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 bruceeckel.com. 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 sscce.org
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
Joined: Oct 27, 2007
thanks for the feedback guys, will give it a look through.
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.