Head First Java
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Head First Java

4.6 19
by Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
Head First Java is a beginning Java primer like you’ve never seen before (and believe us, we’ve seen plenty). This book makes Java fun. No, that doesn’t do it justice. Imagine learning Java from Robin Williams. (The comedian, we mean. If you can imagine him as a truly great Java programmer.)

Synapses firing, new ideas, new connections, attitude all over the place: That’s Head First Java. (Where else can you watch Java objects expose their inner secrets on Java Tabloid TV? Or learn why Lucy really keeps her variables private?)

Hilarious captioned photos. Text that’s actually funny (and we don’t mean the kind of “alleged” funny you’ve seen in computer books before -- the kind that makes you cringe). Games. Puzzles. Mysteries. “Be the compiler” exercises. Great analogies.

And all these goodies weren’t bolted on at the end to enliven a deadly narrative or fit a format. They’re here to make the ideas come alive. And it works.

If you prefer to be lectured, if you prefer a rigid format where you know exactly what to expect every time you turn the page…look elsewhere. Head First Java has a surprise waiting on pretty much every spread. Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates, and the gang at O’Reilly figure that people learn best when they’re fully engaged. When they’re being tickled. When they’re on the floor laughing. (And the latest research in cognitive science, neurobiology, and educational psychology backs them up.)

In Chapter 1, you’ll build your first app -- not Hello World, but your own personal Phrase-O-Matic. Then, it’s straight outta main() -- or, as the authors put it, “We’re leaving this dusty old procedural town for good.” You’ll learn why objects are better through an imaginary competition between Larry, the procedural programmer and Brad, the OO guy (winner gets the cool Aeron chair).

Next, it’s on to primitive and reference variables. Think of ‘em as cups. Think of 64 and Double 64 primitives as Starbucks Grande cups. Java cares about type and won’t let you put a Giraffe into a Rabbit variable: “What happens when someone tries to ask the so-called Rabbit to hop()? You’ll get to know life -- and death -- on the garbage collectible heap. There’s a full chapter on object behavior and on encapsulation (“do it or risk humiliation and ridicule”).

One big idea at a time, you make it through every Java fundamental. Solving problems with the Java Library APIs. Inheritance. Object-oriented design. Serious polymorphism, and interfaces: “the caffeine in Java.” Constructors. Memory management. Garbage collection. Java math (static methods and variables, math methods, wrappers, and number formatting). Exception handling. GUIs, event handling, layout managers, and Swing components. Object serialization. File I/O. Networking and threads. Even getting your code ready for release (e.g., code organization, packages, executable JARs, and Java Web Start (which launches your application for the first time as a web browser and then runs it on a stand-alone basis).

Throughout Head First Java, you’ll also find answers to the “dumb questions” other books don’t deign to answer. Oh, and plenty of “Ready-bake code.” You’ll never forget this Java book -- or what you learn from it. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780596009205
Publisher:
O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date:
02/25/2005
Series:
Head First Series
Edition description:
Second Edition
Pages:
720
Sales rank:
76,915
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.48(d)

Meet 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.

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Head First Java 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My classmates & professors think I'm a genius. If only they knew what I used to get this way, they would be amazed. I will have to admit the book's style makes it a love it or hate it situation. You'll either think this book is hysterical or totally annoying. I loved it, and found I really understood the material well enough to use it after reading. The other great thing was I understood the material well enough to remember it later, I "owned it". That doesn't happen very often for me. Somehow this book takes some really tough concepts, like generic collections, threads, or serialization, and makes them easy. After reading a hundred pages in other really, really dry boring books and not really getting it, I read a small simple chapter in "Head First" and I got it down cold.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for my class. Here I was thinking that this would be another boring book of how to code...wrong! This is a very entertaining and educational book. There are many examples and illustrations, and even some fun mind teasers at the end of every chapter! I feel that I gained a lot of information from this book, where previous to reading I was in the dark on how to program Java. I recommend it to the newbies. It is a great read. You just flow from chapter to chapter. It is NOT tedious and boring to read.
Neumann More than 1 year ago
If you're trying to learn Java for the first time, this is a great book. If you're an advanced programmer, not so much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But it seems worth it; the SAMPLE has 123 pages.
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