Big Java: Late Objects
This book is an introduction to Java and computer programming that focuses on the essentials—and on effective learning. The book is designed to serve a wide range of student interests and abilities and is suitable for a first course in programming for computer scientists, engineers, and students in other disciplines. No prior programming experience is required, and only a modest amount of high school algebra is needed. Here are the key features of this book:
Present fundamentals first.
The book takes a traditional route, first stressing control structures, methods, procedural decomposition, and arrays. Objects are used when appropriate in the early chapters. Students start designing and implementing their own classes in Chapter 8.
Guidance and worked examples help students succeed.
Beginning programmers often ask “How do I start? Now what do I do?” Of course, an activity as complex as programming cannot be reduced to cookbook-style instructions. However, step-by-step guidance is immensely helpful for building confidence and providing an outline for the task at hand. “Problem Solving” sections stress the importance of design and planning. “How To” guides help students with common programming tasks. Additional Worked Examples are available online.
Practice makes perfect.
Of course, programming students need to be able to implement nontrivial programs, but they first need to have the confidence that they can succeed. This book contains a substantial number of self-check questions at the end of each section. “Practice It” pointers suggest exercises to try after each section. And additional practice opportunities, including code completion questions, guided lab exercises, and skill-oriented multiple-choice questions are available online.
A visual approach motivates the reader and eases navigation.
Photographs present visual analogies that explain the nature and behavior of computer concepts. Step-bystep figures illustrate complex program operations. Syntax boxes and example tables present a variety of typical and special cases in a compact format. It is easy to get the “lay of the land” by browsing the visuals, before focusing on the textual material.
Focus on the essentials while being technically accurate.
An encyclopedic coverage is not helpful for a beginning programmer, but neither is the opposite— reducing the material to a list of simplistic bullet points. In this book, the essentials are presented in digestible chunks, with separate notes that go deeper into good practices or language features when the reader is ready for the additional information. You will not find artificial over-simplifications that give an illusion of knowledge.
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