The best Java books for advanced and experts (2023) – Part 2

We recently introduced several Java books for advanced and experts in Part 1 that we consider the best, and even then, we knew that not all of them would fit into our first selection. It would be a great shame not to recommend a few more book titles to our Java enthusiasts, so we decided to continue with the next part.

While the first part featured excellent books focusing more on mastering the Java programming language at an expert level per se, and allow you to delve into all its nooks with the help of renowned authors recognized by the Java community, today we will focus on literature that offers a deeper look into advanced concepts, optimization, and solutions that push Java capabilities to the next level. Whether it’s topics like development through testing, Spring, writing clean code, refactoring, or applying Java multithreading programming in practice, you’re in for discovering more gem-like works.

Test-Driven Java Development (2. edition)

This book will teach you the concepts of test-driven development in Java, enabling you to create clean, maintainable, and robust code. Explore the most popular TDD tools and frameworks and become more proficient in creating applications. Create applications with better code design, fewer errors, and higher test coverage, allowing you to bring them to market faster.

Test-driven development (TDD) is a development approach that relies on the test-first procedure. It emphasizes writing a test before writing the necessary code and then refactoring and optimizing the code accordingly. The benefit of practicing TDD in combination with Java, one of the most popular programming languages, is to improve developers’ productivity, code maintainability, and performance, as well as to develop a deeper understanding of the language and its effective utilization.

Starting with the basics of TDD and understanding why its usage is beneficial, this book will guide you from the first steps of TDD in Java until you are confident enough to adopt this practice in your daily routine. The book will first guide you through setting up the tools, frameworks, and environment you need, immersing you directly into practical exercises to master one procedure, tool, or framework at a time. You will learn about the Red-Green-Refactor procedure, the pillars on which all other TDD practices are based, as well as how to write unit tests and use them as executable documentation. In this book, you will also discover how to design simple and maintainable code, work with mocks, leverage behavior-driven development, refactor outdated code, and learn how to use feature toggles to publish partially completed functionality into production. You will finish this book with a deep understanding of test-driven development methodology and the confidence to apply it in real-world programming applications using Java.

If you’re an experienced Java developer looking to implement system and application programming methods more efficiently, then the book Test-Driven Java Development (2nd edition) is for you.

Test-Driven Java Development

Test Driven: Practical TDD and Acceptance TDD for Java Developers

In test-driven development, you first write an executable test for what your application code must do. Then you write the actual code, and with the help of a passing test that motivates you, you improve the design of your code. In acceptance test-driven development (ATDD), you use the same technique to implement product features, benefiting from iterative development, fast feedback cycles, and better-defined requirements. TDD, its supportive tools, and techniques lead to faster development and better software.

The book “Test Driven” brings together practical TDD techniques gathered from the community’s years of experience under one cover. In the Java and Java EE environment, it explores TDD and ATDD techniques and mindset through examples. Carefully chosen examples are used to illustrate TDD tools and design patterns, not abstractly, but specifically in the context of the technologies we encounter in our work. It is accessible not only to beginners in TDD but also to more experienced TDD practitioners, offering both effective and lesser-known techniques. The entire code from the book is also available.

Test Driven: Practical TDD and Acceptance TDD for Java Developers

Spring in Action (6th Edition)

The sixth edition of Spring in Action is a comprehensive guide to the fundamental features of the Spring framework, all explained in Craig Walls’ amazing and clear style. Step by step, you’ll create a complete web application supported by a database, gradually mastering Spring along the way. This new edition covers the basics of Spring as well as new features such as reactive streams, Kubernetes integration, and RSocket. Whether you’re a newcomer to Spring or a veteran, you’ll make this classic bestseller your bible.

Spring is a required knowledge for Java developers. You’re asking why? This powerful framework eliminates many tedious configurations and repetitive coding tasks, making it easy to create enterprise-grade software in production quality. The latest updates bring significant productivity enhancements for microservices, reactive development, and other modern application design concepts. It’s no wonder that more than half of all Java developers use Spring.

Over the years, Spring in Action has helped tens of thousands of developers significantly increase productivity with Spring technology. This new edition of the classic bestseller covers all the new features of Spring 5.3 and Spring Boot 2.4, along with examples of reactive programming, Spring Security for REST Services, and introducing reactivity into your databases. You’ll also find the latest Spring best practices, including Spring Boot for setting up and configuring applications.

Spring in Action

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

Even bad code can work. If the code is not clean, it can bring a development organization to its knees. Every year, countless hours and significant resources are lost due to poorly written code. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Renowned software expert Robert C. Martin introduces a revolutionary paradigm with Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship. Martin, who helped make agile principles accessible from a practical perspective to tens of thousands of programmers, has teamed with his colleagues from Object Mentor to refine their best agile practice of cleaning code “on the fly” into a book that instills the values of a software craftsman in the reader, making them a better programmer—but only if they work at it.

