Head First Java, 2nd Edition
A Brain-Friendly Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: February 2005
Pages: 720

Learning a complex new language is no easy task especially when it s an object-oriented computer programming language like Java. You might think the problem is your brain. It seems to have a mind of its own, a mind that doesn't always want to take in the dry, technical stuff you're forced to study.

The fact is your brain craves novelty. It's constantly searching, scanning, waiting for something unusual to happen. After all, that's the way it was built to help you stay alive. It takes all the routine, ordinary, dull stuff and filters it to the background so it won't interfere with your brain's real work--recording things that matter. How does your brain know what matters? It's like the creators of the Head First approach say, suppose you're out for a hike and a tiger jumps in front of you, what happens in your brain? Neurons fire. Emotions crank up. Chemicals surge.

That's how your brain knows.

And that's how your brain will learn Java. Head First Java combines puzzles, strong visuals, mysteries, and soul-searching interviews with famous Java objects to engage you in many different ways. It's fast, it's fun, and it's effective. And, despite its playful appearance, Head First Java is serious stuff: a complete introduction to object-oriented programming and Java. You'll learn everything from the fundamentals to advanced topics, including threads, network sockets, and distributed programming with RMI. And the new. second edition focuses on Java 5.0, the latest version of the Java language and development platform. Because Java 5.0 is a major update to the platform, with deep, code-level changes, even more careful study and implementation is required. So learning the Head First way is more important than ever.

If you've read a Head First book, you know what to expect--a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works. If you haven't, you're in for a treat. You'll see why people say it's unlike any other Java book you've ever read.

By exploiting how your brain works, Head First Java compresses the time it takes to learn and retain--complex information. Its unique approach not only shows you what you need to know about Java syntax, it teaches you to think like a Java programmer. If you want to be bored, buy some other book. But if you want to understand Java, this book's for you.

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Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
oreillyHead First Java, 2nd Edition
 
4.1

(based on 40 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (20)
  • Well-written (19)
  • Helpful examples (17)
  • Accurate (12)
  • Concise (9)

Cons

  • Difficult to understand (3)

Best Uses

  • Novice (16)
  • Student (14)
  • Intermediate (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (13), Designer (6), Educator (6)

Reviewed by 40 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

Excellent First Reference But Needs an Update!

By Will J

from Milwaukee, WI

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly Head First Java, 2nd Edition:

    A long time ago, I bought Head First Java thinking I would dive right into it. Unfortunately, it took me nearly two years before I found myself opening the digital pages. It was worth the wait. Head First Java provides a very easy introduction to Object-Oriented programming and the complexities of Java. Starting out with simple ArrayLists and making its way through java servlets, Head First Java offers a wide tour of the capabilities of Java.

    My only concern with the book is its recency. At the time of this review, Java 8 is the current version and the book talks about Java 5 as if its the latest and greatest thing. Head First also uses Swing rather than JavaFX for GUI design, so I felt like I was learning a less than future-proof API. The book is in need of an update if only for the fear of missing out on something important and new in Java.

     
    4.0

    Excellent introduction to Java despite the release date

    By Jason the enthusiast

    from Peterborough, ON, Canada

    About Me Educator

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Head First Java, 2nd Edition:

      I purchased this book having studied other programming languages (C and Python) and taking an online tutorial (Java intro at udacity). If you've had any experience in other programming languages and need a solid understanding of Java, this is the book to take you there.

      It's not an introductory programming text - it assumes (and it says this plainly in the intro and outside of the book) that you already have had some programming experience. That being said, I found the text and exercises thorough and challenging.

      There are a few mistakes, a couple probably related to it using an older version of Java (1.5) but it holds up very well considering its release date.

      I highly recommend this book for anybody that has programmed in another language and needs a substantive start to Java.

