What do you guys think of the Sam's teach yourself Java in 21 days series?

AT-LOWDeSu

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I'm planning on picking this book up

https://www.amazon.com/Java-Days-Te...ms+teach+yourself+java+in+21+days+7th+edition

and actually trying to go through it day by day, to get the hang of Java in 21 days. Do you think it's a good choice? Head First Java is only for Java 5, and there's no 'learn Java the hard way', so I was thinking this series might be the best. My other thought was just getting the actual book version of the sun tutorials, but that feels trivial since I could just use that online.
 

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I'm planning on picking this book up

https://www.amazon.com/Java-Days-Te...ms+teach+yourself+java+in+21+days+7th+edition

and actually trying to go through it day by day, to get the hang of Java in 21 days. Do you think it's a good choice? Head First Java is only for Java 5, and there's no 'learn Java the hard way', so I was thinking this series might be the best. My other thought was just getting the actual book version of the sun tutorials, but that feels trivial since I could just use that online.
Don't know about that book exactly but you can learn basic Java in 3 hours you know, all you have to do is use google to find a programming forum and a guide, no need for books that keep getting outdated every couple years. Also, try the library, if you can find one of those "24 hours" books (they usually have red covers), study those instead. I learned Java, Visual 2008 and Basic 6 from such books and since I already knew many other languages I was able to cut the 24 hours down to 5 for each language. Just study a hour or two a day and you can learn a programming language of that level in a week. If you got a library with a computer near you, it's by far the best way you can learn since you can find reference material easier too!
 
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AT-LOWDeSu

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Yeah, I went through and got the basics of Loops/Arrays and all of the 'fundamentals'. But this book should in theory cover Exceptions and Threads, Data Structures, Swings, User Interfaces (more swing stuff), internet interactions, databases, rss feeds, xml web services and android studio.. Not sure if that's all easy to learn online as well though... I guess I just felt like most 'tutorials' for java stopped helping around the Array/Swing area, and having a structured book to take me through the various Java classes would be helpful.

So far i've just been trying to use Coding Bat, Code Monk and the Sun Tutorials. But I feel like the sun tutorials.. sometimes.. really just drag on and feel extremely dull to read. I guess I was hoping this would have a fun/fast pace to help me become proficient pretty quickly.
 

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Don't bother learning things just to know them. You will DEFINITELY forget half the things you study if you go about it like that. Have a goal in mind (eg: make code that does X thing), then learn the basics up to how the code handles memory values/addresses (saving values, parsing them, discarding, calling, managing, etc.), then start trying to make what you want to make. When you see you don't know how, go study that part and the relevant ones. Study what you will be using and then some extra that is similar to it, that way, not only will it stick better when you have long since moved on from it preventing having to go back and study again, but also allow you to think better as a programmer. If you learn too much that you won't use and you have no experience, you will start confusing things and making mistakes. This advice applies to ALL languages!

The tutorials stop around that point for that exact reason, you are done with the basics, so now you need to start thinking about what to make and what you will need to know in order to accomplish it, then go study that on your own. Oracle's developer portal has some useful stuff, despite being a pain to navigate, but check it out nonetheless: https://developer.oracle.com/
 

AT-LOWDeSu

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Fortunately this book does have lots of problem sets, but you are right, about just working through things instead of just 'learning it'. My ideas are mostly for android apps, and I get overwhelmed thinking about doing that right now! I'll try to use the book, but also come up with standalone projects for each of the concepts I learn, along with going through problems on Hacker Earth, Codin Game, Coding Bat and doing some code fights.. sigh.. this'll be a journey.
 

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Fortunately this book does have lots of problem sets, but you are right, about just working through things instead of just 'learning it'. My ideas are mostly for android apps, and I get overwhelmed thinking about doing that right now! I'll try to use the book, but also come up with standalone projects for each of the concepts I learn, along with going through problems on Hacker Earth, Codin Game, Coding Bat and doing some code fights.. sigh.. this'll be a journey.
It always it hard learning something new if you have no previous experience with programming. Every time you learn something new, take some time to write some example codes to practice! If you want, you can even save them and just copy paste them in whatever you are making later on if needed in the future, saving you time. For example, I work with assembly the most and we got the time delay and initialization functions ready to copy paste when needed to save time and prevent mistakes.

About the android apps, are you referring to actual apps or games too? If you want games, it will be MUCH easier for you to just use Game Maker Studio or Game Looper (GL is free on steam but only does very basic stuff like flappy bird) and then edit the code parameters from the console. If you want apps, you will need the developer tool by Oracle or something similar in order to make the interface, but Game Maker Studio can actually be used for apps too just fine (I made a quiz app once to practice for exams).
 
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In the long term I want to make games, but I do have some fun ideas for apps. I kind of want to create learning tools and puzzles though.

I like the idea about saving projects that use various techniques though. I'm going to do that, thanks!
 
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ThoD

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In the long term I want to make games, but I do have some fun ideas for apps. I kind of want to create learning tools and puzzles though.
You shouldn't try to force yourself already to make stuff from pure code, use visual programs to automate the more annoying stuff for a better and less buggy result whenever possible. There's a category of programming tools that used to be called "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) back around 2006, but now almost all of them are like that, so use that to your advantage! If you automate and simplify the hardest parts, you can easily make anything, plus you will be able to inspect the code afterwards and using the knowledge you already have you will be able to understand how it works, allowing you to make things from just code if needed. Anyway, Game Maker Studio is your best bet for a simple process, good luck and just take things easy at your own pace, there's no rush.
 

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