New to java (and programming in general)

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#1 conure  Icon User is offline

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New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:00 AM

Hey all,

I am new to programming (I have done some basics which I really enjoyed but honestly, just the tip of the iceberg stuff)

I'm starting a degree in Software Development in February and I was thinking about working through this book: http://www.amazon.co.../dp/0273771388/

which was given to me by a friend who recently finished his Computer Science BSc. Anyway, my question is, does having prior knowledge of coding (i.e that taught from this book) help on a degree course? I don't want to have to learn a load of stuff and then effectively forget it and relearn it when I start the course. I know in some subjects outside of IT this is the case....

Hope you can advise!

This post has been edited by macosxnerd101: 30 November 2012 - 06:28 AM
Reason for edit:: Removed referral link


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#2 g00se  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:12 AM

I don't know that book. It has no reviews by the looks but is in its 9th edition, so try to check out previous reviews.
Otherwise, get coding NOW and keep going. tbh, i think someone who is going to enjoy and fit into programming as a career shouldn't really need to be told that. You should really be in the position of someone who has to be told by his parents to stop gazing into a monitor and go outside and get some exercise.
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#3 conure  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:15 AM

View Postg00se, on 30 November 2012 - 04:12 AM, said:

I don't know that book. It has no reviews by the looks but is in its 9th edition, so try to check out previous reviews.
Otherwise, get coding NOW and keep going. tbh, i think someone who is going to enjoy and fit into programming as a career shouldn't really need to be told that. You should really be in the position of someone who has to be told by his parents to stop gazing into a monitor and go outside and get some exercise.


Thanks for the advice - I actually have the 8th edition which has quite good reviews. I would be a little concerned if my parents told me that as I'm 26! I have been working in finance for a few years but started doing little bits of coding which I enjoyed a lot and thought I'd go for a career change (probably toward development in finance as I have a good grasp of that industry).

Basically I've been told by some people not to study two languages, to wait for the course to start etc to avoid bad habits. Just wanted a bit more of a broad view!
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#4 g00se  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:42 AM

What is the language used on the course?
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#5 conure  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:54 AM

Java - though I've been told by quite a few people learning multiple languages will increase employability, so perhaps in my spare time it would be best to learn something else (I have had Ruby and Python recommended to me)...Provided that at an early stage it doesn't overly confuse me.
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#6 g00se  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:59 AM

Plough on with the Java for now. Concentrate on the core language before getting into the GUI areas such as Swing. The Java client side GUI is not used much in the commercial world anyway, though Java is used otherwise extensively on the server side.
Make the command line your world and don't use a Java IDE such as Netbeans or Eclipse for at least some months.

This post has been edited by g00se: 30 November 2012 - 05:00 AM

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#7 conure  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:01 AM

View Postg00se, on 30 November 2012 - 04:59 AM, said:

Plough on with the Java for now. Concentrate on the core language before getting into the GUI areas such as Swing. The Java client side GUI is not used much in the commercial world anyway, though Java is used otherwise extensively on the server side.


Thanks very much for the advice - I know it sounds like a strange question (should I practice my course before I do my course?..) but the reason I asked was because when I studied A Level Economics, I was told at University to forget everything I had learned (which proved as difficult as learning it in the first place!)

Thanks very much, I'll start progressing the Java.
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#8 g00se  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:19 AM

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(should I practice my course before I do my course?..)
Probably not. Just get basic groundwork done. I would also, if you're thinking of programming professionally, study Analysis and Design, which is language-neutral. Today, application layer programming is (or should be) object-oriented for deployments of any size, so the sooner you get into the concepts, the better.

One more thing: imo a professional programmer should know C, so, if there's any danger of avoiding doing that on your course, make sure you don't avoid it ;)

This post has been edited by g00se: 30 November 2012 - 05:24 AM
Reason for edit:: important rider

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#9 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:28 AM

Firstly, a "professional" programmer should worry about knowing how to program, not necessarily what language with which to program. While you're learning the basics, pick one language and try to stick with it. That book you have is good. The author is a great teacher.

