Book Review : Java by comparison, how to improve your coding skills and produce quality code.

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Book : Java by Comparison, Simon Harrer

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Book Review : Java by Comparison

This is a book review of Java by comparison (you may check and buy it there https://java.by-comparison.com), an ultimate compilation of exercices and good tips for whom wants to improve their coding skills. How many books about Code have you read ? Books having a real impact on your code code , your coder philosophy ?


Book : Java by Comparison, Simon Harrer
Book : Java by Comparison, Simon Harrer

I won’t surprise anyone by enumerating the «4 essentials » books for any Java coders :

Cleancode – while is still an inspiring book – has quite aged and comes with a large deprecated section about and old frameworks.

My first impress with the Java by Comparison Book resonates with my need of examples when I created my Cleancode course not long a time ago. In a sense, would not be the ultimate goal of this book, the assistance in obtaining for any programmer the capacity to evaluate if a code is of Good quality or not ?

Programming is a passion for many, but it also deeply involves empathy and humanity.

What distinguishes a junior programmer from an experienced one ? Probably a mix of skills, communication and examples. The Java by Comparison Book provides a set of exercises, with a growing complexity, to introduce new code smells ; refactoring practices and coding tips.

A wonderful assistant for professors ?

When I was a student (more than ten years ago 🙁 ; a huge part of our education has been to produce code to achieve a certain result. Coding exercies frequently evaluated against an expected result or output. Later; I frequently wondered  : as a teacher, how could I assess and then give pointers to a student to increase his code quality ? The student may not have enough coding experience . As a teacher, my role is to provide a course session about Code quality , to give simple, effective rules and examples. The Java by Comparison book has been conceived in a set of short subjects and code examples.

Java by practice : code example
Java by comparison : code example

I do recommend to use some hours in your lessons to extract some book examples as a way to improve your audience coding level.

I am a beginner in coding, should I read it ?

To be honest, the Java by comparison reader is a coder with enough fluency in Java programming. You should know basic Java structures and syntax ; have a moderate knowledge of basic Java and the common pitfalls of programming. The introduction of the book goes straight to the point with a nice evaluation test 🙂

To sum up, I would recommend the read for every students close to have achieved their CS degree or young professionals. Below this level, the help of a teacher is required to provide enough insight and context for each example. I do not mean that the examples are tough to catch, however I recommend to use this book in the context of a real exercise or a coding project to illustrate the common bad practices.

You are a battle-hardened coder ; this book  brings the best for you

An experienced coder has no difficulty to read the book ; well -written and organized, concise and with enough explanations. This book is Java ready, it means that you may learn some tricks and useful shortcuts (Collections.frequency ugh).

The Java by Comparison book contains a huge and it has been thoroughly organized that you may find easily what you are looking for.

Personal conclusion

As I wrote in the preamble, I would have loved to get this book prior writing my Cleancode course. The Java by Comparison book contains a ton of examples and good advice to illustrate a course and lead the programming students towards the right direction.

The book is pleasant to read and things are easy to catch up. The examples are well-written and the writers have been able to point out in a concise way each code smells.

The practice orientation of this book is both a strength and a weakness. However, in my opinion, the book is perhaps missing a more abstract section about the Quality and its formal description. For example, a reference to ISO-9126- or quality metrics and how to measure them, which metrics are relevant in the Java language and how to optimize them.

I would also have appreciated some read-to-print documents like a cheat-sheet in A4 format and a code-review sheet with check boxes and places to do a . Many books are still lacking of such toolkit, that are essential for a good broadcast of the book concepts.

I think that it will my next post ; a cheat-sheet extracted from the book.

If, this review convinced you to acquire the book ; please click on the below image to go to the book store or browse https://java.by-comparison.com.

Book : Java by Comparison, Simon Harrer
Book : Java by Comparison, Simon Harrer
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About Author

about author

Sylvain Leroy

Senior Software Quality Manager and Solution Architect in Switzerland, I have previously created my own company, Tocea, in Software Quality Assurance. Now I am offering my knowledges and services in a small IT Consulting company : Byoskill and a website www.byoskill.com

Currently living in Lausanne (CH)

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