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Best Use of Down Time?

Sherban Drulea
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 05, 2002
Posts: 8
Hi,
I recently got a job as Java Developer and am experiencing serious downtime (ie. free time) in my first few weeks. It seems that I will not begin working on my first project until next week. What's the best way to spend my time while I'm waiting for something to do?
I'm considering reading the "Design Patterns" book, reading the Mughal Java cert book, coding a sample app. Any ideas/suggestions?
cheers,
Sherban
Dan Chisholm
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2002
Posts: 1865
Sherban,
Both books are great and reading either one is a great use of your time.
If you haven't yet bought a book on design patters and you are new to the subject, then you might want to take a look at a book titled "Design Patterns Explained" by Shalloway and Trott. In my opinion, it is the best entry point to the topic. In addition to just explaining the patterns, the authors lead the reader through their own attempts to do a project using standard OO techniques and then their success after applying the design pattern techniques. Another advantage is the fact that the code examples are given in both Java and C++ and the design examples are given in UML. In contrast, the original Design Patterns book by the GOF predates both Java and UML.
Of course, the book that I have suggested is not the final word on Design Patterns. I'm only suggesting that it is the best starting point--particularly for a Java programmer.


Dan Chisholm<br />SCJP 1.4<br /> <br /><a href="http://www.danchisholm.net/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Try my mock exam.</a>
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
What happened to surfing the internet for porn? (jk :-)
Good for you for making productive use of your time!
One week is probably a good time for a book. Design patterns are a great choice. Look through the bunkhouse for other ideas. Note that for books like design patterns, they are often learned well through study groups, so you may want to defer that particular book for group learning (if you'll have that opportunity in the future).
After option is try try out new tools and technologies. You may want to try a new IDE, or a profiling tool. You may want to play around with a testing tool, like JUnit. In those cases, you may want to either create a small sample application, or find a small to medium sized open source project, and apply the tool to that software.

--Mark
 
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