Most certainly DO use an IDE, all the time. Would you screw a deck together with screwdriver and cut the wood with a hand saw, or would you use an electric screwdriver/drill and electric saw? Be careful, because you will get a varying amount of advice, and not all of it good.
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#10 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:31 AM

Check out my thread Getting Better at Programming Java for some good supplementary tutorials as well. :)
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#11 g00se  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:41 AM

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Would you screw a deck together with screwdriver and cut the wood with a hand saw, or would you use an electric screwdriver/drill and electric saw?
Yes you would (when starting out). Back in my day, that's exactly how we were taught with hand tools, and i can assure you that, old as i am, i'm not so ancient that my youth predates the invention of power tools ;)
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#12 Ytry  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:32 AM

I posted a thread fairly similar here a while back, and I generally got the same advice. Trust me just get into it and before you know it it won't be a matter of if you should learn it because you will not want to stop learning :)
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#13 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:41 PM

View Postg00se, on 30 November 2012 - 02:41 PM, said:

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Would you screw a deck together with screwdriver and cut the wood with a hand saw, or would you use an electric screwdriver/drill and electric saw?
Yes you would (when starting out). Back in my day, that's exactly how we were taught with hand tools, and i can assure you that, old as i am, i'm not so ancient that my youth predates the invention of power tools ;)/>


Suggesting that someone learn to code without an ide is nonsense, just as silly as letting your kid learn to shave with a straight razor over a disposable safety razor. It's just an unnecessary waste of time. Just because you could code without one, doesn't mean you should, unless your goal is to just waste time.
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#14 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:05 PM

View Postfarrell2k, on 30 November 2012 - 08:28 AM, said:

Firstly, a "professional" programmer should worry about knowing how to program, not necessarily what language with which to program. While you're learning the basics, pick one language and try to stick with it. That book you have is good. The author is a great teacher.


Agreed on both points. C is a great language to learn, but don't get distracted with it at this point. Likewise python, ruby, or whatever. Once you have one language two languages in hand and can write something in it them, you'll find that it's easier to pick up parts of other languages, but while you're learning your first language, it's more likely to be confusing than helpful if you try to do two at once.

Quote

Most certainly DO use an IDE, all the time. Would you screw a deck together with screwdriver and cut the wood with a hand saw, or would you use an electric screwdriver/drill and electric saw? Be careful, because you will get a varying amount of advice, and not all of it good.


Some skilled professional programmers do use IDE's, and that's a reasonable decision. Some don't, and that's also reasonable. Students who don't know the language shouldn't, period, and for the same reason that a beginning carpenter should learn to work with hand tools before they start using power tools: you need to have the craft before you start automating the work.

By the way, F2K and I have been to this dance before, so you should understand that this is a friendly argument - we're each going to make our case, and neither of us is going to convince the other. This is really for your benefit, so you can evaluate the arguments and make a decision.

Briefly, my position is that you should work in a plain vanilla text editor, write every bit of the code yourself, and compile it with the javac compiler, at least until you've written a non-trivial application of some sort. The reason for this is that you want to be familiar with all of the ins and outs of the java language, and to do that you don't want shortcuts. All of the things that this forces you to think about are things you want to have thought about now, when you're writing the student code, not stuff you want to have to discover later, when you're writing production code.
So this is a way to make your time as a student maximally efficient.
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#15 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: New to java (and programming in general)

Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 30 November 2012 - 08:05 PM, said:

Some skilled professional programmers do use IDE's, and that's a reasonable decision. Some don't, and that's also reasonable. Students who don't know the language shouldn't, period, and for the same reason that a beginning carpenter should learn to work with hand tools before they start using power tools: you need to have the craft before you start automating the work.


Come join the cool kids in Mac's new thread.
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