This book dealt more with patterns and pitfalls than it did with just getting started. I wouldn't promote it as a beginner book. Struts In Action is better suited for a beginner though the sample source code from Ted is scaffold based. Pro Jakarta Struts is for programmers with some experience, but not specific to an expert. The sample source code with Pro Jakarta Struts is a lot more intuitive in my opinion, plus the sample application is a blog; a real world application.