I have almost ten years of hands-on IT experience doing hardware stuffs. Right now in the crossroads whether to remain in the HW or shift a bit to SW side. Recently grabbed a book on Java 2 and scanned & decipher it all by myself. Aside from a Beginner's book, what else are needed inorder for me to solidly anchor my knowledge in Java Programming. Advises are very much appreciated. Thanks.
From my vast amount of experience (oh... about 6 months), I'd say that nothing can replace actual coding practice.
Books are great, but only take you so far. Because I'm on the javaranch, I suppose I'll encourage you to try the cattle Drive.
But also, try to come up with your own little programs. They don't have to be very large. Make it useful to yourself, and make it good. The process of typing in the code and compiling and debugging.. very useful.
Charles, Of course Mike is correct, you must code, and code, and then do some more coding. Cattle Drive is a good idea also. Different people learn different way, but what works for me is to read some of a book, and then start a project. Read some more and start a project. Read some more and start a project. Oh yes and try to finish the project. You want to chose a project(really just a short program when you start) that you know something about or that would be useful to you. My first one was unit conversion program(feet to meters etc.). Seems simple now but not when I first started. Also, use JavaRanch(no I don't work for them :-), people are quite helpful when you get stuck. For what it is worth. Bill
I'll second the advice about making up your own projects. As you go through your Java books, create little programs for each concept (like sockets, threads, AWT/Swing). Then create a big project that ties all of these things together.
Sun's developer website has lots of tutorials on almost every Java subject possible. It is the first place you'll want to turn when you have a question.
I'd also like to recommend getting a good book on English grammar and spelling. 'Advises' is not the plural of advice!