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Java Projects Book for OCJP certified people - Suggestions ?

Raghavendra Shockley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2012
Posts: 69
Hi !

I am OCJP 1.6 certified and I wanted some practical experience before I get into a job. I want to do some conventional java projects like text editor (GUI based) , banking application, network connectivity etc. which will need concepts beyond those covered by the OCJP. However, as a beginner, I am not looking for hard and exotic projects like the ones in google code competitions. So, can anyone suggest a good java projects book which meets these requirements ?


Back to square one.
Mohamed Sanaulla
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Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 3071
    
  33

One book I can think of right away is Wicked Cool Java.


Mohamed Sanaulla | My Blog
Raghavendra Shockley
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Joined: Jan 21, 2012
Posts: 69
Mohamed Sanaulla wrote:One book I can think of right away is Wicked Cool Java.


What did you like and dislike about this book ?
Mohamed Sanaulla
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Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 3071
    
  33

Raghavendra Shockley wrote:
Mohamed Sanaulla wrote:One book I can think of right away is Wicked Cool Java.


What did you like and dislike about this book ?

I havent read this book completely though. But you can check out the reviews at the bunkhouse.
Raghavendra Shockley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2012
Posts: 69
Mohamed Sanaulla wrote:
Raghavendra Shockley wrote:
Mohamed Sanaulla wrote:One book I can think of right away is Wicked Cool Java.


What did you like and dislike about this book ?

I havent read this book completely though. But you can check out the reviews at the bunkhouse.


Thanks ! The first reviewer has put me into doubt -
Katrina Owen wrote:
The target audience is people who have a good basic familiarity with Java, and are ready to see what wonders will pop out if you poke it in unexpected places.

If you are very new to programming, a lot of the discussions might be difficult to follow.


I am OCJP 6 certified. But without good, real world project experience, I still feel that I am a beginner. So I think I will search more.
Any java project books by kathy sierra and bert bates ? I wish they would make a multi-volume book on projects.


Mohamed Sanaulla
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Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 3071
    
  33

Being SCJP certified doesnt put you under the "New to Programming" bracket. Moreover you are asking for Java project books, there would be no project book that aims at new to something. Even if it exists it would be like Head First Java where they teach and also help you build something. But even in that book lot of code they term it as "Ready baked code" (or what ever term they use) which a beginner would not be able to understand easily.

And if you shirk away from actually trying out something, then its hard to learn. Things may be difficult to start with but being aware of the Java language constructs, its OO principles I think it shouldn't be much of an issue to learn new API. Katrina clearly says if you are "very new to programming" and I dont think you are.

There might be other books but I am not aware of them. You could try Head First Programming which uses Python.
Raghavendra Shockley
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Joined: Jan 21, 2012
Posts: 69
I wonder why there are almost no books which are made solely for the purpose of helping us to improve our java skills and get some real world knowledge of good software design, good OOPs practices etc.
If any good author made a serious attempt at making a book(s) of this type, he would become rich.
Mohamed Sanaulla
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Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 3071
    
  33

Raghavendra Shockley wrote:I wonder why there are almost no books which are made solely for the purpose of helping us to improve our java skills and get some real world knowledge of good software design, good OOPs practices etc.
If any good author made a serious attempt at making a book(s) of this type, he would become rich.

There are lots of such books- few I can recall- Effective Java, Refactoring (Java version) by Martin Fowler, Code Complete, Clean Code, Essential Skills for Agile Developers, Design Patterns Explained, GoF Design Patterns. You can explore the bunkhouse for more such books.
Mohamed Sanaulla
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Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 3071
    
  33

And even this faq has lot of books/articles all aimed at good oo design (may be a few UML books as well).
Raghavendra Shockley
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Joined: Jan 21, 2012
Posts: 69
Mohamed Sanaulla wrote:And even this faq has lot of books/articles all aimed at good oo design (may be a few UML books as well).


Thanks for the links ! But there is a small problem. In which order does one read those books ?
k reeta
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2010
Posts: 35
Hey Raghavendra ...I am in the exact same situation and have been trying really hard to find a book for real world problems. Did you find anything suitable?
Anayonkar Shivalkar
Bartender

Joined: Dec 08, 2010
Posts: 1509
    
    5

Hi Raghavendra Shockley & k reeta,

Well, if you are OCJP, then it means that you understand the basics of OO concepts and Java programming language. So, even if a book is not meant for novice/beginners, I don't think there should be any problem while reading those books.

As Mohamed Sanaulla has already mentioned, there are numerous books related to improving skills to write cleaner code. e.g. Core Java (it doesn't contain projects etc. but explains a lot about design decisions etc. e.g. how SUN achieved generics programming while not breaking backward compatibility etc.), then there is famous Effective Java (which discusses good programming practices, and some real world scenario - like why do we need immutable classes etc.).

There are few books for programming in general - like Code Complete, Beautiful Code etc.

Design pattern books are also nice, but personally I think learning few design patterns is enough for Core Java. Those patterns comes in very handy especially during JEE programming.

Start reading those books and you'll understand what is your comfort level and what is it that you really need (e.g. I don't need GUI programming in Core Java, so I don't read about it ).

I hope this helps.


Regards,
Anayonkar Shivalkar (SCJP, SCWCD, OCMJD, OCEEJBD)
Mohamed Sanaulla
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Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 3071
    
  33

So I can list out the books which dont require any much knowledge other than Core Java and OO concepts.

