I am almost finished a java class over at my college but am still kind of weary about taking the data structures class which is a continuation of what im doing now. my question is. if i were to pay the money and do the assigments would i be better prepared for the class? im thinking of holding off on it until the summer if i do that. thanks -mike-
The Cattle Drive has some assignments that use various data structures, but teaching you about data structures is not its main focus. It will, however, teach you how to write clean, elegant, and readable programs as well as teaching you about various other topics. Take a look at some of the assignments listed at the bottom of the page to see the various topics that are covered.
JavaBeginnersFaq "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that's why they call it the present." Eleanor Roosevelt
As Marilyn expressed, the Cattle Drive does not cover the ins and outs of data structures. After completing much of the Cattle Drive, writing programs (that are clear, clean, and easy to read and understand) is easy. Your classmates will be amazed at the grace and ease with which you quickly solve programming problems. Some may even offer to hire you as a private tutor. But let me tell you the real reason why doing the Cattle Drive is great - it's the women! Everybody knows there is nothing more attractive than that smart programmer in the class that nails each assignment, quiz, and test with ease. You'll find that you have so much free time (as you're not busy being confused by your own programs) that you'll gladly volunteer to help the occasional stressed coed programmer. The above is actually a... parody of my own experience (though, it's not an outright exaggeration). I did cover data structures and other advanced programming topics after completing much of the Cattle Drive, and it was pretty easy - in large extent due to my experience on the Trail and the great nitpicking I received. I work with computer science students at the local university every day, and nobody is learning in the classroom how to program as well as I've learned on the Cattle Drive (and by hanging out in the Saloon). I imagine that the typical focus of a computer science course is not necessarily to construct perfect/excellent programmers, but rather to develop students with strong backgrounds in computer science theories and concepts. I view the Cattle Drive as an excellent link for the student of theories to become an excellent programmer. Money is scarce when one is a student (believe me, I know as I have practiced the lifestyle for years now). I think you'll always appreciate the day you signed up for the Drive.