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OCA Java SE 7 Programmer I Study Guide (Exam 1Z0-803) Paperback – Oct 9 2012
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About the Author
Edward G. Finegan is a Senior Java Software Developer and is currently working in the casino industry developing gaming software. He has past experience in aerospace radar data commutation and artificial intelligence, specifically machine learning algorithms. Mr. Finegan has a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from Rowan University, and a Masters degree in Computer Science from Virgina Commonwealth University. He is a Sun Certified Java Professional.
Robert Liguori is a Senior Software Engineer and has been developing, maintaining and testing air traffic management systems since 1996. He is currently the lead developer for several Java based air traffic management applications. Mr. Liguori has a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Information Technology from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and is a Sun Certified Java Professional. Mr. Liguori is also the President of the Atlantic City Java User Group.
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The level of frustration with this text increased as I began to develop flash cards, obviously, the devil is in the details, and the reader is paying a lot more attention at this point. Therefore, before I got too far, I took a quick break and downloaded the errata for the book - confidence instantly shaken. It was not only the amount of errors listed that pissed me off, but also how many per chapter, and the type of errors found.
Sure, everyone expects an errata list with any technical book, that's the norm unfortunately. However, one could only hope that any reviewer(s) is vigilant enough to ensure the majority of errors were kept to a minimum, while taking into account the nature of the text.
That said some of you reading this might be Professionals like myself with limited time. Therefore, having to peruse an errata list with amount of errors and the type of errors contained is counter-productive to the task-at-hand and unacceptable.
Furthermore, and this really raised a brow considering I bought the eBook for Kindle. The errata for this text was last updated on 12/18/2012 [Errata Sheet (Revision 1.2.0 - 12/18/12)]. Why after a month are new customers, those purchasing the digital version being subjected to the current offering that is obviously sub-par?
Bottom-line: For what could have been a stellar book, I would advise to look elsewhere if you planned on buying the digital version. Until the publisher deems it appropriate to supply its customer with a version worthy of the content and title, and or refresh the eBook - save your hard-earned cash for another book.
*If I am able to get an updated version of the eBook at no charge then I will be happy edit my rating of the book.
As far as my "Bottom-Line" comment above, overall the book is actually a good text despite the errata for the first printing. However, if you have a Kindle and 45 minutes, you can highlight and annotate the sections requiring correction.
If you are looking to purchase the book and cannot wait for the second printing, I would still recommend the text, despite the frustration of having a secondary piece of reading material [errata list].
I am not new to Java but have learned quite a bit thus far, great tips, and good links to solid resources to use in the field.
1. There are many errors in this book. The link to the errata is here: [...]
2. Poor presentation of material. e.g. pg 264 about concrete classes and abstract classes: "Concrete classes are the basic, normal class, where as abstract classes are tied to inheritance".
3. The questions and material don't go to the depth that other guides such as the ones by Sierra/Bates and Deshmukh go into.
The chapters miss a lot of details, which would have helped my understanding of the concepts being explained. I had to revert back to SCJP5 by Kathy and Bert, to understand things, and come back to this book. And that got annoying after a while. Just for example, the difference between creating a String through a String literal and through a new String object, was not explained in the book to a good level. We expect such basics to be covered in detail for such an exam. If I knew these details, did I even need a book?
A book should be complete in itself, and this book was not complete. I was wondering if this book would even get me through the exam.
Luckily I found Mala Gupta's book on the exam through a colleague, and boy, I loved that book in one go.
Anyway, after I studied the latter book, and was ready to give some mock exams, I thought of giving this book another chance. I tried it's first mock exam. And believe me, but I was disappointed big time once again.
The questions were so basic, so ridiculously out of syllabus that I could not dare wasting my time on this book anymore.
I purchased a kindle version of Hanumant Deshmukh's practice exams, and what a set of mock exams he has there. Top class.
Coming back to this book, I do not find even a single reason to use this book, when it has no good content, and no good mock exams.
Considering why Kathy and Bert are delaying their book for this exam so much, it all makes sense, because they don't want their book to be useless after a couple of months into it. I would like a book that I can use later, which would have information and explanation that would be good to have even if I become a pro Java programmer. I don't want to have a book released just to get there first, and to make a buck out of it.
Sorry for hard words here, but I was really disappointed by this book, especially when comparing with other in the market right now.
1. The book covers a few topics that appear nowhere on the exam, which is a nice way to waste your time.
2. The book is full of misinformation. As a prime example, this is one of the questions on their practice exams:
"Which of the following are subclasses of IOException? (Choose three)
The answers section will list A, B, and D as being correct.
Go ahead, look this up in the API. You'll find only two of those are correct.
That one's pretty obvious, but what about the less obvious stuff? The book points out in a paragraph in one of the early chapters that it deliberately has mistakes in order to keep you on your toes. That's all fine and good, but do you want to go through every single claim and validate it? If you do, you might pass the exam. However, do you want to waste money on an unreliable resource? Also, I think it's a bit shady to bury that tidbit in a paragraph instead of making it more prominent. On the cover, would have been nice.
The are better resources out there for preparing to take this exam.
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