Yuliia Tunik
Level 50
San Francisco

Five Ways To Invest $300 On Your Future Developer Career: pros, cons, and consequences

Published in the CodeGym University group
You can learn in different ways: with the help of books, videos, courses, or mentors. Which of these options is better? Let’s look at how a newbie can invest $300 in learning and developing a coder's career in different ways and choose the best option for you. Five Ways To Invest $300 On Your Future Developer Career: pros, cons, and consequences - 1

Option 1. Bookworm: Buy a Pile of Books On Programming

Books are the cheapest way to learn something. To start studying, you need to choose books that will teach you something and not waste your time. We have collected several books for beginning coders to help you learn Java fundamentals. The disadvantage of books is that although they can explain the learning material well, they can't provide you with coding practice and helpful feedback on your progress. Therefore, you will have to google more and look for coding ideas. Although some books have tasks and projects for students, they can’t cover your need in practice completely. Five Ways To Invest $300 On Your Future Developer Career: pros, cons, and consequences - 2

"It Runs in the Family" (2003) by Fred Schepisi

What you can get for $300 to learn Java programming:

Head First Java: A Brain-Friendly Guide

Price: $22-41

Head First Java is a complete learning experience in Java and object-oriented programming. It’s an excellent book for learners with no prior experience. Through puzzles, mysteries, and soul-searching interviews with famous Java objects, you'll quickly get up to speed on Java's fundamentals and advanced topics, including lambdas, streams, generics, threading, networking, and the dreaded desktop GUI.

Effective Java

Price: $29-45

In this book, Joshua Bloch explores new design patterns and language idioms. This is a required knowledge for future developers, along with the deep understanding of Lambdas, streams, generics, and collections, as well as the major features of the most popular Java language versions.

Java: The Complete Reference, Twelfth Edition


This is a book for those who gained some knowledge in Java programming. Fully updated for Java SE 17, Java: The Complete Reference explains how to develop, compile, debug, and run Java programs. Best-selling programming author Herb Schildt covers the entire Java language, including its syntax, keywords, and fundamental programming principles. You'll also find information on critical portions of the Java API library, such as I/O, the Collections Framework, the stream library, and the concurrency utilities.

Starting Out with Java: From Control Structures through Objects (What's New in Computer Science)

Price: $75-270

This book provides a step-by-step introduction to programming in Java. Author Tony Gaddis covers procedural programming – control structures and methods – before introducing object-oriented programming to ensure that students understand fundamental programming and problem-solving concepts. Every chapter contains clear and easy-to-read code listings, concise and practical real-world examples, and an abundance of exercises.

Option 2. Yoda’s Student: Online Training With a Mentor

A mentor can help get answers to complex questions that arise when reading books or writing a project. It is an excellent way to learn because you can work through the mistakes you make most often. A professional mentor will also be able to give you career development recommendations. The only drawback of this path is the cost of education. As with any individual tutoring, it will be expensive. For example, our budget of $300 is enough for 5-6 hours of training with an intermediate-level mentor at Codementor. It is not enough to master Java fully. Five Ways To Invest $300 On Your Future Developer Career: pros, cons, and consequences - 3

"Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) by Irvin Kershner

Option 3. The Lone Samurai: Solo Learning at CodeGym self-paced course

A self-paced course at CodeGym, designed as a game-like learning experience, is excellent if you have yet to gain experience in coding. It includes all the necessary Java topics and tasks and automatically checks assignments. With CodeGym, you don't have to wait a long time while a teacher checks your work: you click one button, and in a flash, you get the result and recommendations if something is wrong with your solution. This course has a good curriculum balance: it consists of 80% practice and 20% of essential Java theory. The CodeGym course includes 1,200 hands-on tasks of increasing complexity. The tasks are small, but there are lots of them. As a result, you will write tons of Java code. Five Ways To Invest $300 On Your Future Developer Career: pros, cons, and consequences - 4

"Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" (2011) by Takashi Miike

Although you'll learn independently, your training experience won't feel like you're floating alone. You have many options to interact with other students and course developers. Above all, CodeGym has a "Help" section for this. If you're stuck on a task from the course for a long time or need help understanding a complex topic, ask a question in a specific section. A self-paced course at CodeGym is a good choice for people who prefer an individual schedule. What about the price? Our budget of $300 is enough for six months of training. During this time, you can grasp the basics of Java and touch on more complex Java topics.

Option 4. Online Shopper: Java Courses at the Video course Marketplaces

You probably know a few platforms where you can buy 6-8 courses at an all-time discount, like Udemy. There are many courses on such platforms, including Java. What is unique about these courses? It is their variety and low price. Because many teachers are represented on the platform, you have a good selection of courses. Courses are taught in video format. While studying, you will get theory and a bit of practice. Five Ways To Invest $300 On Your Future Developer Career: pros, cons, and consequences - 5

"Clueless" (1995) by Amy Heckerling

Unfortunately, these courses can't provide you with the needed amount of coding practice and feedback on your progress. Also, it’s quite challenging to self-compose the proper learning program and choose the right courses if you’re a newbie. You might waste time on something that doesn’t comply with your goals. The other problem is that listening to programming basics without real coding experience is more likely to leave you with theoretical knowledge instead of programming skill. For $300, you can buy at least 6-8 courses, but maybe more.

Option 5. Dedicated Learner: Java Fundamentals course with a mentor

This course at CodeGym lasts just four months (48 hours in total), which should be enough to let you get the hang of Java basics and decide whether programming is the right move for you. The course consists of 28 90-minute online lessons and has a structured curriculum with three modules: Java Syntax, Java Core, and the Final project to add to your portfolio. Five Ways To Invest $300 On Your Future Developer Career: pros, cons, and consequences - 6

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001) by Chris Columbus

What are the benefits of this course? First of all, because the course combines regular live training sessions, many practical tasks, Java theory, and mentor support, it gives a strong knowledge of Java fundamentals in a relatively short period. Secondly, this course is good because students study in groups. They can discuss complex issues and have feedback from a mentor. Therefore, this course is suitable for those people who want a fixed study schedule and motivation from a mentor. Our $300 budget will nearly cover the cost of a course that will help you understand the basics of Java programming and get a meaningful idea of ​​what steps you should take next.

Wrapping Up

We've presented several ways to spend $300 on learning Java. Which one is better? Only you can decide which one is better. We can only advise you to spend money on the training that will bring results. Five Ways To Invest $300 On Your Future Developer Career: pros, cons, and consequences - 7