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Head First Java: Your Brain on Java - A Learner's Guide

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Bert Bates

It has taken four years, but withHead First Javathe 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 … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Bert Bates
Genre: Computers & Internet
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
1 review about Head First Java: Your Brain on Java - A...

My all-time favorite tutorial on Java (or anything else)

  • Jan 7, 2004
Rating:
+5
In all my years of reading technical books trying to learn new skills, the closest I have ever come to a book like this was when I first read a Dummies book. I liked it because it presented information in a humorous fashion that made things easy to comprehend. This style takes that type of learning to a whole new level. Using a combination of writing style, graphics, illustrations, and sample code, they draw you into each subject in such a way that you can't help but learn and understand.

This book starts with the basics of Java and progresses clear through to RMI and JINI. Granted, those last subjects are just touched on, but at least you're exposed to them. Even after all the Java tutorial manuals I've read, I still got a lot out of this book. For instance, I always was sort of fuzzy on the event listener logic. The Head First explanation was one of the most understandable (and entertaining) treatments of it that I've ever read. Likewise, inner classes were always confusing to me. The coverage of that subject here makes it sound so simple.

And why do you need this if you're a Notes/Domino developer? If you've never worked with Java, you're probably intimidated by the subject and afraid to get started. Don't be... This is the most fun you'll ever have learning a new skill. While it doesn't talk specifically about how to code a Java agent in a Notes application, you'll learn the concepts and the syntax you'll need to be able to do that. Once you have those skills in place, you can move on to a book specific to using Java in a Notes environment (such as Domino Development With Java by Tony Patton). The book doesn't assume you're a programming guru to get started. You will learn a lot from this material, and it's something you need to do in order to continue to stay relevant in the IBM/Lotus world.

Conclusion
If you're a C/C++ guru approaching Java, this book may not be for you. You'll already know much of the material from your exposure to those languages. But if you're a mere mortal like the rest of us, you need to buy this book if you're looking to learn Java. I am SO hoping that the Head First approach to tech writing becomes a series. If it does, I'm ruined for life in what I will expect from a book. This is really great stuff!

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