What kind of work will you be doing? You’re going to read code – lots of code. And you’ll be challenged to think about what’s right and what’s wrong with the code. More importantly, you will be challenged to reassess your professional values and your commitment to your profession.

The clean code is divided into three parts. The first describes the principles, patterns, and practices of writing clean code. The second part consists of several case studies of increasing complexity. Each case study is an exercise in code cleanup – transforming a code base that has some problems into one that is correct and efficient. The third part is about contribution: one chapter contains a list of heuristics and code smells gathered during the creation of case studies. The result is a knowledge base that describes the way we think when writing, reading, and cleaning code.

This book is essential for every developer, software engineer, project manager, team leader, or systems analyst with an interest in creating better code.

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code (2nd Edition)

For over two decades, experienced developers worldwide have relied on Martin Fowler’s Refactoring to improve the design of existing code and enhance software maintenance, as well as simplify the understanding of existing code.

This eagerly awaited new edition has been fully updated to reflect significant changes in the programming landscape. Refactoring, 2nd edition, includes an updated catalog of refactoring techniques and features JavaScript code examples, as well as new functional examples demonstrating refactoring without classes.

Just like the original, this edition explains what refactoring is, why you should refactor, how to recognize code that needs refactoring, and how to successfully apply it, regardless of the language you’re using.

Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.“ –M. Fowler (1999)

Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code

Functional Programming in Java: Harness the Power of Streams and Lambda Expressions (2. vydanie)

Imagine you’re writing Java code that’s highly expressive, concise, easily readable, and editable, with reduced complexity. With the capabilities of functional programming in Java, this is not a fantasy. This book will guide you from the familiar imperative style through the practical aspects of functional programming using a multitude of examples. Apply the techniques you gradually learn to transform highly complex imperative code into elegant and easily understandable functional code. This edition, updated to the latest version of Java, includes four new chapters on error handling, refactoring to a functional style, data transformation, and functional programming idioms.

Don’t fight the limitations of imperative style; instead, learn to combine object-oriented programming with functional style to reduce code complexity. Utilize the features of functional programming in Java to create applications where the program reveals its intentions and your team can quickly understand and modify the code to meet changing business requirements. Unlock the power of Java lambda expressions and the Streams API to transform often written spaghetti code into highly concise, expressive, elegant, and maintainable code. See how streams make the challenging task of code parallelization easier, like shifting gears in a car when higher speed is needed.

Apply design patterns built on lambda expressions, safely manage resource allocation, learn to transform data into various forms, all while respecting immutability and providing thread safety to leverage lazy evaluation for efficiency and parallel execution for performance. Master the fundamentals, explore idioms for writing functional programs. Learn to think functionally by transforming old code into a functional style. And if your code gets stuck in problems, learn how to handle errors properly in a functional way.

Don’t drown in theory; instead, learn practical functional programming techniques to create top-notch Java code.

Functional Programming in Java

Java Concurrency in Practice

Threads are a fundamental part of the Java platform. As multi-core processors have become the norm, effectively utilizing parallel running code has become essential for creating high-performance applications. Java SE 5 and 6 were a huge step forward in the development of concurrent applications, with enhancements to the Java Virtual Machine to support high-performance, highly scalable concurrent threads and a rich set of new concurrency building blocks. In Java Concurrency in Practice, the creators of these new features not only explain how they work and how to use them, but also the motivation behind them and design patterns.

Development, testing, and debugging of multithreaded programs, however, can still be very challenging. It’s all too easy to create concurrent programs that appear to work but fail when it matters most: in production, under heavy load. Java Concurrency in Practice equips readers with theoretical foundations and concrete techniques for building reliable, scalable, and maintainable concurrent applications. Instead of simply offering an inventory of concurrent API interfaces and mechanisms, it provides design rules, patterns, and mental models that facilitate the creation of concurrent programs that are correct and efficient.

Java Concurrency in Practice

If you have your favorite developer books that have greatly influenced your career as a Java developer and you were disappointed that they didn’t appear in our series, don’t hesitate to write to us about them.

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About the author

Jozef Wagner

Java Developer Senior

Viac ako 10 rokov programujem v Jave, momentálne pracujem v msg life Slovakia ako Java programátor senior a pomáham zákazníkom implementovať ich požiadavky do poistného softvéru Life Factory. Vo voľnom čase si rád oddýchnem v lese, prípadne si zahrám nejakú dobrú počítačovú hru.

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