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Sun Certified Programmer & Developer Study Guide by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates

Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 944
<pre>
Author/s : Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates
Publisher : McGraw Hill / Osborne
Category : Java Certification
Review by : Jessica Sant
Rating : 10 horseshoes

</pre>
Imagine this: you're in college, studying for the final exam -- and the teacher
gives you all of her notes that spell out EXACTLY what you need to know, what
you DON'T need to worry about, and even points out all the little traps she'll
try to catch you in when you take the exam. Kathy Sierra, the co-developer of
the 310-035 Programmer's exam, with the help of Bert Bates has done just that.
The 3rd edition of Osborne's Sun Certified Programmer and Developer for Java 2
is an awesome book. Get this -- it's actually entertaining to read, very easy to
understand, and the mock exams more closely resemble the real thing than any
other mock out there. The "Two-minute Drills" are an excellent resource to help
you review before you take the exam. The Exam Watches interspersed throughout
the chapter point out all the traps you might fall in during the exam, and the
On The Job blurbs give you a practical application for the knowledge you just
learned. The end chunk of the book discusses what you need to know to pass the
Developer s exam. It won't teach you Swing or Threads - but what the exam
assessor's are looking for - the things you need to pay attention to in order to
pass that exam. I fully recommend this book.


More info at Amazon.com
More info at Amazon.co.uk
Johannes de Jong
tumbleweed
Bartender

Joined: Jan 27, 2001
Posts: 5089
Hm. maybe I should take the plunge and go for my certification. With a book worth a 10 it might just be that bit easier. Thanks for the review
Jessica Sant
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

It's an awesome book JDJ -- I used Mughal's book and passed with an 84% -- but while reading Kathy's book for this review -- I kept saying to myself "Oh -- that's how it works, I would have gotten that question right had I known that."
Mughal's book is excellent -- 100% technical correct -- but that's just it -- it's purely techincal -- and quite dry to read. While going through it for my test I kept having to re-read paragraphs 'cause my mind drifted off. I never had that happen with Kathy and Bert's book. It's full of entertaining interjections, understandabale real-life examples, and lots of info about the exam.


- Jess
Blog:KnitClimbJava | Twitter: jsant | Ravelry: wingedsheep
Johannes de Jong
tumbleweed
Bartender

Joined: Jan 27, 2001
Posts: 5089
For additional comments on the book see here
Pauline McNamara
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 19, 2001
Posts: 4012
    
    6
...I kept saying to myself "Oh -- that's how it works, I would have gotten that question right had I known that."...

Jess, would you say that when you thought, "Oh, that's how it works", that whatever you'd just learned would be helpful outside the exam too, not only for the purposes of passing the exam?
Jessica Sant
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

Jess, would you say that when you thought, "Oh, that's how it works", that whatever you'd just learned would be helpful outside the exam too, not only for the purposes of passing the exam?
Well... I'm of the mindset that the exam will actually help you to become a better programmer -- a lot of people argue that the SCPJ exam is just silly -- it forces you to learn things that the compiler does for you anyway -- that you could just as easily look up things everytime in the API.
But I say if you learn it -- you won't have to rely on the compiler as much -- you'll code faster, stronger, with less bugs. So from that perspective -- yes -- the book will definitely help you afterwards. From the beginning, the book tells you its not going to teach you how to code -- you shouldn't get this book if you want to learn Java. That's not its purpose. It teaches you all the stuff you need to pass the exam. (If you want to learn java look for Kathy and Bert's next book coming out in April -- shhhh you didn't hear that from me)
[ January 04, 2003: Message edited by: Jessica Sant ]
Johannes de Jong
tumbleweed
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Joined: Jan 27, 2001
Posts: 5089
A bit more info over here
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
It should be pointed out the CD in this book only works on Windows. That is quite surprising for a Java book. The publishers should be smacked around for that! Kathy and Bert, would it be possible to provide a version of the CD on your web site that works for those who aren't Windows users?


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
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Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8883
    
    5
Thomas and JavaRanchers !
We totally agree that the CD should be multi-platform!!! :roll:
We have started talking to the publisher about this problem... to the point of offering to write the exam software for them !
We will keep you all posted as we learn more!
-Bert


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Johannes de Jong
tumbleweed
Bartender

