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Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 7 Programmer Study Guide by M. Reese Richard (23-Aug-2012)

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Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 7 Programmer Study Guide by M. Reese Richard (23-Aug-2012)

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Review Text

  • By Simes on 5 November 2016

    I'm only halfway through reading this book and it is poorly written.It includes surprising inaccuracies and encourages bad programming practises.One example from the book:"Use named constants for array sizes. However, using the length attribute once the array is declared is preferred, as it is more maintainable should the array size change."Arrays can never change size. This is a fundamental feature of arrays, it's even mentioned in passing at the beginning of the same chapter. There is reference later in the chapter to redefining an array variable to point to another (different sized) array, but this isn't the same as resizing an array.There are test questions with wrong answers.E.g. given this declaration:StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();Select the answers with a valid use of the sb variable.This was included as one of the correct answers:sb.deleteCharAt(34.5);The deleteCharAt method takes an int index as an argument. You can't use a double (floating point number) as an index.Mistakes aren't uncommon in technical guides, but I can't find an errata available online that corrects any of these mistakes, so anyone reading this guide will be confused with misleading truths.This book contains very brief coverage of important exam topics. It's more of a summary of the topics (a revision reminder) than a detailed explanation of how they work.The book also includes topics that aren't on the exam (e.g. BigDecimal and Currency classes). While there's nothing wrong with providing additional information, it should be clear which exam objectives are actually covered and which text is unrelated extra detail, so students can focus their efforts accordingly.When studying for an important exam, a study guide that gives the wrong information, misleading advice and unreliable test questions and answers is not a good choice. If it was priced for under a fiver then it might be worth having once you'd read at least one of the recognised quality study books, otherwise I'd avoid this.I have read both of the following and can recommend them as much better alternatives:OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide - Kathy Sierra, Bert BatesOCA Java SE7 Certification Guide - Mala GuptaIncidentally, errata pages for both of these guides are also available online if you search for them.* Update *Having read further through the book (3/4 of the way through) I stand by my initial review, there are even more mistakes, particularly with end of chapter questions. Including answers that are the opposite of what the question asked ("select all the valid options", then when you check the 'correct' answer, it gives all the invalid ones).I will say this though, if you take the time to check every dubious statement in the book and each ambiguous or incorrect test question, you will gain a deal of background knowledge that you wouldn't have gained just from reading the book. So in that respect it has some value, but in no way does it justify the high asking price (£30.99 for the hard-copy, £18 for Kindle version at the time of writing this).Of course, you'd only know what things to check if you'd already read better alternative guides beforehand (including online tutorials and articles).

  • By Nicholas on 25 November 2012

    First we'll start with the elephant in the room, the title of this book is a poor choice. It simply doesn't seem to be a good study guide at all. It doesn't even cover any details of the exam itself i.e. the number of questions, duration, planning your time etc. There are a few questions at the end of each chapter, but that's about it. Admittedly in the preface it claims to take a different approach to preparing you, rather than a plying you with endless questions.That being said, if you take away the title you actually have a decent book. It goes beyond what you would expect from a study guide with regards to suggesting best practices. Rather than just explaining how Java works it tries to share how you should use it.The book itself is very accessible; text is accompanied with plenty of diagrams, tables and code. The author uses simple diagrams well to illustrate his points; without resorting to full blown UML.From time to time the author makes the odd bold statement of opinion rather than fact, which can get peevish to someone more experienced. "Always use an else clause" - personally I don't like to do this, but I know other developers who find it makes code more expressive. It is really down to taste.The ordering of explanations could sometimes be better, explaining that "an interface is like an abstract class" before explaining the concept of an abstract class will confuse. Similarly talking about "instance variables" and not explaining the concept until later on may confuse some.Those are just minor gripes though, as a piece of a educational literature it is generally well written; with that respect it is not surprising to see that the author is a lecturer.It is a shame a little more focus wasn't put on the examination aspects otherwise this would be a strong title, unfortunately I can only see it augmenting other sources.

  • By W Boudville on 16 September 2012

    Wanting to brush up on the latest java, especially if you are a professional java programmer? Oracle, which of course now owns java, offers an exam to become a somewhat grandly titled Oracle Certified Associate in Java SE 7. Reese offers this book to study for that exam.Ideally, an experienced java programmer can breeze through the book. It is really meant for a somewhat new programmer, for the contents are largely low level and could have been treated in a similar book for java of say 10 years ago. What do I mean? An example is the explanation of not confusing the bitwise operators (&, ^, ;) with the logical operators (&&, ;;). Or that 'true' and 'false' are restricted since they are keywords in java. In other words, you cannot name a variable 'true'. You did know this already, right? Another example is how when you have embedded if-else constructs to explicitly use curly brackets to delimit each branch, instead of relying on your memory and the compiler to correctly do what you intended.Each chapter has a short problem set at its end. Too short. Maybe the book would be more useful to a reader who needs exam preparation if there were more problems. Learn by doing, or at least by more testing of a chapter's contents. On the level of difficulty, I found the problems to be rather simple. But this could be correct, in accurately resembling the actual problems in a real exam. So how about just having more problems of this level?

  • By mcbod on 23 July 2013

    I chose this book, due to the fact that it was the shortest one I could find that was geared at the certification syllabus.I am no stranger to java code, so I was more looking for a catalogue of the info required rather than a book that spent extra time explaining things in detail.As a result I got what I wanted from it.But I was quite shocked at low the quality is.Explanations are poor, plenty of typos and inconsistancies, general bad organisation and presentation.It gives the impression that it's a first draft that was never proof read or edited.(It actually made me think of writing one myself ...)

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