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Good Books for Beginners  RSS feed

 
David Coello
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Hello Java Forums,

I am a new Java Programmer moving towards a degree. I would appreciate advice on any good books or material to start practicing or any ideas on where to start in general to find projects to work on for practice Java or how to gain much needed real world experience in programming.

Thanks in advance.

Warm Regards,

David Coello
 
John Jai
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Check Head First Java. You can find more on book reviews in the Bunkhouse
 
Junilu Lacar
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Hi David,

Welcome to the Ranch!

There is a huge gap right now between what students in universities are taught about programming vs the real-world skills they need to succeed in a career in software development. Color me biased but I suggest that on top of what they teach you in school, try to learn as much as you can about Agile software development. More appropriately, I suppose, study the techniques that will make you a better developer and craftsman in the real world: Test-Driven Development, Continuous Integration, Pair Programming are just a few examples. Read books like "Clean Code", "The Pragmatic Programmer", "Growing Object-Oriented Software Guided by Tests", and "Agile Software Development: Principles, Patterns, and Practices". These and other books like them that will give you a solid foundation upon which to build a career in software development and form the core of craftsmanship that will allow you to contribute to the betterment of our profession. And while you're at it, read up on some soft skills too, like how to be a leader without being a manager (search for authors like Christopher Avery, Jurgen Appelo) and how great teams work. Most of all, get ready to start learning all throughout your career because I have found that I have learned, and continue to learn, more things on the job than I could have ever learned from my professors in school. (Stepping down from soapbox now...)

And learn when to lighten up a little (as you can see, I'm still working on that)

Good luck!
 
Junilu Lacar
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One book I forgot to mention: "Refactoring" by Martin Fowler. It has a lot of examples of bad code and how to fix it.

A slightly more advanced book would be "Working Effectively with Legacy Code" by Michael Feathers. Hey, if you are really bent on a career in development, you might as well know what you're getting yourself into. This book will give you an idea of the kind of things we in the profession have to deal with on a daily basis because of the fact that there is such a big lack of craftsmanship in our profession right now.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Welcome to the Ranch

What about Code Complete by Ste[hen McConnell?
Effective Java™ by Joshua Bloch?
And if you need to lighten up, Java™ Puzzlers by Joshua Bloch and Neal Gafter is an excellent read.
 
Junilu Lacar
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And don't limit yourself to just books. Those authors that have been mentioned usually have blogs. Go through their blogs then see whose blogs they're following. Then follow those guys and so on. Sure, it can get confusing for a newbie -- it can be overwhelming for experienced folks even -- but at least you'll get a feel for what the "big dogs" are talking about.
 
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