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Head First Java

(Head First Series)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  3,473 ratings  ·  203 reviews
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,
Paperback, 2nd Edition, 688 pages
Published February 22nd 2005 by O'Reilly Media (first published May 21st 2003)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  3,473 ratings  ·  203 reviews

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Dec 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'm a fairly well versed programmer in some of the older style languages like C and C++. If you have some archaic C question, I may be your woman. I'm not so familiar with Java - in fact the last time I touched the language I could run to the local coffee shop, get a coffee, and get back to my program and it would just be starting up (back in the dark days, when java was really slow). Fast forward 12 years and not only is Java nimble and performant, but its something I need to know. Yesterday. ...more
Jul 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: programming
This book is much more than a book about programming Java. The beginning section really changed my perspective on learning. It goes into how people learn, how to make things stick in your mind and basically make something like learning computer programming actually fun.

The gist is basically if your mind is bored its not going to remember much. Feelings, in this case humor or non-sequitors, are what create memories and of course analyzing from different points of view helps. There were many
ARahman  Rashed
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
As expected from Head First series , another awesome book that serves as a great intro to the Java programming language. I could say honestly : this is one of the best technical books ever to read as an intro to Java .

The general approach of "Make-it-visual" applied by the book makes it very interesting to read , with all these illustrating drawing , graphic scenarios that makes it easy to understand yet explaining heavy concepts ; and getting away from the traditional academic boring style ,
Sowmya's book world
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technical
Just Awesome :)

Have ever read any Technical book like a comic novel ?
U don't like to read big thick boring technical book ?
Do u think Technical reading is boring ?

then here is the book for you. A well written technical comic book. If you are just in start
then i can tel you it is the best book to start with. all the concepts are very well explained.
As u finish chapter by chapter u will read java like as if you are discussing it with some one.
differences between two things are shown as if
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technical
This book was recommended to me by my TA for a graduate level programming course. I knew the basics about programming, but certain areas were very confusing to me (like abstract classes, static vs. private, threads), so I bought this book in hopes that it would help me. Head First Java cleared up EVERYTHING for me and taught me so much about Java programming! It's not your typical programming book and that's what I love about it. There are a lot of pictures, interesting puzzles and questions to ...more
Aug 30, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I dropped this book at page 135. Some books are just unnecessary and this one is at the top of that list. Instead, I started reading Java: A Beginner's Guide by Herbert Schildt which is vastly superior and does not insult the reader's intelligence. I strongly recommend anyone interested in actually learning about the language instead of reading punny jokes do the same.

More critical version of review: This book is a mess. It's like a teenager who is going through an identity crisis and is in the
Tyler Hallada
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I read this book the summer before my senior year of high school, I was curious about programming. But, I didn't really know where to start. Everything online confused me and I lacked fundamental knowledge. Head First Java was the most accessible technical book I've ever read. They use lots of images and stories to convey concepts that are notoriously hard to wrap your head around as a beginner programmer. And they work. Some of those images still come up in my head when I think about ...more
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think this is the best book for truly learning Java. By that I don't just mean an "I can write a Java program" kind of learning, I mean a deep understanding of how Java works kind of understanding. We just had a question pop up the other day on our team of 10+ year experienced folks - is Java pass by value or pass by reference. And what pops into my head, but the Head First pictures of remote controls and passing by value what is really a reference to an object. I can't count the number of ...more
Caleb Rogers
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People serious about learning computer science / java
*The* book on Java programming. I've tried it all: codeacademy, cs50x, a bunch of random Java books I found in the library. I settled on this. If you want to learn Java, read this book.

It's not dumbed down, but it is readable, which very few other computer science books can claim. It's sometimes hilarious, always informative. There are no hanging questions. Something is stated in simple terms, and if you're more advanced, there'll be a little appendix that will have answers ready for you.

