Smart Tech for a better Web
Open Source Press recently published the "Java Video Training [affiliate link]". As the name suggests, it's a video series to learn Java. You can buy the training as DVD-Box or as a streaming version directly from Open Source Press. Please note: the language is german.
I was watching a part of the streaming version. Usually I consume the complete product when I review something, but it was almost impossible in this case: the training is 21 hours long and provides more than 200 lessons! It's really a lot you get for your money (around 100€ for the box, 80€ for the streaming version).
As soon as I opened the the first video, I felt quickly this is the kind of tutorial which I would expect in Universities. I know from the Fernuniversität Hagen they provide similar trainings in their courses. But this one is better.
Boris Gedat is the producer of this training and a "Sun certified Java programmer". It's pretty clear he knows how he needs to work with the new medium. Basically you'll see a screen which shows some source code. Not all at once, just what is necessary. You could say, you are doing pair programming with Boris. He patiently explains each and every line he writes while you watch it. He uses notes, arrows and the mouse pointer to explain more difficult portions of the code. From time to time his face appears on the screen, especially when he wants to draw your attention. This concept works very well and the DVD stays interesting.
The content is not only pair programming, it's also giving you some challenges and discusses the solutions. Although I believe you could make this 21 hours tutorial within a week, it is unlikely. It is too much content and there are too much challenges and exercises to do. Better calculate two weeks to make it through.
The Video Training is a perfect companion for everybody who wants to learn Java and hasn't done much programming before. It's step by step, full of examples and with great explanations. After the training you are not yet an Java expert, but you have learned a lot of it's basics to dig deeper into the language. Please note, the content focuses on Java basics only. In other terms, you'll learn about History, how to use Eclipse, some Syntax, Arrays, Objects, Inner Classes, Exceptions and Nested Classes. You'll not learn about advanced design patterns, the collections framework or other things you might need for an OCP (SCJP) exam. Therefore this Video training aims at absolute Java beginners who might also be programming beginners. If you are already an advanced programmer with knowledge in different languages you might look at a different kind of training. Students who need to get started on the other hand will benefit of this.
If you don't mind a few extra bucks, I would buy the DVD box. While the OSP website does it's duty, it's sometimes not perfect. The navigation between the modules sometimes has an hickup and is not responsive enough. It works, but not like a charm. That aside, if you plan to watch this tutorial just one or maybe two times, the streaming variant might be fine enough for you.