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10 Must-Read Books for Java Developers

5 minute read
Rachel Hornay
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Are you a Java developer looking to brush up on your skills? Java is the most widely used programming language—so it’s a great language to add to your skillset.

Of course, many resources available for free, like tutorials, online courses, tips, forums, blogs, and coding examples. These resources are beneficial, but don’t forget about good old-fashioned books. Books are an excellent resource because:

  • They’re written by seasoned programmers who are credible authorities in the subject.
  • Java books are more detailed and offer more in-depth subject knowledge than what’s free and online.

This article will dive into ten must-read books on Java that you can add to your bookshelf. These Java books cover various programming areas, including core Java fundamentals, frameworks, design patterns, and so much more. These books are excellent tools for all Java developers, from beginners to advanced users.

(This article is part of our Tech Books & Talks Guide. Use the right-hand menu to navigate.)

Head First Java

Authors: Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates
Audience: Beginners

Head First JavaThis book is, hands down, the best book for Java beginners. This book is digestible and easy to understand through engaging games and quizzes. It doesn’t require you to have prior knowledge of Java.

The head-first approach of explanation is clear and concise for any reader. Head First Java addresses the essential Java programming subjects about class, object, thread, collection, and language features. The subject matter makes this book a Java Programmers bible and should be the first book worth investing in when building your Java book collection.

Java: A Beginner’s Guide

Author: Herbert Schildt
Audience: Students and novice programmers

Java: A Beginner’s Guide This beginner’s guide covers everything a Java programmer needs to know. The target audience for this book is aspiring students and novice programmers. This book describes topics in a detailed manner—without straying into too much detail.

We especially appreciate how this book engages students and beginners to think and understand Java concepts and ideas critically.

Effective Java

Author: Joshua Bloch
Audience: Devs needing a perspective shift

Effective JavaA must-have book for any Java programmer. This book is a resource for numerous practical guides for both entry-level as well as intermediate developers. For programming problems that a Java programmer may encounter regularly, this book provided concrete explanations to solve these issues. We especially like how Effective Java give you the tools to shift your perspective when handling problems—making programmers feel empowered.

Head First Design Patterns

Author: Eric Freeman
Audience: Design pattern and OOP beginners

Head First Design PatternsUnderstanding design patterns as a Java programmer is a valuable skill. This book covers:

  • The power of design patterns
  • How they solve many common problems
  • How to apply a design pattern
  • The benefits they provide in Java
  • Many helpful tips

Part of the Head First series, this book also contains many useful tools like exercises and memory maps, leading to a faster understanding of design patterns. This book is an excellent first step if you are looking to learn core Java design patterns and object-oriented design principles.

Spring in Action

Author: Craig Walls and Ryan Breidenbach
Audience: Intermediate to advanced Java programmers

Spring In ActionSpring in Action is by far the most wide-spread and widely utilized book on the Java framework in today’s programming landscape. Plus, adding Spring to your skill set can be a vital tool for growing your Java knowledge.

This book can be challenging to comprehend if you are a beginner, especially if you are not familiar with specific Java topics. Spring in Action is best for advanced Java programmers and an excellent resource as you grow and develop your skills.

Clean Code

Author: Robert C. Martin (aka Uncle Bob)
Audience: Developers with working to advanced Java knowledge

Clean CodeThis classic Java programming book illustrates better ways to write code, as hinted by the title. The book tackles understanding clean code in three sections:

  • Section 1 addresses the patterns, practices, and principles of writing clean code.
  • Section 2 details several case studies of ascending complexity, showcasing code cleanup exercises.
  • Section 3 contains a list of heuristics gathered while creating the previous chapters’ case studies.

Clean Code can help a Java developer build their knowledge base of clean code for the Java programming language.

Test-Driven: TDD and Acceptance TDD for Java Developers

Author: Lasse Koskela
Audience: Intermediate to advanced Java devs

Test DrivenIf you are looking to learn how to write unique automation testing programs, Test-Driven is an excellent resource. Java developers that prioritize code quality and writing unity, integration, and automation testing will benefit from this book.

Test-Driven delivers hands-on examples for you to test drive Java code. This book also defines acceptance test-driven development, the Fit framework, and testing Java EE components: JSPs, Servlets, and Spring Controllers.

Core Java Volume I: Fundamentals

Author: Cay S. Horstmann
Audience: Programmers seeking robust but maintainable code

Core Java: Volume 1This Java reference book offers a reader a detailed explanation of various features of Core Java, which includes:

  • Exception handling
  • Interfaces
  • Lambda expressions

Core Java highlights simple language, consciousness, and detailed example that is valuable to any Java programmer. This book will assist a programmer in developing an ability to write highly robust and maintainable code.

Java Concurrency in Practice

Author: Brian Goetz
Audience: Advanced devs

Java Concurrency in Practice Java Concurrency in Practice is one of the best Java programming books for advanced developers.

This book is essential to developing a strong understanding of concurrency and multithreading. Some book sections can be challenging to comprehend, but the concepts—concurrency and multithreading—are themselves tricky.

Thinking in Java

Author: Bruce Eckel
Audience: Intermediate to advanced Java devs

Thinking In JavaSerious about learning Object Orientated Programming? This is the book for you. In this book, Bruce Eckel teaches the Java concept with his unique Head-First teaching style. Thinking in Java is no beginner’s book, but it’s a fantastic resource for intermediate to advance developers with a desire to learn.

Still, this book is considered one of the most complete books in Java, so you can use it as an excellent reference at any stage of your programming career.

Learn Java with books

Many vital resources can kickstart your Java journey. These books may be a great way to start learning more about Java and can create a roadmap for a developer at any level of learning Java.

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About the author

Rachel Hornay

Rachel Hornay is a content strategist living in colorful Colorado. Rachel graduated with an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. She brings years of experience, working with a diverse portfolio of clients in technology and beyond, crafting content, connecting to everyone.