Head First Java, 2nd Edition

Head First Java, 2nd Edition
By Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates

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Product Description

Learning a complex new language is no easy task especially when it s an object-oriented computer programming language like Java. You might think the problem is your brain. It seems to have a mind of its own, a mind that doesn't always want to take in the dry, technical stuff you're forced to study.

The fact is your brain craves novelty. It's constantly searching, scanning, waiting for something unusual to happen. After all, that's the way it was built to help you stay alive. It takes all the routine, ordinary, dull stuff and filters it to the background so it won't interfere with your brain's real work--recording things that matter. How does your brain know what matters? It's like the creators of the Head First approach say, suppose you're out for a hike and a tiger jumps in front of you, what happens in your brain? Neurons fire. Emotions crank up. Chemicals surge. That's how your brain knows.

And that's how your brain will learn Java. Head First Java combines puzzles, strong visuals, mysteries, and soul-searching interviews with famous Java objects to engage you in many different ways. It's fast, it's fun, and it's effective. And, despite its playful appearance, Head First Java is serious stuff: a complete introduction to object-oriented programming and Java. You'll learn everything from the fundamentals to advanced topics, including threads, network sockets, and distributed programming with RMI. And the new. second edition focuses on Java 5.0, the latest version of the Java language and development platform. Because Java 5.0 is a major update to the platform, with deep, code-level changes, even more careful study and implementation is required. So learning the Head First way is more important than ever.

If you've read a Head First book, you know what to expect--a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works. If you haven't, you're in for a treat. You'll see why people say it's unlike any other Java book you've ever read.

By exploiting how your brain works, Head First Java compresses the time it takes to learn and retain--complex information. Its unique approach not only shows you what you need to know about Java syntax, it teaches you to think like a Java programmer. If you want to be bored, buy some other book. But if you want to understand Java, this book's for you.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #3973 in Books
  • Brand: Sierra, Kathy/ Bates, Bert
  • Published on: 2005-02-19
  • Released on: 2005-02-09
  • Ingredients: Example Ingredients
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.25" h x 1.48" w x 8.00" l, 2.53 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 688 pages


  • O'Reilly Media

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap
"It's fast, irreverent, fun and engaging. Be careful--you might actually learn something!" - Ken Arnold, coauthor (with James Gosling, creator of Java) The Java Programming Language "It's definitely time to dive in--Head First."

- Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems, Chairman, President, and CEO

About the Author

Kathy Sierra has been interested in learning theory since her days as a game developer (Virgin, MGM, Amblin'). More recently, she's been a master trainer for Sun Microsystems, teaching Sun's Java instructors how to teach the latest technologies to customers, and a lead developer of several Sun certification exams. Along with her partner Bert Bates, Kathy created the Head First series. She's also the original founder of the Software Development/Jolt Productivity Award-winning javaranch.com, the largest (and friendliest) all-volunteer Java community.

Bert Bates is a 20-year software developer, a Java instructor, and a co-developer of Sun's upcoming EJB exam (Sun Certified Business Component Developer). His background features a long stint in artificial intelligence, with clients like the Weather Channel, A&E Network, Rockwell, and Timken.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful.
5Worked for me, but no promises.
By M. Sawyer
I used this to teach myself Java. However, I've been coding since 2008. I can't say whether it'd be easy for a new programmer to pick up Java. But it taught me the fundamentals of the language in a couple days, so I'm quite happy with it. I'd wager that it'd do a good job explaining Java and programming to a new programmer, but just expect the process to be frustrating. For me at least, it took many years to be comfortable thinking in and about code. I don't think there's an "easy button" for it or easy path. Good luck!

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
4Great book, but should get some basic hands-on exposure to Java first
By C. Lowell
From the perspective of a Java newbie, I'd say this book is good but not great. I've used the Head First SQL book and found that book to be incredibly helpful, so I bought this Java book. Without having any prior experience, I found myself pretty confused as I was working through this book, even after re-reading it twice.

My advice: Go on a website like codingbat.com to learn the fundamentals of Java classes (strings, numbers, arrays, etc) and then read this book. Without having any hands-on experience in Java, you probably won't find the book's lessons to "click" in your mind. I'm on my third time through the book, and am finding it to be "great, but not perfect".

Long story short, it's a book for beginners AFTER getting some basic exposure to Java.

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful.
5Good book for learning your first OOP programming language!
By Andrew D
BTW: Don't worry if you don't know what OOP is. If you do know what OOP is, and know one OOP language well, then this book probably isn't for you. Otherwise, read on!

I bought this as a gift for a friend who wanted to start a software development career. He had a bit of CS knowledge going in, but not in an object-oriented language. The rest of the review is in his words though it's written in the first person.

I enjoy the unorthodox method that this book employs to disseminate knowledge: it's not a book you'll read and forget a month later if you work through the code and exercises. It teaches through dialog and conversations, and my favorite part is that it repeats important concepts, so that you don't miss something vital if you read a few pages without paying too much attention. It's also does a good job of building on previous chapters and integrating concepts, so that at the end, you'll have a cohesive understanding of the Java language and programming in it, as opposed to other books, where you may develop a wide range of knowledge and skills but have no idea how they all tie together.

It's definitely intended as a book for the layman or someone without prior experience in programming (or programming specifically with an object oriented programming (OOP)). If you have learned another language with OOP (C++, C#, Python, Ruby being the main ones), you may benefit from a more advanced book.

This book does make good with its promise to teach Java well. This is the next-best thing to having a friend or teacher go through programming with you.

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