Reviewed: May 2015
Sooner or later most coder-readers will bump into a work by Paul and Harvey Deitel (Deitel & Associates Inc). The father and son duo published a few dozens of books and recently ventured into creating video tutorials, focusing on a range of mainstream programming languages (usual mix of C, C++, C#, Java, Visual Basic with an odd publication on Python, Perl, even Swift). The target reader of Deitels’ ‘for programmers’ book series is a ‘programmer with a background in high-level language programming’. A person willing to invest time in going over a 1000-pages volume covering every aspect of a given language from fundamentals into intermediate subjects, studying numerous listings of small programs which illustrate core concepts, bare UML diagrams etc. In other words, someone, who is comfortable with a pre-Internet era style textbooks and learns best from this type of publication.
Despite these few rather minor shortcomings, Java SE 8 for Programmers is a serious offer, less dry than the Java SE 8 edition of The Java® Language Specification by Gosling, Joy, Steele, Bracha, Buckley or the 9th edition of Java The Complete Reference by Schildt. Still, I would recommend the last position, if you were looking for a reference that will serve you for a bit longer. Additionally, if your goal is to just get up to speed with Java 8, I would suggest Horstmann’s Java SE 8 for Really Impatient, Warburton’s Java 8 Lambdas if you are after the functional programming perspective as well, Liguori&Liguori’s Java 8 Pocket Guide if you are after, well… pocket guide, and finally Urma, Fusco and Mycroft’s Java 8 in Action, which is a really serious book if you are willing to dive a bit deeper.
Nonetheless, if you are in the market for an intermediate Java book that will introduce you to modern Java in an informative and engaging style, and you are ready to just skim a first few introductory chapters, the Java SE 8 for Programmers is a really good textbook; I can fairly recommend it.