Sunday, January 1, 2017

Book review - Java 8 in Action

Java 8 was released in the first half of 2014, and it's awesome! The most notable Java 8 features are Lambda expressions, Stream API and Date/Time APIs. There are also a lot of other improvements like default methods which allow addition of methods to interfaces without breaking existing implementations and allow multiple inheritance of behaviour, but not state. Annotation on Java Types and repeating annotations were also introduced in Java 8.

Even if I was using some new features of this update for some time, I felt it was time to get a deeper knowledge of Java 8. There are several books already published on this topic. I've chose "Java 8 in Action: Lambdas, streams, and functional-style programming" based on the good ratings and high number of positive reviews at the time searching for a book, and let me say it, I don't regret it! The book was amazing!

Java 8 in Action is easy to read, but it keeps you excited throughout the whole book. The authors have done a really good job explaining the new features of Java 8. Throughout the book, new concepts are followed by small exercises which can help you to validate your understanding of the concept. A learning benefit for you is that each chapter ends with a good summary of what was discussed.

The book is split into 4 parts, first part is called "Fundamentals" and it contains a short introduction about why these new features are relevant to you, as a developer. In this part you'll learn about "Passing code with behavior parameterization" and get introduced to Lambda expressions. Second part is called "Functional-style data processing" in which Streams are introduced, explained and exemplified. You will be taught how to "collect data with streams" and you also get to learn a lot about parallel data processing and performance. Third part is called "Effective Java 8 programming", in this chapter you'll be introduced to Default methods, to Optional as a better alternative to null, some new concurrency utilities and the new Date and Time API. Forth part is called "Beyond Java 8" in which you learn more about Functional Programming and in which there is an interesting chapter called "Blending OOP and FP: comparing Java 8 and Scala", you'll like it!

As you'll read the book you will realize that it is not just about Java 8 features but you will learn a lot of other things as well. I strongly believe that after reading this book you will not only be able to use Java 8 features but you will also become a better programmer.

I really enjoyed reading this book and I strongly recommend it to you as well. Enjoy it!

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