Book Review : Getting Started with Windows 8 Apps

I picked up the “Getting Started with Windows 8 Apps” by Ben Dewey recently, as part of the O’Reilly Blogger Review Program  and wanted to provide a quick review of the book here.

The book is primarily targeted at existing .NET developers who want to jumpstart their sojourn with building Windows 8 apps. The author walks through creating an application from scratch using C# and Visual Studio 2012 and walks through the paces of explaining how to integrate the app with the various OS integration points: Share, Search, Live Tiles etc.

The application design itself is geared towards using the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern and how such a pattern can best be used while writing Windows 8 Apps using XAML and C#. I personally do not like technical books preaching the “one true way” of designing applications as I strongly believe that good, competent developers come up with designs and patterns that are applicable for their scenarios. A good technical book explains the concepts and gives enough flexibility for its readers to come up with innovative ways to incorporating the concepts in their daily work. But maybe it is just me who looks at things this way!

The book also does not explain the finer nuances of this new API, the WinRT. It looks at WinRT purely from the prism of a .NET layer. Maybe this is deliberate as the target audience for the book is existing .NET developers but I feel that explaining the WinRT from a more detailed perspective would benefit folks who are writing apps for this modern platform. After all, we just don’t want folks to move their existing code and feel happy, we also want to them to understand the platform and build truly shining apps that delight their users.

All in all, a good starting point if you are an existing C# developer who wants to jump into the world of WinRT.


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