How to Quickly Jump on Java Wagon (Not Bandwagon!)

TLDR; If you are an experienced developer and want to rapidly switch to Java, I recommend: “Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6” and “Effective Java“.

Having bought my first Android phone I decided it’s time to write some useful applications that I might use; which I couldn’t (!) find in Play Store.

As we all do know, the default language of Android Platform is Java (SE 6). Being an experienced (doesn’t translate to ‘veteran’ or ‘expert’) C/C++ programmer I needed sources of knowledge for someone who does understand OOP, OOA, OOD and all those fancy names that people come up these days. And so the quest for Java knowledge began…

I started with the “Java for Programmers“, as it sounded the most adequate. After reading a few of the first chapters I lost my motivation. All in all the book is decent, but it lacks details, important parts of the language are hidden somewhere inside chapters describing various parts of API (nested classes in chapter about GUI Components) and bits of OOA/OOD are thrown here and there making the book not as cohesive as I would like it to be.

Why not to try something harder, I asked. Knowing no fear I faced the “Java Language Specification“. It started … OK, I guess. I consumed chapter by chapter until the vision of yet another:

ReferenceType:
 ClassOrInterfaceType
 TypeVariable
 ArrayType
 ...

forced me to quit. Java spec isn’t the worst one (C++ was worse): it has quite a few real-code examples and with enough dedication you can read it all.

After reading several Java-related book reviews I’ve decided on “Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6“. It’s an amazing book that explains those truly tricky issues that arise when writing code yourself. There is also a lot of humor in the book, and you will be prepared to take the SCJP exam, if you’re interested.

The next step, before going straight to Android-centric docs, is to get yourself the all-time-favorite “Effective Java“. This is bible for every (serious) Java developer and even if it’s not the most up-to-date it’s still packed with crucial tips (reminds me of Lakos’ book).

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