7 Replies - 3420 Views - Last Post: 30 July 2012 - 09:24 PM

#1 blankwall  Icon User is offline

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Starting school soon take a break or continue learning?

Posted 29 July 2012 - 11:12 PM

I start school on the 15th. Im starting an intro to java class. I have been teching myself python for the past month or so and have taken the past 2 weeks off. Do you think I should continue teaching myself and working on more advanced python projects? Or do you think I should begin learning the java language? Or lastly should I maybe just take a little time off and start again in a few weeks? I have thoroughly enjoyed learning python but am not to totally interested in moving onto pygame. What are some other areas of python I could look into? Thanks for your help.

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#2 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: Starting school soon take a break or continue learning?

Posted 29 July 2012 - 11:18 PM

Moved to Student Campus forum

As for "other areas of python"... Python is a programming language. Just like any other language, it can fulfill a lot of needs. What are you interested in? If you want to do web development, look into webpy or Django. Did you know that there's a twitter library for python? Maybe you're into math and you want to do some graphs and charts? Figure out what you want to do next! Here's a list of some python libraries that might help give you some direction.

EDIT:
One more thing. Here's a list of what one particular person thinks "Every Computer Science Major Should Know". The list is pretty intense so if you really can't come up with something, just start going through it. I'm trying to brush up on a few things here too.

This post has been edited by atraub: 29 July 2012 - 11:39 PM

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#3 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Starting school soon take a break or continue learning?

Posted 29 July 2012 - 11:55 PM

As a beginner, working in Java and python at the same time might give you a certain amount of heartburn and twisting dizzy feelings in your head - not like the ones produced by pretty girls passing by, either. More like getting socked by the pretty girls' boyfriends.
If you're taking a java course, let the python go for a little while and focus on getting the most out of the Java class. If you have spare time from java, learn more java. Python will still be there in a few months.

Some things to hit hard:
- understand the stack and the heap. What is a variable? What does it mean that you have a String s or an int i? Serious implications here, if you understand them early, you'll skip a lot of tedious mistakes.

- get clear on static and instance early on. It's not difficult, but for some reason teachers hold back from it and let their students bump into it, and that's just dumb. Learn what the terms mean, and how static members of a class differ from instance members.

- libraries: learn them. Same with python, when you get back to it: take the time to work with the useful libraries and learn what they offer, and especially to get familiar with their idiosyncracies.

- do every assignment you're given, and look for more. The more code you write, the better you'll learn the language.
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#4 CJ Siege  Icon User is offline

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Re: Starting school soon take a break or continue learning?

Posted 30 July 2012 - 03:54 AM

As Jim Harbaugh (coach of the 49ers) is fond of saying, you're either getting better or you're getting worse. As long as you've got your priorities in order (i.e. school > self-study) then I see no reason why you can't continue on with both, at least until you have the basics down. If you start to struggle with school, though, I'd focus on that, since you're paying for it and because you want that shiny new degree, right?
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#5 blankwall  Icon User is offline

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Re: Starting school soon take a break or continue learning?

Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:15 AM

Well Ive never done any java before. So im thinking I might start a basic course of it now before I got to school. I finished one whole beginner course on python and feel pretty good with it. I want to come back to it and learn more with it but I dont want to struggle with school. Any suggestions on a good place to find a java lesson?
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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Starting school soon take a break or continue learning?

Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:30 AM

If "your school" isn't a good starting place, then you've got some reconsidering to do.
If you want to get an early jump on things, the Sun tutorials are a good place to do that.
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#7 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Starting school soon take a break or continue learning?

Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:16 PM

Check out my thread Getting Better at Programming Java as well.
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#8 blankwall  Icon User is offline

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Re: Starting school soon take a break or continue learning?

Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:24 PM

Thanks for all the help. Started java today and found it surprisingly easy to pick up. I spent about 4 hours or so on it. Ill probably spend another few tomorrow with hopes to be relatively proficient by the time school starts.

[code] public class HelloWorld {
public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println("Hello, World");
}
}
{code}
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