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#1 ladyJava  Icon User is offline

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I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:37 AM

So after my first project, I realized that I SUCK at figuring out project specs.

I am a female programmer, so I'm always trying to go further and beyond to prove my worthiness.

I can admit, that understanding specs is a weak point for me right now.

I want to be able to read specs and instantly know where to start and how to finish.

I also want to become very savy with java code. Should I just read lots and lots of code, until it becomes second nature?
Is there any advice from my fellow D.I.C family?

Thanks !

ladyJava (:

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Replies To: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

#2 Ryano121  Icon User is offline

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Re: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:41 AM

It's common. After a lot of people's first project they feel overwhelmed "how can I ever remember all of this", "I would never think to do that" etc etc.

The thing you have to remember is that it is your first project. You have plenty of time. Just keep on coding. Its the best way to learn. Don't be worried about not being able to read the specs. It will come naturally when you get more comfortable and familiar with coding. As I said its common.

If this was you're 25th project then I would say maybe this is not for you. But it's your first. You will get better.
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#3 jjh08  Icon User is offline

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Re: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:56 AM

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So after my first project, I realized that I SUCK at figuring out project specs.

Don't worry about it. This will come with time.

Quote

I am a female programmer, so I'm always trying to go further and beyond to prove my worthiness.

Have you seen NeoTifa. Also, why do you feel you have to prove yourself? You should have fun with the process. Heck, the first book I read on programming was by a female author Kathy Sierra. Once again, just have fun while learning.

Quote

I can admit, that understanding specs is a weak point for me right now.

I want to be able to read specs and instantly know where to start and how to finish.

Once again, comes with time.

Quote

Should I just read lots and lots of code, until it becomes second nature?

No, you should type lots of code, until it becomes second nature. This will help you to reinforce the concepts that you are reading and you will learn and gain experience by experimenting.

The fact of the matter is you won't ever know everything because technology keeps expanding. The book I'm currently studying has over 1400 pages and the author said he had to take some things out because it was already big enough.

Just keep coding and always ask questions.
Read this blog by tlhIn`toq to get a better understanding. :)
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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:56 AM

There are two normal responses to the scope of the work involved in learning to program. One is to be overwhelmed by it all: "how can I ever learn all of this stuff?" The other is to be exhilarated by it: "look at all of this stuff! How can I learn all of it?"
If you can convert the former to the latter, it's easier, but you're never going to be completely past the "OMG, too much to learn" part. As jjh08 says, technology keeps expanding, and it's not going to stop. That's a good thing, so you might as well enjoy it.

Trying to step back and get your arms around the problem is useful sometimes. You need to know a lot of different levels: for Java, you need to know the core language, you need to know the object model, and you need to know the libraries. You also need to understand design, and it's very useful to understand computation - the algorithms and the math behind them. Once you understand Java, you'll want to learn at least one functional language - a lisp, most likely, though ML or Ruby or something can be fun too - and probably some stuff for the web stack. Understanding databases will be useful. It's very useful to get familiar with the developer's OS - linux - and to learn to make it your own. Some small languages will come in handy: perl, bash, etc.
The list ends here, only because I have to stop typing some time. I haven't mentioned build tools like ant, repository tools like svn or git, XML, and so forth. There are other languages on the JVM to learn, you might want to learn android programming, and on and on.

Now: how do you go about understanding all of this? Don't think you have to know all of it before you know anything. You'll learn it all as you need it. For now, you should be writing code every day, and always be studying something. I suggest that you study for breadth rather than depth for now: get an overview of the material before you bear down on any one area. You'll find that when you need a tool, if you have it in overview you'll know that you need to use it, and then you'll learn it in depth by deploying it.

Look at it this way: life is long. It's a good thing you'll never run out of things to learn, because that would be boring.
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#5 andrewsw  Icon User is offline

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Re: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:15 PM

Just some very general advice:

Build up a list of useful links/favourites (over time). You might have some that are for Java generally, and others that are for specific topics. (One site is never enough!)

Gather a list of useful code-snippets (over time) that you can quickly refer to. You may even find that you end up with a library of code that you can borrow from when you start a new project :)

Review your list fairly often, updating it and keeping it organised.

[You might be doing this already :) ]
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#6 raghav.naganathan  Icon User is offline

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Re: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:25 PM

First of all, you should be proud of the fact that you are a woman programmer...:)

When you feel that proud feeling in yourself, you will feel more confident about yourself as a programmer and as a beginner, try to commit as many mistakes as possible, as mistakes are what help an individual to learn...but also you need to remember not to commit the same mistake the next time...in other words, you need to learn from the mistakes that you make.

