Two weeks into the fall term of 2001, the sudden death of a professor placed me in the spot of having to jump in with both feet to complete a course that several students needed for graduation. While I had taught Visual C++ before, it was a difficult assignment in many ways. My task was made much easier by my predecessor having selected this book as the text. The nuances of Visual C++ are well-covered and the source code is easy to follow and available for examination. It was also very easy to give regular programming assignments to the class and there were very few questions from the students asking me to further explain the meaning of a statement in the text or a section of code. Their performance on the programming assignments is proof that the lack of questions was not due to a lack of understanding. No lesson is very lengthy, as many fit on a page with space left over for an image of the appearance of the screen when the code is executed. It was a rare occasion when it took longer than one fifty minute lecture period to demonstrate a lesson. The first section of the book deals with the construction of code by starting with an empty project. After that, the wizards for dialog and document based projects are demonstrated. This is without question the best way to do this. Starting with the wizards is extremely confusing to beginners, so seeing similar code that was not generated by a wizard before that from a wizard is the best approach. There are many "teach yourself' books on the market today, although few can effectively be used by a novice. Visual C++, with the convoluted syntax and the numerous gotcha's, is a difficult language and platform to master. This is the best teach yourself Visual C++ book that I have encountered, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to use Visual C++.
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