7 Essential Java Books

For programmers no matter what your level there’s always something new you can learn, and it’s always handy to have some reference materials on hand. Here are 7 Java books to invest in, some for beginners and some for more advanced programmers.

Head First Java

The ‘Head First’ series are a great mix of visuals and text to make learning feel less of a struggle. ‘Head First Java’ by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates is very beginner-friendly and has some brilliant real life analogies to help back up the information. It may feel a bit dated; it doesn’t cover anything beyond Java 5.0, but it’s still useful for covering a wide variety of topics like classes, threads, objects and the language features.

Java: A Beginner’s Guide

Another great starting point, ‘Java: A Beginner’s Guide’ by Herbert Schildt covers the basics and provides you with some tests and puzzles to attempt yourself. “The hands-on exercises and quiz sections are invaluable learning tools,” claims programming writer James M. Curtis, Revieweal and UKWritings. This book covers all Core Java concepts and is written in a clear and simple way to make it easy to learn from.

Java for Dummies

The ‘for Dummies’ series are well known to the point of parody but for good reason. ‘Java for Dummies’ by Barry A. Burd is another great resource for beginners that covers the fundamentals from how to create the basic objects to when you should be reusing code. The guide is straightforward and again is a book that mixes text with visuals to help you to learn. This includes screenshots to help explain how Java is executed.

Java: The Complete Reference

This reference book by Herbert Schildt builds on the beginner’s guide and is perfect to turn to when you need to review a topic. It’s good for both beginners and advanced programmers as it dives deeper into topics to help you to become a Java master. The book is also full of discussions and examples that you can learn from and implement into your programming.

Effective Java

No matter what level you are, Joshua Bloch’s ‘Effective Java’ is a must-have. Going beyond the core concepts it examines commonly encountered programming issues with explanations of how to solve them. For beginners, you get the concepts explained and for more advanced programmers you are likely to learn how to write Java code better than before. It is the perfect reference book for those moments where you are just not sure of the next step.

Thinking In Java

We are human and while we may know various languages, including programming ones, we still think in our native language and then translate to the appropriate language. Bruce Eckel’s ‘Thinking in Java’ provides practical examples of programming in a clear way to help you gain a deeper understanding of the language and its quirks. It stays relatively beginner-friendly, but it is useful for more advanced programmers as a way to improve your coding skills.

Clean Code

“If you ask programmers who to turn to in order to become a better Java programmer, they will inevitably point you in the direction of ‘Uncle Bob’ with his videos and book on clean coding,” says Tammie Acree, an editor at Ukservicesreviews and Custom Writing. Robert C. Martin’s, also known fondly as ‘Uncle Bob’, book ‘Clean Code’ is less a reference on the fundamentals and more a book to help you to write better code. Split into three sections, the book takes you through the principles of writing clean code, case studies of code to help you make decisions on where to clean the code and then a list of heuristics that were gathered from creating the case studies. It points out it’s not only worth knowing how to code but to revisit that code often to make sure it’s up-to-date and as effective as it can be.

Java is a fairly easy programming language to get into and has a large number of resources for you to turn to. No matter what your skill level is, there’s always something new you can take away. There are loads of books out there and some fantastic websites you can use, but these seven are what I would consider the essentials for programmers no matter their level.

Madeline Miller
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