What is the best Book to Learn Java Programming for Beginners?

There is no doubt that the best book to learn Java for beginners is indeed Head First Java, 2nd Edition. It's interesting, informative, and yet easy to read, which is what a beginner wants. The only drawback of this book is that there is no 3rd Edition available. Java has moved a long way since 2nd edition of this book was released. Yes, the core of the Java programming language is not changed much, and information given in this book is still relevant and sufficient for anyone who wants to learn Java programming, but an up to date book comprising changes introduced in Java 7 and Java 8 would have been much appreciated.

I was actually hoping for Head First Java 3rd Edition when Java 8 was launched last year, but no update yet. The changes introduced in Java 8 does demand a new edition of the book, but that is for advanced level.

For a beginner, it's essential to learn the basics of Java before diving into lambda expression and other stuff. Head First Java will give you a head start in Java programming by first explaining What Java is, What is Java's competitive advantage over another popular programming language, like C, C++ or Python and What is the best way to learn Java.

Once you start reading this book, you will learn very quickly. In 2019, you can do one more thing, you can join a comprehensive online course like The Complete Java MasterClass, which covers core Java in depth. It's also most up-to-date resource and always updated for latest Java version.


Head First Java - The Best book to learn Java for Beginners

Somebody will definitely ask why I consider Head First Java as the best book? Did I read this book before recommending? Did I have read any other magazine to say that Head First Java is the best compared to others? Can they trust my words on Head First Java?

Well, Yes I have read Head First Java, not once but twice and thrice. I do understand it even now after having 9 years of working experience in Java when I want to refresh some concept.

I consider Head First Java, 2nd edition best book to learn Java because of the following reasons:

1. Visual Learning

The Head First style of teaching which is full of diagrams, images, and characters and if you are visual learner like me, you will really find them useful. It's said that "A picture is worth a thousand words" and Head First Java truly live these words. 

To give you an example from Head First Java book, you might understand that abstract methods are methods without body, they have just declaration and how they explain it by only showing a human head without body :)

The content of the book is really great and easy to digest. As a beginner, you would hate reading boring subjective content which is bookish and not in a conversational style. Head First Java is not a book, its a teacher full of conversation.

Best book to learn Java Programming



2. Quizzes and Fun Exercises

Head First Java is best because it contains lots of quizzes, fill in the blanks, matching exercise, which forces your mind to work. This helps to retain the knowledge you have acquired by reading a book.
Head First Java is full of good examples, which is very important from a beginners point of view. Remember you will not learn by just reading the book, you will discover only if you do examples and exercises given in the book.

3. Authors and Style

Authors, Bert Bates, and Kathy Sierra are respectable and are an authority in the field of Java programming language. They have also authored several other books including SCJP guides which are some of the most recommended books for Java developer looking to get certified. 

In 2019, you can do one more thing, you can join a comprehensive online course like The Complete Java MasterClass, which covers core Java in depth. It's also most up-to-date resource and always updated for latest Java version.
The best course to learn Java Programming

It even cost 1/3rd of paperback books. I strongly suggest that you combine this course with the Head First Java book to learn Java easily and in-depth.



Any other Good Book to Learn Java?

I am sure these reasons are enough to explain why I think Head First Java is the best book for beginners or anyone who wants to learn Java. On a similar note, since everyone has different taste and some may not like comic book style of Head First Java and look for a traditional form of Java programming book to learn, they can try Core Java, Volume 1 and 2 by Cay S. Horstmann.

This book is also a gem and gives comprehensive knowledge of Java programming easily. An author is very renowned, and I love his writing style, you won't feel bored while reading his book.

Best book to learn Core Java


No matter which book you choose to learn Java programming, you should write Java programs, use an IDE like Eclipse or Netbeans because busy developers learn faster than those who just read books.  All the best and don't forget to come back here if you face any problem while learning Java :)



One more Book you can check:

The Cay S. Horstmann, the author of popular Java 8 book, Java SE 8 for Really Impatient and the classic two-volume introduction of Java programming language, has come up with another masterpiece to teach core Java, including Java SE 8. The Core Java for the Impatient 1st Edition by Cay S. Horstmann is a complete but concise guide to Java SE 9.

