OiReilly & Associates, publishers of the popular OiReilly technical manuals, has released a new book called "Head First Java." The book employs humor, puzzles, and other methods to captivate the reader and promote the learning process, all to teach Java. From OiReilly:
According to the authors, the latest research in cognitive science, neurobiology, and educational psychology shows that learning at the deeper levels takes a lot more than text on a page. Actively combining words and pictures not only helps in understanding the subject, but in remembering it. The entertaining, image-rich, conversational approach used in "Head First Java" actually teaches the subject better by taking into account the way the human brain learns.
"Head First Java" isnit for everyone. Itis written for readers with some scripting or programming experience who want to learn Java and who prefer stimulating dinner party conversation to dry, technical lectures. People who believe that a technical book canit be serious if thereis a picture of a duck in the memory management section should probably back away from it.
Despite its playful appearance, "Head First Java" is serious stuff--a complete introduction to object-oriented (OO) programming and Java. Readers will learn everything from fundamentals to advanced topics, including threads, network sockets, and distributed programming with RMI. More importantly, theyill learn how to think like object-oriented developers. They wonit just be reading and solving puzzles--theyill be writing real Java, and plenty of it.
Kathy Sierra has been a master trainer for Sun Microsystems, teaching Sunis own instructors how to teach the latest Java technologies. Coauthor Bert Bates is a member of the development team for several of Sunis Java Certification exams. Together, Sierra and Bates have used the concepts in "Head First Java" to teach hundreds of trainers and developers.
"Bert and I both come from a work background in artificial intelligence," says Sierra. "We both spent years studying cognitive science, where we learned a great deal about how people think. But we saw a huge gap between the way the brain works and traditional approaches to learning. Here we were trying to get computers to work just a little more like humans, while teachers and textbooks were trying to get humans to work like computers--information processing machines you could just pour data into and get a result. Human brains donit work that way."