This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
If you consume XML in your code -- i.e., if you're coding iBATIS or anything else that uses XML for configuration or input data -- then you need to parse XML; that's always the first step. This includes virtually all programming with XML, as opposed to simply preparing XML documents to use as input to some piece of software.