Ged Mead (XTab) is a Microsoft Visual Basic MVP who has been working on computer software and design for more than 25 years. His journey has taken him through many different facets of IT. These include training as a Systems Analyst, working in a mainframe software development environment, creating financial management systems and a short time spent on military laptop systems in the days when it took two strong men to carry a 'mobile' system.
Based in an idyllic lochside location in the West of Scotland, he is currently involved in an ever-widening range of VB.NET, WPF and Silverlight development projects. Now working in a consultancy environment, his passion however still remains helping students and professional developers to take advantage of the ever increasing range of sophisticated tools available to them.
Ged is a regular contributor to forums on vbCity and authors articles for DevCity. He is a moderator on VBCity and the MSDN Tech Forums and spends a lot of time answering technical questions there and in several other VB forum sites. Senior Editor for DevCity.NET, vbCity Developer Community Leader and Admin, and DevCity.NET Newsletter Editor. He has written and continues to tutor a number of free online courses for VB.NET developers.
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This book is aimed at readers with no previous experience of creating web pages or developing web sites. In my view, its advantage is that it sticks firmly to the "low road" in that the author hasn't felt the need to (in his own words) " ... wander off into irrelevant product comparisons or advanced topics ..."
If you are a beginner in this field and want to get a feel for the basics of creating web pages and websites before delving into the more complex areas of .NET coding then this relatively small, relatively inexpensive book should meet that need perfectly.
Of course, it is unlikely to be your only web development book if you plan to move beyond the very basic almost out-of-the-box projects, but what it does cover it covers very comprehensively and very clearly. In particular, the author goes to some trouble to include many safety nets in each chapter. "Tips" and "Remember" items are inserted throughout the book in places where the uninitiated or unwary reader might get confused or caught out.
Again, the author is totally clear in what he sets out to do: "Another key ingredient of this book is its coverage of things that most other resources assume you already know. In fact it's Okay if you don't already know them. Everbody has to start somewhere and website development is tricky enough without having to fight a feeling of being left out. You won't get 'Sorry, you didn't learn our secret language umpteen years ago when we did so you can't play."' Here, just about everyone gets to play."
My verdict: For its target audience it succeeds admirably in its aim to help beginners build dynamic data-driven web sites.