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The authors of Well Grounded Java Developer promise the reader a book that will help modernize their knowledge base, brush up on vital techniques, and learn a new language or two. Promise delivered!
The book is split into four parts. First part covers Java 7 with its new features, such as NIO, Project Coin that comes with the diamond operator, string in switch statements and try-with-resources features. With lots of clear examples, written in both Java 6 and 7, the book showcases the new features and what problems they attempt to solve.
While part one covered new language features, part two focuses on universal practices and methodologies vital to any developer regardless of experience. Among the covered topics: TDD, CI, DI and the Java implementation of javax.inject, performance tuning, and modern concurrency.
Part three of the book is for those of us who believe in and/or want know about polyglotism. It provides an easy starting point to a number of languages without neither overwhelming novices, nor boring the experienced. The book has chapters on Scala, Groovy and Clojure. I bought this book a little over a week ago and now halfway through part three but did briefly skim thought the fourth part of the book. In this final part, the focus is on applying everything from previous three parts into creating a new project; it dedicates a whole chapter on TDD highlighting its paramount importance in modern software development. I will update the review with more details after finishing this part.
The best thing about this book is that it will inspire you to take part in the evolution of JVM ecosystem currently underway. After all, a well grounded java developer would :)
If you have ever had the chance to witness the live performance of the authors, you know what a dynamic duo they are, taking a no nonsense, pragmatic and very down to earth attitude towards the perils and treasures of modern day Java development. It is easy to see that almost every page of 'The Well-Grounded Java Developer' is full of that energy.
The world of Java development is wide and this book is very well balanced in its selection of topics. In other words, almost any serious Java development team would would welcome a new developer well versed in the topics of this book, or to put it differently, unless you don't know much about most of those topics, do not consider yourself fit for a sharp and focused Java development team.
Having said that, the breadth and the depth of the Java and JVM world makes this book look like a relatively large tip of an iceberg. Most of the chapters provide a solid starting point, but for example, when it comes to performance analysis and evaluation, you will be much better off with an in-depth study such as Java Performance. Or when it comes to explaining IoC (Inversion of Control) and DI (Dependency Injection), you might feel like the exposition is made a little overcomplicated: you might be better off reading a proper tutorial on Guice or the relevant chapter from GWT in Action.Read more ›
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The Well Grounded Java Developer is a welcome addition to the library of this work-a-day Java developer. I think I acquired this title for its promise to introduce features new to Java 7, which it does, but I find much more value than just this. As new concepts and techniques are introduced, the code samples demonstrate not only the new idea, but also the implementation of the various enhancements Java 7 provides. In other words, the code samples in this book look like Java 7 code from top to bottom, rather than Java 6 code with a sore thumb. Throughout the second section, you see code that uses the Path abstraction, multi-catch, underscores in number literals, and the other features that were introduced in Part 1.
Section 2 contains a lot of information that is new to me. As a Java developer incubated in a corporate setting, I have been nurtured to produce code, more than to understand it.
Chapter 3 discusses IoC and DI usefully. I am, just as the authors anticipated, one who probably heard the term Spring before I heard the term Inversion of Control. This chapter makes DI make sense as a design solution with many possible implementations, including Guice 3, the RI for JSR-330.
Chapter 4 discusses concurrency. The authors stress the inevitability of the rising importance of concurrency programming as multicore CPU's become standard. They discuss the advantages of immutability in the context of concurrency, foreshadowing the rise of functional programming styles and languages for the JVM. See for example the Callable interface, which they describe as "the closest that Java 7 gets to having functions as first-class objects." They laud java.util.concurrent, and elucidate Atomic and Locks.Read more ›