NET includes the books of Troelsen, Liberty, Rammer, and the two books that comprise The Revelations (Lidin and Nathan, respectively).