- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: No Starch Press (October 17, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1593278055
- ISBN-13: 978-1593278052
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learn Java the Easy Way: A Hands-On Introduction to Programming Paperback – October 17, 2017
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About the Author
Bryson Payne is a professor of computer science at the University of North Georgia, where he has taught for more than 17 years. He previously taught middle-school math and programming and continues to work extensively with K–12 schools to promote technology education. He is the author of Teach Your Kids to Code, also from No Starch Press.
Top customer reviews
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There's a lot of emphasis on games. Both with programs like MadLibs and by experiment with making changes to the code. There's also a lot of emphasis on user interfaces for both Java and Android.
The author explains some concepts like user experience as he goes. He covers jshell for quick learning which is good early on. He even covers how to produce a runnable jar. The book starts with easy programming concepts and advances to more complex ones as it goes through the chapters.
The book says it covers Java 8 and 9. That's sort of true. It covers how to run the examples with Java 8 and 9. And it does use JShell from Java 9. I didn't spot any actual Java 8 syntax. That might have been because the syntax was so basic. For example, the book used close at the end of a try rather than in a try with resources (or even finally.)
So I wouldn't recommend this book for someone who wants to become a professional programmer. But I would definitely recommend it for someone who wants to start coding and get the lay of the land.
He also plugs the companion Udemy course a lot. Sometimes this is helpful – the preview/setup videos are free. Sometimes it feels like a sales pitch.
I wanted to give this book 3.5 stars.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.
This book covers all the topics one would expect, from development IDEs (it focuses heavily on Eclipse and Android Studio, which are both reasonable, solid choices) to debugging. In between, the reader receives clear explanations of how to perform calculations, manipulate text strings, use conditions and loops, create functions, along with solid and easy-to-understand definitions of important concepts like classes, objects, and methods.
Java is taught systematically, starting with simple and moving to complex. We first create a simple command-line game, then we create a GUI for it, then we make it into an Android app, then we add menus and preference options, and so on. Along the way, new games and enhancement options are explored, some in detail and some in end-of-chapter exercises designed to give more confident or advancing students ideas for pushing themselves further than the book’s content. I like that.
Side note: I was pleasantly amused to discover that the first program in the book is the same as that I originally wrote in 1986 on a first-generation Casio graphing calculator, so I would have something to kill time when class lectures got boring.
The pace of the book is good. Just as I began to feel done with a topic, the author moved to something new. I never felt like details were skipped and I also never felt like we were bogged down with too much detail, beyond what is needed for the current lesson. The author has taught computer science and programming for nearly 20 years, and it shows.
Bottom line: if you want to learn Java, this is a good introduction that is clearly written and will give you a nice foundation upon which you can build.
To me, it just feels to be extremely lacking details, which make it hard to understand what is happening or to actually learn the information. If one can actually stumble their way through the book, they may know how to write some code, but they won't really understand what it is they are writing. That's a good way to create bad programmers.