Fundamentals of Programming Using Java

Edward Currie

Publisher Thomson Learning 
ISBN 978-1-84480-451-1
RRP £19.99
Reviewed by Len Keighley FBCS
Score 9 out of 10

ProgammingJava This book does exactly what it says on the cover: it takes the student, who is learning about programming for the first time, through the basics of programming and leaves the more abstract and complex aspects for a later time and a later book.

The book forms part of the publisher’s ‘FASTTRACK’ series which is aimed at both the student studying and the tutor delivering the associated subject. The books are also supported by access to additional material via the web. This is again aimed at both the student and tutor, with the sample code used in the book available, this avoiding the need for re-entry and PowerPoint slides for the use of the tutor.

Multiple choice questions on each chapter of the book are also provided for students and example exam questions for the tutors. The latter are required to register and will be supplied with an access password to ensure students do not have sight of the example exam question answers. The book also contains review questions, and answers are supplied to those questions at the rear of the book.

Emphasis must be placed on the use of the word ‘Fundamentals’ in the title of the book, as the reader is taken through an introduction to the concept of the computer program in the very first chapter, along with a short history as to where the Java language sits in terms of the other well-known programming languages.

The book consists of 12 chapters, including the first, covering the background to computer programming. The remaining 11 take the student through the programming basics of algorithms, I/O, Strings, If/Else, loops, arrays, files and for the final two chapters begins to look at classes and objects. The complexity of the concepts, and therefore the generated code, increases as the book and the student progress and this make progression very straightforward. The recommended study time for the whole book is around 20 hours.

While the book is clearly aimed at the out and out beginner it does also provide something for the experienced programmer who may be new to Java.