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Book review : SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 Study Guide

February 11, 2010

In order to get ready for the SCJP 6 exam, I’ve read SCJP Sun Certified Programmer for Java 6 Study Guide, from Katherine Sierra and Bert Bates, aka some of the certification’s exam creators.

The authors make clear at the beginning that the book is about, and only about, being ready for the SCJP exam. No more, no less. And they keep to their words : the book is strictly focused on the exam.

The bad consequence is that sometime (often) I was eager to know more, to go further the “there’s plenty more to tell, but that’s enough for the exam, so we stop here”. Furthermore, as you can imagine, this isn’t the most fancy book I’ve ever read. Katherine and Bert do attempt a few times to instil some fun, but it didn’t fall quite right.

The very good side is that the book teaches all you need to know, no more, no less. I would even go a bit further : if the authors say “methods X and Y are also part of the exam”, then you should really know exactly what’s in these methods. I’m pretty sure I lost some points due to some API I didn’t know enough. Even better, they say clearly what’s in the exam and not. No need to worry because some dumb mock exams found on the web put stuff you hadn’t any clue off. If it wasn’t in the book, it’s not on the exam.
Even more important, the writers are very good at explanations. Really, they know out to make things clear. Awesome. I now have a grip on regexp. Really !

To conclude, this book is really one (if not the one – I haven’t read the others so it’s hard to tell) to go for when preparing SCJP 6, no more, no less. At least it was for me!

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EDIT : did a bit of clean-up

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