|Head First Java, 2nd Edition
|by Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
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It has taken four years, but with Head First Java the introductory Java book category has finally come of age. This is an excellent book, far more capable than any of the scores of Java-for-novices books that have come before it. Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates deserve rich kudos--and big sales--for developing this book's new way of teaching the Java programming language, because any reader with even a little bit of discipline will come away with true understanding of how the language works. Perhaps best of all, this is no protracted "Hello, World" introductory guide. Readers get substantial exposure to object-oriented design and implementation, serialization, neatwork programming, threads, and Remote Method Invocation (RMI).
Key to the authors' teaching style are carefully designed graphics. Rather than explain class inheritance (to cite one example) primarily with text, the authors use a series of tree diagrams that clarify the mechanism far more succinctly. The diagrams are carefully annotated with arrows and notes. Also characteristic of the unique teaching strategy is heavy reliance on exercises, in which the reader is asked to complete partial classes, write whole new code segments and do design work. Though there's little discussion of why the exercises' correct answers are what they are, it's clear that the practice work was carefully designed to reinforce the lesson at hand. If you've waited this long to give Java a try, this book is a great choice. --David Wall
Topics covered: The Java programming language for people with no Java experience, and even people with no programming experience at all. Key concepts read like a list of Java features: Object oriented design, variable type and scope, object properties and methods, inheritance and polymorphism, exceptions, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), network connectivity, Java archives (JAR files), and Remote Method Invocation (RMI).
Learning a complex new language is no easy task especially when it s an object-oriented computer programming language like Java. You might think the problem is your brain. It seems to have a mind of its own, a mind that doesn't always want to take in the dry, technical stuff you're forced to study.
The fact is your brain craves novelty. It's constantly searching, scanning, waiting for something unusual to happen. After all, that's the way it was built to help you stay alive. It takes all the routine, ordinary, dull stuff and filters it to the background so it won't interfere with your brain's real work--recording things that matter. How does your brain know what matters? It's like the creators of the Head First approach say, suppose you're out for a hike and a tiger jumps in front of you, what happens in your brain? Neurons fire. Emotions crank up. Chemicals surge.
That's how your brain knows.
And that's how your brain will learn Java. Head First Java combines puzzles, strong visuals, mysteries, and soul-searching interviews with famous Java objects to engage you in many different ways. It's fast, it's fun, and its effective. And, despite its playful appearance, Head First Java is serious stuff: a complete introduction to object-oriented programming and Java. You'll learn everything from the fundamentals to advanced topics, including threads, network sockets, and distributed programming with RMI. And the new. second edition focuses on Java 5.0, the latest version of the Java language and development platform. Because Java 5.0 is a major update to the platform, with deep, code-level changes, even more careful study and implementation is required. So learning the Head First way is more important than ever.
If you've read a Head First book, you know what to expect--a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works. If you haven't, you're in for a treat. You'll see why people say it's unlike any other Java book you've ever read.
By exploiting how your brain works, Head First Java compresses the time it takes to learn and retain--complex information. Its unique approach not only shows you what you need to know about Java syntax, it teaches you to think like a Java programmer. If you want to be bored, buy some other book. But if you want to understand Java, this book's for you.
- Paperback: 720 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly; edition (Feb 9, 2023)
- ISBN: 0596009208
- Average Customer Review: Based on 85 reviews.
- Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1026
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
Very Enjoyable, Jul 31, 2023
Had to write a review on this book. Really love it and recommend it if you're interested in Java. I picked this book up during a Java college course and learned more from it then the text book and probably the instructor. The excercises and puzzles are really cool and the not-so-serious tone of the book makes learning Java fun.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Really Good Book, But I Agree With Another Reviewer: Not For Beginners, Jul 30, 2023
I like writing reviews on technical books because I think they are of enormous value to those considering buying the book. I buy a lot of books online and the reviews that I read are by far the most important thing that influences my decision to buy. Or not.
I also like to read what others before me have written. In this case - and for all of the "Head First" books I have read - I heartily agree with what virtually all others have written: these books are a great way to learn complicated, and oftentimes boring, subject material.
So I won't rehash what others have already written, except to say that if what you read was good - believe it.
I think the most important thing I can say about this book is that I agree with what Hye Nyoun Eum Kim wrote: NOT for beginners. I remember thinking to myself throughout the book that a fair, or at least some, amount of Java knowledge would be necessary in order to understand what the authors were covering.
If you already know Java and want to know it better, buy this book. If you are new to Java, and especially if you are new to programming, I still recommend buying this book. But do yourself a favor - check out other introductory Java books and buy one of those as well. A good starting point? I have bought the "Just Java" (by Peter van der Linden) books ever since Java 1.0 came out.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
start learning OOP, Jul 30, 2023
I started reading this book about a week ago and am at chapter 9 now and still going. This book is great, super, well written. Plenty of funny illustrations to help the reader understand some complex topics. Covers a whole lot on object oriented programming and java (duh). My only problem with this book are the exercises at the end of the chapters. They are just too short and don;t help very much. I feel that the reader needs a lot more problems to work on, preferably ones in which he/she writes his/her own code. I have found that to be very helpful in previous C++ and UNIX textbooks. This is actually my only complaint, other than that i would highly recommend it but also recommend another book with more code as you will be done with this farily quickly (a good thing, they meke everything so understandable). Hope this helped.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting book, NOT for beginners, Jul 15, 2023
If you are planning to buy this book just because of five stars,intelligent-looking cover, and high rank(Amazon.com Sales Rank), why don't you think one more time before making your decision.
Also, if you are new to Java, DO NOT buy this book because there are better books out there. I would say the book has too many tidbit information that will give you headache. (e.g. puzzles, matching, fill-ins)
For beginners, it is a good idea to stick with the tradional books.
I give this book three stars because it does teach Java and this book is at least readable by experts and intermediate programmers. (I should have given this book only one star since the book is supposed to teach beginners very well)
I have spent more than 10 hours on the very first example given in this book and I'm serious. I thought I was making some mistake.
How wrong I was:I found many people having the same problem at javaranch.com beginners' forum. Like I said, if you're not new to Java, you won't have trouble like us.
Wasting ten hours drove me to write my first review at amazon. I normally don't write reviews because it's time-consuming but I had to tell you this. Take this into your account.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
My Mom could learn Java with this book, Jun 30, 2023
This is--by far--the most "different" way of presenting computer programming concepts and a programming language. I have programmed in C/C++ for a long time now, and I used this book to quickly pick up the ins and outs of Java. It is very easy to read, not like a textbook at all.
Keep in mind that this book is an introduction. You can learn the basics and use it as a reference for the basics, but if you want to dive into Java you'll need some additional books (and a lot of practice).
There are some errors in the book, and some discussions are incomplete (layouts under Swing, for example), but hopefully the recent (2005) edition has corrected these errors and omissions.
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