This Book is *Not* a Study Guide

Well, technically it is. But what I really mean is our new OCP 11 Java Programmer II Book is so much more than that. In fact, it’s my favorite book we’ve written (don’t tell my other books!) because it dives deep into some really interesting topics like streams, concurrency, I/O and NIO.2, method references, etc that people often only have passing familiarity with.

It’s not written solely for you to pass the exam (although it contains plenty of strategies/tips/tricks for that too!). For example, maybe you’ve used annotations but been too scared to write you own? This book will teach you everything you need to know about writing custom annotations like a pro. Or maybe you’ve heard about lambdas and streams but don’t really understand them well enough to use them. Completely understandable! I was once terrified to use them too, for fear of looking unintelligent (aka dumb). Now, I use lambdas, streams, and method references to accomplish in a handful of lines what used to take me pages of boiler plate code.

Whether you take and pass the exam or not (and I sincerely wish you do), I hope that by reading this book you’ll gain a greater understanding and appreciation of Java. Oh, and if you’re more just starting out, I recommend reading our OCP 11 Java Programmer I Book first. That provides a solid foundation for Java classes, methods, and polymorphism.

If I sound excited, it’s because I am really proud of this book and all of the hard work that went into making it interesting, easy-to-understand, and perhaps… a bit of fun! Purchase now on Amazon while supplies last!

OCA 8 Book: Online Material and Practice Exams now available

If you’re one of the individuals who already purchased the e-book of our OCA 8 Study Guide, you might have noticed the online materials weren’t up yet. They went up today.

If you’ve ordered a printed book, we are getting close. Amazon.com is currently predicting delivery between January 27th and February 25th. We will post again on this blog as soon as we hear of an actual US delivery. First printed book delivery was reported on January 31st.

We are also doing a book promotion at CodeRanch next week. Ask us a question and be entered to win a copy of the book.

sybex

What do the online materials include?

  1. 3 mock/practice exams (60 questions each)
  2. 2 sets of flashcards
  3. A searchable glossary
  4. Electronic versions of the assessment test and end of chapter review questions from the book

How do I register for access?

Step 1 – buy the book. Once you have an electronic copy or printed copy of the book in hand, it is easy. When going to the Sybex test bank site, you are asked to supply/create an access code. Creating one is easy. You are asked for your name and email. You are also asked to answer a question that is easy if you have the book. (Like “what is the answer to question 3 in chapter 2” or “fill in the blank from the text of figure 2.4”). Then the access code is emailed to you. It came immediately when I tested it.

With the access code, you go back to the test bank site and create an account. You get to use your email as username and the password of your choice making it easy to remember. Then you are in!

How is the test engine?

This is a new test engine from Wiley. Older books came with a CD that had a Flash based system for questions. While I’m sure this is very nice for non-coding exams, the old engine only showed a handful of lines of code on screen which was bad for programming exams. I’m SO glad they improved this before our book came out.

The new test engine is beautiful. It shows roughly as much code as the real exam. It has a timer so you know how long you have taken. (It counts up instead of down like the real exam does, but you know how long the real exam gives you so this is fine. It’s actually a good thing since Oracle likes to change the length of time allowed for the exam.) The engine lets you bookmark questions for review; as does the real exam. The whole system is intuitive and nice to use.

Author advice

  1. The engine lets you choose how many questions you want in the practice exam. I recommend taking them with the 60 questions each that are indented. A lot of thought went into which questions appear together on a practice exam and you’ll get the most realistic experience.
  2. The flashcards allow you to choose sequential or random order. I recommend random order. Just like you’d shuffle your physical flashcards to make sure you remember best.

OCA 8 Book: Online Material and Practice Exams

practice-test If you’re one of the individuals who already purchased our OCA 8 Study Guide, first we wanted to say thank you very much for your support. Jeanne and I both worked for a long time on the book and we really hope you enjoy it! Next, the Study Guide makes reference to online material available to purchasers of the book including an online glossary, flashcards, and three Practice Exams. It also includes online versions of the Assessment and Review questions found in the text of the book.

Jeanne and I wanted to let everyone know that the publisher is working on making that online material available right away, with an estimated release date of 1/25/15, less than two weeks from now. Of course, we will let you know if we hear anything sooner, but for now just sit tight, the material is being finalized.

UPDATE 1/23/2015: The online study material including practice exams has now been posted online! See this post for information.