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Showing 1-10 of 86 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 102 reviews
VINE VOICEon September 27, 2011
Let's first set the context of my normal skillset. I am a .NET Software Architect and Developer. I have been 100% in the .NET world since 2001 (with a very little sprinkling of VB6). I recently decided to expand my skillset into the Java and iOS world. This is the first book on my long journey into the world of Java.

I think this book is great for the person who is new to Java and new to programming.

Although the book does not use an IDE to create, compile, and run the programs, that does not take away from the book's learning quality.

I used both the SDK command lines and the IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition to compile and run the programs.

The book covers the core language in-depth, has a short chapter on Swing, briefly introduces applets, but does not touch on Servlets.

The book covers Data Types and Operators, Control Statements, Classes, Objects, Methods, Packages, Interfaces, Exception Handling, Inheritance, I/O, Multithreading, Enumerations, Autoboxing, Static Import, Annotations, Generics, Applets, Events, introduces Swing, and using Java's Documentation Comments.

All the code is available for download and is very well organize and usable. It is separated by chapter.

The one thing I don't like is that almost this entire book is included with Java The Complete Reference, 8th Edition which I started to peruse about half way through this one. Buying both was a waste of money. If you simply want to learn the syntax, buy this book, but if you plan on buying Java The Complete Reference, 8th Edition, don't waste your money on this one. Just get Java The Complete Reference, 8th Edition.

The only advantage the Java, A Beginner's Guide, 5th Edition book offers is that it is more of a tutorial oriented book. It has little extras like self tests, hands on exercises, and outtakes called Expert-Q and A.

I can recommend the book for anyone new to programming or wants to learn the Java syntax, except maybe for the experienced C# developer. For them I would recommend going straight for Java The Complete Reference, 8th Edition. Although I think the book is great, it was not difficult to grasp everything in it at a very accelerated rate. I already understood all the concepts and really only need to compare syntax. I am learning much more from the Java The Complete Reference, 8th Edition because it covers more of the Java Library and other topics.

So, I would absolutely recommend this book for those that like things like self tests, hands on exercises, and outtakes called Expert-Q and A. I would also recommend this book to those that do not plan on buying Java The Complete Reference, 8th Edition. It is a really well put together book and an excellent Java resource.
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on February 17, 2013
I purchased this book to learn how to code. I chose java because of its popularity. This book starts from the 0 mark and builds from there.

Pros. EASY to follow examples.
Cons. Teaches only command line instruction.

Opinion. I started with no experience at all. I have finished the book. Im not an expert by any means, but i know how to make programs that that help my in my day to day life. best of all, it demystified the whole process. Highly recommend for beginners.
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on February 9, 2014
Everything that's already been said about the book is absolutely true. The content is great and Herbert starts from the ground up, taking you through the Syntax and learning all the loops and how statements work. Best foundation I've found for a true beginner to programming. With that being said, what's important to note is that anyone using this book is going to be spending a lot of time with it. Opening and closing it, flipping through pages, the general stuff you do when you're pouring over a book learning an entire programming language. It's disappointing because the construction quality of this book doesn't seem to be standing the test of time against normal usage. Twenty days into daily usage, the cover and binding are starting to rapidly wear. The pages are loose. It's not a pretty sight.

A $40.00 programming book that's designed to be used while coding shouldn't have such poor quality. Minus one star for that. Still deserves 4/5 because of the content itself. Would I buy it again? You bet. I just wouldn't hold my breath on it holding up perfectly.
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on May 9, 2014
This is an excellent book for anyone studying JAVA, especially beginners who want an all encompassing view of the JAVA Standard Edition (SE). Being a former teacher of introductory JAVA courses at universities and community colleges, I find that this would be an excellent teaching text. It is less academic than the Art and Science of JAVA, but covers the JAVA language features with more depth. This prepares a reader of this text for creating professional JAVA programs upon its completion. The book could benefit from more examples in each chapter which is one of the nice features of Murach's text on JAVA, but Murach's texts do not cover JAVA in such depth. I am eagerly anticipating reading Schildt's, JAVA - The Complete Reference. Upon completing this text, I took a pair of third party JAVA SE certification exams by Brainbench and Kenexa and scored well on both of them. The text was a wonderful quick review and sufficient preparation for certification. Based upon its price, it is an wonderful and wise choice of a JAVA text for your personal library shelf.
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on December 17, 2014
This book is best used as reference rather than a way to learn Java programming (especially if this is your first language). Having said that, it's not terrible to learn Java from it, and it is by Oracle so you can count on accuracy.

Durable? I have the paperback, and it's about as durable as any old paperback book.

Do I recommend it? Well I've given it three stars, but that's because it's sufficient and gets the job done. It isn't however my first recommendation. I'd recommend starting out by learning online. is a good example, they don't have to much on Java right now (12/17/2014) but they are working on more courses now, and for a beginner there is enough to get started. It's just much more beginner friendly than this book.
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on December 21, 2012
Learning a programming language can be a daunting task. I'm familiar with visual basic, and web scripting type languages like php, javascript, etc. However, I've always struggled to get past the first few chapters of a java book. I'm currently a graduate student in Info. Sys., and I'm learning java primarily for database connectivity. This book is by far the best beginner's java book out there. What's awesome about this book is that the author not only discusses the introductory level contents, but he also supplements those contents with materials and examples that you commonly find in reference type books. For example, the chapter on inheritance not only discusses the beginner level stuff but it gives examples on hierarchical approach, multiple constructors, constructor overriding, passing objects to constructors in a inheritance type hierarchy, etc. I am reading other java books for the sake of comparison and contrast, but this is my primary book. My only criticism is that the naming convention (variable, class names, etc.) is too simplistic and lacks uniqueness. It gets a bit confusing. For example, code on pg 246 was confusing even though it's a short code. I hoping the author has a book out for j2ee.
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on November 20, 2013
I started programming with VB6 and switched to C# when .Net came out. I also have some C++ and C programming experience and decided I wanted to learn something about Java.

The book claims that no programming experience is required to use it and that it will provide a good foundation to start for learning Java. For my particular requirements I feel I could have started with a more comprehensive work. Overall though IMO the author delivers on what the intro claims. It reads clearly, there are exercises at the end of each chapter (answers in an appendix) so you can gauge how much your're actually learning as you go along.

My only complaint is that he doesn't cover any form of debugging and I spent a fair amount of time debugging the examples from typos and other mistakes I made in manually entering the the source code, particularly with the multithreaded examples. I believe at least a few pages (if not a chapter) on JDB would really help. That's the only reason I gave it three rather than four stars.
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on March 27, 2013
I have programming training from years ago and beginning to take it up again and decided to start with Java. I thought this book is very well written and easy to read. I like how the author puts comments in the sample code to make it easier to follow. I have seen some books leave out the comments within the code and only explain it in the following paragraph, which is a style I dont prefer. I believe it is an excellent beginners guide that will help you comprehend the basics and allow you to move on to more advanced books
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on April 7, 2017
A really great learning tool/reference for a early Java programmer. Some sections I wish we're more detailed.
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on December 17, 2013
The book is thorough, well organized, and covers the necessary fundamentals. The title is a little misleading. This is not the book for you if you are new to programming in general. If you already have experience in another language and want a thorough grounding in Java fundamentals it is an excellent choice. For anyone who has not programmed before the pace will likely seem glacial and you may lose interest before you have learned enough to do anything interesting.
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