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Thread: Where to go after Java101?

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    Lightbulb Where to go after Java101?

    Hello,
    I have finished a Java 101 class but the most we did was create a gui for a timer program. I figure I need more training and every book I pick up wants to teach me hello world and the difference between a class and object again. Are there resources out there for people between pro and hello world?

    Thanks in advance,
    OmegaNine
    Last edited by OmegaNine; January 29th, 2014 at 08:26 PM. Reason: Grammar

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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    What do you want to do? What are your interests? What are your goals?

    The world of Java is a big place, and you could get lost exploring any number of options: applications, games, server-side, Android, etc. Which way you go from here is really up to you.
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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    I'm concerned that your introduction to the surface layer of several Java programming topics has given you the impression that you know everything there is to know between declaring variables and GUI design. You may know enough about them to move onto a new area that interests you, but I recommend you pick a subject and take more time with it, broadening your knowledge of the foundational topics as you go.

    What would you like to do, or thinking back on your 101 class, which of those topics do you still have doubts about or think you'd like to know better?

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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWorkman View Post
    What do you want to do? What are your interests? What are your goals?

    The world of Java is a big place, and you could get lost exploring any number of options: applications, games, server-side, Android, etc. Which way you go from here is really up to you.
    First off thank you for the reply...

    Sorry, I left a longer message last night, but I was not verified and it got lost in the ether somewhere.

    So I really don't know. I would like to do application development. Eventually i would like to move to game programming, but I want to get a solid understanding of Java before moving on to C++. I am sure if I am going to work as a Java Developer I will either be working on server side software or web, and I hate web development.

    SO in short, desktop development, but just because I feel like that is where I should get my legs under me.

    --- Update ---

    Quote Originally Posted by GregBrannon View Post
    I'm concerned that your introduction to the surface layer of several Java programming topics has given you the impression that you know everything there is to know between declaring variables and GUI design. You may know enough about them to move onto a new area that interests you, but I recommend you pick a subject and take more time with it, broadening your knowledge of the foundational topics as you go.

    What would you like to do, or thinking back on your 101 class, which of those topics do you still have doubts about or think you'd like to know better?
    That is the thing, I know I don't know enough about the stuff I touched on to do it well enough to get paid. But I have a few gen ed classes left and I am going to be thinking about finding work. The classes I took were Java, VB, and C#...I would much rather follow the Java line. My problem isn't that I think I know it all, I think I know more than "teach yourself java in 24 hours" has to offer, and most books i pick up are for "people that know how to turn on a computer".
    If I am going to spend 50 bucks on a book, I was hoping not to have to skim over 2/3s of it. I figure there has to be something out there for someone in the middle of "I can type" and "I am a super whiz".

    EDIT: TO be honest I took the class a year ago, I am now going over the online java doc tutorials and they are good refresher. But I have a feeling it will end with about the same place the class did and I will still be thinking "I can't be getting paid for this".

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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    Did you learn about data structures? Algorithms? Design Patterns? Networking? Multithreading? That's just a small subset of the programming world...but my advice here would be to practice. There is only so much a book or tutorial will provide, and it doesn't directly provide the learning experience of doing - such designing a project, writing code, debugging code, and especially problem solving. Take up a project - be it a project you wish to develop yourself, perhaps an open source project you wish to contribute to, and/or an exercise based project such as project Euler. Learn about new technologies and see how you can apply them in practice.

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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    Quote Originally Posted by copeg View Post
    Did you learn about data structures? Algorithms? Design Patterns? Networking? Multithreading? That's just a small subset of the programming world...but my advice here would be to practice. There is only so much a book or tutorial will provide, and it doesn't directly provide the learning experience of doing - such designing a project, writing code, debugging code, and especially problem solving. Take up a project - be it a project you wish to develop yourself, perhaps an open source project you wish to contribute to, and/or an exercise based project such as project Euler. Learn about new technologies and see how you can apply them in practice.
    Short answer is some. We went over structures, some algorithms, and a very very little about multithreading. Eluler is a place to start, some of the later ones are...wow...Laser Beam? That is insane.

    But that's a good jumping off point. I guess from there I will see if there are any open source projects that are not insane over my head. I was looking at the source code for some projects and it was so out of my reach I had to laugh. I will work on simpler stuff, IP Scanner, File renamer, junk like that for a while I guess.

    Maybe the reason I couldn't find a book for this level was at this level I should be learning by doing.

    Thanks for all the help and suggestions everyone,
    OmegaNine

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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    I agree with Copeg's advice to practice 1000%. The best way to learn how to program is by programming. Get your feet wet with a few projects on your own, maybe start building up a portfolio of little programs you can show potential employers. Work your way towards bigger projects, and figure out what you enjoy the most. And when you get stuck or aren't sure how to approach a problem, feel free to post in the forums!

