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Developing a training plan - are these topics superfluous?

Janet Wilson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 16, 2002
Posts: 98
I am putting together a "beginning-to-learn-java" training plan (eventual goal of learning J2EE) and would like eveyone's advice on whether to include the following topics in my plan (one note-Sun certification is not a concern for us). Basically, I want to know what is "really used/not used" in the "real world applications being developed.
Should I include?:
1. Graphics class / AWT discussion (I was going to cover Swing - or should I?)
2. Applets (are they really used or are servlets the way to go?)
3. "this" keyword
Are there other topics that you remember learning in the past that you are scratching your head now saying, "why did they even cover that?"
Thanks, Janet
Dirk Schreckmann

Joined: Dec 10, 2001
Posts: 7023
If the goal is to learn J2EE, then I wouldn't spend too much time (if any) learning the AWT, Swing, or Applets. Learning GUI development is different than learning J2EE development. The overall application often does require some sort of interface, and somebody in the organization does probably need to know how to create a decent GUI. So, of course, someone in the organization needs to know Applet / Swing / AWT development, but not everybody.
However, to keep the interest of new programmers, the beginner's books I've read often do begin with introductory/basic Applet/GUI development.
Applets and servlets are different technologies with different applications. I'm not sure why I'm seeing people imply that Applets are old and servlets are the new replacement - it doesn't really make sense. Whatever is appropriate to the application should be used.
Anybody should know the proper use of the keyword this.
Take a look at the Cattle Drive. The assignments are free for anybody to practice with. The progression from the first basic Java assignment to the last JDBC assignment is a very nice learning path to follow to get an excellent introduction to J2EE.
Good Luck.

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Janet Wilson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 16, 2002
Posts: 98
Thanks for your help Dirk! You make some good points (as usual).
I will look at the Cattle Drive and see the flow that they followed.
Any opinion as to something you learned and have still not found a practical application to apply it to?
Thanks! Janet
Jessica Lang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 61
Hi Janet,
Something to share with you on what my team had done... , which I feel it could have been done better. We were introduced to this book by our team mgr. I think we should have started with a beginning book on Java...rather than on such a theoritical concept book on J2EE and UML. It is a nice book that gives an overview on J2EE and how the tools are being mapped in UML. However, I find it difficult to "visualise" how theu are being done.....which can be frustrating at times for a developer....knowing the concept but not the implementation..... Hope this can help in building your java training plan. I am interested to "see" your plan + tots....if it is possible...
Janet Wilson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 16, 2002
Posts: 98
Thanks for your info re: the book. I can see why you wouldn't recommend it as a beginner book - it gets into J2EE which I wouldn't even dream of doing until we've got the J2SE and Java 2 concepts somewhat figured out.
As for the never-ending training plan...I planned on trying to work with the JavaRanch folks to see if they would let me post it some place (it's currently an Excel spreadsheet (multiple worksheets) and Word document (accompanying doc) once I am closer to done with it. I've got a team member actually trying to do the self-study with the plan developed-to-date and we're changing around some of the order of topics covered, etc. Thanks for asking about it.
Jessica Lang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 61
I am looking forward to 'seeing' the plan....this means I will need to check this site more regular eh?...or do u have any idea on when it will be published here?
Recently, I have just gotten some notes on SL275 (SUN course) from a fren and am doing some self-study on it. I would say, it is a good + gentle start....
David Brafford
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 11, 2001
Posts: 91
>1. Graphics class / AWT discussion (I was going >to cover Swing - or should I?)
Don't both with AWT if your goal is to
eventually to to J2EE. In fact the AWT was
recently removed from the 1.4 platform
programmer certification exam.
>2. Applets (are they really used or are servlets >the way to go?)
You asked if Servlets were a better way. The
replacement for Applets is eiether a Web
front end ( using *both* JSP and Servlets
together ), or Java Webstart technology.
Don't waste your time with Applets at this
point. Applets were removed from the Programmer
Certification exam in 2000.
>3. "this" keyword
Absolutely. Cover this. Then again, and then
once again. You will see the lightbulb going
off when they understand this ( pun intended )
and can apply it to OO situations. Knowing
which object your dealing with ( and whether
it is an instance or static ) is something
that needs to be mastered upfront and early.
Using the "this" reference explicitly can
drive home the fact on which object reference
is being used.
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Janet Wilson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 16, 2002
Posts: 98
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner and saying thanks for your input.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Developing a training plan - are these topics superfluous?
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