About the specs and other things that you mentioned, don't worry...you will gain all the knowledge about it as the years progress...it will come by experience.

So, right now the best thing to do is type lots and lots of code...and surely, one fine day you will see that you have become an expert. :)

regards,
Raghav
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#7 CasiOo  Icon User is offline

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Re: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:32 PM

Quote

Is there any advice from my fellow D.I.C family?

I will do this short

Stay on dreamincode and be active every day (You don't have to write any posts), check out the topics and learn from them. Start your own project and ask us for advice/help
You will end up getting straight A's

Simple as that =) dreamincode is the way to success :D
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#8 k3y  Icon User is offline

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Re: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:20 PM

View PostladyJava, on 05 February 2013 - 12:37 PM, said:

I also want to become very savy with java code. Should I just read lots and lots of code, until it becomes second nature?
Is there any advice from my fellow D.I.C family?


Howdy friend. Programming takes time to grasp, however; with practice it will get easier to conceptualize what you will have to do. For me I learn by posting questions on here and seeing from experienced programmers the suggested way to do the specific task at hand. After that I go to the oracle site, and research what they were showing/telling me about. If I am still stuck I will research the specific topic and hopefully understand the concept. However; seeming how dreamincode is the bees knees I know that someone will help me understand the concept (as long as I show that I tried). If you view the mass of information on d.i.c you will be fine =D.
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#9 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:20 PM

First of all, if the specs don't make sense then they are probably crummy specs. Specs should just make sense and written as simple as possible. I don't know why others insist on clouding them with complex words. Probably just to look smart.

Anyways... the other people pretty much summed it up. Keep practicing and don't give up on it. Things will get easier over time. You will however always run into more and more challenges and things you won't know. There is also a lot of bad practices out there and I continuously finding myself trying to correct major problems from people who should know better. Don't let that discourage you either.

Last tip... if a source of information seems to make something confusing, it is probably because they are confusing it. I find that if I go to another source and re-read the topic from another angle they can simplify it greatly. There are a lot of simple ideas which people explain in confusing ways. You don't have to put up with it.

:)
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#10 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:45 PM

You know, one danger in this field is that you can be moving along, thinking "oh, I'll never get anywhere, I'll never learn anything" and go along that way for a while before you realize just how much you've actually learned. That's very common.

One thing that really helps to prevent that - and this is for real - is answering questions on a forum like this one. If you see someone asking a question, and you have an idea that can help them, chime in.

You can learn a lot this way, because you're thinking about problems that you wouldn't otherwise be thinking about, and more importantly it's hard to feel like you're spinning your wheels when you can see yourself answering harder and harder questions, and you can feel yourself knowing the answers more and more.

So if you feel like you know an answer, chime in. We always need more people helping out. Just two things to keep in mind: if you're not sure about an answer, say so, and if you're posting code, please try running it first to make sure it works. That way we don't confuse people who are already having trouble.
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#11 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:47 PM

Programming is hard. Software design is even harder. I am still relatively new at programming, having been doing it off an on for three years as a hobby. I get discouraged all the time. I suck at design. I feel overwhelmed by the things I still do not know all the time, but motivaion is key. If it weren't for the thousands of dollars my Android app makes me, I probably would have given up on programming. You've been given great advice by the great people here - Read code, write code, and most of all, stay motivated to learn.
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#12 CasiOo  Icon User is offline

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Re: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:26 PM

View PostMartyr2, on 05 February 2013 - 10:20 PM, said:

Last tip... if a source of information seems to make something confusing, it is probably because they are confusing it. I find that if I go to another source and re-read the topic from another angle they can simplify it greatly. There are a lot of simple ideas which people explain in confusing ways. You don't have to put up with it.


That is so true
Today I was trying to find out how closures in Javascript work, but it was very poorly explained
I then found another article where I only had to read two lines, before I understood what they are and how they work
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#13 andrewsw  Icon User is offline

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Re: I'm A Little Down, Need Input

Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:26 PM

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I then found another article where I only had to read two lines, before I understood what they are and how they work

Where is this piece of magic to be found?

I found
http://tinyhippos.co...-with-examples/
although I haven't read it in detail yet.

or there is some light reading here.

Quote

A "closure" is an expression (typically a function) that can have free variables together with an environment that binds those variables (that "closes" the expression).

This post has been edited by andrewsw: 05 February 2013 - 06:27 PM

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