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Top 10 Books of All-Time for Java Programmers

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Top 10 Books of All-Time for Java Programmers

Here is a list of ten books that are essential for any Java programmers who want to improve their knowledge and understanding of Java.

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If you are a programmer and are wondering what to read to improve your knowledge of Java or become a better Java developer, then you have come to the right place. In this article, I am going to share some of the best Java books ever written. These books have withstood the test of time, becoming more and more relevant as the years go by. It doesn't matter if you read them in 2018 or plan on reading them in 2019, you will always have a lot to learn and that's why I think they are the greatest Java books of all time.

Personally, I am a big fan of reading books. I have hundreds of books and eBooks in my library. When I was a kid, I read a lot of comics, including Super Commando Dhruv, who was my favorite character because of the scientific theme in his stories and how he usually defeats his more powerful enemies by his brain, acumen, and simple knowledge of scientific facts.

My passion for books continued when I became a programmer. The first Java book I read, apart from textbooks in college, was Head First Design Pattern. This book completely changed my knowledge of Java and understanding of object-oriented programming.

Until then, I didn't understand the real use of the interface. To me, they look useless, because you can't write code to do anything there. But, after reading the book, I realized how awesome they are in terms of reducing the coupling between different parts of your program.

From that point, I have read many programming books, mostly related to Java. Today, I am going to share the 10 best Java books that every Java developer should read. Even if some knowledge is out-dated, most of the stuff you learn will help build upon your knowledge and a life-time career..

Top 10 Books of All-Time for Java Programmers

Without further ado, here is my list of some of the most popular and important books for Java programmers. If you have been a Java programmer for 2 to 3 years, it's a good chance that you have read these book already. But, if you haven't, now is the best time to read them. You will not regret investing your time and money on these books, because the payback is limitless.

1. Effective Java

There should not be any surprise here. Effective Java by Joshua Bloch is hands down best Java book ever. This is a definite must-read book for Java programmers of any experience level. You will learn so much about Java and its API then you could imagine.

The fact that Joshua Bloch himself is the author of several key Java classes and API, e.g. java.lang and Java Collection framework, is enough reason to read this book.  Along with that, his writing style is also fantastic.  


You can read this book on a beach, while traveling, or just at your desk. It's awesome. There is no doubt that you would emerge as better Java programmer after reading this book.

And the best thing is that a new edition of Effective Java is available now, which covers Java 7, 8, and 9. There cannot be a better time to read this book.

2. Clean Code

Another timeless classic for Java programmers is Clean Code. As the title suggests, it teaches you to write better code, which is such a difficult thing to learn. To be honest, it's easy to learn Java, but difficult to write better Java code which uses strong OOP principles and that's where this book helps.

Similar to Joshua Bloch, Robert C. Martin, also known as Uncle Bob, is an excellent author and shares a lot of his experience as a software developer, teaching you various programming techniques and practices that help a lot in your day-to-day job as a programmer.

3. Java Concurrency in Practice

Multithreading and concurrency is an essential part of Java programming. There is no better book than Brian Goetz's Java Concurrency in Practice to learn and master this tricky topic.

Even though the book only covers Java 5, it's still relevant and a must-read books for any serious Java developer.

Some of you may find that some of the sections are a bit difficult to understand, especially sections 3.5.1 through 3.5.6, And if that's the case, I suggest you go through the Extreme Java - Concurrency Performance course by Dr. Heinz Kabutz. This will help you to better digest and comprehend those topics.


4. Head First Design Patterns

A good knowledge of OOP and design patterns are important for writing any Java application. Head First Design Patterns is the best book for learning to do that.

As I have said before, this was one of the first books I ever read on Java, apart from textbooks. After reading this book,  I was very impressed. This is the book that taught me why Composition is better than Inheritance and how you can change runtime behavior of a class without touching the already tried and tested code.

You might think that it's just another old book, but you don't need to worry, an updated copy that covers Java SE 8 was released a couple of years ago.

If you are serious about learning design patterns in Java, this is the book you should read!

5. Spring in Action

Sorry, but I have to include one Spring book, Spring in Action, in this list of classic books for Java programmers. Spring is the most popular Java framework ever and this is the best book to learn about the Spring framework, but — to be honest — this book is much more than a Spring book.

After reading the 4th Edition of this book, I realized so much about Java and writing better code that I can't begin to explain.

The books take a topic, e.g. JDBC, and explain where JDK went wrong and how Spring corrects that mistake, e.g. SQLException, a one-size-fits-all exception that says something is wrong but not exactly what is wrong or how to deal with that.

Like Josuha Bloch and Uncle Bob, Craig Walls is another great author and you will learn much more than just Spring by reading this book.

6. Test Driven

Automation testing is an important skill. For developers, it all starts with unit testing. Java has been blessed to have the JUnit from the start, but just knowing the library doesn't make you a professional programmer who can write tests.

It takes much more than knowing a unit testing library, like JUnit or Mockito, and that's where this book helps. If you are serious about code quality and writing unit, integration, and automation test, Test Driven is the book to read in 2018.

7. The Definitive Guide to Java Performance

Another aspect of becoming a better Java developer is knowing about JVM, Garbage collection, and performance tuning. Though there have been several good books on this topic, e.g. Java Performance by Binu John and Charlie Hunt, The Definitive Guide of Java Performance by Scott Oaks is my favorite.

Even though it only covers until JDK 7, you will learn a lot about performance tuning and JVM in general, which totally justifies the time and money you will spend on this book.

8. Head First Java

How many of you started learning Java by reading this book? Well, I did. Just after I came to know about Head First Design Pattern, I also found this book, Head First Java, and I really enjoyed reading it. I learned a lot of Java concepts and many of my misconceptions were also corrected.

Though many feel this is an out-of-date book, I still feel its a great book for anyone just starting with Java because of its unique style and content.

You can easily learn about Java 8, Java 9, and Java 10 changes on other versions once you know Java by reading this book.


9. Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design

Here is another "Head First" book in the list of the greatest Java books. Yup, they are simply awesome.

Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design forms a trilogy of the "Head First" books for Java programmers, i.e. Head First Java, Head First Design Patterns, and Head First OOAD.

It actually complements Head First Design Patterns by explaining the techniques of object-oriented programming and design.

The most important technique that I learned from this book was coding for interfaces and how to encapsulate what changes. This book simply changed how I write Java code.

10. Java: A Beginner's Guide

If you ever need a comprehensive Java book, this should be it. Even though the title says Java: A Beginner's Guide, it's one of the most complete books for learning Java.

Sir Herbert Schildt has also done a commendable job in keeping the book up-to-date, e.g. the 7th Edition of this book now covers Java 9.

Though, I don't know how he is going to keep this book up-to-date going forward, since Java's new 6-month release cycle which started with Java 10.

There you go! These are some of the best books for Java programmers. If you are a passionate Java programmer, there is a good chance that you have already read most of these books. But, if you haven't, then 2018 may be just the right time to read these books. They are absolutely awesome. You can choose the latest version of the book wherever possible, e.g. Effective Java 3rd Edition or the 7th Edition of Java: A Beginner's Guide.

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java ,books ,resources ,list ,top-10 ,performance ,developers ,spring ,object-oriented

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