A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification: A Comprehesive Primer, Second Edition

A Programmer's Guide to Java Certification: A Comprehesive Primer, Second Edition

$44.99 $33.74

  • Release Date: 08 August, 2003
  • Used Price: $29.00
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  • Third Party Used Price: $33.73

Authors: Khalid Mughal, Rolf Rasmussen

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Customer Rating: 4.62 of 5 (21 total reviews)

  • 5 starsMust have for test preparation and learning

    First, I'd like to be upfront that I was sent this for review by Addison Wesley and that I am a big fan of their professional series but my opinion is not influenced by anything other than this book's merit.

    I've already earned my certification and I've been programming Java for over 5 years. As I read, I continuously applied three standards: "Would this have prepared me to pass the exam?", "Would this have prepared me be able to handle the responsibilities of a job where my certification was the basic qualification?" and "Would solid understanding of this books contents be sufficient for me to hire an intermediate level Java Developer?"

    So, what do I think about it? I think that if you are serious about getting your Java Cert, you need this book! I think that if you are serious about being a professional Java developer, you need this book! I think that, I will be making this book mandatory reading for junior developers!

    Things I liked about it:

    * One stop shop for certification preparation. This book covers all the exam objectives thoroughly and explains the topics clearly. I especially like the sections on Threading and Exception Handling.

    * Excellent style for the intermediate level programmer. This book hits the target audience mark with perfect precision. The reader who already has a basic understanding of the language and has written a couple of applications will find the book easy to follow and highly informative.

    * Great examples, UML diagrams and tables. The book is laden with solid example code and UML diagrams that illustrate the topics. Many of these, if understood, lead to direct answers to difficult test questions. There are also very well laid out tables that give ready summaries of topics such as Primitive Types and their default values as well as operator precedence-indispensable for the exam.

    Things that I think could be improved:

    * Computational Theologist--the title of Gil Bracha, the guy who wrote the forward.This might be odd, but it really bugs me. Why? It sounds so pompous and corny that, without any personal or professional experience with Gil and not having the slightest clue what he really does at Sun, I immediately assume that he's a sham. What does that imply about the book itself? I want to make it clear that the book is fantastic. It's just that, if I picked this book up off the shelf and saw that job title associated with it on the front cover, I would immediately replace it on the shelf with a guffaw. I'm glad that this didn't happen because I would have missed out on a superb text.

    * Explanation of why to override the 'equals', 'hashcode' and 'compareTo' methods is misleading. Basically, the text could lead someone to believe that, unless these methods are overridden, a class cannot be used as members of Collections, HashSets or SortedCollections/SortedMaps: This is not true. In many cases, if you don't override them, then try to use them as the book says you cannot, you could end up with non-deterministic behavior. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't cases where it would work perfectly fine and, there is certainly no language specified restriction to this effect.

    * Not enough explanation of the gc() method. This is particularly picky, but the book is so well done that I have to scrape to find something to put here in order to maintain my review's structure. Here's the thing, gc() is a 'recommendation' to the JVM that it should garbage collect. The authors do use that word, but I don't think they do a good enough job pointing out that there isn't a straightforward way to guarantee that garbage collection should happen.

    If you're preparing for the Java Programmer Certification Exam, or you just want an excellent Java language text, this is a sure thing. It's certainly earned a spot on my top shelf.

  • 4 starsOrange cover - it will stand out on your book shelf

    Color of the book aside - the content is layed out with taste and thought. I found the use of UML helpful. However I'm experienced with UML - if your not, this may be an area that's not covered well enough for you; but UML is not the intent of the book.

    I've seen lots of computer software books and typically one sees the same tired graphics, useful but cliche. So I was impressed with the graphic to explain overflow in floating point numbers, Figure 3.2. I got a great laugh with the "(Not drawn to scale)" note, as it's hard to get a graph of negative infinity to positive infinity drawn to scale. I think this little pun will allow me to recall this graphic far into the future...

    Since I'm experienced with Java, have passed the exam some time ago, I didn't find the prolific use of "(see Section 4.1, p. 104)" annoying. However for a beginner this will cause more flipping back and forth than a good book is designed for. If the book is converted to a web site - this will be acceptable.

    I believe the authors cover the subject, passing the exam, not learning Java (the art of programming in OO with a toolkit so large as to require a tool-chest as large as the building). If you want to pass the exam (and you must - for you wouldn't read this prattle otherwise) this book is an excellent resource!

    If you have a bit of experience with Java, and one should before taking the exam, the book will be all you require to pass - well, except lots of study time, but time is a renewable resource!

    David

    PS - in the interest of full disclosure, the publisher gave me the book to review

  • 5 starsGreat details, Good questions

    I read many chapters of this book and found the subjet matter to be covered in great details. Good list of questions with
    detailed answers. I recommend it.