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52 Reviews
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book but not complete
It is a good book but to get the J2EE 5 Web Component Developer certificate you must use other resources. Nevertheless, I would say that I learned a lot reading this book and it wouldn't be fair to grade it with 4 stars. I recommend this book for people who don't know nothing about web development using Java. However, if you want to be an expert you should read other...
Published on May 15, 2010 by Diogo Gonzaga

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only buy this book for exam prep.
The subtitle should be the title of this book. The book is 879 pages; the material could be covered in about 150. In several instances the authors state a topic isn't covered on the exam so it isn't covered in the book. Each chapter contains "Sharpen your pencil" and "Coffee Cram" exam type pages; The exams contain one copy of each page with the questions, and a duplicate...
Published on December 22, 2009 by W. Day


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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only buy this book for exam prep., December 22, 2009
By 
W. Day (East Lansing, MI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Head First Servlets and JSP: Passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam (Paperback)
The subtitle should be the title of this book. The book is 879 pages; the material could be covered in about 150. In several instances the authors state a topic isn't covered on the exam so it isn't covered in the book. Each chapter contains "Sharpen your pencil" and "Coffee Cram" exam type pages; The exams contain one copy of each page with the questions, and a duplicate page with the answers.

Only the core JSTL is covered. Formatting, SQL, and XML JSTL are mentioned; but only to inform the reader they are not covered on the exam.

No mention of using Servlets and JSP to create a database driven application. As a matter of fact, they don't really mention or give examples of any large applications. It's not on the exam.

The book contains plenty of whitespace and is well written if you enjoy a little levity with your learning. It's a shame the authors selected such a narrow topic.

After you finish the exam, you might as well sell the book. It's a terrible reference (remember each page of mock exam takes up 2 pages: 1 for the exam, 1 for the answers).

The signal to noise ratio of this book is too low to be useful.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book but not complete, May 15, 2010
This review is from: Head First Servlets and JSP: Passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam (Paperback)
It is a good book but to get the J2EE 5 Web Component Developer certificate you must use other resources. Nevertheless, I would say that I learned a lot reading this book and it wouldn't be fair to grade it with 4 stars. I recommend this book for people who don't know nothing about web development using Java. However, if you want to be an expert you should read other books for complementing the knowledge.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book to Pick-up Servlets & JSPs Quickly, April 17, 2008
By 
Srihari Mailvaganam (Vancouver, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Head First Servlets and JSP: Passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam (Paperback)
The recently released edition of the book is a great improvement - there is less errata and the Q&A is much more tied into the Sun Web Component Exam.

One of the challenges with picking up Servlets & JSPs is the mass of acronyms and figuring out how it all relates to Java. The Head First book is here to help pick-up the technology as fast as possible and in a fun way.

This book has some of the best tutorials to get from zero to a working web application - and have fun learning along the way. Many readers will probably also want to use the book to cram for Sun's web component exam.

I would highly recommend the book but please do your due diligence: Have a look at the content section. Evaluate if the contents cover what you hope to learn. Read through some of the sample pages and make a decision.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, February 4, 2013
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They don't take anything for granted. They explain every aspect down to the last detail in a very simple and clear way. I enjoy reading the book and learning from it.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating - 800 pages for 50 pages of info, October 7, 2008
By 
sporkdude "sporkdude" (San Jose, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Head First Servlets and JSP: Passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam (Paperback)
This book is the exact opposite of what you want for a certificate book. The presentation of the material is story-based, meaning that instead of giving a simple fact, it gives a whole back story and then casually mentions the "punch-line". This makes this book 90% useless. Don't take my word for it, if you have access to the book, go to page: 550 to 565. There is no new information there. In fact the punchline can be summarized in a sentence. "Tags can have dynamic attributes, there must be a dynamic attribute in the TLD file, there is a function called setDynamicAttributes()". And a small example would help. That's it. About a quarter of a page of material takes 15 pages to present. Sometimes these punchlines are not even well explained at all. Stories, pictures, and the rest of this cutesy stuff is clutter.

I just took the SCJP (with Bates, Sierra book), and if I have to learn everything I did back then in this type of cutesy style, I'd have to read a 4000 page book. If you are the type of person that needs a long story and happy little pictures to learn simple facts, then you will have a horrible time as a programmer. In fact, the target audience, people who passed the SCJP, should find this style frustratingly slow and useless.