The Best Book to Learn Java Programming for Beginners?

It covers all vital material of Java programming language, but it's presented in small chunks organized for quick access and easy understanding. I am not sure if it can replace Head First Java, but at the moment, it certainly looks the best and most updated book to learn Java for beginners.

That's all about the best book to learn Java for beginners. There is no doubt that Head First Java is a bit out-dated and doesn't cover the latest features from recent Java releases, particularly Java 8 features, but it's still a great book to learn Java for complete beginners.

It's a visual learning methodology and a combination of quizzes, fun exercises, and interesting content makes it the best choice for beginners. In order to learn Java 8 features and beyond like things introduced in Java 9, 10, 11, 12 and Java 13, you can combine with the other two books I have shared here.


Further Learning
The Complete Java Masterclass
Java Fundamentals: The Java Language
Data Structures and Algorithms: Deep Dive Using Java


Other Book and Course Recommendations you may like:
  • Top 5 Books to Learn Python in 2019 (books)
  • These are the best courses to learn Java 8 in 2019 (books)
  • 10 best courses to learn Data Structure and Algorithms (courses)
  • The Complete DevOps Developer RoadMap (article)
  • The 2019 Frontend and Backend Developer RoadMap (map)
  • Top 5 courses to learn Design Patterns in Java (courses)
  • 5 Free Courses to learn Spring, Spring Boot and Spring MVC (courses)
  • 10 Courses to learn Big Data and Hadoop (courses)
  • 10 Things Every Programmer should learn in 2019 (articles)
  • 10 Algorithms Books Every Programmer Should Read (book)
  • 10 free courses to learn Docker in 2019 (courses)


P.S. If you are someone who wants to learn from more than one author and looking for a comprehensive guide on the particular topic, then check my post about 9 books Every Java Developer Should Read. You will find books about multi-threading, Java Generics and Collections,  Design Pattern, and several other important topics important for Java developers.

P. P. S. - If you prefer to learn from online courses than books, you can also check this list of 10 of the best Java courses for beginners. In fact, you can combine both books and courses to get the best of both worlds.

13 comments:

  1. Why not Thinking in Java? I have learned from this book and its much better than Head First, its like a proper book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because it's written by a bibliophile and not a proper writer.

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    2. I think the I/O chapter of thinking in java is terrible. Java Network Programming is far better to understand. Thinking in java is good as a handbook, not a tutorial.

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  2. My company recently did a bunch of research about this very question in preparation for our summer intern program. We settled on "Java: A Beginner's Guide, 6th Edition." It is straightforward and - importantly - has been kept up-to-date (at least thru Java 8). Kindle version is also available.

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    Replies
    1. Java: A Beginner's Guide is certainly better than Head First Java due to two reasons, first its most upto and covers Java 8 and second its good list of examples. I have bought one today.

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  3. java a begginers guide.

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  4. I think this is the best one. Just check it out http://math.hws.edu/javanotes/

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    Replies
    1. @Dilshan, indeed a very good book for beginner, and its FREE too. thanks for sharing with us.

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  5. Java : How to Program by Deitel and Deitel is another great book for beginners. It effectively combined what Cay has done in two volumens of Core Java. I love this book for its exaples, programming error warning messages and easy to understand lanugages. I have recommend this book to all of my students.

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  6. Is it necessary to read the each and every versions of java upto 7th version

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    Replies
    1. No, not necessary, you should only read and learn the latest version of Java. If you are starting, start with Java 8 now.

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  7. Please add the core Java for impatient by Cay S. Horstmann, it covers Java 8 also. One of the best book to learn Java in 2016

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  8. If you seriously want to become a good programmer , I suggest to take a look at these books to learn Algorithms. You should be good at algorithm and data structure to write good code. Once you done, that you can look at these books to improve coding skill .

    ReplyDelete