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Thread: School options

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    Default School options

    As this is my first post I'd first like to say sorry if I'm using the incorrect sub-forum for my question. My question is what are some decent options to learn the language? So far I've spent some time on youtube tutorials, followed oracles tutorials most of the way through and various other tutorials. Other that I am brand new to programming, and computers in general too, so that might not be the best start for me But I'm looking into a site called javaonline.org and was curious if any of the veterans have heard of it? If not, what would be another online option with limited funds and a current full time job in mind? Any advice is greatly appreciated, oh and hello for the first time. I can't wait until i can contribute to this forum as much as i can and get my code on!


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    Crazy Cat Lady KevinWorkman's Avatar
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    Default Re: School options

    I've never heard of JavaOnline.org, but I will give you this advice: the best way to learn programming is by programming! It can be hard to put the pieces together, even if you're following a tutorial and understand the syntax perfectly, without some goal in mind. I would suggest trying to create a simple game or application, then work towards that. This will help you steer your learning and give you a direction instead of just reading tutorials.

    There are also a ton of books that walk you through the basics of creating your first game or application.

    You might also think about checking out a language called Processing, which is built on top of Java- it uses all the same syntax, but makes it easier to get something visual and responsive up and running. I wrote a few tutorials on getting started in Processing here, but they're geared more towards animation and gaming than application or enterprise programming, so it might depend on what you want to get yourself into.
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    Default Re: School options

    Thanks Kevin, unfortunately i think that's my biggest problem is that I am unsure of which route I'd like to take, because i don't know enough about programming to even know which options to consider. The whole reason I'd like to learn is to work towards a career change. I do not enjoy what I am doing currently. Browsing through this forum i learned that i should make the switch from an IDE to using notepad and the command prompt, which makes perfect sense to give me a deeper understanding of the code I'm writing. But the reason I'm considering that particular site is because I'll be graded on the lessons I've spent my time on. My code will be critiqued and i will be told what i can improve on. I've spent lot's of time and written quite a lot of very "meaningless" code so far and just feel stuck. Nothing that I have learned has given me that AH HA moment where i can see how what I'm learning can relate towards getting a job someday, if that makes sense. The hardest part for me is coming up with projects for myself, example, I'm learning inheritance and how to create objects. I made a car class and gave it certain fields that every car has, then some other classes which have additional features to add to my already made "car". This is not something that will ever be useful but it's how i can relate to things i guess. Please bare with me, It's hard to describe my frustrations when I don't know all that much, i will get better though, at least i hope

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    Default Re: School options

    Sure, that totally makes sense. Keep in mind that you can feel free to post code here for critique (I'm not sure if JavaOnline costs money, but forums are free).

    Deciding on a project to undertake can be a bit daunting, especially at the beginning when you aren't sure of what you're even capable of. But some examples might be a mobile app, a website, a desktop application, some kind of service, etc. Finding out what area of programming you're interested in will also help you refine your eventual job search. What are your interests outside of programming? Make programs around your other interests, and you'll be coding in no time. Also, these projects don't have to be your end-all-be-all of programming missions. Spend a couple weeks putting together a basic website, then use that website to showcase your other projects. Spend a couple weeks making a little game, then an application that does something useful, then maybe branch out to server development or mobile stuff. That way you can figure out what you like while you build up a portfolio, which will also help with the job hunt!

    Another thing you might want to check out is Project Euler, which gives you challenges that you submit code to complete.
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    Default Re: School options

    Making myself a project around my other interests is somewhat difficult because my interests are cars/driving, skateboarding, shooting and i used to spend a good amount of time playing COD on xbox (never played computer games, either), that is until Java took over. Although, i do also really enjoy music and have always thought making a little music player/radio widget would be very fun but i wouldn't even know where to start. Even better, I'd love to make a little music player that could access my google music so, again easier said than done for me. I just feel like i am so far away from being capable of doing anything useful yet despite having roughly 2 months of pretty determined practice under my belt. I realize this isn't something somebody can learn overnight but on the same hand i feel like the amount of hours i have put in i should be able to reflect something I'm proud of. I know one thing i need to do is read less and code more. Very glad i joined this forum, thank for not treating me like a nooblet i appreciate all the advice.

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    Default Re: School options

    I think you're dismissing your other interests as sources for programs a little too easily, in my opinion. You could build an application or website that does inventory for whatever- different types of skateboards, cars, call of duty items, etc. You could create a website that just keeps track of stuff for you, or a little program that does something like image manipulation. Remember, the point of the program is not to be the next facebook, just a little side project for yourself to give you something to work towards. Start out by making a Pong game, or that music program sounds pretty perfect.

