File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes Learning a new tool Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "Learning a new tool" Watch "Learning a new tool" New topic

Learning a new tool

Sumit Bisht
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 331

Hi ranchers!
How do you learn a new programming tool/language/practice?
or maybe if I generalize it to any technical gadget.What would be your answer?
Anil K Chandra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 12, 2008
Posts: 44
Play with it. See what it can do and can't do.
Bauke Scholtz
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 08, 2006
Posts: 2458
Read the forums. Read the topics with problems ones are struggling with. Try to reproduce the same problem. Try to fix it yourself.
Nitin Pathak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 25, 2006
Posts: 70
Start with the very basic. I really DO write the 'hello world' as my first step before all the other complexities.
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 15080

[ December 18, 2008: Message edited by: Jesper Young ]

Java Beginners FAQ - JavaRanch SCJP FAQ - The Java Tutorial - Java SE 8 API documentation
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Anil K Chandra:
Play with it. See what it can do and can't do.

Under no circumstances read any directions or instructions first.

First of all because that destroys the fun & play aspect.

Second, because the cuts and wounds you will receive in mis-using the new tool will be effective learning aids to help you remember key aspects of functionality. A missing finger is a small sacrifice on the altar to Knowledge.

Third, having to re-assemble or re-do work from mis-using a tool gives you an in-depth understanding of the interrelationship of system parts in a way that no other method can.
Mark Spritzler

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17276

First thing I do is put a nail and a piece of wood underneath it and see if it can hammer the nail into the wood. Then I know it really is a hammer.


Perfect World Programming, LLC - iOS Apps
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way FAQ
Rajah Nagur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 06, 2002
Posts: 239

You can't wake a person who is <b><i>pretending</i></b> to be asleep.<br />Like what <b>"it"</b> does not like - <i> Gurdjieff </i>
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Learning a new tool
It's not a secret anymore!