Starting out right is incredibly important. Someone once said, "choose your parents wisely." In software development I think that we really do have a chance at choosing our proverbial parents. Choose who you learn from wisely.
Depending on what your goals are pick mentors and teachers that exemplify those goals in their careers. The way these people think will alter the way you perceive the shape of what software is and how it should be made. The way you think about this things will yield either success or doom you to failure.
If I could get a "do over" for the last year and a half I would have started with getting to know who were the big thinkers in the land of Java. I would have spent some time reading their books. I would have avoided marketing fluff and I would have looked at real world experiences. I would have talked to real Java developers.
In short I wish I could have started my journey from C & Perl programmer to Java programmer by attending a conference such as No Fluff Just Stuff. Not because it would have eliminated any confusion... but because I would have learned what other real life Java developers think. How do real life Java developers solve these problems?
It would have made all the difference in the world. Too many developers suffer from what I call "old man on the mountain" syndrome. Instead of living the life of a hermit learning only from books, spend some time in the community learning from others.