This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
<pre>Author/s : by Paul Allen, Joseph J. Bambara Publisher : McGraw-Hill/Osborne Category :Java Certification Review by : Ajith Kallambella Rating : 8 horseshoes</pre> More is better and that's where this book comes out as a winner! Chapters cover all objectives and are neatly organized. Every chapter concludes with a small test and a "Two minute drill" that is great for last minute reviews (and index cards!). "Exam watch" sections are interspersed throughout the book to draw your focus on test specific issues and "Scenario-Solution" sections present potential design/architectural issues with solutions in a quick to read format. Many chapters include exercises for problem solving and essay-type answering required for the final part of certification. A sample case study of a securities trading system helps the readers to prepare for part II assignment. Here's where the "more" factor comes in - the accompanying CD contains a large collection (250+) of questions in the form of two simulated tests. One can register free on their website to download an additional test. The testing software not only includes detailed answers for every question, but will also generate a score report to help you identify your weak areas. The CD also contains code samples referenced in the book and all chapters in electronic (pdf) format. That's very helpful for someone on the run! This book is much more than a certification guide. It can very well be used as a complete J2EE quick reference guide. Some of the extras packed in the book include XML coverage in Common architectures/protocols section, a great OOAD/UML refresher, lots of J2EE best practices and tips, introductory coverage of JCA and working code for many design patterns. The "On the Job" sections present the reader with some interesting real-life architectural scenarios. Some code samples are two to three pages long, and one of them has a three-page output listing!! Perhaps that's the only not-cool thing about the book.
Sorry, but I completely disagree with the review of the book. I have read the first four chapters only. Maybe the rest of the book is better, but this is my opinion, so far: The book is very well organized and structured. It is very focused on passing the architect exam. And that is very good. The problem is that the contents are poorly explained. I think the authors fail to explain the subjects in an understandable way. Sometimes I think they just wrote some thoughts, without giving consistency. Sometimes things are explained twice or more times, without adding anything nor explaining better. Besides, there are errors, or misunderstandings, in the review questions. Some questions are not covered/explained in the corresponding chapter, or I'm completely unable to understand them. Till now, I have done the questions twice, one before reading the chapter and another after reading it, and the score has been the same. In my opinion, if you don't know about J2EE this book won't help you much. If you already know enough to pass the exam, the book is too thick to be used as a review. If you are in the middle, as I am, you'll just get more confused. I am a software engineer, SCJD, with more than 5 years experience developing OO aplications, some of them J2EE, and using UML. I think I should be able to understand the book and pass the exam. Maybe I'm being too crude, but I'm really disappointed. I would like to hear from other people that have read the book.
In my opinion, if you don't know about J2EE this book won't help you much. If you already know enough to pass the exam, the book is too thick to be used as a review. If you are in the middle, as I am, you'll just get more confused..
Well, it is a SCEA certification guide and not a tutorial. I guess it is true for any certification guide for that matter, that it does not teach you anything more than what is required by the test. I guess that's why it is not a good book for someone who don't know( or know little) about J2EE.
Open Group Certified Distinguished IT Architect. Open Group Certified Master IT Architect. Sun Certified Architect (SCEA).