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Java 2 Certification All-in-One Exam Guide

Java 2 Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, 3rd Edition
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Java 2 Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, 3rd Edition
by William R. Stanek

Hardcover: 800 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 2.28 x 9.20 x 7.60
Publisher: Osborne McGraw-Hill
ISBN: 0072191694; 3rd edition (September 25, 2001) If you have familiarity with Java or an object-oriented program language like C++, the All-in-One Java 2 Exam Guide does a competent (if not exceptional) job of explaining the individual components, features, and functions of Java--but if you're weak on concepts, you'll definitely need another book to back this up.

The organization of the book is fairly simple, starting off with the absolute basics of programming, moving on to slightly more advanced topics like switch and case statements, then walking the reader through most of Java's functions, arguments, interfaces, and exception handling on a case-by-case basis. The book's explanations are fairly minimal, explaining each function quickly with relevant snippets of code, which demonstrate either a function or how to do some commonly requested task (these are sparsely documented, however).

Programmers will nod sagely, appreciating the no-nonsense way the book rips through a large amount of data in short order, and if you know what you're doing you can very quickly get a lot of information. The code segments are clear and concise, and generally are useful for illuminating the proper way to use a function or structure something--and there is an awful lot of hands-on code to play around with here. Unfortunately, if there's a snippet of code that you don't quite understand, you may be left up the creek--or have to tinker with the code yourself to see how it works. And the code isn't linked together to form a single program at the end of each chapter, as in some books that try to explain programming. If you're used to programming with a goal in mind rather than just programming for the sake of experimentation, you could have some troubles here.

People fuzzy on the more conceptual portions of Java may be left behind, too, as the book's strong point is going through what Java does, not why it does it. If you're weak on why inheritance is such a valuable thing to use... well, then you probably shouldn't be coding in Java anyway. But if you don't quite understand the concept of thread synchronization and why a programmer would be concerned with it, the Java 2 Exam Guide goes over it in a single page. The writing, when it comes to explaining concepts, is clunky--it will tell you what Java does to handle threading, but not really explain why.

Another slight problem with the book is its lack of test focus. It goes through Java in a fair amount of detail, but doesn't really explain what's likely to be on the test and what isn't. As stated, there's a lot of information packed into these pages, and it comes very quickly. It would be nice to know what are the questions that almost invariably arise on the exam, common mistakes that programmers have, etc. This is more of a reference book than a tutorial, so slimming down the reader's choices would have been helpful.

Each chapter contains exercises and a set of questions. The exercises, again, are good in the hands of a programmer who knows what they're doing--generally, a goal is given in an exercise ("Write a program that writes your phone number to a file as an int with a seven-digit number"), with a sample program given at the end of the chapter. But again, the exercise's "answer" is just a code segment, so hopefully you'll either understand how it works or be able to fool with it and deconstruct why it did. The questions are multiple choice and are fairly tough, but not backbreaking.

In short, this is a book that is slanted far more toward reference than to test-taking or tutorial. As such, it's useful for those who already understand Java to a large extent and are looking to lock down their knowledge before they actually spend the money on the test, and experienced programmers will appreciate the brevity involved. Those with less savvy, however, may wish to find another book to go with. Recommended for the experienced. --William Steinmetz

Book Description: All-in-One is all you need! This authoritative reference offers complete coverage of all material on the Java 2 certification exams. You'll find exam objectives at the beginning of each chapter, helpful exam tips, end-of-chapter practice questions, and photographs and illustrations. The bonus CD-ROM contains practice tests, hundreds of questions, and video clips. This comprehensive guide not only helps you pass this challenging certification exam, but will also serve as an invaluable on-the-job reference.

From the Back Cover: Prepare to pass both the programmer's and developer's certification exams

Now you can prepare for the two widely taken Java 2 exams--the programmer's and developer's exams--using this single comprehensive volume. This reference will map out all objectives for both exams and provide you with Java programming essentials. Each chapter contains numerous practice questions, illustrations, and test-taking tips, making it a premier study tool. And, it's packed with helpful sidebars offering in-depth technical discussions of concepts and techniques you've just read about.

Get complete details on exam topics, including how to:
• Apply programming fundamentals
• Design application interfaces
• Utilize graphics, components, and layout managers
• Use objects, constructors, and classes
• Find out about inheritance, multithreading, and string handling
• Access and manage databases
• Identify when an object is eligible for garbage collection
• Work with control statements, data types, and variables

Customer Reviews
Excellent study guide!, April 27, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from San Jose, CA

A well done book. Java 2 Certification All-in One Exam Guide was extremely helpful and easy to understand. I studied the book over a period of 3 weeks, reading chapters and working with the practice questions. One of the reason I picked this book is because it has more practice questions, reviews and practice exams than any other book. The book covers all the topics on the exam. I passed the certification exam on my first try and I've only been programming previously for 3 months.

Just reading the book isn't enough though because the exam has very tricky questions. Still, as this was the only Certification book for Java that I bought to study with, I believe I made the right choice. The book was a great study/review. It helped me strengthen the areas I was weak in. The book has a few typos but they are pretty easy to figure out.

I really liked the thoroughness and the attention to the exam topics. I recommend this book strongly.

Good, accurate, detailed, November 7, 2001
Reviewer: A reader

Mr. Stanek has created a very good Java certification guide that is well-organized and very detailed. As a Java programmer with 3 yars experience, I found that the book was very good at helping me remember things I may have forgotten and also sufficiently detailed that someone with less experience would have an easy time using the book to get certification.

My favorite part of the book are the extensive Q&A/exam reviews. The book must have over 1,000 practice questions and exercises. This is much more than I've found in any other book and this is wonderful! Because I've been programming for a while, I went straight to the practice exams (the book has 5!; 3 programmer; 2 developer). I took the first practice test and failed miserably. I am now going through the text chapter by chapter and looking forward to taking the next practice exam.

If you are looking for a Java certification book or even a book to learn more about Java programming, I think this is the one. I recommend.

Clear and complete!, May 5, 2002
Reviewer: jclasses from Houston, Texas

This book tells you what you need to know to pass the exam in a compact and informative way. The questions after each chapter and the final tests resemble those on the actual exam well so that you know what to expect and can tell if you are prepared or not. I already knew Java pretty well, but I doubt that I would have been able to pass the exam without reading this book first.

After studying it for about 10 days and taking all the final tests I was good and ready. I am now planning to take the Developer's exam, and am reading the second half of the book to prepare myself.

It's a pretty good book. It covers both the Programmer and Developer exams, so it's thicker than most other certification books. I haven't taken the Developer exam yet, so I don't know how on-target that part is, but it has been interesting reading. The Developer section gives a complete solution, which was useful!

The Programmer exam is a multiple-choice test based largely on memorizing a bunch of exact rules about how the language works. Some of them are things you really need to know, like what private and final mean, and some are just stupid memorization.

By the way, I passed the Programmer test! Definitely would not have passed it cold. My advice is to buy this book and at least one other. Study and make sure that you can pass a couple of sample exams by a good margin before you drop money on the real thing. If you don't already know Java, I don't think you'll be able to pass this exam by just studying a couple of books. You really need to write some real code first. By the way, even if you think you know Java, you should write some test programs in any areas that you might be weak to practice what you've learned. I think this book really helped me nail the programmer test. I think if you use this book and other study books you'll do a great job as well.

No a good book, May 1, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Chicago, IL USA

I was disappointed in this book. It contained many errors and typos. This is not recommended for anyone who want to prepare thoroughly for the exam. I'm on my second study guide to prepare for the exam. One of the earlier reviewer was on the money about his review. I should have listened.

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