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Java Beginner's Plan

Jason Hardaway
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 11, 2011
Posts: 26

Hello everyone, I would like to ask you all a couple of questions but first a little background info.

I have been recently studying the Head First Java (2nd Ed). book for the past 5 months in my free time. I am now at the end of chapter 5 and would like to get more serious with my studying. Therefore, I have created a self-study plan to have an actual goal to be able to complete this book in a certain amount of time.
This is my plan: I figured I would need about 3 weeks of solid study for each chapter (I know this can change depending on the difficulty of the chapter).
If I continue with chapter 6 through chapter 18 + appendix A & B in this book (This is 15 chapters, I'm counting the appendices as chapters), then this would take me approx. 315 days (21 days * 15 chapters) or 10.5 months (315 days / 30 days per month) to finish the book.
So, I am looking to finish around March 2012 but I am hoping to be finished by December 2011 if its possible.

Now, my 1st question: Do you guys think this is a good plan, will I need more time or less time?

My ultimate goal is to take and pass the SCJP exam sometime in the future. I purchased the SCJP study guide (exam 310-065) by Sierra and Bates at the same time I bought their Head First book. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I will have enough knowledge to be able to pass the SCJP after studying these two books.

My 2nd question is this: Do you all think these two books will be enough to be able to build a solid knowledge base for the SCJP? I read somewhere on the forum that the book "Introduction to Java Programming" by Liang is also a good book but more complex and it has more problems to solve. What do you all think?

Thanks everyone, your tips and advice are much appreciated

Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38818
    
  23
Welcome to the Ranch

I am always worried about people who try to learn programming from a book, rather than from people who already can program. That is why this sort of forum is so useful.

I would have thought you can go through HFJ faster than that if you apply yourself to it. Don't copy and paste any code. Copy it all by hand, and alter bits, then you can see how it works or goes wrong.
Wim Vanni
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 06, 2011
Posts: 96

I agree that you should be able to go through the book at a faster rate, but possibly you are doing this in the evening and weekends only.
I also agree that actually programming should be more beneficial to you than learning from the book. Even if you do all the activities that are listed in this book, you might not get enough experience in using this programming language to solve certain problems. Then again, I've always been impressed with the Head First series. Somehow they manage to get the message through

If you ask if the remainder of the year could be sufficient to be able to pass the SCJP exam, I would answer yes. Are the books enough? That would depend on how good you are in grasping things, and in memorizing things. Is the SCJP certificate a good goal? In most cases it will be benifical to you in finding a job as (Java) programmer. It will not make you an experienced programmer though.

One advice I can give is to check out BlackBeltFactory. Aside from a form of certification they provide, the exams are covering all aspects of Java very well and might already be a good test of your understanding of the first chapters of HFJ.

Good luck with your goals!
Wim
Jason Hardaway
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 11, 2011
Posts: 26

Thanks guys, I'll definitely try to finish the book at a faster pace and I'll check out that Black Belt Factory too!
 
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