Book to Learn Java Suggestion

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Book to Learn Java Suggestion

Postby remuso » Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:57 pm UTC

Hello world,

I am working as a sysadmin and am thinking the world of "Working at Home" would be something I might like, no On-Call/Night work, holidays....... I graduated college about 18 months ago with a Mathematics degree, so I do not have a huge coding background. I've been shell scripting for years now and writing Python code for a little under a year.

What I would like is a Java book that is not so dumbed down that I will be bored... I know the basic layout of Java (ie. I could write a java program to do something basic). Ultimatly I am trying to avoid a book that assumes I know nothing about programming. And hey, if I like it, work will put me though more schooling.

Thanks
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Re: Book to Learn Java Suggestion

Postby liar.paradox » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:07 am UTC

Unfortunately, if you want to write Java code professionally, you will need to read several books. This is due to two factors. The Java technology is stack is DENSE. Second, since Java is primary deployed in the enterprise, you will need to be exposed (in short order) to Design Patterns, UML, Test-Driven Development, Refactoring, etc. You may be able to pick up the second after you get your first job, but most Java jobs will expect you to know (at a minimum) the Servlet/JSP APIs, JDBC, and some MVC framework. Most will add quite a bit more. It's not impossible to find a Java programming gig, but you have a few bridges to cross first.

1. Learn the Java language:

    Thinking in Java by Bruce Eckel
    http://www.mindview.net/Books

    Older editions are available online for free. The newest version is available in it's entirety in print.

    Eckels also has a DVD of his Hands On Java Seminar for $50. It's the best Java CBT course (next to Oracle's/Sun's courses). It's also MUCH more affordable. It ties into the book very well. I recommended it to a friend and he used both the book and CD to learn Java.

    Other suggestions include:
    O'Reilly's Java ______ in a Nutshell
    The whole series (with the exception of Enterprise Java in a Nutshell) is pretty good. If you learn by doing, Java Examples in a Nutshell might be a good start.

    SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 Exam by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates
    I personally found this book helpful. It fills in the gaps with terse, yet authoritative information.

2. Learn how to make a web application without a framework:

    My suggestions include:

    Pro JSP by Simon Brown, Sam Dalton, Sing Li, and Daniel Jepp
    A terse, complete tutorial on Servlet, JSP, JSTL, etc technology. It covers everything a beginning developer needs to learn about writing a web application short of a MVC framework tutorial.

    Murach's Java Servlets and JSP by Andrea Steelman and Joel Murach
    This is the best 'long' introduction to the building simple web applications with Java If you need your hand held, this is the way to go.

    Core Servlets Vol. 1 and 2 by Marty Hall
    The series is a classic reference and they are both available for free online at http://books.coreservlets.com/

3. Learn a framework

    My suggestion is that you learn Spring MVC framework. To be honest, I'm trying to pick up Spring myself right now. I've worked with Struts 1 and 2. So I don't have as much experience suggesting books for this. However, I've found the following book to be quite helpful.

    Spring in Action by Craig Walls
    http://www.manning.com/walls4/

4. Learn how to build and deploy your applications

    The build tools:
    You will want to eventually learn how to build, package, and deploy your applications.

    Ant in Action by Steve Loughran and Erik Hatcher
    http://www.manning.com/loughran/

    (You will want to probably glance at a book on Maven as well.)


5. Learn about EJBs


6. Study methodology

    UML Demystified by Paul Kimmel
    UML Distilled by Martin Fowler
    Refactoring by Martin Fowler
    Head-First Design Patterns by Elisabeth and Eric Freeman

I understand this is a long list. The problem is that there are so many entities that contribute to the Java community. It adds to the confusion. It isn't unheard of for a Java web app to use several frameworks, libraries, custom tags, etc. I could have added books on Java FX and Flash 'thin-clients', Hibernate (a object relational mapper), books on app servers and servlet containers, etc. However, if you can build a simple web application (without EJBs) with a framework, that may be enough to get you your first gig.
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Re: Book to Learn Java Suggestion

Postby gorcee » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:37 pm UTC

liar.paradox wrote:1. Learn the Java language:

Thinking in Java by Bruce Eckel
http://www.mindview.net/Books

Older editions are available online for free. The newest version is available in it's entirety in print.

Eckels also has a DVD of his Hands On Java Seminar for $50. It's the best Java CBT course (next to Oracle's/Sun's courses). It's also MUCH more affordable. It ties into the book very well. I recommended it to a friend and he used both the book and CD to learn Java.


I don't often offer opinions on this forum, but I will in this case.

Perhaps the book has improved with more recent editions, but 10 years ago, when I was trying to learn Java, I felt that this was the worst book ever written in the history of writing. The edition that I used (and still have, although I don't have it nearby) was simply awful. The examples rarely matched the chapter material, code and concepts were poorly explained, and the general language of the text seemed, to me, phenomenally arrogant. Reading this book, in my personal experience, was like having one of those professors that doesn't care about teaching, and just says, "well if you don't understand it then just study harder."

Bear in mind, when I used this book I was an experienced but amateur programmer. I still had tremendous difficulty with this text.

Now that I have 10 years more experience under my belt, I think that the book could be useful if used in conjunction with other books. But unless this book has been severely updated in the last decade, I'd not recommend using it alone.
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