I've Read A Intro Book To Java, What's Next?

Discussion in 'Java' started by Enteng, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Enteng

    Enteng Guest

    Hi guys! I've finished reading Beginning Programming with Java For
    Dummies today and I still want to learn more about java. What books
    would you guys suggest that I read next?

    I'm planning on reading "Just Java" by by Peter van der Linden and
    then go on reading "Thinking in Java" next.

    Do you guys have any suggestions? I'd really appreciate them. Thanks!


    -Enteng
    Enteng, Nov 15, 2007
    #1
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  2. Enteng

    Chris Dollin Guest

    Enteng wrote:

    > Hi guys! I've finished reading Beginning Programming with Java For
    > Dummies today and I still want to learn more about java. What books
    > would you guys suggest that I read next?
    >
    > I'm planning on reading "Just Java" by by Peter van der Linden and
    > then go on reading "Thinking in Java" next.
    >
    > Do you guys have any suggestions?


    (a) /Write some code/. You don't learn programming without programming.

    (b) Learn to use JUnit. This requires (a) and further gives you a way
    to be more confident that you know what you're doing/have done.

    Reading books is Good Stuff, but it can only take you so far. (Similarly,
    writing code is Good Stuff, but it can only take you so far. Monomania
    is a tool, not a lifestyle.)

    --
    Chris "cackling with exclamation marks" Dollin

    Hewlett-Packard Limited registered no:
    registered office: Cain Road, Bracknell, Berks RG12 1HN 690597 England
    Chris Dollin, Nov 15, 2007
    #2
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  3. Enteng

    Enteng Guest

    On Nov 15, 5:40 pm, Chris Dollin <> wrote:
    > Enteng wrote:
    > > Hi guys! I've finished reading Beginning Programming with Java For
    > > Dummies today and I still want to learn more about java. What books
    > > would you guys suggest that I read next?

    >
    > > I'm planning on reading "Just Java" by by Peter van der Linden and
    > > then go on reading "Thinking in Java" next.

    >
    > > Do you guys have any suggestions?

    >
    > (a) /Write some code/. You don't learn programming without programming.
    >
    > (b) Learn to use JUnit. This requires (a) and further gives you a way
    > to be more confident that you know what you're doing/have done.
    >
    > Reading books is Good Stuff, but it can only take you so far. (Similarly,
    > writing code is Good Stuff, but it can only take you so far. Monomania
    > is a tool, not a lifestyle.)
    >
    > --
    > Chris "cackling with exclamation marks" Dollin
    >
    > Hewlett-Packard Limited registered no:
    > registered office: Cain Road, Bracknell, Berks RG12 1HN 690597 England


    That's good advice, thanks man.

    As much as I'd like to code some more, I think my knowledge of Java is
    not enough. It feels like I'm still missing some things. I want to
    contribute to projects someday I just don't know if I'm good enough to
    (or how to find one).
    Enteng, Nov 15, 2007
    #3
  4. Enteng

    Chris Dollin Guest

    Enteng wrote:

    > On Nov 15, 5:40 pm, Chris Dollin <> wrote:
    >> Enteng wrote:


    >> > Do you guys have any suggestions?

    >>
    >> (a) /Write some code/. You don't learn programming without programming.
    >>
    >> (b) Learn to use JUnit. This requires (a) and further gives you a way
    >> to be more confident that you know what you're doing/have done.

    >
    > That's good advice, thanks man.


    Other piece of advice: read other people's real live code. Preferably
    something you have reason to believe isn't horrible. Pick an open
    source project and have a look -- it will be overwhelming, because
    at first you'll have no idea how to find your way around, or what it's
    for, but that's OK; you can stop at any time and do something else
    until things start making sense.

    I couldn't possibly suggest /which/ open-source you look at.

    > As much as I'd like to code some more, I think my knowledge of Java is
    > not enough. It feels like I'm still missing some things. I want to
    > contribute to projects someday I just don't know if I'm good enough to
    > (or how to find one).


