File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
The moose likes Beginning Java and the fly likes Old School Programmer - New to Java - Advice? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Java » Beginning Java
Bookmark "Old School Programmer - New to Java - Advice?" Watch "Old School Programmer - New to Java - Advice?" New topic

Old School Programmer - New to Java - Advice?

Bryan Cairns

Joined: Oct 27, 2007
Posts: 10
Hello everyone - this is my first post at the ranch!

I have been a programmer for about 10 years in various other languages (vb, c, c++, delphi, c#) programming is not new to me, but Java is.

Because I am proficient in C# the Java syntax is very easy for me to pickup as they are almost identical. The API however is a different story.

Right now I am reading the book "Just Java" and following the problems in the "Cattle Drive" here at seriously considering signing up for the cattle drive.

Using Eclipse as my main IDE, but also using a text editor and the command line just for the sake of learning.

Just wondering if you had any advice that would help me learn java programming (and the API) very quickly?
marc weber

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Hi Bryan, welcome to JavaRanch!

Please check your private messages by clicking on My Private Messages. Thanks!

I think the Cattle Drive would be excellent in helping you develop quickly. Since you already have a programming background and understand the concepts, I think you would really benefit from the feedback because you have that foundation.

I'm not familiar with the book Just Java, but since you have a background in C++, you might consider Bruce Eckel's Thinking in Java, which is an introductory Java book geared more towards readers with a C++ background. (The previous edition of TIJ is available as a free download from This doesn't cover Java 5, but it will give you an idea of the book's approach.)

"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
Stan James
(instanceof Sidekick)
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 8791
The Dietel & Dietel "How to program" books might be good. See if you can browse one at the bookstore. They've written one for just about every language there is, so they might have some of the same background you do.

A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi
Bryan Cairns

Joined: Oct 27, 2007
Posts: 10
thanks for the feedback guys, will give it a look through.
Charles McGuire
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 18, 2005
Posts: 99
Hi -

I picked up a book that would have been good when I was starting to learn java. "Agile Java" by Jeff Langr (ISBN 0-13-148239-4). I recommend it for two reasons:
  • It is non-patronizing, which is good for someone like yourself that already had a background in programming OO languages. Some of the books mentioned will drive you nuts with their elemental style.
  • It starts you out from the get-go on test driven methodologies. It teaches you about JUnit while learning Java. This is so important. Most people learn Java first, TDD second. Learning both at the same time is the way to go.

  • Good luck.

    There's no place like
    Avander Be

    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 16
    Hi Brian,

    i'm old school programmer also with a Cobol and C background heading towards SCJP5 certification real soon now.

    I started my studying early september using Head First Java followed by the K&B SCJP Study Guide.

    Steve Jobs: "Nobody uses Java anymore" ( Who the f*ck is Steve Jobs?)
    I agree. Here's the link:
    subject: Old School Programmer - New to Java - Advice?
    It's not a secret anymore!