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Assertions and assuaging fears

Matt Kidd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2002
Posts: 259
First off, whats an assertion? I never encountered this in college (2 years ago) and now I need to know it for the certification. I found an article on javaranch that explained it but I've never had to use such a thing. Industry experience was to just throw exceptions and print the stack trace. I understand their usefulness but the book I'm using to relearn Java (Java: how to program by Deitel and Deitel which is basically to get a lot of practice programming down) doesn't cover it. Any tutorials available on it.

Now for my fears. I'm two years removed from college and the victim of listening to management in regards to career path and education and the bubble bursting. As I sit here and search the web to see what I potentially need to do to get back into industry I can feel myself getting to the point of a nervous breakdown (combined with my financial troubles) . As I go through the Java book I mentioned above I realize the ability to program never left me but going through a 1200 page book to reassure myself almost seems to be doing the opposite as I don't see myself taking this exam anytime soon. I know I can do it and I'm sure I'll get a lot of help from this forum but can anyone give me some advice as to how to climb this mountain ahead of me.
Wishing I'd taken the exam like I planned/prepared to a year and a half ago,
Matt Kidd
Dirk Schreckmann

Joined: Dec 10, 2001
Posts: 7023
Your book probably doesn't cover assertions in Java because assertions are a relatively new feature of the standard Java API (since 1.4).
One decent source on learning assertions the Sun way is Sun's "Programming With Assertions" article. Otherwise, I'd suggest that you head on over to to get a better idea of how they might be used for unit testing and test-first developing.

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Dirk Schreckmann

Joined: Dec 10, 2001
Posts: 7023
As far as the job market is concerned, I like to think that waves go up and down, until they hit the shore - at which point the opportunities of the land are made available.
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
subject: Assertions and assuaging fears
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