I was reading another thread, and noticed that someone had mentioned that not having a Computer Science foundation can make it tough to become a successful Java developer.
This is something that I have been struggling with for quite a while, as I made a career change from Insurance Administration (I was quite bored) to programming (exciting!! ).
I went to a computer trade school which I believe prepared me well, hands on wise (not Java though). But, for some reason, I still feel that I'm missing something, and have actually been considering going back to school for a Computer Science education. But that seems to be the long way to acheive my comfort.
Does anyone have any advice on what I can do to lessen my struggle sooner? Also, what are some of the core CS topics/theories that makes a person struggle at programming if they didn't take CS?
Learning java language will make you a to say - "I know java" and if you have indepth knowledge of computers (alogs , data structures , networking , AI, discrete maths, OS etc) would make you say - "I understand java".
I do not claim that I understand java ( ) but many of the things that I have learnt in university is helping me every day.So I think that strong background is very necessary.
Lulu Carr, A quick part time correspondance course may solve your problem! [Declaimer: I have no relation what-so-ever to any of these institutes ]
I look at it as more of a GAP filling exercise for you. These days there are many GOOD recognised institutes that provide short term courses/diplomas. [By good I mean not just completing syllabus ] A quick course of 3 to 6 months should get you in a fairly good position. The point here is not to go for mere certificates!! but to go for knowledge right and find what is suited to YOU. If you really want to fix this then you need to work on it in some way else you will always have this feeling.
This will NOT be equivalent to a full time education of 3-4 years by any means but it WILL give you a good perspective of the basic concepts. The key thing is it will boost your confidence.
Try to do gap analysis of what you are missing and choose the right options. Believe me having a sound understanding of the basic concepts is critical to succeed in any field.
You have other options too but this way you will be regularly able to take out time to understand the concepts.