    You won't be good enough without practice, and a good way to find out
    what you're missing is to code something. At first you'll probably
    make a complete pig's ear of it; worry not. Make a little project
    of your own. I stress /little/. (Nothing that involves a GUI or XML
    counts as "little".) The point is to get moving, not to solve a real
    problem.

    I'd also advise using an IDE, such as Eclipse, although you /might/
    find that overwhelming all on its own unless you have a chum who can
    get you started. (Other people advise starting entirely on the command-line
    with a bare text editor. If you've done programming in other languages,
    you might already know your preferences.)

    --
    Chris "deliberately didn't mention Jena" Dollin

    Hewlett-Packard Limited registered office: Cain Road, Bracknell,
    registered no: 690597 England Berks RG12 1HN
    Chris Dollin, Nov 15, 2007
    #4
  5. Enteng

    Lew Guest

    Enteng wrote:
    >>>> Do you guys have any suggestions?


    /Effective Java/, by Joshua Bloch. You must own this book.

    --
    Lew
    Lew, Nov 15, 2007
    #5
  6. On Nov 15, 11:33 pm, Lew <> wrote:
    > Enteng wrote:
    > >>>> Do you guys have any suggestions?

    >
    > /Effective Java/, by Joshua Bloch. You must own this book.


    In view of you having mentioned this book so often, I
    picked it up in the bookstore the other day to have a
    quick browse through it, and I think it is a good book.

    However, I have to disagree with your recommendation of
    it for the level of the OP, because it is a best practices
    book, and not for beginners, which incidentally, it even states
    in its introductory page.

    A better book (imo), is the new "Core Java" book:
    http://www.horstmann.com/corejava.html

    I would even take a look at Bruce Eckles free book,
    to become familiar with a lot of the Java features.

    --
    Chris
    Chris ( Val ), Nov 15, 2007
    #6
  7. On Nov 16, 12:09 am, "Chris ( Val )" <> wrote:
    > On Nov 15, 11:33 pm, Lew <> wrote:


    [snip]

    > I would even take a look at Bruce Eckles free book,


    [snip]

    Of course that should be: "Bruce Eckel" :)

    --
    Chris
    Chris ( Val ), Nov 15, 2007
    #7
  8. Enteng

    Tobi Guest

    On Nov 15, 4:12 am, Enteng <> wrote:
    > Hi guys! I've finished reading Beginning Programming with Java For
    > Dummies today and I still want to learn more about java. What books
    > would you guys suggest that I read next?
    >
    > I'm planning on reading "Just Java" by by Peter van der Linden and
    > then go on reading "Thinking in Java" next.
    >
    > Do you guys have any suggestions? I'd really appreciate them. Thanks!
    >
    > -Enteng


    "Beginning Java 2" by Ivor Horton is a *really* good book, IMHO. The
    other good book I would say to check out is "Head First Java" by Kathy
    Sierra and Bert Bates.

    But I definitely agree with an earlier thread that said you should
    just write code. That is critical. And, the books that will help
    most with your understanding will depend somewhat on if you are
    entirely new to programming, or if you have programmed in other
    languages and have the general concepts.

    Good Luck!

    Tobi
    Tobi, Nov 15, 2007
    #8
  9. Enteng wrote:
    > On Nov 15, 5:40 pm, Chris Dollin <> wrote:
    >> Enteng wrote:
    >>> Hi guys! I've finished reading Beginning Programming with Java For
    >>> Dummies today and I still want to learn more about java. What books
    >>> would you guys suggest that I read next?
    >>> I'm planning on reading "Just Java" by by Peter van der Linden and
    >>> then go on reading "Thinking in Java" next.
    >>> Do you guys have any suggestions?

    >> (a) /Write some code/. You don't learn programming without programming.
    >>
    >> (b) Learn to use JUnit. This requires (a) and further gives you a way
    >> to be more confident that you know what you're doing/have done.
    >>
    >> Reading books is Good Stuff, but it can only take you so far. (Similarly,
    >> writing code is Good Stuff, but it can only take you so far. Monomania
    >> is a tool, not a lifestyle.)
    >>
    >> --
    >> Chris "cackling with exclamation marks" Dollin
    >>
    >> Hewlett-Packard Limited registered no:
    >> registered office: Cain Road, Bracknell, Berks RG12 1HN 690597 England

    >
    > That's good advice, thanks man.
    >
    > As much as I'd like to code some more, I think my knowledge of Java is
    > not enough. It feels like I'm still missing some things. I want to
    > contribute to projects someday I just don't know if I'm good enough to
    > (or how to find one).


