The book is a solid read. I’m happily giving it a 9 out of 10. And while its audience isn’t your novice or junior developer, it does serve a very specific audience, which in many ways is similar to the typical reader of TheServerSide.com. The book is perfect for the enterprise developer who’s worried that they might be falling behind on their knowledge of many of the latest developments in the Java space, including new Java 7 features, peripheral languages like Scala, Clojure and Groovy, and various Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools and techniques including Jenkins, continuous integration (CI) and test driven development (TDD).
What the Well-Grounded Developer is missing?
The book covers quite a bit in its scant 500 pages. But as I put the book down and started writing the review, I started to think about all of the things it was missing. All of a sudden I started to realize that the book didn’t mention Android at all. Who on earth writes a book about being a well-grounded Java developer and doesn’t mention Android? Clojure, Scala and Groovy each get their own, separate chapters, but there isn’t a peep about Android, which in many ways has been the only thing generating interest in the Java platform over the past couple of years.
And there’s also no mention of NoSQL based technologies either. There’s no mention of any of the big Java graph databases, document stores, Hadoop, map/reduce or anything like that. Surely a well-grounded developer needs to know something about big-data and big-content and how the Java community is architecting solutions around it.
Did they forget about the cloud?
Oh, and hey Martijn and Ben, have you ever heard of this little thing called ‘the cloud?’ Do you think maybe, just maybe, a well-grounded Java developer might want to know something about SaaS, Paas and IaaS before chatting up other developers on the team while at the water cooler?
Just thinking about all of the topics these guys left out of the book wants me to take out the kneecaps of that nine out of ten review of mine and chop it down to a three. Somebody call the copy-desk.
What do you think makes a Java developer ‘well grounded?’
In all seriousness, it’s a great read and it really does cover the key concepts with which a well-grounded Java developer needs to be familiar. But it does beg the question as to what exactly are the key knowledge and competencies that a well-grounded and well-rounded Java developer should possess in 2013.
Take a look at the table of contents for the book. Any suggestions on what you think they’re missing? I’m sure we can get them to stop the presses and release something more tailored to our liking.
The Well-Grounded Java Developer: Vital techniques of Java 7 and Polyglot Programming
By Benjamin J Evans and Martijn Verburg
Java SE 7 Programming Essentials by Michael Ernest
Scala in Depth by Joshua Suereth
Groovy in Action by Dierk König
Hibernate Made Easy by Cameron McKenzie
NoSQL Distilled by Martin Fowler