I've read Complete Java 2 Certification by Philip Heller, and Simon Roberts for the SCJP 1.5 exam, and although I do recommend it for all the great info. it contains, I didn't feel it prepares you as well as HFSJ for taking a certification. HFSJ is just so well written using their unique "Head First" technique, that I find helpful. Having said that, it's my opinion that you should consult many more sources before taking the SCWCD exam.
Mark Garland wrote:I would agree strongly with the above. This book has helped teach new concepts in a very gentle and fun way, and I wouldn't have been without it.
My main criticism would be the questions at the end of the chapter.
For example, I have recently finished Chapter 10 - Custom Tag Development, and eagerly moved on to the questions to see how much I had retained...
Q2 talks of jsp:invoke, but I cannot find this in the chapter?
Q3 doesn't have a valid answer (in errata)
Q7 talks of Dynamic Attributes - but these weren't in the chapter?
Q8 answer contains an error (in errata)
Q9 answer contains an error (in errata)
Q13 contains an error (in errata)
Q17 contains a clarification (in errata)
Chapter10 is HUGE so I could easily have missed the bits needed for Q2 and Q7, and would appreciate anyone who can point them out in chapter10 for me?
And chapter10 isn't unique - most contain new things not in the chapters.
Just wanted to make the point that when studying, coming across things you have never heard of and scoring low in end of chapter tests can have really adverse effects on your confidence.
Is the idea that I should have read the spec so would know what these things not covered are? In which case, doesn't this defeat the idea of the study guide?
Just to reiterate - I have honestly found the book to be excellent and ideal for introduction to concepts - I just have this minor niggle ;-)
Hope that helps,
AMEN! The chapter tests following each chapter are sub-standard. They routinely test concepts and terminology not used in the chapter. Chapter 13 question 3 doesn't even have a correct answer. A-D are all wrong, when you get to the answers following the exam there is another option - E. None of the above which is marked as correct.
My main concern is the selling point of the book -- "Written by the co-developers of the real SCWCD exam." I sure hope they were "relaxing" a little less when they wrote the real exam than when they wrote the questions for the mock chapter exams.
After completing the book, I'm now reviewing it prior to taking the SCWCD test. I like it. The examples and exercises are valuable and help unobfuscate the concepts. Understanding the concept is key to productive utilization of the material. Memorizing lists is sometimes necessary for the exam, but it's the conceptual understanding that brings the big picture into focus and helps you know what to do with it. This book unlocks that door.
Hopefully, my experience on the SCWCD will substantiate my sentiments.
Speaking in regards to the first edition and the favoriteMusic list at the top of page 371: I'm an old duffer and know only one group in the list -- Frou Frou. I must say however that I really enjoy the music of Frou Frou and hope they collaborate again!
Regarding the rest of the book. The book is great with one exception, too many errors, especially in the mock exams.
I've almost completed my second time through. In this sweep, I'm making 3x5 flash cards on all the tested concepts. I'm unsure of any copyright issues regarding my flash cards. In some cases, I take text from Java API docs. In other cases, I take it from the book, but in most cases, I personally rephrased and condensed the information myself. If anyone can comment on the legality of sharing my cards, I'd be happy to make the OpenOffice file available here.
Hopefully, I'll take the test before the end of the year, so I can move onto becoming a Spring expert. I'm finding that understanding this material (and additional j2ee patterns) is extremely helpful in understanding Spring. Since this is the foundation upon which Spring is built.
Joined: Dec 15, 2005
Jones Iraland wrote:Hi,
I have the HF Servelets and JSP -Firstedition
To do SCWCD ,do i need to buy 2nd editon?
Bert Bates wrote:Hi Jones,
We added just a few things to the new version:
- we fixed some technical errors
- add wrote a new batch of questions
- we added a very view new topics - most notably we added a section on dynamic attributes. You can find that same discussion here at the ranch - also written by Bryan.
So, long story short, if you're really rich go ahead and buy the new version - if you're not rich, the old version plus Bryan's write-up will be fine.