    You will go on "missing some things" until you do a bunch of programming
    in Java.

    There is an awkward chicken-and-egg problem. It is difficult to write a
    even a simple program in a language you do not know, but I have never
    seen anyone learn a programming language without writing programs in it.

    The solution is to start with very simple little programs and gradually
    work up. The first programs will be throw-aways - things you write just
    to learn, and never use, so they don't need to do anything really useful.

    Patricia
    Patricia Shanahan, Nov 15, 2007
    #9
  10. Enteng

    Enteng Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions!
    I know I have to code a lot but I'm lost. I mean I don't have any
    guides on what to do.
    I mean what should I learn first? What should I concentrate on(aspects
    of java that's most handy in the IT field)?

    Would a book that'll guide me help? I'm kind of looking for a next
    book after the Beginning Programming with Java Dummies book.
    Everyone's suggesting different books but I don't know what's the best
    for me.

    Again, thanks. I appreciate all of your feedbacks :)
    Enteng, Nov 15, 2007
    #10
  11. Enteng

    Mark Space Guest

    Enteng wrote:

    > As much as I'd like to code some more, I think my knowledge of Java is
    > not enough. It feels like I'm still missing some things. I want to
    > contribute to projects someday I just don't know if I'm good enough to
    > (or how to find one).


    Try Sang Shin's intro to programming course. He does a very reasonable
    job of starting you off with very small programs, then he continues with
    reasonable small examples for you to extend and test your knowledge. He
    also has NetBeans projects with all the examples so you can start by
    just looking at the code.

    The class is now to far advanced for you to catch up, I think. But you
    can always just work on the examples, since everything is posted on the
    web. There's no "lecture" or other hands on by Shin, so you aren't
    missing anything.

    Shin's web site:
    http://javapassion.com/

    And the intro course:
    http://www.javapassion.com/javaintro/
    Mark Space, Nov 15, 2007
    #11
  12. Mark Space wrote:
    > Try Sang Shin's intro to programming course. He does a very reasonable
    > job of starting you off with very small programs, then he continues with
    > reasonable small examples for you to extend and test your knowledge. He
    > also has NetBeans projects with all the examples so you can start by
    > just looking at the code.
    >
    > The class is now to far advanced for you to catch up, I think. But you
    > can always just work on the examples, since everything is posted on the
    > web. There's no "lecture" or other hands on by Shin, so you aren't
    > missing anything.
    >

    I'd add a slightly hesitant recommendation for "The Practice of
    Programming" by Kernighan and Pike. I think its an excellent book and
    needs to be in the personal library of every serious programmer because
    it covers everything from sensible ways of laying out readable code
    through to debugging and (most important) designing code for ease of
    debugging. Its probably a good book to get when you think you're getting
    to understand Java. To help you along with your own initial projects it
    has good development examples and exercises.

    I said hesitant because it mixes examples in C, C++ and Java into most
    chapters, but on the other hand its a fairly thin (15mm) and inexpensive
    paperback and, like everything I've read by Brian Kernighan, is very
    well written.

    Summary: take a look at it: if you like the book you may find that Java
    for Dummies plus this will get you quite well along.

    Tools: I'm firmly of the opinion that Java is best learnt using only
    your favorite text editor, the latest Sun Java SDK and a command line.
    Admittedly its easier with a decent command shell in place of the
    DOS/Windows abomination, but it can be done - I did it.

    Next consider adding ant to your toolkit. Finally, when you understand
    the basics of writing and building Java code it might be time to look at
    IDEs. Me? I don't use 'em.


