"Each assignment is riddled with shortcomings that make it less than useful in "the real world" - but it is a stepping stone into full usefulness." - Paul Wheaton
i am taking an "Advanced Data Structures" class using Ada95 this semester. i made a 100 on my first assignment, while some of the students made 20's, 30's and even 1 person got a "0". i must say that going through the Cattle Drive gave me the confidence to take the assignment in a new language as a simple challenge, rather than an impossible task. i could not believe how many of my classmates complained that "we don't know Ada" or "can we have until next week to turn it in..." for me, it was just a matter of picking up the Ada95 reference book, or searching through the documentation (which comes with the libraries), and writing the code. no problem. so, what i am saying is that without the Cattle Drive, i would have been intimidated with this class... but, thanks to Paul and our friendly nitpickers, i am going to breeze through this class and actually enjoy learning a new language. [ June 14, 2002: Message edited by: Greg Harris ]
Yee-Haw! Ride 'em cowboy! I totally agree with your assessment of the confidence-building benefits of doing the Cattle Drive. Although I am learning Java as my first ( and perhaps only ) programming language, without the Cattle Drive I don't think I would have gone beyond some of the more basic examples in the beginning Java books. Doing the Drive has given me confidence that even though it may take me a long time, I can figure this stuff out!
I couldn't agree more! I have an intern with me this summer and the one thing I'm focusing on teaching him is how to use the available resources rather than trying to "learn" everything under the sun. Consequently, the two things bookmarked on his computer are the Java 1.4 API and the JavaRanch style Guide!
Wait a minute, I'm trying to think of something clever to say...<p>Joel
I have never faced such careful examination of my code before. Now, I wonder, if Marilyn were to go through my test papers in school and college, would I have sailed through? Yeah to Paul, Marilyn and cattle drive I could never thank enough.
All praise goes to the nitpickers ( especially Marilyn )!! The ranch is the closest I have come to a serious curriculum in programming. And without the stress of a deadline, who could ask for more? Thank you to everyone at the ranch!!