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Where to start ?

Andre Viljoen

Joined: Sep 13, 2004
Posts: 2
Hi, I'm starting off with Java today. Been programming in Assembler, Cobol, Cool:Gen etc. before (yes you may laugh) ! Where and how is the best place you would say I need to start off. Books etc ? I need to certify myself in 4 and a half months. Is it possible ?
Sharon Hour

Joined: Sep 10, 2004
Posts: 6

I am currently learning java (been programming in cobol for years!). I did a course where we used a book that was useless, but there are plenty of free ebooks on the web. However for the certification, the best book was by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates, i studied completely from this book and got a very good score on SCJP.

Also am currently using Sams teach yourself Java in 21 days and finding it useful. As well as Java in a nutshell - which is very good for reference
Andre Viljoen

Joined: Sep 13, 2004
Posts: 2
Hi Sharon,
Thanks for the reply. How long did all of this take you ? Do you have the book's name you used please? I'm using Beginning Java 2 by Ivor Horton and also Complete Java 2 Certification by Philip Heller and Simon Roberts.
Ben Wood
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 14, 2001
Posts: 342
Hi Andre,

I would think for someone with previous programming experience it would certainly be posible to get Java certified in the time you have if you work at it. I always think two books are better than one as that will give you some perspective and different explanations of a concept when you get stuck, but mainly I learn't from the Java in 21 days book which was OK but I wouldn't say exceptional. There's also a lot of material on the web of course, maybe a good starting point is Sun's own tutorial?

The certification books around are good for exam preparation but I find they also serve as a useful cross-reference when working through other tutorials/books etc too. Good luck

SCJP 1.4,
Clovis Hartig II

Joined: Sep 11, 2004
Posts: 20

In addition to Sierra & Bates' certification book, try "Head First Java" before the cert book. Gives you the background in a fun, interesting, and palatable, yet rigorous, way. Good luck and how refreshing to hear from someone who will take months to get your cert rather than the "I got my cert in 2 weeks with no prior experience and a 99%". I, like you, will take some time so that everything will "soak in" and I can actually program in Java while I'm preparing.
dhriti joshi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 13, 2002
Posts: 82
i used the book by patrick naughtan .
i had no knowledge of any programming language,come from chemistry background.
used this book for knowledge,and then for scjp,and then for interview,
Dirk Schreckmann

Joined: Dec 10, 2001
Posts: 7023
Here is a list of free on-line Java tutorials and books that I have found useful:
  • Sun's Java Tutorial
  • Introduction to Computer Science using Java by Bradley Kjell
  • Introduction to Programming Using Java by David J. Eck
  • Dick Baldwin's Java Programming Tutorials
  • Interactive Programming In Java by Lynn Andrea Stein
  • Bruce Eckel's Thinking In Java
  • JavaRanch's own Campfire Stories
  • Allen B. Downey's How To Think Like A Computer Scientist

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