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Learn Java the Easy Way: How is this book different from the dummies series?  RSS feed

 
Randy Maddocks
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Hi Bryson,

A big congratulations on coming out with a book that can help beginners make what can be a daunting leap into the world of java programming. I am a huge fan of the Java For Dummies series of books. How was your approach to putting together this book different from how the dummies series tackles this subject?

Again, congrats on releasing this book! All the best with it!
 
Bryson Payne
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Randy,
Thanks for the kind words, and for the question - I'm a fan of Barry Byrd's books, as well, and I like his approach better than most other programming books out there - he's very application-focused and builds fun apps as you pick up each new concept. The only difference I'd offer is that even Java for Dummies suffers a bit from the one-concept-at-a-time approach. For example, loops aren't introduced until around page 140 in J4D - in Learn Java the Easy Way, I use a loop in the very first app in Chapter 2, and every app after - and each time, we learn a little bit more about how loops work.
The analogy I used in another post was enjoying driving a car and learning how to maintain it versus having to learn what each part does before you can drive. Both approaches have merit (I want a mechanic who knows how to put my car back together again, or a software developer who understands how to code from the ground up), I just like using fun apps from the very beginning as the motivation to keep learning as you go. [Java is my muscle car, Python is my sporty little coupe , but I love driving them both, and souping them up!]
Over the years, I've found that my students enjoy learning the basics while building fun, playable games and apps from the very start, rather than learning each concept separately first. It's not a good or bad difference either way, it's just different - my book is aimed at middle-schoolers to adults either learning to code for the first time, or learning to code in Java as a new language.
I'd be glad to hear what you think as an experienced coder - and let me know if I can be of help anytime,
Bryson
 
Randy Maddocks
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Hi Bryson,

Thank you for your response. I appreciate how you commented positively about the Dummies... books. I can also appreciate how your style is more getting into the "nitty gritty" of learning from the beginning. I always believed one of the toughest things to do is to write a book about programming. You're dealing with human beings who learn at different levels, have different approaches and likes/dislikes to how the learning material is presented, and who may develop an understanding of the material quickly, or take longer, especially on a particular topic. For instance, when I first started learning java the toughest thing for me to learn was inheritance and encapsulation. And then in later versions of java, how generics works. And I am just one person. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands or millions of people learning what it takes to program, and I can appreciate what an author such as yourself has to consider when putting together a book about the language.

Thanks again for your reply. Cheers Bryson!
 
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