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Sams Teach Yourself Extreme Programming in 24 Hours
by Stewart Baird

1 edition
November 2002
480 pages

Reviewed by Ilja Preuss, July 2003
  (8 of 10)

This book is bigger than the typical XP book. That can be partly explained by its scope. Most chapters, of course, explain how to do XP, but there is more. It starts with a short history of software development and methodologies, reasoning about the forces that brought XP into existence. The two chapters on how to start implementing XP in your team/organization are certainly very valuable. And finally there are also discussions about alternative and complementing agile processes.

The chapters (called hours) are of mixed quality. Especially the ones about organizational aspects are quite good -- my favorite is the one about pair programming. When it comes down to actual coding, the book seems to be oddly concentrating on tools instead of practices. Unfortunately, single chapters are also a little bit confusing -- sometimes the sentences just don't connect; some of the hours would possibly have been better shortened a bit. All in all it is a nice read, though.

If you want to know how you can integrate XP in your own coding practice tomorrow, this book won't help you much. On the other hand, if you are interested in learning the concepts of the whole process, if you want to introduce XP to your team or organization, this book would give you a good kickoff. It still won't tell you all you need to know, but it will make you aware of the key concepts. And the well-compiled references will do the rest.

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Sams Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours (Covering Java 7 and Android) (6th Edition)
by Rogers Cadenhead

6 edition
October 2011
432 pages

Reviewed by Mohamed Sanaulla, May 2012
  (5 of 10)

If you are starting out learning Java, then this book is NOT for you. If you have programmed quite a bit in java then this book is NOT for you.

With the introduction above, let me start with the good points about the book:
1. A good amount of effort put in for Swing and AWT related concepts.
2. There are some exercise questions to follow after each chapter.
3. Gives some introduction on Android. This I think is good because as a beginner its appealing to know the adaption of Java language.

Now to the not so good parts:
1. Uses/Encourages the use of NetBeans IDE. Whereas beginners are not encouraged to use IDEs as they never allow you to fail.
2. No chapters on Generics and Collections. Threading covered in terms of Swing which is not the right way to cover it.
3. No try-with-resources feature of Java 7 mentioned in the exception handling section.
4. The chapter on creating Web Services using JAX-WS, parsing XML were not really required. Moreover there has been mention of REST in the JAX-WS chapter where as its using SOAP.
5. No real value added examples to back the content.
6. No good coverage of OOP concepts.

The bottom line is if you are serious about learning Java, then this book is not recommended. The content is simple to understand, but it really doesn't teach Java the right way.

And on a closing note, one can learn a language only when they spend some time learning and trying out the examples and for a language like Java learning about its API is also important.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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