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Head First Java - Some Comments  RSS feed

 
Pat Moran
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I just wanted to comment on your book.

Last year I was involved in mentoring a group of programmers being retrained from their traditional 3rd generation environment into Java. I worked with the group after the formal training was completed. Their company provided standard intructor-led training that used the standard "big binder" handout approach. As a supplement, several of the group bought your book. They found it tremendously helpful in understanding these concepts that were so new to them. In reviewing their copies, I found your approach refreshing, challenging, and extremely effective. You've hit on a great idea, stimulating multiple areas of the brain, making the material understandable, and most importantly, remembered/retained. I've learned a few new things about teaching from looking at your book.

Thanks.

Pat Moran
 
Bert Bates
author
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Thanks Pat!

We really love to hear about how the books are being used successfully. We have a list of schools that are using some of our books and it's very gratifying! Also, we're always open to feedback. If, for instance there are some aspectsof the book that are working less well (or not at all :roll: ), we'd like to hear about it!

Thanks,

Bert
 
Ko Ko Naing
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Bert,
When I was in the university, I used to love the "Java, How to Program" book, which is pretty suitable for Java Beginner and very popular at that time, when there is no HF series book yet... And moreover, most of the textbooks that my university uses are from Prentice Hall...

Now some of my friends are still lecturers at the university... I would suggest them to use Head First Java as a textbook... I do believe that students out here will like the style of HF series books. Frankly, I say that I hate to read boring technical books, when I starts to learn my first programming language in the university, which is Java... If there was HF Java at that time, I would be really fun of learning my first programming language, Java...

My suggestion is that if someone wants to learn Java in a fun way, HF Java is the one and only one book that he/she should go for...
So that we won't hear they say "Learning to program is boring".

I just want to share my past experience with the ranchers here, tough this thread might not be considered as an eligible thread for the book promotion... Thanks...
 
Prashanth Lingala
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Dear Ko Ko Naing,

I am not criticising you,
i want to make few points in a friendly manner,

first i agree Head First makes learning fun,
but i believe deitel is another wonderful book,
it covers more material than Head First,
Indeed they cover a lot of ground...
further, deitel's audience are computer science students,
at the same time time it is not only for geeks,
it also has extensive exercises, to help learn the concepts,
and as such apply them in real world,

i was not satisfied with their chapters on inheritance,polymorphism,
but then that was long time back( i have their third edition),
i am sure their latest edition is more robust, and pedagogically better suited for being introduced as a first text,

meanwhile i also have a copy of Head First Java,

Regards
Prashanth Lingala
 
Chengwei Lee
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I haven't touch a Deitel Java, How to Program book before in my University days because they're rather expensive for a student. Some titles could cost over a hundred dollars.

Comparatively, I felt that HF Java would be a more affordable choice & it would help students without programming background to overcome the initial learning curve.

Back in school, we've all kinds of students with different mileages on programming. So the Deitel book might not be so easily digested. Just my views.

BTW, I just picked up my copy of HF Java 2nd Ed this afternoon at the bookstore. Completed my collection of the HF series.
 
Jeff Bosch
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Like with any other activity, different people will prosper (or not) with different approaches. Both books, Deitel and HF, have their merits, and they both have their supporters and their detractors. Having both is part of the writer's life!

The Deitel books are dense and thick, covering a broad range of Java topics in some depth. They're really meant as multi-semester beginner-to-intermediate level textbooks, whereas the HF-type book is mainly for beginners (possibly in a single-semester Java course?) who don't fare well with more "traditional" textbook structures. Both systems are valuable to the folks who resonate with them.

If a student has the patience to work through the entirety of a Deitel book, that student will have a much deeper and broader knowledge of Java than one who just works through HF Java. But, what student with any aspirations of programming in Java would stop after reading one book? Chances are that after completing HF Java, the happy reader would jump to the next book in the series, while the unhappy reader would search for another book.

In the end, the final question is, "What works for you?"
 
M Beck
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i agree with Jeff about different learning styles demanding different approaches. HFJ doesn't work for my learning style (too chaotic, too graphically busy and distracting, not sufficiently structured), but that's specifically me talking. if i know only one thing, i know i'm weird.

myself, i learn Java mostly by browsing the online API docs, reading the online tutorials, googling for whatever problem i'm having, and by trial and error. Java may be almost unique in that it's nearly impossible to program in it without having access to the internet, if only to browse the API at regular intervals. that, in addition to an interactive Java session (thanks to Dr. Java), usually keeps me on track fairly well. no offense to Kathy and bert, but trying to read their book tends to get me off track in record time, no matter what my problem at the time may be.
 
Rob Freiberger
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I have to admit that I passed over Head First Java many times because I thought it was another "Learn it in 24 hours" type book. Instead I bought the Deitel Java book but it's far too compressed, not to mention expensive.

After reading the comments on Head First I'll pick this up this weekend and give it a read. Since the book is written in smaller amounts this will be easier for me to understand.

Rob
 
Ko Ko Naing
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Originally posted by Prashanth Lingala:
Dear Ko Ko Naing,

I am not criticising you,
i want to make few points in a friendly manner,

first i agree Head First makes learning fun,
but i believe deitel is another wonderful book,
it covers more material than Head First,
Indeed they cover a lot of ground...
further, deitel's audience are computer science students,
at the same time time it is not only for geeks,
it also has extensive exercises, to help learn the concepts,
and as such apply them in real world,

i was not satisfied with their chapters on inheritance,polymorphism,
but then that was long time back( i have their third edition),
i am sure their latest edition is more robust, and pedagogically better suited for being introduced as a first text,

meanwhile i also have a copy of Head First Java,


Prashanth,
I'm not saying that Java, How to Program is not good enough... I graduated from Computer Science field and I do know how the CS students feel, when they started to learn their first programming language... I just want to introduce them with a book with may fun stuff so that they don't get bored during the study...

Of course, some CS bookworms won't feel that reading a book is boring for them... But some do feel so...
 
Nicholas Cheung
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but i believe deitel is another wonderful book,
it covers more material than Head First,

If your concern is the coverage, Cay's Core Java Volume 1 and 2 should be one of the books that cover most of the important new features in Tiger.

Nick
 
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