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Help in preparing java

Monika Anand
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 11, 2003
Posts: 23
hi...
I have just started studying java and want to know from which books shd i start....keeping in mind Sun exam. Please tell me the topics to be prepared also.
Thanks
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
If you are interested in learning Java, then you probably couldn't do much better than Head First Java by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates (see our review). If you are interested in tackling the SCJP Exam, you might also check out Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exam 310-035 & 310-027), also by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates (see our review). Both books received "10 Horseshoes" when they were reviewed in our Bunkhouse.
For more information about the SCJP Exam, be sure to stop by our Programmer Certification (SCJP) forum.
[ August 12, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Jit Gupta
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 26
I am also learning Java from the very beginning. I am struggling. I feel that Java is not easy to learn, at least in comparison to VB. There are plethora of books on Java. However, most of the books assume that one has some background knowledge on Programming. If you have similar background, then is good. You can also try this book, "Ivor Horton's Beginning Java". Before purchasing any books, please go throught the review/comments at Amazon.com. That will save you some money.
Good Luck!
Barry Gaunt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2002
Posts: 7729
To add to the Jason's response, take a look at JR's SCJP FAQ.


Ask a Meaningful Question and HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch
Getting someone to think and try something out is much more useful than just telling them the answer.
Greg Neef
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 82
Personally, I am using Just Java also along with Head First Java and the SCP&D for J2 Study Guide. I am also reviewing the Sun java tutorial. I figure getting multiple perspectives is good. If you have the $200 the Javaranch cattle drive college is helpfull as well.


SCJP 1.4
Monika Anand
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 11, 2003
Posts: 23
Thanks a lot to all of u...but please let me know the topics also that i shd prepare....
Ken Blair
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1078
I learned using Just Java 2, Java Swing, XML & Java, Applied Java Design Patters, and Effective Java plus I used to look in Java Cookbook for code examples. I'm not necessarily recommending any of these books, there's plenty of good books about Java out there, this is what was made available to me and it's seemed to give me a decent grasp even though I've never programmed before.
There's such a wealth of resources online from Sun and others you can learn a whole lot for free without any books, but sometimes a good book can't be beat. Check out http://java.sun.com, http://www.ibm.com/developerWorks, http://www.javaworld.com, http://www.developer.com and you'll find a ton of great tutorials and information as well as more links to other sites.
[ August 13, 2003: Message edited by: Ken Blair ]
Jit Gupta
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 26
Ken,
I would appreciate if you tell how much time it took for you to learn and be confident/look for job in Java?
Thanks!
Ken Blair
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1078
I suppose that depends on what you mean by 'confident'. Two and half months ago I'd never really programmed in my life other than some very minimal TCL, Perl, and Visual Basic. I read most of Just Java 2 and did a number of tutorials at http://java.sun.com before to get a basic understanding and it was about two to three weeks reading books and articles a few hours a day before I felt confident enough to take on my first real application. Since then it's simply been about learning what I need to as problems come up, I needed to work with XML so I read XML & Java as well as some articles in developerWorks, now I'm learning about Swing and I've delved into Java Advanced Imaging in order to manipulate TIFF files (though at this point I'm really only using it to load the file and get a BufferedImage).
I suppose I would have to say that it took about three or four weeks. That's about the point at which I felt I had a pretty good grasp of the fundamentals of Java and OOP, because for someone as new as me it's not just learning Java it's learning OOP and even programming concepts in general. I learn something new everyday, there's alot of really simple things I still don't know because I haven't gotten to them yet, but am at a point two months later where I have the confidence that I can do just about anything, although it may require quite a bit of reading and learning. I highly doubt there comes a point for any programmer when there aren't things they can't do without first learning. My advice would be to simply read as much as you can, you're never going to know everything but the more you know the better.
As for looking for a job, well once you have a pretty good grasp at Java you might as well try for a job. I'm not sure exactly what kind of job you're looking for, once you meet whatever requirements they have I suppose you're ready. You're not going to know everything you need to know I'm sure, but you can always learn what you need to know, and once you have a solid foundation that shouldn't be a problem.
[ August 13, 2003: Message edited by: Ken Blair ]
Jit Gupta
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 26
Ken,
I am really amazed that you have learnt Java basic, Swing/XML etc. so fast (within 2 months). I am struggling. After finishing a chapter, I go to the exercise part and stuck there. Moving very slowly.
What kind of application are you developing?
Ken Blair
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1078
I can't really say while it's still in development. I'm not sure if my 'progress' is normal or not, I'm told most people aren't able to dive in like this but I'm not sure if that's true or just a nice compliment. I really don't know that much, I mean I've learned alot but I'm very aware of how little that really is. About 99% of it has come purely from reading, the other 1% being a nudge in the right direction from a more experienced programmer, which was more about WHAT to read up on given a particular problem.
And as a more accurate method of measuring the time I've spent, it's been around 240 hours.
[ August 13, 2003: Message edited by: Ken Blair ]
Andres Gonzalez
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
No worries Jit, it might take you some time at the beginning, but the main thing is to understand the concepts, why things are done the way they are in Java. Once you grasp the basics, you start seeing improvements. Post as many questions as you want, we all experienced the same thing, and we're still learning


