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Bought plenty of dummies guides before and have sworn by them. The C++ book is excellent but this one isn't so good. Bought because the first java book I bought was a bit too advanced, this is the other extreme. If you've done any OO languages before, this book isn't useful at all. Really is purely for the beginner, way more basic than the C++ equivalent.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 November 2017
If the “Beginning Programming with Java” by Barry Burd, PhD was a library book I would return it and look for an alternative. The style of the writing in this book is, in my view, condescending and heavy going especially in the early parts. I don’t think many people interested in programming would buy a book, even a dummies book, with completely no idea so for the author to write “does it hurt” and is it “politically correct” is just plain daft.
The initial stages of the book are all stick with no carrot and likely to deter some people. There could well have been a short snappy program which could have been copied/typed with no or little experience just to motivate the reader. The often used “hello world” program or even a simple dice game could be written in a few lines of code.
Most main stream computer languages are quite similar in that they include loops, branches, variables, Boolean logic etc and generally it is only the syntax that differs so I would suggest to a would be school age programmer to buy a book based on their class work and maybe for other people to try borrowing a library book, using the look inside or downloading extracts from the books on sale at Amazon to help decide.
If you are a complete novice to computer programming, you might find this book a little too advanced, as I did. I had much difficulty learning the Java vocabulary because it lacks a glossary of terms. It would have been helpful for the author to include detailed explanations for each line of code at the very beginning of the textbook. Java words like "scanner", "import", "public class", "double", etc. show up very early in the examples, as if out of nowhere, with little or no explanation as to their use. Again, this text might work for you, depending on your level of exposure to programming. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me.
It's better than my college textbook, but it still lacks a frontal attack on OOP. Java is foremost a OOP language. Loops, statements, and syntax are important, but without a thorough understanding of OOP a learner is not equipped to tackle real problems. OOP must be the 2nd or 3rd topic addressed and not at the end of the book. It must occupy nearly half the text otherwise this is baby steps. I would still recommend it, but you will need much more.