Trey Decker
May 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: computer-science
This was somewhat an impulse buy: I didn't find it from researching the best Java books; I just found it on the shelf at my local bookstore and thought it looked interesting and fun. It's not. I found the method terrible and distracting. I'm always working my way through Accelerated C++ and compared to this book, Accelerated C++ is godsend. This is book is the opposite of concise, clear, and effective. It didn't show me good coding practice, and the code examples were often without much ...more
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: favourites
Five stars for the actual content, the unbelievable simplicity and comprehensibility of the material, fun exercises (with solutions!), all the times I've stirred in excitement about things that almost put me to sleep when talked of in other books, and one star for the revolting uncalled for sexist jokes.
That's 3 stars, yeah? I don't know, my feeble feminine brain is unable of grasping mathematics. Why don't some of strong muscular brogrammers check it for me; I've got to go anyways, my cake is
Dec 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
I am returning to this book determined to slog through all the tutorials and lessons. As a self taught programmer this task has already helped fill in some of the gaps in my skill set. Each of these self teaching books have a special method presentation and in this one the multi-method presentation of information by side notes, cute captioned snap shots of authors and their friends, and various mental challenge tasks and lessons works for me. I recommend individuals looking to program in Java ...more
May 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
class ThisBookIsTerrible {
public static void main (String[] args) {
System.out.println("Please use your head and buy a book that is not one giant series of Microsoft Office Clippy comments.");
System.out.print("This book is ridiculously overrated. ");
System.out.print("Just use the API instead.");
Rahul Phulore
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My first programming book. :)
Dmytro Turskyi
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: programming
"Head First Java" is a stunning example of a textbook in which the method of conveying complex information is presented in the simplest possible way.
The best part is a beginning which includes amazing pieces of advice about the technics of studying IT literature.
"Must read" for all Java programmers.
The only flaw I can see here is that the subject is changing constantly and even this wonderful book is a bit outdated.
If someone knows the updated version of this kind of book I would be grateful if
Gary Boland
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really good introduction text to the Java language and one that I recommend especially to those coming to Java from a different language (in my case python/ruby). The style makes it memorable (which is the idea I'm sure) but it also somewhat distracts. Overall it is really worthwhile.
Rohit Mishra
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Rohit by: Anand Narayan
This is the best programming book I have ever read. Head First's visual approach to learning make everything fun and exciting. The whole book revolved around projects - the biggest of them was making a synthesizer in Java. Puzzles, crosswords, cartoons are all over. Don't take all that for the book being light on content. It is just that they believe that it is much better to learn while having fun instead of cursing your book.
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Head First Series is your best friend. If you're not as much of a coding prodigy as you'd like, this book will make you feel just smart enough to keep turning the pages. Plus, it will make you laugh!

Sure the humor can be a bit...nerdy...but it's always worth a smirk and an eye roll at it worst; that's still an emotional response that isn't "FUCK MY LIFE, THIS CODE CAN GO TO HELL!" which is nice.
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am a n00b programmer but this book was very detailed and went over all the details to learning the java language and object oriented programming in general. Learned about concepts such as multithreading, generics, and networks which is more than I ever thought I would! Very fun read. The authors keep java entertaining and I laughed many times while reading this text. Highly recommend!
Andre Laurin
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I was trying to learn how to develop for Android I quickly came to the decision that I needed to learn Java if I wanted to be any good at coding for Android. I really did like the way this book was formatted, made it a bit easier to learn.
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is the only way to go! Any other book just tells you what to do, this book teaches it to you in an entertaining way.
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If I were to go back in time and recommend myself a book to study Java when I knew nothing about it or OOP in general, this would be it.
Gene De Lisa
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: geek
Of of the few development books in which the author's focus is for the reader to learn. Most of the time technical book authors simply want to show off. Not here.
Dec 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Really good book for people just starting to learn Java.
Meeran Manuchehri
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
==== I had already done a review on this... and it isnt here anymore.... so im quickly doing another one!!!===

1. Why did you decide to read this book?
I wanted to learn how to code

2. Describe a setting or a character in the book that you found interesting. Make sure that you explain why you found it (or that person) interesting.(Provide at least 2 quotations to support your answer).
There arent any real characters but there are these made up scenarios that help you understand code,.

3. Provide 2
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ramu Vairavan
This is the first Head First book I have read, and I must say it was interesting. I like the approach of this series, as opposed to say the For Dummies series. Nobody likes being called a dummy in the first place but the real problem is they are all too dense. Before picking this up I tried reading Thinking in Java, a classic Java reference. It was hard to get through – the pages were packed with words, many of them technical. A chapter in, I put that down and picked this up – a great decision ...more
Brian Leet
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I regret spending money on this title. I was duped into buying "Head First Java" after reading countless of positive feedback/reviews made by other readers. It certainly does not live up to its hype or flawlessness.

The text and images are all over the place, and often very distracting. There is no semblance of order or formality that you find in most books. My eyes are constantly pouncing left and right, up and down; to mentally arrange and gauge the importance of each information in order. I
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book tries WAAAAY too hard to be "cutesy" with their little jokes and comics. I'm glad they want to be informal, but this just gets obnoxious.

As for the actual content, I think it is a great intro to JAVA programming. I think the first chapter took on too much (or this book wasn't written for complete beginners), but after that it went back to basics.

What I also really liked is that it tended to introduce many topics in a holistic overview way, then focus in one a few. I hate to look at
Jana Protic
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Book is very well written. It not just keeps you entertained because of all the puns and interesting dialogs, but you're actually learning stuff through fun.

As someone who knows Java very well I must say this is a great book to brush up on some particularities of the language. Even though there's much more that could've been in the book, all the basics are in.

For someone who is new to Java I think this would be a perfect book.
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“a name, like javax.swing (a package that holds some of the Swing GUI classes you’ll learn about soon). ArrayList is in the package called java.util, which surprise surprise, holds a pile of utility classes. You’ll learn a lot more about packages in Chapter 17, including how to put your own classes into your own packages. For now though, we’re just looking to use” 1 likes
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