Image from Amazon Title: Learn Java the Easy Way: A Hands-On Introduction to Programming
Author(s): Bryson Payne
Publisher: No Starch Press
Category: Beginning Java
Amazon wrote:Java is the world’s most popular programming language, but it’s known for having a steep learning curve. Learn Java the Easy Way takes the chore out of learning Java with hands-on projects that will get you building real, functioning apps right away.
You’ll start by familiarizing yourself with JShell, Java’s interactive command line shell that allows programmers to run single lines of code and get immediate feedback. Then, you’ll create a guessing game, a secret message encoder, and a multitouch bubble-drawing app for both desktop and mobile devices using Eclipse, an industry-standard IDE, and Android Studio, the development environment for making Android apps.
I had read “Teach your Kids to Code” by the same author and expected “Learn Java the Easy Way” to be similar. It's not focused on young children. While “Learn Java the Easy Way” is certainly readable by middle schoolers. I think the target audience of the book is either older students or adults who don't have a coding background.
There's a lot of emphasis on games. Both with programs like MadLibs and by experiment with making changes to the code. There's also a lot of emphasis on user interfaces for both Java and Android.
The author explains some concepts like user experience as he goes. He covers jshell for quick learning which is good early on. He even covers how to produce a runnable jar. The book starts with easy programming concepts and advances to more complex ones as it goes through the chapters.
The book says it covers Java 8 and 9. That's sort of true. It covers how to run the examples with Java 8 and 9. And it does use JShell from Java 9. I didn't spot any actual Java 8 syntax. That might have been because the syntax was so basic. For example, the book used close at the end of a try rather than in a try with resources (or even finally.)
So I wouldn't recommend this book for someone who wants to become a professional programmer. But I would definitely recommend it for someone who wants to start coding and get the lay of the land.
He also plugs the companion Udemy course a lot. Sometimes this is helpful – the preview/setup videos are free. Sometimes it feels like a sales pitch.
I give this book 7 out of 10 horseshoes.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.
Interesting... I have a Java 7 OCA cert and I am not familiar with JShell in Java 9. This books seems like an okay way to learn about some of the new features of Java, for Java 8 and 9 at least. How quickly do you think it would take a normal busy adult to read this book?
Kim Gordon wrote:Interesting... I have a Java 7 OCA cert and I am not familiar with JShell in Java 9. This books seems like an okay way to learn about some of the new features of Java, for Java 8 and 9 at least. How quickly do you think it would take a normal busy adult to read this book?
I read it in a couple days (without doing the examples.)
If your goal is to learn Java 8/9, I think you should pick a different book though. This book covers a tiny bit of Java 8/9 in passing. It doesn't use a lot of key Java 8/9 features. Manning's Java 8 and 9 in Action would be a far better choice for your goals. (Or Java 8 for the Really Impatient if you just wanted Java 8)