I used the advice quoted above and studied using my first edition and Bryan's write-up on dynamic attributes, to prepare for the test. Having just taken the test (today 1/28/2011), I have to say I'm not happy. I did pass the test (82%), but given how well I knew the material in the first edition and dynamic attributes, I am disappointed.
The only area I was knowingly week on was Classic Tags. The book says they'll be only a couple of questions on the exam. I'd have to guess that it was more like 3-4 (some in combination with other topics). That's not such a big deal. What is a big deal, is WAR files. The book, spends 2 (out of 835) pages on it, but the exam had something like 4 questions on it. Some of the information on WAR files were not covered in the book at all. There was a question on the variable directive which was not covered in the book. There was a question regarding realms, that I can't find in the book either.
I also missed a question because I didn't have the Throwable API memorized. I need to know that the method name was getMessage and not getErrorMessage. Sure passing the SCJP exam is a prerequisite, but is this what they should be testing for the exam?
All said, I'd have to guess that the first edition errors/omissions account for over half of my missed questions. I was hoping to have a killer score to tout along with my certification. I believe I prepared well enough to get it. While 82% is not shabby on this much material covered at such fine resolution, it says nothing more than "I passed."
I can't say how well the second edition will prepare you, because I haven't seen it.
What I really want to convey is, if you know this book and dynamic attributes perfectly, it's only enough to secure you about 90% on the exam. Anything you don't know/remember or simple mistakes, will drop your score from there. That's my experience with the batch of questions I received.
Now, I do like the way the material is presented (though I'm no fan of beer or anything alcoholic beverage for that matter). It does facilitate learning.
For SCWCD 1.6 or 1z0-899 exam, can we rely on the second edition of the book or should we wait for the third edition for preparation of this exam...???
I think we can get started with second edition and then look for those topics which have been added to the new exam..... What do you suggest ??
Hi, I love Head First approach...
I have completed Head First Java and now I want to learn Java EE Technologies.. I would like to start by learning JSP and Servlets from "Head First Servlets & JSP"
But I do have access to only the previous edition written for 1.4 Exam...
Can I continue to learn with this book or do I have to start with the 2nd edition of this book written for Java 1.5
Joined: Oct 14, 2002
There are only minor differences between the two editions of the book. If you go to the servlets certification forum you can find posts that highlight those differences. The bottom line is that with the older book and a few other bits of info you can study for the current exam.
Joined: Apr 13, 2010
Thanks for the clarification Bert, I forgot to state that I am not preparing for any certification... I just want to start learn Java EE Technologies..
Is there a 3rd edition for this book with the latest Servlets and JSP spec 3.0 and 2.2 ? I would really love to have one.
Please post a reply.
Joined: Oct 14, 2002
At this point, we're up to our eyeballs working on K&B 7 for the OCA 7 and OCP 7 exams.
Once that's done, and we've had a nice long vacation, we'll look into updating the Servlets book. It's important to read that correctly... "we'll look into it".
I haven't looked at what Oracle is or is not doing with what used to be the SCWCD exam, so I really have no idea what we will or will not do. The only thing I know for sure right now is that we have to focus on K&B 7
I would like to know what the name is of the movie from which the pictures in the book come from. The pictures with the Asian characters. At least, I assume it is from a movie. It looks like an interesting movie.
I have completed my OCPJP 6 certification and would like to appear for Oracle Certified Expert, Java EE 6 Web Component Developer exam now.
After going through coderanch I found that HFSJ 2nd edition is a great book. However some reviews tell me that it does not completely cover all the topics for the exam. Is it so?
I am interested in a book that would help me with my exam preparation. Please guide me on which book to buy for it.
The book is good. Try learning from the oracle docs or other books instead and you'll easily see why this should be a favorite for most beginners. However, I have a BIG
complaint about this book - there are no standalone examples and code for the exercises in the book, except the toy example "beer project". This was a major problem for
me when I was trying to implement the code snippets in the book. For that reason, I'd give this book a 3.5/5. Oracle docs get a -1/5 and murach gets a 2/5.
Thank you for all your help and support. High five !