What's worse? The information is spread hap-hazardly and there are no end of chapter summaries. They sometimes have "bullet points", but those are randomly placed and sparingly used. This makes it an absolutely worthless reference book - especially in a test where it's so granular that you need to memorize what XML tags are in the web.xml file. There are many, many other problems with this book. It's 800 pages, and still doesn't have all the information needed. For example, I saw some functions that I never saw before in the book (setSecure in cookie). Also, there is no electric copy of the examples presented. Multiple authors have left their footprint everywhere, making it feel disjointed and long-winded. It's over 900 pages and soft cover, making it a physical pain to use and carry. The picture on the cover is so annoying that it's actually quite embarrasing to carry around at work. The mock exam is much harder than the real thing and will not give you an accurate prediction of how you will do in the real test.

In terms of the target audience, I think my profile is similar to many people reading this. I passed the SCJP recently. I know Java, and programmed in it for a while, but wasn't really experienced at all with Servlets and JSPs. Even though I'm a full-time developer, I don't use Servlets or JSPs, so my work wasn't going to add anything to my knowledge.

My suggestion - if you have this book, here's how to use it: DON'T READ IT AS A NORMAL BOOK. Nothing sticks, it sucks your time, and makes everything seem harder and more complicated that it really is. Read the headers, write the examples that are presented, and get the basic feel - an hour and a half per chapter max - that's it.. Ignore all the exercises as well. Afterwards, go to javaranch.com and get SCWCD notes and mock exams and use that as a your main learning tool. Why am I suggesting this is? I read half the book, and then just skimmed the other half, and I scored higher on the chapters that I skimmed through instead of read. In fact, you don't even need the book, as you can get the same mock exam online through a link on javaranch.com

So, in theory, if you can read 800 pages and be able to remember random, near hidden points here and there without every referring back to the book, then this book is perfect for you to get around 80% on the test. I'm going to assume that this is not you, and I hope you explore some other books or try the method I suggested above. The SCWCD is a very easy exam covering a small subset of J2EE (if it wasn't easy, JSP and Servlets wouldn't be used at all in the real world)- don't make it overly complicated and boring. The SCWCD was my second Sun certified test, and I just passed it today. I spent about 40 hours studying for it, and if I used a better book, I bet I could have cut 10 valuable hours off of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Read for Any Java Webapp Developer, July 18, 2013
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This review is from: Head First Servlets and JSP: Passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam (Paperback)
This book is truly amazing. After reading each section, its like the author knows exactly what questions I am about to ask, since the answers are in the following section! It really "dumbs it down" the topic, which is great for people like me that need to know the why of the why. It is beautifully written and highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, June 11, 2013
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This review is from: Head First Servlets and JSP: Passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam (Paperback)
I loved this book for writing simply about difficult technologies. It's one of the best in Head First series and is just brilliant! I used it as main source for exam preparation and successfully passed it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars added value, February 25, 2013
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This review is from: Head First Servlets and JSP: Passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam (Paperback)
I'm starting to build java apps for the web. at first I had to search the web for every doubt, and use the trial-and-error methodology to get things to work out. Again Head First comes to the rescue! fun chats, interesting graphics, and lots of fun thing to do while you learn. besides, now I have a tool to help me get past the cert exam, which I didn't have in mind. Definately a great added value!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far the best book on Servlets and JSP, January 8, 2013
By 
MOHAMMAD M NAJAR (BURNABY, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Head First Servlets and JSP: Passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam (Paperback)
Everything is explained just enough to let you know what exactly happens with Servlets and JSPs. The concepts are repeated throughout the book to stick the materials in your brain. I HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Java Series I Have Seen, May 10, 2012
By 
SVAZ Developer "Gene" (Sierra Vista, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Head First Servlets and JSP: Passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam (Paperback)
Okay - I buy a LOT things on Amazon - to include books. I recently started reviving my Java skills which have been getting a bit rusty and decided to go after a couple of certifications. I happened across the "Head First" series after reading the reviews.

As of today (May 10, 2012) I am two days into Servlets and JSP, currently on page 101 and I can say that the approach to learing that they take in this book works EXTREMELY well for me. The discussions are thorough, complete, and give me everything that I need to know to fully understand MVC (the right and wrong ways to approach MVC within web development - which I found extremely enlightening and fun!), and the programming drills really help to drive home the points.

With all that said - I am personally extremely impressed - enough so that I took a few minutes out of today's session to write this Amazon review (which I seldom do).

FYI - I am a long time developer turned manager, with little web development experience. So, take me comments above with that in mind. I dont think that a seasoned Java/HTML/JSP developer looking to bone up for the certification would find this the "right book."

I like this book so much, I will likely stick with the "Head First" series in the future.
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Head First Servlets and JSP: Passing the Sun Certified Web Component Developer Exam
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