    --
    martin@ | Martin Gregorie
    gregorie. | Essex, UK
    org |
    Martin Gregorie, Nov 15, 2007
    #12
  13. Enteng

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Thu, 15 Nov 2007 01:12:30 -0800 (PST), Enteng <>
    wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

    >Hi guys! I've finished reading Beginning Programming with Java For
    >Dummies today and I still want to learn more about java. What books
    >would you guys suggest that I read next?
    >
    >I'm planning on reading "Just Java" by by Peter van der Linden and
    >then go on reading "Thinking in Java" next.
    >
    >Do you guys have any suggestions? I'd really appreciate them. Thanks!


    You have to alternate reading with doing. Just reading gives the
    ILLUSION you understand and it can get you in deep long-lasting
    trouble if you don't test your assumptions with experiments.

    See http://mindprod.com/project/projects.html

    Try out some of the coding projects with difficulty 0 or 1, or make up
    you own.

    IRRC Peter's book has example problems. They would be great to tackle
    too.

    After you have done a bunch, you might reread your first book to see
    if you glossed over something, or if the words have deeper
    significance.

    Then keep going with your reading. Both your choices are excellent.

    See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/gettingstarted.html
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    The Java Glossary
    http://mindprod.com
    Roedy Green, Nov 15, 2007
    #13
  14. Enteng

    Enteng Guest

    Oh BTW I got a question that's been bugging me. Is it ok to learn from
    old Java books (like circa 2001)? I got access to Java: An
    Introduction to Computer Science & Programming (2nd Edition) by
    Walter Savitch, is it any good?

    The Dummies book that I've read is easy to read but it has no
    examples. What I did was read his example programs and at the start of
    the next chapter I try to code the examples that I've read.

    I got to ask you guys when you were starting out programming and at my
    stage, how did you get better? I mean maybe you did write a lot of
    code but how did you know what to write? How did you know what to
    write next? What lead you into becoming a better programmer that you
    are right now?
    Enteng, Nov 15, 2007
    #14
  15. Enteng

    Jeff Higgins Guest

    Enteng wrote

    > ... I mean maybe you did write a lot of
    > code but how did you know what to write? How did you know what to
    > write next? What lead you into becoming a better programmer that you
    > are right now?


    What interests you?
    graphics, imaging,
    mathematics, physics,
    language, writing, text processing,
    data collection, manipulation,
    games, becoming a programmer, etc., etc.

    write lots of code
    read lots of code
    read lots of ...
    write lots of code
    read lots of programming group discussions
    read lots of ...
    write lots of code
    ask here when you get stuck, include SScce, use twc.jnlp
    read lots of code
    write lots of code
    take a break, repeat
    Jeff Higgins, Nov 16, 2007
    #15
  16. Enteng

    Lew Guest

    Enteng wrote:
    > Oh BTW I got a question that's been bugging me. Is it ok to learn from
    > old Java books (like circa 2001)? I got access to Java: An
    > Introduction to Computer Science & Programming (2nd Edition) by
    > Walter Savitch, is it any good?


    Why not read the Sun tutorials on java.sun.com?

    Old books are all right, but if they don't cover at least Java 5 they might
    lead you astray in:
    - Swing programming;
    - concurrent programming generally;
    - suggesting that you use Vector or Hashtable instead of the newer List or Map
    implementations;
    - optimization techniques.

    So disregard those matters in any book that doesn't cover Java 5 or later.

    Seriously, the Sun tutorials are most likely the best place to go next.

    IBM DeveloperWorks has a whole bunch of great Java programming articles.

    And always remember, GIYF.

    --
    Lew
    Lew, Nov 16, 2007
    #16
  17. Enteng

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Thu, 15 Nov 2007 15:54:45 -0800 (PST), Enteng <>
    wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

    >Oh BTW I got a question that's been bugging me. Is it ok to learn from
    >old Java books (like circa 2001)? I got access to Java: An
    >Introduction to Computer Science & Programming (2nd Edition) by
    >Walter Savitch, is it any good?


    Generally old books are fine. It is not that Java has changed, just
    been added to. You can save quite a bit of money by acquiring books
    even a year out of date. You may find people here willing to hand
    over their old books for the cost of shipping.

