Book Review - SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 5 Study Guide (Exam 310-055)
I've been toying with the idea of retaking the Java Programmer certification test, as I took and passed it back in 2002 (version 1.2). Quite a bit has changed since then, and it might be nice to get up to date. To that end, I took the opportunity to review Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates' latest edition of SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 5 Study Guide (Exam 310-055). Certification books don't come with much better "street cred" than this...
Contents: Declarations and Access Control; Object Orientation; Assignments; Operators; Flow Control, Exceptions, and Assertions; Strings, I/O, Formatting, and Parsing; Generics and Collections; Inner Classes; Threads; Development; About the CD; Index
Sierra and Bates are the co-creators of the popular Head First book concept, and in my opinion are unequaled in the field of writing technical material that engages all the senses. They are also responsible for the actual Java certification test itself, so it's not like they don't know what's being quizzed. :) In addition to material on *how* to take a certification test, they cover all the different content areas of the Java Programmer test, with a focus on learning what needs to be known for the test. This is not necessarily a tutorial on Java, as they don't try and exhaustively cover every minor point on a subject. If you're going to encounter it on the test, it'll be here. If it's not on the test, it's either skimmed over for general context or ignored. The book also includes a CD that has sample tests that you can use to gauge your preparedness for the exam. It certainly beats having to go out and spend another chunk of money on practice tests. And again, these people have some of the best credentials out there for teaching and training Java technical material. Even if I hadn't had the chance to review this book, I'd have put it at the top of my recommended list on reputation alone. Having gone through it, I can confirm that decision would have been the correct one.
When I first took my Java test in 2002, this was the type of study guide I was looking for (and I looked at all of them). This time around, my search is finished with a single volume... this one.