You may wish that you could skip the basics and move immediately to advanced topics. Teachers typically resist this and urge students to start at the beginning. If you are amenable to that sort of advice, there are a few steps you should take.
17.1.1 Get the Most Out of This Book
If you have not yet tried out the software in this book, do so. Get the software loaded on your machine, and play with it. You should be able to get the Sling environment running in less than an hour ; Section 16.3, "Sling Programming," tells how.
In addition to getting the software to run, you should experiment with extending and modifying the software. Get the ShowHello class in sjm.examples.preface to run, as as described in the "Hello World" section in the Preface. Then try creating a new language and writing a parser for it. A language like the coffee language in Chapter 5, "Parsing Data Languages," is a good place to start.
17.1.2 Other Essential Reading
In addition to this book, there are a few books that every software developer should read. You will never regret reading these:
The Java Programming Language [Arnold and Gosling]
Design Patterns [Gamma et al.]
The Unified Modeling Language User Guide [Booch et al.]
Of the many advances in recent decades, these three technologies (at least) are here to stay. If you are not conversant in Java, design patterns, and the UML, you should read these books.