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Just a question from a beginner.

Tony VanHorn
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Joined: Dec 13, 2006
Posts: 74
Let me preface this with the statement that I am extremely new to any OO programming at all. I have just finished a semester in college that taught the VS.NET IDE and then some -- emphasize some-- C#.

I started reading HeadFirst Java and also the Java tutorial from sun. Both have alot of information that I kind of understand, but I still definately struggle with some of the concepts. With all that said I guess my question is:

Is there a better place to start? Or do I continue down the path I am headed and hope at some point it all begins to fall in to place?

I guess it would help if I actually had some sort of hands on expierence that could help my right brain understand what my left brain is reading. Any ideas that might get me head in the best direction would be greatly appreciated. I will have a Java class in a couple semesters, but I would definately like to get a jump on language as soon as possible.

Thanks for the time.

Tony
David McCombs
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Joined: Oct 17, 2006
Posts: 212
Write lots and lots of code.

Add on features in example programs in the books you read.

JavaRanch has something called cattle drive, check it out.

Oh and write lots of code, if I didn't mention that before.

It does not have to be a huge project, but something that emphasizes what you are learning, and is at least a little tricky in the algorithm. If you have a good grasp of other languages, learning a new one is generally much easier. Especially if that language is Object Oriented and basically a copy of Java(*cough C#)


"Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My compromise of 0.5 was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration."- Stan Kelly-Bootle
marc weber
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Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Tony VanHorn:
...I guess it would help if I actually had some sort of hands on expierence that could help my right brain understand what my left brain is reading...

I think the Head First books are the best approach for turning dry information into practical understanding (i.e., getting both sides of the brain on the same page). If it hasn't been mentioned before, writing lots of code is essential.

So I think you're on the right track! And when you have specific questions, this forum is a great place for help.


"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
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Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper
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Joined: Aug 26, 2006
Posts: 4968
    
    1

Write code, compile code, and debug your code. Start small. Don't try to boil the ocean.

Ask lots of questions, and ask good questions. If you ask good questions, you'll get some great answers.

You might even want to tackle some of the questons on the JavaRanch cattle drive. If you have problems, lots of people will help you out.

And reading head first Java is the best place to start. But you must write code and compile code. Theory is great, but practice is where you earn your salt.

Happy Java!

-Cameron McKenzie
Nick White
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Joined: Oct 09, 2006
Posts: 94
Do the cattle drive if you can.

I spent 6 months reading, and I have only made any progress since October when I started the drive.

Regards

Nick
Tony VanHorn
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Joined: Dec 13, 2006
Posts: 74
Thanks for the replies and the encouragement. I think the cattle drive is definately the way to go but the 200 ducks may take a few to get together. Either way I may go ahead and start working on the programs and when I get the money send them in to get them torn to shreds, I mean, nitpicked. But again, thanks for the replies, its nice to know that there are a group of people out there that are willing to answer/help new coders.

Tony
David McCombs
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Joined: Oct 17, 2006
Posts: 212
The assignments seem to be available for free. It is priceless having someone comb through your code and offer constructive criticisms so $200 is well worth it. I have seen self-taught people fall into the trap of thinking it must be right if the program runs correctly, this will definitely help avoid that.

So don't let the lack of funds right now slow you down.
Nicholas Jordan
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Joined: Sep 17, 2006
Posts: 1282
Originally posted by Tony VanHorn:
Is there a better place to start? Or do I continue down the path I am headed and hope at some point it all begins to fall in to place?

I guess it would help if I actually had some sort of hands on expierence

Tony

I had close to the same problem when I started, I like to tell people Object Oriented doesn't write code, you do. At least two responders advised to write code - and that is the seasoned answer to your quesiton.

Nowdays, I throw away more code than I use. What you can do is buy Practical C - or get it from the library and write fifteen different "Hello world."'s, but this is Java - we have a wider field of expertise than fifteen ways to stack things up the same way.

Heads First or any beginner book should have several source code samples that you can just type in and get some Java brewing. What that does amoung other things is get you acclimatized to coding, by giving you some programs that actually work. That really helps alot in keeping your interest.

OO has a lot of usefulness, but it gets you wrestling with concepts. Coding skill building is easily overlooked.
[ January 06, 2007: Message edited by: Nicholas Jordan ]

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