    I'd start with the Swing Tutorials if you do want to make an application or a game (instead of an app or a website). Start very small and work your way towards something, and you'll have something to show for your efforts sooner than you might expect.
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  7. The Following User Says Thank You to KevinWorkman For This Useful Post:

    ///M Dood (August 4th, 2013)

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    Default Re: School options

    Boom, perfect. Pong sounds like an awesome starting point. I'll check out those tutorials tonight. Thanks again Kevin, you've a big help. I'm sure we'll speak again. Since you're the only person I've talked to here I'll try to resist the urge to spam you with my questions via PM's

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    Default Re: School options

    Quote Originally Posted by ///M Dood View Post
    Since you're the only person I've talked to here
    some of us remain quiet as Kevin provides you with excellent suggestions.
    Quote Originally Posted by ///M Dood View Post
    I'll try to resist the urge to spam you with my questions via PM's
    Please do, what else would we read throughout the day

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    Default Re: School options

    You could read all of the threads that say i have a problem, what would your code look like?

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    Default Re: School options

    Quote Originally Posted by ///M Dood View Post
    You could read all of the threads that say i have a problem
    Unless I am out of the country, I usually read every post on this site, (plus)
    Quote Originally Posted by ///M Dood View Post
    what would your code look like?
    Usually lengthy and boring, littered with javadoc to the point the code becomes almost hidden.

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    Default Re: School options

    I was just kidding man, the first time i browsed these forums i mostly read threads asking a question, getting a fully coded answer and you replying with the "problems with spoon feeding" thread. Which by the way makes perfect sense after reading it. I'm glad that's a rule.

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    Default Re: School options

    Quote Originally Posted by ///M Dood View Post
    Boom, perfect. Pong sounds like an awesome starting point. I'll check out those tutorials tonight. Thanks again Kevin, you've a big help. I'm sure we'll speak again. Since you're the only person I've talked to here I'll try to resist the urge to spam you with my questions via PM's
    I don't mind PMs (especially about the tutorials on my own site), but I guarantee you're better off posting your questions publicly for all to answer. I might have been the first to answer your questions here, but as you start asking more technical questions about specific problems with code, other people will definitely beat me to it. Especially if you always remember to post an SSCCE along with your question.

    And yeah, I hate it when people post spoon-fed answers, especially because most people who feel the need to do so don't actually know enough about programming to be offering solutions in the first place. Most spoon-fed answers contain a ton of problems, so beware!

    Anyway, much luck on your pong mission!
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    Default Re: School options

    Quote Originally Posted by ///M Dood View Post
    I was just kidding man
    But of course, all in fun
    Quote Originally Posted by ///M Dood View Post
    the first time i browsed these forums i mostly read threads asking a question, getting a fully coded answer and you replying with the "problems with spoon feeding" thread.
    Yes, in my opinion a very gray area. Sometimes a snippet of code is just what is needed for the OP to "get it", and sometimes the OP was just about "do my homework for me". We are challenged every day to try to filter out the "give me" from the "help me" (though sometimes it is not very clear).

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    Default Re: School options

    A. I really need to learn the multi-quote trick, fancy stuff! And B. I've been trying to read up on here to see what a well written question looks like, hopefully no bad threads started by me (except this one, obviously). Cool forums, you guys do a good job here. New to forums except for mostly lurking on bimmerforums.

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    Default Re: School options

    All I do for the multi-quote is copy and paste the quote tags multiple times, cutting the message up as I need to. You can even quote multiple people if you try hard enough!

    A well-written question is usually specific and technical, with an SSCCE that demonstrates the problem in as few lines as possible. These aren't written-in-stone rules, but they'll go a long way to getting faster and better answers. The easier it is to help you, the more likely it is you'll get help! But really as long as you put forth some effort instead of asking questions that you could have debugged or googled yourself, you should be fine. You can read about asking questions the smart way in my profile, or you can take the advice I put together here: How to Program (stuck on homework? READ THIS BEFORE POSTING)
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    Default Re: School options

    Word, I'll give it a read. On top of trying to learn java I picked up a new computer yesterday and trying to familiarize myself with it. Pretty pumped as well as confused. But I'm going to ditch eclipse all together until i have a good idea of what I'm doing. Never compiled or ran a program outside of eclipse, wish me luck!

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    Default Re: School options

    Got a mac

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    Default Re: School options

    The process will probably be pretty much the same. I don't know much about macs, but googling "java command line mac" comes back with several results that look pretty promising.
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