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java - a comprehensive listing of must-have....

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:27 am
by rose
The Java™ platform will be celebrating its 14th birthday soon and one side-effect when a successful and ubiquitous language reaches this kind of milestone is the widespread proliferation of libraries, tools, and ideas — this bonus can leave many newcomers to the Java language adrift in a sea of material. In this article, the author (a solid contributor to that overwhelming sea) tacks through the vast tides and presents a list of the key resources any up-and-coming Java developer should have.

Since its introduction to the programming community as a whole in 1995, the Java platform has evolved far beyond the "applets everywhere" vision that early Java pundits and evangelists imagined a Java world to be like. Instead, the Java world rose up to Swing, coalesced around servlets, rode that into J2EE, stumbled on EJB, sidestepped over to Spring and Hibernate, added generics and became more dynamic, then functionalized, and continues to grow in all sorts of interesting directions even as I write this.

Which leaves the Java programmer who didn't grow up along with the language somewhat overwhelmed.

As a speaker, blogger, consultant, and mentor, I am frequently asked by junior and intermediate programmers working in the Java space for resources to help them master this wide, complex, seemingly endless world. A few years ago, I took a stab at answering the question by posting a Recommended Reading List, but recently the Java editor at developerWorks asked me to put together a broader list of resources, not focused exclusively on books — a good idea considering that the list had grown to a point where a prospective consumer could easily spend the next decade reading them and still not make a dent in the contents.

To avoid the appearance of bias or undue influence, I decided to throw a call to the blogosphere for resources: Web sites, conferences, books, blogs, tools, anything that seemed like it would be of interest and use to Java developers as they progress in the space and might find helpful in navigating the sheer enormity of what's available.

The response was enormous (for which I thank all those who replied).

A quick note by way of explanation before we begin: These resources are not necessarily the most popular, most powerful, or most influential resources in the Java ecosystem — that list might be entirely different (though I suspect many resources would show up in both places); instead, these are the resources every up-and-coming Java developer should have in their browser, on their bookshelf, or on their calendar to attend. As with any kind of list of this sort, there is always room for reasonable debate as to what should be included that wasn't or what was included that shouldn't have been.

With no further ceremony, let us proceed. ... grsitejw22