      (0 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Confusing

      By BVander

      from Jackson County, MO

      About Me Student

      Pros

        Cons

        • Confusing
        • Difficult to understand
        • Not comprehensive enough

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate To Advanced

        Comments about oreilly Head First Java, 2nd Edition:

        I was using this book to supplement on-line Java tutorials. At first before I got the book I thought that I had a good handle on beginning Java. I was still a little confused, but I thought once I got the book and started reading it and doing exercises this would all be cleared up. I read and did the exercises in the first six chapters. Then one day I realized that I was less confused about Java at the start of reading the book than when I was reading the material and doing exercises. So I gave up on the book and went back to doing on-line tutorials. Now I feel that I'm making progress in learning Java. To me Head First Java was a total waste of money, and I'm certainly glad that I purchased my copy as "used".

         
        4.0

        easy to understand

        By X

        from Aus

        About Me Designer, Developer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Novice

          Comments about oreilly Head First Java, 2nd Edition:

          Well written.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          A great book w/ many bugs in it

          By RickyFFM

          from Frankfurt, Germany

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

          • Too many errors

          Best Uses

          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Head First Java, 2nd Edition:

          I'm not a java user, and i will probably never be one. I read the book, because I wanted to learn about OO. I like the style - makes it easy for me to get through the 685 pages.
          I'm using the 2nd edition, and there are still way too many flaws in it. It is frustrating when you pull your hair out over one of the exercises, only to find out, that there ist no solution, because dots and commas are interchanged and the like.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Recommended this book several times

          By FRC Mentor

          from New Hampshire

          About Me Educator

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Student

            Comments about oreilly Head First Java, 2nd Edition:

            I help teach teens Java and recommend this book as a great intro.

            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Good book but needs to be update to Java 8.

            By MrHegemon

            from MO

            About Me C Programmer, Developer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

            • Exampole Code Would Not R
            • Needs Updating To Java 8

            Best Uses

              Comments about oreilly Head First Java, 2nd Edition:

              I'm a 15 year veteren of writing C code and I found this book very helpful in learning Java. I can tell it had C programmers in mind when the authors wrote the book. Would like to see another edition updated with Java 8 and a chapter on NetBeans IDE. The downloaded example code was different than the code in the book and I had to "fiddle" with the code before it would compile and run. I don't like to have to debug example code. Distracts me from my learning the new programming language. I have also read HTML5 with CSS. Prefered its writing style over Head First Java.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              good but would love if next version also gets released

              By Sammy

              from Asia

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Easy to understand

              Cons

              • Very Old Version

              Best Uses

                Comments about oreilly Head First Java, 2nd Edition:

                It is a great book to understand the concepts but it also needs revision, would appreciate if it would include java 8 also

                 
                5.0

                Great book to get started with Java

                By erikvdven

                from Netherlands

                About Me Developer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Concise
                • Easy to understand
                • Helpful examples
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice
                  • Student

                  Comments about oreilly Head First Java, 2nd Edition:

                  Great book! Very well written, easy to understand and very accurate! Learned a lot from this book! I can recommend it to everyone who wants to get started with Java.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Good for beginners, could be better

                  By kickasl

                  from Czech Republic

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to understand
                  • Well-written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Novice

                    Comments about oreilly Head First Java, 2nd Edition:

                    This is my third (second I finished) Head First book. I must say that I enjoyed "HF HTML and CSS" more. This book doesn't really give you chance to build something nice and easy for yourself until late. I admit that I didn't do every exercise because:
                    a) A lot of them aren't build for e-book format.
                    b) I really didn't like some of them.
                    BUT there are also good exercises so try not to skip them :).

                    This book gives you basics and you NEED to build something after (or event better while) you read it and I don't mean only the exercises but something aditional. I learnt so much while creating snake game about how to actually use things.

                    Big PRO is that some concepts are really well explained. Really good explanation of variables and objects.

                    Maybe they could've dropped the "BeatBox project" (it's cool but you spend too much time with music parts which you don't really need to know).

                    tl,dr; It's a good book.

                    Displaying reviews 1-10

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