    Also, I wouldn't be so sure about being forced into server-side Java. Sure, that's definitely more in demand right now, but client-side jobs are definitely out there. I work with Swing full time, and I bet if I added GWT and JavaFX to my resume, I'd get even more recruiter spam on LinkedIn.
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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWorkman View Post
    I agree with Copeg's advice to practice 1000%. The best way to learn how to program is by programming. Get your feet wet with a few projects on your own, maybe start building up a portfolio of littlee programs you can show potential employers. Work your way towards bigger projects, and figure out what you enjoy the most. And when you get stuck or aren't sure how to approach a problem, feel free to post in the forums!

    Also, I wouldn't be so sure about being forced into server-side Java. Sure, that's definitely more in demand right now, but client-side jobs are definitely out there. I work with Swing full time, and I bet if I added GWT and JavaFX to my resume, I'd get even more recruiter spam on LinkedIn.
    This is totally off topic so I might be breaking a rule, but after using .Net and seeing some of the Eclipse plug-ins I wondered...
    When you write Swing apps how much do you write by hand? Is it still 100% hand coded or are you WindowBuilder or netBeans to do most of the layout work? Just wondered and since you said you did it perfessionaly I thought I would ask.

    Thank again for all the help,
    Omega

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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    Quote Originally Posted by OmegaNine View Post
    This is totally off topic so I might be breaking a rule, but after using .Net and seeing some of the Eclipse plug-ins I wondered...
    When you write Swing apps how much do you write by hand? Is it still 100% hand coded or are you WindowBuilder or netBeans to do most of the layout work? Just wondered and since you said you did it perfessionaly I thought I would ask.

    Thank again for all the help,
    Omega
    Personally, I code everything by hand. In my experience, window builders are the root of all evil when it comes to GUIs. Novices who use them end up not understanding anything that's going on, and experienced users end up with unreadable and unmaintainable code that relies on a specific IDE, which is generally considered a bad thing.
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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWorkman View Post
    Personally, I code everything by hand. In my experience, window builders are the root of all evil when it comes to GUIs. Novices who use them end up not understanding anything that's going on, and experienced users end up with unreadable and unmaintainable code that relies on a specific IDE, which is generally considered a bad thing.

    Both really great points. Reminds me of the FrontPage days. After using .Net though, I have to say, Swing can be a pain to work with. I am actually very excited for Java 8 (if it ever comes out) to see how JavaFX stacks up to the tried and true Swing libraries.

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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    Quote Originally Posted by OmegaNine View Post
    Both really great points. Reminds me of the FrontPage days. After using .Net though, I have to say, Swing can be a pain to work with. I am actually very excited for Java 8 (if it ever comes out) to see how JavaFX stacks up to the tried and true Swing libraries.
    I'm also very curious about JavaFX. I'm a little nervous because it seems to be designed for web people who are used to speaking in XML, but it's one of my goals to learn this year.

    And you don't have to wait until Java 8 to try it! It actually comes with Java 7; you just have to add the jfxrt.jar to your classpath.
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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    I too hand code my GUIs i tried the windowbuilder way but when i finished and looked at the code it was jibberish lol

    Kevin you said "maybe start building up a portfolio of little programs you can show potential employers."

    could you give some examples of that? i am trying to do that right now but not sure how big or small they should be

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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    I can't speak for people with more experience than me, but in my spare time i have written an app that uses three JFrames and three different Layouts to read, encrypt, then write a file. It can also read, decrypt then write a file. Since it has been so long, it was a nice refresher.

    My next task is going to be an IRC type chat client/server. Plan is to make a cli server and a Swing client. I think I am going to try to use the Apache GUI libraries this time though, or maybe MiG ( MiG Layout Java Layout Manager for Swing and SWT ). After using the built in Swing layouts I realized that I don't want to again without getting paid to do it There is a lot to be said for not needing to deploy dependencies though.

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    Default Re: Where to go after Java101?

    Quote Originally Posted by derekxec View Post
    Kevin you said "maybe start building up a portfolio of little programs you can show potential employers."

    could you give some examples of that? i am trying to do that right now but not sure how big or small they should be
    I mean, just go to any developer's homepage and you'll probably find an online portfolio of some kind. Mine started out at code.Kevinworkman.com, but that has since been replaced by StaticVoidGames.com. Basically, you want to be able to answer the question "what kinds of programs have you worked on in your spare time?" with "here's my homepage" instead of "well, I've done some school work".
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