I have a couple of you that are whining about how you want me to spoon feed you more.
I'm not going to do it. The education is in the struggle. If I see that have you put forth an honest effort at trying to do what I want, sometimes I'll throw you a bone. But I REALLY don't want to hear any more whining about my methods. "I would learn better if you gave me the answer."
Effective May 1, 2001, the tuition for this course is US$200.00*. This entitles you to full nitpicking on all assignments. That's $200 for our way (pain, torture, rewriting your code to satisfy us) or $2000 for your way (you always write beautiful code, and we can never find anything to pick at).
I want to emphasize the part that talks about "pain" and "torture".
JavaRanch is a friendly place for java greenhorns. Except for the cattle drive. Arg! Hup! Hup! Hup! Hup! Drop and give me 20!
If I hear one more spec of whining, I'm gonna kick you out of the program until you fork over the other $1800.
This is supposed to be hard. I have gone to a lot of trouble to pick out assignments that should be just the right amount of hard. Overcoming the difficulty is where the real education is.
I have very little time, and when a student comes to me with crap like "to be a better teacher, you should ...." I really don't have time for that.
So: respect my time. Submit to my obnoxious, arrogant will, and I will convey to you some of my knowledge.
Think about it: the nitpicking process is VERY time consuming. I am glad to do it if you follow my instructions and value what I say and try to make this easier for me. I don't want to get into some long philosophical discussion about .... anything!
Katrina! You're being too nice! Do some growling exercises before you do your nitpicking! I want these folks toughened up a bit by the time they get to me! Shout at them! Call them names! Make them do pushups! repeat after me: "ARG! ARG! ARG! You call that readable code! That's not readable code! And I should know, I'm the one reading it! ARG!"
This is supposed to be hard work folks. Do the hard work! Arg!
(this "arg" stuff is pretty fun, I'm gonna have to do this more often)
And speaking from both my experience as a teacher and quasi-trainer of newbies in the pharmacy, your approach works better than coddling and providing answers. The focus is on the student having a number of Eureka moments that really imprint the acquired knowledge into the brain somewhere, and not just racing through the assignments and finishing quickly. Slow and torturous beats quick and painless every time.
On an interesting side note, I have been re-reading my Java2 the Complete Reference, having run out of good fiction, and I have been delightfully surprised at how fully I understand this stuff now. When I first did the drive, and was slogging my way through this book, a lot of the material was just beyond my complete understanding. Kind of like reading a book in a foreign language. I got the gist without really getting the subtle nuances. When I'm done I may even dive into those new-fangled generics and all that stuff!
And Drivers, suck it up! If you don't understand a point, start a discussion in the Cattle Drive or one of the other forums. Use this resource. You'll be amazed at how helpful other people on the ranch can be, and you'll also learn other stuff you didn't even think of asking about!
I actually saved my first nitpick from Marilyn Quiroz. I had just submitted assignment 1, and I just knew it was perfection. Then I got the nitpick. There were words like optimize and dereference and I was shattered, partly because I didn't even know what she was talking about. So I gathered up the pieces of my pride, put them in an envelope for pasting together at a later time, and started reworking Hundred. I may hold the record for attempts on that assignment, I don't know.
Believe me, if I could ride this trail from beginning to end, you can too!