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finally getting my teeth into java for real after years of putting it off.

using the Head First Java book as learning material, now about 2/3 way thru the book, really good stuff.

once i finish it, any ideas where to go next?

posting all my notes & files on my website at...
... http://www.red91.com/archives/snippets
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Head First Java is always the first book I recommend to beginners. I think it's the best entry point to programming I've read.

The next two books I'd recommend are Josh Bloch's Effective Java Programming Language Guide and Bruce Eckel's Thinking in Java.

Those three books will take you far. They're really all you need to know about the core of Java until you get into specific areas like Swing or servlet programming.
lowercase baba
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Howdy John, and welcome to the Ranch. Don't hesitate to ask us anything. There's usually someone around with the answer, or who can point you in the right direction.

Have fun, and watch out for the cowpies!
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Welcome to JavaRanch, John!

Perhaps where to go next depends somewhat on what you're already familiar with and what you want to accomplish.

If you're new to programming in general...

In between chapters while reading those great books, write lots of programs. Hundreds of them.

Places to find Java programming exercises:
  • The JavaRanch Cattle Drive
  • Roedy Green's List of Student Java Projects
  • Projects associated with various chapters of Bradley Kjell's Introduction to Computer Science using Java - the project links are on the right side of the page
  • Projects associated with various chapters of David J. Eck's Introduction to Programming Using Java

  • If you're already a great programmer, then perhaps improving on OOAD (Object-Oriented Analysis and Design) and design patterns understanding, with books like "Head First Design Patterns" and Craig Larman's "Applying UML and Patterns", is the way to go.

    If you want to learn server-side programming, then the JavaRanch Cattle Drive includes a decent introduction to servlets and JSP's. After this introduction, the next steps might include learning a web application framework like Struts, or learning more JEE (Java Enterprise Edition) technologies like EJB's.

    If you want to write programs for mobile phones, then jump into J2ME.

    If you want to write desktop programs with pretty GUI's, then maybe dive into Swing.

    Some folks pursue certifications as a means to focus and organize learning efforts, and to validate understanding.

    Etc... (It's time for me to focus my efforts back onto my work...)
    [ June 12, 2007: Message edited by: Dirk Schreckmann ]
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    Hey John

    Welcoming you to JavaRanch.. Head First Java and Thinking in Java are the good books you can start off with.

    But one more book to add in the series is, Deitel's "Java How to Program", as it gives you the explanations for the control flow with adequate pictures - thats what i have inferenced!

    Good luck
    Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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