    The books help you get the overall picture. You read the javadoc
    about specific classes for the details, so you don't need perfectly
    detailed texts.

    The one thing though is Generics have in a major way redefined the way
    you do Collections. I would in parallel read essays linked to at
    http://mindprod.com/jgloss/generics.html
    when you get to the sections on Collections in your texts.
    Also have a good look as some of Sun's code and how it uses Generics.
    They are much more complicated than you might at first imagine.

    I could make an argument why you should learn the older AWT before you
    tackle Swing. It is not as overwhelming. It focuses on the meat
    rather than the decoration.

    Swing does pretty well everything AWT does with minor variations, plus
    a ton of stuff to get finer control of the look. You can learn the
    differences from
    http://mindprod.com/jgloss/swing.html#AWTEQUIVALENTS
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    The Java Glossary
    http://mindprod.com
    Roedy Green, Nov 16, 2007
    #17
  18. Enteng

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Thu, 15 Nov 2007 19:36:04 -0500, "Jeff Higgins"
    <> wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who
    said :

    >What interests you?


    This is really important. If you do projects that feel artificial and
    pointless, they will destroy your motivation. If you do projects you
    can hardly wait to see working, you will put out super effort to break
    through the difficulties.

    Consider the "problems" they gave you in elementary school. When I
    taught kids at computer summer camp, the problem was to create a
    primitive video game. The kids chased me around begging me to teach
    them trig that I had "leaked" to another student.
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    The Java Glossary
    http://mindprod.com
    Roedy Green, Nov 16, 2007
    #18
  19. Enteng

    Enteng Guest

    On Nov 16, 1:21 pm, Roedy Green <>
    wrote:
    > On Thu, 15 Nov 2007 15:54:45 -0800 (PST), Enteng <>
    > wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :
    >
    > >Oh BTW I got a question that's been bugging me. Is it ok to learn from
    > >old Java books (like circa 2001)? I got access to Java: An
    > >Introduction to Computer Science & Programming (2nd Edition) by
    > >Walter Savitch, is it any good?

    >
    > Generally old books are fine. It is not that Java has changed, just
    > been added to. You can save quite a bit of money by acquiring books


    Won't I form bad programming habits by reading old books?

    > even a year out of date. You may find people here willing to hand
    > over their old books for the cost of shipping.


    That would be great! I'm happy to spend for shipping if anyone's
    interested :)

    >
    > The books help you get the overall picture. You read the javadoc
    > about specific classes for the details, so you don't need perfectly
    > detailed texts.
    >
    > The one thing though is Generics have in a major way redefined the way
    > you do Collections. I would in parallel read essays linked to athttp://mindprod.com/jgloss/generics.html
    > when you get to the sections on Collections in your texts.
    > Also have a good look as some of Sun's code and how it uses Generics.
    > They are much more complicated than you might at first imagine.
    >


    Ok I'll keep that in mind. Your site is quite useful.

    > I could make an argument why you should learn the older AWT before you
    > tackle Swing. It is not as overwhelming. It focuses on the meat
    > rather than the decoration.
    >
    > Swing does pretty well everything AWT does with minor variations, plus
    > a ton of stuff to get finer control of the look. You can learn the
    > differences fromhttp://mindprod.com/jgloss/swing.html#AWTEQUIVALENTS
    > --
    > Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    > The Java Glossaryhttp://mindprod.com
    Enteng, Nov 16, 2007
    #19
  20. Enteng

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Fri, 16 Nov 2007 01:26:08 -0800 (PST), Enteng <>
    wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

    >Won't I form bad programming habits by reading old books?


    No. You develop bad habits by reading trashy books, new or old.

    If you got a very very old book, it would show you the JDK 1.0 event
    model which has drastically changed.

    If you read about Collections before generics were invented, and
    refused to learn generics, that would get you in trouble.

    The important stuff, how to decompose problems, how to name, how to
    document, has not changed at all.
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    The Java Glossary
    http://mindprod.com
    Roedy Green, Nov 16, 2007
    #20
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