Hello friends, Have taken SCJP 1.2 and was planning to take up 1.5 upgrade. Is the SCJP book by Kathy and Bert Bates at par with Head first JSP and servlets or are there better books available? Would appreciate any response.
The SCJP book by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates, also often called the "K&B" book, is more or less the "standard" book for preparing for the SCJP - most people seem to be using that book. It covers everything you need to know for the SCJP exam.
Note: You probably know this, but just to make it clear: SCJP is not about JSPs and servlets, so books like Head First JSP and Servlets are not useful for preparing for SCJP. [ December 18, 2007: Message edited by: Jesper Young ]
Actually I don't think it's a very good book. Its main redeeming feature is that it rather brutally covers what you need for the exam and very little else - where it does diverge one is tempted to wonder why what they're diverging into isn't on the exam, since it's usually something fairly critical. It also has a CD with a mock exam (which is harder than the real exam due to not telling you how many options you need to choose for each question), which is undoubtedly useful.
Unfortunately it also seems unsure of its target audience, and there are places where it talks at length of the sort of thing any programmer should know (like deadlocks), but other places where it assumes you already know a fair bit and just want to get the details on how Java does things. There are also a few rather dubious descriptions (no, StringBuffer.delete does NOT take a zero-indexed and then a one-indexed parameter - the second one is zero-indexed and means 'up to but not including this character'. A hairsplitting distinction perhaps, but one that's much less confusing).
Also unfortunately I can't recommend a better one, but I would recommend reading quite widely on various Java topics, especially anything you find difficult. Somewhere out there is probably an explanation which makes more sense to you. It's certainly been helping me in my preparations.
What do you mean, 'only String gets to have overloaded operators'?
I personally started with ExamCram 2 for the SCJP and I found it horrible in prep for the real test. It just doesn't teach a lot of the intricate details (especially with things like declaration and initialization).
Really there is a lot to learn, what I like about the K&B book is that it lays out the rules right upfront as far as what you need to keep in mind. That I find a lot easier than reading the java language spec and trying to decipher what's important over and over.
This experiance really convinced me that the book you choose or the help you get definitely determines a lot of how hard or easy things are. The Java Lang Specification is online for free at sun, but still I find the K&B book more than worth it.