Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book review: Thinking in Java - Fourth edition

To become a better programmer you should always look into reading new programming books, watch online tutorials or attend to related workshop. For Java programmers this book is one of the best and it provides detailed explanations and examples about the most important Java features.

I read this book once and later came back several times when I wanted to refresh my knowledge about a certain Java topic. As it has been such a useful learning resource for me I want to share it with you. To do so I composed a short and straight to the point book review.


Thinking in Java was written by Bruce Eckel who also wrote other popular books like: Thinking in C# and Thinking in C++. The book was revised and improved multiple times, as a result of this multiple editions were published. The last one, fourth edition, was published in 2006.

In my opinion you at least must have little to medium programming background and prior hands-on experience Java/C#/C++. Besides this even if you are an experienced Java developer, if you did not read this book yet I highly recommend to do so as you will find a lot of information which will certainly improve your skills.

Good things

  • The book is designed in such a manner that it helps you to learn fast starting with simple Java topics like Operators, Objects and Access Control to more advanced Java features like Annotations, Concurrency and Graphical User Interfaces.
  • This book contains a lot of examples and exercises. 
  • Interesting and relevant references are given when approaching a new topic.
  • Explanations are easy to understand.
  • Author mentions deprecated methods and why those should not be used anymore.
  • Covers common pitfalls.

Bad things

Final note

Reading a technical book is not enough, to get most value of your time you should run all code samples, modify them to crash or even think how to improve them. Besides this you should also solve all exercises from the book in order to clearly understand the approached topics. So what are you still waiting? Open the book, start your favorite IDE and start learning!

Feel free to add your opinion in a comment about this blog post or about this great book.

Robert Rusu

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