Joined: Jan 27, 2001
Posts: 5089
A reply by Kathy re large errata of the book
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
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Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Howdy all,
I have news about the CD-ROM. And I agree with Thomas, if the publishers were here in Boulder we *would* smack 'em around. (I say "we", but if they're big (we've never seen them in person), then it'll probably just be *me*, what with my cowgirl roping skills and all)
Osborne/McGraw-Hill said they have an example that's even worse... they have a Linux book with a CD that runs only on Windows!
Here's what we're going to do:
1) We're putting the exam questions from the CD-ROM on our website, with a password that comes directly from the book. It won't yet be a mock exam engine, so you won't have the benefit of taking the exams in the simulation software (although we *will* have that later, but not until Bert and I are no longer working 80 hour a week schedules
But at least you'll be able to take the mock exams. And although the book chapters themselves are (to put it euphimistically) not-quite-error-free, all three of the mock exams are very nearly PERFECT, because THEY were edited by the folks on javaranch, with Valentin taking the lead there.
(If we had been using even a small portion of our brains, Bert and I would have hired the javaranchers to edit the whole darn book. Live and learn...two top bartenders ARE currently editing our upcoming O'Reilly book
2) The publisher is putting the text of the exams on the CD-ROM, I believe with the second printing, the version that's coming out VERY soon (like, two weeks). The CD-ROM itself should be readable, so at least there will be text files available.
These are not perfect solutions, but we're doing what we can to help folks without a PC. Being extreme Mac-heads ourselves, we're pretty unhappy about ANYTHING that's PC-only, and especially something having to do with Java! But the CD-ROM was not part of our work or control, with the exception of the questions themselves.
Anyway, thanks for all the input and patience!
cheers,
Kathy
Jessica Lang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 61
Hello,
I hope someone can clarify my confusion here... I have a copy of "Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2" by Osborned/ Syngress/McGraw-Hill - 2nd edition. It says the copyright is on 2001. The Co-author is Brian Bagnall with many other contributors. Is this the same book as the one from "Kathy and Bert"? If not, what are their differences. They are from the same publishers.
Thanks.....
Jessica Lang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 61
Hello,
While reading the forums, I realized that they are of two different books. The one by �Brian Bagnall� is for �310-025 � version 1.2� while the one by �Kathy and Bert" is for �310-035 � version 1.4�.
Is there much difference between them? Is it necessary to get the "Kathy and Bert" book, if one has that �Brian Bagnall� book?
Thanks....
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
These books have virtually nothing in common. They are completely different. The K&B book is the book you want if you are going to take the SCJP exam.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:
Howdy all,
I have news about the CD-ROM. And I agree with Thomas, if the publishers were here in Boulder we *would* smack 'em around. (I say "we", but if they're big (we've never seen them in person), then it'll probably just be *me*, what with my cowgirl roping skills and all)

For some reason, Kathy reminds me of this Texas gal:

[ May 22, 2003: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
Jessica Lang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 61
Thanks Thomas....that's what Jessica Sant said too.... I tried searching for the book locally, but am not been able to find a copy.
My last resort will be Amazon but that may take up to a month....
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

For some reason, Kathy reminds me of this Texas gal:

Dammit! Note to everyone: those photos you allowed back in your foolish college days will always come back to haunt you. I *tried* to keep this one off of the internet...but it just won't die. That was not my natural hair color, of course.
-Kathy
Jessica Lang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 61
Finally, I managed to buy the book locally. It is sure selling like hot cakes here.....:-) Think it's time for me to take a look now. But, I have not seen the other book (Head on Java) yet!!!
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

Bert,
I was just wondering whether some of the errors in mock exam shipped in the CD have been fixed.


Groovy
Vic Lowtney
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 18, 2003
Posts: 2
I don't see anyone asking about the 2nd MasterExam (on Windows is fine) that is promised in the book (Java 2 Sun Certified Programmer and Developer by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates, from McGraw-Hill Osborne).
I read the book, loved it, but it promised me a 2nd masterexam if I clicked on the �bonus materials� link and registered online.
I installed and ran my 1st masterexam from the CD that came with the book and there is no �Bonus Materials� link (as Appendix A said purportedly exists).
The Learning Key Your site absolutely nothing I can find wherewith to download this elusive, yet promised 2nd exam. Fill me in here. Where do I get this 2nd exam?
Thanks,
-Vic
Ebun Bankole
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 1
hi kathy,
i saw your promo of the book on java certification.i really will love to get that book if only i could afford it.i earlier sent you a mail with the address- info_kbt@yahoo.com, explaining my plight as a programmer. i am still expecting a reply from you, hoping you understood. please i am still staying too idle for my own good. i have not fully understood how to program with javabeans. i will love to learn more of it, but like i have already said, i lack resources to program. please i will like your kind support. please don't be confused by the two different names i have used so far. they both are my names.
ebun bankole.
Erica Wong
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 23, 2004
Posts: 1
Hi, Kathy, thanks a lot for your wonderful book. I used your book as my study guideline and little from others for about 1~2 months. I passed it with 96% and got 2 questions wrong on Threads. I kind of doubt there are bugs in the exam because I am pretty good threads. :-)
A book like yours defeat the purpose of the certification exam because anyone not too dumb and finish reading your book can pass that exam with 52%.


He, who loses money, loses much;<br />He, who loses a friend, loses much more;<br />He, who loses faith, loses all.<br />-Eleanor Roosevelt
Royster Doyster
Greenhorn

Joined: May 10, 2004
Posts: 1
Hi folks,
I agree that this book is very good for explaining the requirements and topics for the SCJP but the CD that is supplied with it is pants. The exam section of the allows you to spend 2 hours answering questions, gives you a final result and then doesn't allow you to review your answers.
The exam question review part not only doesn't give you question numbers or full answers but even more mind blowing it doesn't actually let you see what answer you chose and so whether you got the question right or not....
Is this designed just to get you to panic before the exam?
Get the book and bin the CD.
RD
Jean-Christian Imbeault
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 08, 2004
Posts: 19
Originally posted by Kathy Sierra:

2) The publisher is putting the text of the exams on the CD-ROM, I believe with the second printing, the version that's coming out VERY soon (like, two weeks). The CD-ROM itself should be readable, so at least there will be text files available.


Is this a second edition or just second printing? I want to get this book but can only find mention of a first edition on amazon.com.

Considering this was posted more than a few moons ago I assume that either the publisher decided *not* to make a second printing or that it's still in the works?

BTW, any chance of a Head's First book on passing the SCJP?

Thanks
Pradeep Kaushik
Greenhorn

Joined: May 22, 2005
Posts: 5

Hi,
This is one of the BEST books I have ever read. It is presented in a very humorous way so that anyone will be interested to read this. I read this book in addition to Khalid Mughal and was able to secure 91% in SCJP. Thank you Kathy and Bert

---------------------
- Regards
Pradeep.N.Kaushik
Sun Certified Java Programmer(SCJP 91%)
JaVa RuLeZ!!
 
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