I'm not going to be a Rock Star. I'm going to be a LEGEND! --Freddie Mercury
Jeff Bosch
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 30, 2003
Posts: 804
Don't feel bad about taking time to learn Java. We all learn at different speeds. Take my experience for example:
I've been around computers for 20+ years, and I've done lots of assembler plus some BASIC, a bit of Fortran, some COBOL and a fair amount of C. I first studied Java in 1998 and gave up because I couldn't make heads or tails of it beyond simple applets and such.
Two years ago, after learning C to the point that I could build apps that ran without crashing (on embedded systems, which are my favorite types of computers), I decided to take another peek at Java.
Since then, I've written several Java apps, including one automated test case generator that's saved my project team nearly a thousand hours of hand-coding test-case data streams. I had so much fun with that project, which I completed about two months ago, that I decided to pursue the Sun SCJP cert, another waystation on the five year, dusty-trail Java trek I've been on.
Be patient with yourself and, above all, have fun with it. Else why bother?


Give a man a fish, he'll eat for one day. Teach a man to fish, he'll drink all your beer.
Cheers, Jeff (SCJP 1.4, SCJD in progress, if you can call that progress...)
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
My favorite reference book is The Java Almanac. Besides the Java API, I wouldn't want to give up my Java Cookbook (someone else mentioned this already), and The Java Almanac. The Almanac is a great reference that you can just flip through and get a very quick idea of what methods are in what classes, and how packages are laid out. The beginning section of the book has little examples for a HUGE chunk of things you might want to do in Java. I use them for myself, whenever I'm using an API for the first time, or that I haven't worked on for a long time and I can't remember the syntax or the way to put the pieces together to accomplish some goal.
Of course, my favorite *learning* book for beginners is, hmmmmm, Head First Java
Personally, my favorites when I was learning were also Just Java and Bruce Eckel's book, "Thinking in Java". Bruce's book works best if you have a pretty strong C background, and don't mind reading. There were a few things I didn't like about that book, but overall, it helped me a LOT.
If you have absolutely no Java or C++, then I would not get the SCJP Study Guide; it makes assumptions that you already know at least *some* Java.
cheers and good luck,
Kathy
Jit Gupta
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 26
I think, I should ask this question to a Java Instructor. Since I am doing self study, I feel many helpful hands like Kathy, Andres, Jeff and others may help me.
What is the learning path to Java so as to apply for an entry level Java job? I mean suppose I have finished with the "Head First Java" book. Then what should I do next or learn? Which book to study next? Or what basic things one should learn on Java to migrate to next level?
I would really appreciate any advice/answer in this regard.
Monika Anand
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 11, 2003
Posts: 23
Thanks Jeff and Kathy....
Would it be fine if I buy Head First Java.....Since i have very little experience in C and C++?? It seems to be good reference book for beginners...
Please advice....
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Howdy Monika, and thanks for asking.
Yes, the book is fine for people who do not have a C or C++ background. In fact, the book suggests that if you DO have a really strong C++ background, you shouldn't get it. The only prerequisite is that you have had at least *some* programming exposure (other than HTML or other purely markup languages), but virtually any kind of scripting language, or a little C, Pascal, Basic, whatever. I will tell you that if you can survive the first chapter, the rest are easier The first chapter throws you right into the pool, but after that you can sit on the side of the pool in your lounge chair and relax for a while.
We'll be here on javaranch to help
cheers,
Kathy
yao yuan
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 25, 2003
Posts: 1
if you want to learning java i think ��thinking in java��is the best book for a program primer!You can know a lots about java from this book,it make me surprise at the lest!
Jeff Bosch
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 30, 2003
Posts: 804
Thanks for the recommendation, Kathy. I put the Developer's Almanac on my wish list at Amazon.com.
Another good book for someone who has zero computer experience or knowledge and who wants to learn Java with a nice, slow learning curve is Teach Yourself Beginning Programming which uses Java to teach fundamental programming skills. After reading this book and working with the exercises, then move on to Head First Java or another "pure Java" book of your choice.
Regards,
Jeff
[ August 25, 2003: Message edited by: Jeff Bosch ]
Monika Anand
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 11, 2003
Posts: 23
Thanks everyone...
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
 
subject: Help in preparing java