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Head First Servlets and JSP: Passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam (SCWCD) 1st Edition

132 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596005405
ISBN-10: 0596005407
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bryan Basham is a Software Architect and Developer with extensive experience in Java web technologies. He has a keen eye for identifying core, reusable modules and crafting effective interfaces between subsystems. He has excellent OO analysis and design skills and quickly learn new domains. He is also skilled in information architecture and UI design.



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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Product Details

  • Series: Head First
  • Paperback: 886 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596005407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596005405
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,135,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Looking for either an enjoyable intro into JSP and Servlets or material on passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer exam? Grab a copy of Head First Servlets & JSP by Bryan Basham, Kathy Sierra, and Bert Bates. It rocks...

Chapter list: Intro; Why use Servlets & JSPs; Web app architecture; Mini MVC tutorial; Being a servlet; Being a web app; Conversational state; Being a JSP; Script-free pages; Custom tags are powerful; When JSTL is not enough; Deploying your web app; Keep it secret, keep it safe; The power of filters; Enterprise design patterns; Final mock exam; Index

I've stated my preference in the past to learning subjects with a bit of humor thrown in. OK... a *lot* of humor. If I have a chance to pick up a new tech skill with a study guide that makes me laugh and stay interested, I'm in heaven. Is it any wonder then that I absolutely love the Head First series? Bates and Sierra have created a concept that is unlike anything else on the market. Through the use of cartoons, hand-drawn examples, off-beat questions, and other various types of learning material, they engage your brain on a number of levels. And as a result, you're sucked in and learning stuff in spite of yourself.

In this installment, they tackle the subject of servlets and JSPs. Rather than try and explain things "technically", they have a common cast of characters throughout the book making observations and points about the material. Using the hand-drawn notes around illustrations and code, you quickly understand the underlying concepts of what happens with servlet requests and responses, and how JSPs interact with the web server.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Riccardo Audano on September 19, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written in the now familiar light and funny style of the Head First Series, this text is also extremely precise, clear, correct and informative. Be warned though, tit has the wrong title. (that's why I give it 4 star instead of 5). It should be called
Head First SCWCD and not Head First Servlets & JSP, since the scope of this text is to prepare you for the SCWCD exam, and it succeeds in that brilliantly. As a first book to learn Servlets & JSP programming though, I think it is a terrible, if funny, book.
In fact it is very good on conceptual matters and especially on the tricky casees and questions that you might encounter in the exam, but it lacks the hands on and by example approach necessary to learn how to actually DO things.
[...] This said, it is still a great book if you intend to refresh or improve your Servlet and JSP knowledge, or to actually take the exam and get certified.
Only , please, enough with this style, let's find another funny one, if I read another Java book with martial arts characters in it I will feel sick ! ;)
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Scott Fisher on June 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought Head First Servlets and JSP after enjoying Head First Java and learning a lot very quickly from it. I liked the authors' style in Head First Java and I appreciated the way they summarized the information for me and focused on the important things in order to get productive quickly.

This book is very sub-par in comparison to Head First Java. Where was their editor in this book? The authors seems to be relying on their snappy style and illustrations in order to make up for fact that the organization and consistency in the book is poor. For example, in Head First Java, every chapter has "Bullet Point" sections that summarize and point out the most important things in the chapter. They're helpful for reviewing content or reviewing the main points of the chapter and give enough details to be useful reminders for coding or other activities. Many chapters are completely lacking any "bullet points" sections at all while other chapters have them. The exam quizzes questions at the end of some chapters are NOT adequate substitutes for bullet point summaries (they appear sporadically in some chapters and not in others, also).

The book has the feel of something that was conglomerated from various authors with different writing styles and abilities. Some chapters are short and manageable while some are monsterous and not well thought out.

If I were to guess, I'd bet that Head First Servlets and JSP was quickly conglomerated from multiple authors. It seems rushed to print with little time for revision and without editors that bothered enforcing attention to consistency, detail and technical accuracy. O'Reilly and the editors of this book, hang your head in shame for such mediocre work.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Yo-shou Tsao on September 8, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read the book and pass the SCWCD exam. Overall speaking, this is an excellent book for prepare the exam.

However, there are two issues with the book

1. The layout of the book content is very uncommon. It is good, but you need time to get used with it.

2. There are too many error in the first edition. You can find the errata on Oreilly website, which is about 16 pages!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Self-Study on February 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
I generally agree with most of the positive reviews. I always disliked the verbose style of old Orielly books - no white space, few diagrams, summaries, tables, etc. However buyers should consider some downsides to the style of this book.

You'll need to get through 700+ pages to complete this book compared to about half that for "Professional SCWCD Certification" Granted the scope of the exam has grown, but this is also due to it's style, and making it an introductory book as well as a study guide. On one hand, you'll find you will read these pages faster. So it's nearly a wash. On the other, there were many times I wanted the shorter version of the test topic.

Some may find the style makes them a bit dyslexic. For some, too many pictures can be distracting.

It doesn't seem it will be a great reference. However, its good writing may trump the fact that it's not organized like a reference.

Overall, it's hard to beat, especially if this is the one book you get on JSP/Servlets - well written, large scope, goes from introduction to SCWCD. But it may not be the best for someone who's just looking for a study guide or reference.

Bottom line: I would buy it despite these stylistic downsides.
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