Bert Bates

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since Oct 14, 2002
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Recent posts by Bert Bates

I'm really happy to hear about these three books being discussed together!
3 months ago
I LOVE this answer!

- First off, so many programming books appear to have no well thought out objectives or they have impossible to achieve objectives.
- Your stated objective is so good. It's thoughtful, useful, and achievable.
3 months ago

What's next, I don't know yet, but I definitely don't feel like writing another one. I heard that this feeling changes after 6 months or so, is that true? ;)

You remember the two things you need to do to write a fine programming book?

1 - pick the correct topics
2 - teach them well.  

I know how hard it was in this book of yours to pick the correct topics. Harder than usual I'd say. That was just the nature of writing an GP book. So now you know how to teach well, if you get an idea for another book where the topics to teach are more obvious, I'd guess it would be a lot easier to write a second book ;)

I'm looking forward to getting a copy of your book!
3 months ago
What a marathon effort! But you did it! Super, double-triple congratulations!!

What's next?  

3 months ago
Thanks to all,

it was fun!
6 months ago
Hi Mohhamed,

Thanks for your kind words.

After 19 years, and teaching hundreds of teachers how to teach better, we still believe strongly in what we said in the book's introduction about how to teach. More specifically, we primarily use "linear pedagogy" to teach in this book. We think that if a teacher is using linear pedagogy, the Head First books are very good examples of how to make linear pedagogy as brain friendly as possible. Briefly, your "mind" might want to learn Java. But your "brain" does not. So we use all the techniques you mention to help the brain decide that Java is worth learning

More recently, Kathy and I have been creating learning systems using non-linear pedagogy. It's very exciting, but we're not yet far enough along to use non-linear pedagogy in a book.

As far as tips go, I would say (and some of this might be controversial):

- in the beginning, don't use an IDE, compile and run your code from the command line.
- try writing lots of tiny programs. We wrote hundreds and hundreds of tiny programs when we were writing this book, as a way to test stuff out.
- get really, really clear on how Java uses the stack and the heap, and how objects and reference variables work on the stack and the heap.
6 months ago

Campbell Ritchie wrote:

A few minutes ago, I wrote:How many pages . . . per $?

752 pages for $46.99: that comes to 16.

pages / dollar is a metric I never considered before
6 months ago
We do a quick intro to records, but we don't really cover other Java 17 features.
6 months ago
I can't make any promises, but the Head First team is thinking about making "Head First Spring". It might happen, it might not, and even if it does, it would be a while because we haven't even started.

I would say that very little of HF EJB would still be useful. Some of HF Servlets might be, but it would be hard to know which bits are important.

As for future editions, remember that this is a beginner's book. A foundation before reading other books. I would say that future editions will be driven by how many new Java features are appropriate for a beginner's book.
6 months ago
To me, one of the most challenging aspects of updating the book was figuring out how deeply to go into the new topics. If we weren't careful, we could have ended up with a 3000 page book
6 months ago

Mikalai Zaikin wrote:Hi Kathy, Bert, and Trisha !

Glad to see you here !

I checked the TOC shared at O'Reilly website.

Just a few questions:
1) Perhaps Ch14 starts graphics, and probably you cover AWT. If that true why you spend time on such legacy? ;)
2) Following Ch15 covers Swing, which I like more and use even nowadays. Do you cover some layout manager(s)? Which one(s) ? Just curious.
3) Do you cover in Swing chapter EDT ? I found it's the most common problem for beginners.

In general, I am very impressed by the vast number of topics you covered. Great job and good luck !


Good to hear from you Mikalai, and thanks for your kind words.
6 months ago
Thanks Dinesh, always nice to hear stories like yours
6 months ago

Peter Schuster wrote:Hello Kathy, Bert, and Trisha!

I've seen that the first edition of Head First Java was released in 2003. Wikipedia says, the most recent Java version then was 1.4. That was even before Generics in Java. Compared with today's Java or even java SE 8, you could do so much less with 2003 Java. I first learned about Java programming language in my last high school year's computer science class which must have been version 1.0 or 1.1 (we wrote an applet that moved Duke around in the browser window). I took me years to realise and to admire just how much of an early adopter my teacher was.

So, what fascinated you then (2003) about Java then?

Thank you!

Regards, Peter

6 months ago

sandeepc chintaki wrote:Hi Kathy, Bert & Trisha, great work on HFJ. Thank you for saving a many careers by bringing out the non disputed best seller in programming language category. My question, I am in a way disturbed by way Java is gaining little less popularity & also now called "old" language,
how do you see the evolution of Java programming language as a better choice over golang, nodejs for application architects, designers and developers to adapt & consider this domain & object friendly one? Can you comment on the dimension of Java language suitability to certain industries such as healthcare, finance as they are very domain driven? Thank you again

Thanks for your kind words!

Your question isn't an easy one, and I'm sure if you asked a bunch of senior software developers, you'd het many different answers. IMO, Java is good for a wide variety of applications with non-functional requirements such as: ease of maintenance and enhance-ability, large development teams, not too much concern about memory footprints, and where performance is important, but not super, super critical.

So, depending on the application, Java could fit well with some healthcare or finance situations, but not others.
6 months ago
As a land owner who will be elderly at some point, I want to buy this book when it's available!
1 year ago