on 15 January 2009
I had been following Steven Haines roadmap to becoming an Enterprise Software Developer over on InformIt. I think I've gone through 30 or so books in the past year following his advice and going on to specialise in Spring and RIA web/Ajax frameworks/toolkits. I can safely say you'd have to buy probably at least 15 individual books and supplement this with reading articles off the internet to get the equivalent diversity of coverage elsewhere. I used it to validate my acquired knowledge. It's a good mind jogger and identified a few gaps in my knowledge that I've expanded upon. I particularly liked the coverage of Design Patterns throughout the book, especially in the "How would you go about..." section.
It has a few pitfalls; in that there are countless of typos and grammatical errors.
My first impressions of this book were quite negative...
I spent my first day looking up and reading articles based on the links in the resources pages at the back of the book and was frustrated by the number of typos in the articles urls. Sometimes there wasn't even a URL just a title to track down with Google.
It also identified XDoclet as an emerging technology which I spotted when I opened book on first day and skimmed through it. It made me think. What have I purchased here!
These negative feelings were soon outweighed when I later realised how well it refreshed my memory on a vast array of topics. There are some great diagrams to pour over for a good architectural perspective on ways to develop systems.
It is showing signs of age. It's set around the time Java 5 had just come out and consequently there is not much in the way of generics in the code. It also focuses more on EJB2 than EJB3, but there is a smattering of this. Some of the articles it refers to on Hibernate are for the Hibernate 2 era too.
I've fired off all the errata to the author I found, so if LuLu prints a copy in future about 100 or so errors I spotted should hopefully be tidied up for you.
As the title for this review states. It makes a great crib sheet. It'll definately be a resource I'll refer to as a mind jogger when doing Java development and can envision it getting very dog eared over time.
It's pricey compared to other books, but you really do get good value for your money. It's more lightweight than 15 books to carry around with you too!