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Any value of older books on Java design, APIs, coding

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This might sound like an odd question, or date me, or something but here goes. I'm about to move, and I've got way too many Java books on design (e.g., Peter Coad's), APIs (e.g., JSTL), and coding. Only one of them, on JEE is more recent than 2010 (I've been programming mainly outside the Java world for several years, but before that, I did a lot with Java and it is still my language of choice). Should I automatically assume that pretty much anything Java from before then is obsolete now? I likewise have books on the development process, but I don';t ever see discussions of those approaches these days. Everything is Agile--even if it isn't. I have, for example, the first edition of the J2EE Design Patterns book. Is this all waste paper? Well, I'm sure the classic book Design Patterns isn't, but it's not language-specific.

If and when I've dumped my old UML, Java API, Java design, etc., books, I'd be interested in recommendations for
JEE APIs and development
Java 8 programming
Java design
Common approaches to Java application development now.

I've been out of the loop, so to speak, a while, but I want to jump back in. Thanks.


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Java API books change quickly. There are some books that cover concepts like intro to Java or JDBC. Those are still useful. For process, many of my books are from before 2010 and still apply (including the agile ones.) So unfortunately, it is going to depend on the book. It also depends how much before 2010. A unit testing book from 2009 is going to have parts that apply, a Java book from 2000 is probably not very useful. Think of it this way - Java is 20 years old. A 2010 book is only 25% of it's life. If you aren't sure, feel free to post the titles of the ones you want a second opinion on.

As far as book recommendations:
JEE APIs and development:
  • A servlet and JSP book - I read Murach's most recently. If you don't like their style (it's not for everyone), another modern book is fine
  • A spring book - I like "Spring in Action" - In the last 5 years, Sprint has far surpassed EJB in popularity

  • Java 8 programming
  • "Java 8 for the Really Impatient"
  • If you didn't learn Java 7, "Java 7 New Features Cookbook

  • Java design
  • I think your existing books are going to be fine here. Other than dependency injection becoming more common, I don't think design has changed substantially since 2010

  • Common approaches to Java application development now.
  • Learning Agile - This book covers different agile methodogies. Which is good because you don't know which one your next job will use (if any, it might use a hybrid or something custom).
    With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
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