Effective Java: Programming Language Guide
Principles of OOD
Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software OR Head First Design Patterns OR Design Patterns Explained
Code Complete OR Clean Code
Essential Skills for Agile Developers
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code (useful when you are working on a huge code base, typically on legacy code or even the code which can become legacy, otherwise you cannot appreciate what Martin Fowler tries to convey)
UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (really useful and handy for UML, also gives a brief overview of development process).

[Note: A suggested order of reading, you can alter this according to your needs. There are plenty of books on similar topics, so you are never short of reading ]
k reeta
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2010
Posts: 35
Thanks a lot Mohamed Sanaulla and Anayonkar Shivalkar! That was very helpful. I have been hearing alot about Core Java, Effective Java and Code Complete. I will definitely check them out. Thanks again!
Raghavendra Shockley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2012
Posts: 69
I am sure those books will be helpful. But, If I read so many books with no projects, i will effectively remain in the same situation (inexperienced) , but with information about more technologies. Many companies prefer some experience in development, even for entry level-positions. I feel that I can learn more by "building something" and learning along the way, instead of learning so many things at once - like uml, testing, design patterns etc.

The first thing I want to do is get an overview (what it is and what is it used for) about main concepts like design patterns. So, if i encounter a problem during development, I will know what options i can use to solve the problem. Lets say, my goal is to make servlets and web pages for a "beginner" shopping website. To fetch username and passwords from a table, and to make simple forms, I guess that I dont need to go deep into HTML and RDBMS books for 4-5 months and then begin the project. A simple primer should be sufficient. Maybe, I could use excel instead of SQL to store tables for some projects. I will go deep into a technology (such as uml, design patterns, regex etc) if i need it to complete the project.

Due to the reasons mentioned above, I am looking for a java projects book along with "concepts" books.
k reeta
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2010
Posts: 35
So I have found a couple of books, though can't vouch for them as I haven't tried them -

(1) Practical Java Project for Beginners - B.M. Harwani
(2) Java Programming Inc. by CEP Inc. and Sestak
(3) Java Projects BPB

You should be able to find copies on Amazon/Flipkart.

Hope that helps!

Also see Private Messages.
Mohamed Sanaulla
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 3071
    
  33

This is what you said in your previous post:
Raghavendra Shockley wrote: I wonder why there are almost no books which are made solely for the purpose of helping us to improve our java skills and get some real world knowledge of good software design, good OOPs practices etc.

And hence was my reply about the abundance of such books in the market.

So if you want to:
Raghavendra Shockley wrote:
...
I feel that I can learn more by "building something" and learning along the way, instead of learning so many things at once.
...
Due to the reasons mentioned above, I am looking for a java projects book along with "concepts" books.

There are few books in Java which cover concepts as well as provide a sample project. Now the drawback of such books is that: You dont get to think much about the project because the book has provided the code along with project, so you get influenced by the code and tend to think in that direction. Before you venture out in to developing something you should be aware of the concepts which you would have to use for the development. It not you would end up searching a lot and then developing which is not what the employers would be looking for.

You might want to consider books which teach you concepts in a practical way, for example you code while you are learning. The Bunkhouse (where there are reviews of the books) might possibly have review of lot of such books and you can pick one. I remember reading Head First Java and the approach in the book was more practical. I did few mini projects at my college level (2 desktop applications and 1 web application) and that gave me a lot of exposure to the language.

So if you want to build something- I would suggest you to look at TopCoder, Programmableweb contests among other such websites where you get to solve a certain problem or build some application for some competition. Participating in such contests would help you think in lot of dimensions for example: in terms of performance, space complexity and compilation time for TopCoder competitions, in terms of usability of application for Programmableweb contests.

Raghavendra Shockley wrote:
... Maybe, I could use excel instead of SQL to store tables for some projects. ...

You would have to make your application database agnostic such that you can swap the persistance layer and still keep the changes to your other code to minimal. Such things are possible when you use a persistance layer between your application and database that can help you to keep your code independent of which database you are using.

Going deep into HTML- there's nothing much in HTML which you have to be worried about. All the new stuff in HTML 5 is the one that would be good to know, but if at all you end up using pre HTML5 then its just a bunch of tags that you should be aware of.
Mohamed Sanaulla
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 3071
    
  33

k reeta wrote:

Also see Private Messages.

Please UseTheForumNotEmail. We would like to keep the discussions on the forum.
Raghavendra Shockley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2012
Posts: 69
k reeta wrote:So I have found a couple of books, though can't vouch for them as I haven't tried them -

(1) Practical Java Project for Beginners - B.M. Harwani
(2) Java Programming Inc. by CEP Inc. and Sestak
(3) Java Projects BPB

You should be able to find copies on Amazon/Flipkart.

Hope that helps!

Also see Private Messages.


Thanks for the list. I had checked those books before. Harwani's book is servlets and jsp - seems to be ok. Sestaks book was released in 1999 - too old. I avoid BPB books because they are usually written by obscure authors and the quality of content is bad.
So, I am still searching.
Raghavendra Shockley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2012
Posts: 69
Mohamed Sanaulla wrote:
1. You dont get to think much about the project because the book has provided the code along with project, so you get influenced by the code and tend to think in that direction. Before you venture out in to developing something you should be aware of the concepts which you would have to use for the development. It not you would end up searching a lot and then developing which is not what the employers would be looking for.

2. So if you want to build something- I would suggest you to look at TopCoder, Programmableweb contests among other such websites


Thanks for all the tips ! I will try the websites you mentioned and others too. How was your experience with those websites ? As for point 1, I meant a book with lot of problems and hints. Actual solutions provided separately, maybe with all possible methods for each problem/project. Thanks again for guiding me
 
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