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My Early Impression of Cattle Drive

John Abong
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2007
Posts: 79
Hey All,
While I'm not new to either programming or forums, I am new to Java and the concept of nitpicking. I just wanted to make a couple of comments.

I am in front of a computer 12 to 16 hours per day. I love every minute of it. During the day, I run a company's QA/reliability test lab. I took on programming responsibilities early in my career, here (my A.S. degree is in electronics). I have kept the data aquisition software running and have made improvements here and there. These programs talk to electronic meters, stepper motors and pc's and are written in Visual Basic 3.0. The hardware and software is now obsolete so I want to re-write everything in Java.

I have never taken a formal programming course so nitpicking will hopefully help me to create better habits as I trudge along in the cattle drive. I have good, logical, trouble-shooting skills which help me both at my main job and my second job as a computer repair technician. But if I had to pick one characteristic that makes me "better" than my peers, it would be "stick-to-it-iveness". I can focus on one problem for hours (sometimes days) until I see something that I didn't see the first 100 times I looked at it.

The satisfaction that you get from figuring something out that, at first seems impossible, is priceless. Whether it's the "Blue Screen Of Death", a missing curly brace, or a loose wire, you can bet that others have figured it out and you can too, if you don't give up.

Finding the cattle drive was alot like finding the cause of BSOD or a random code bug, in that, had I not looked just a little deeper into the Head First Java book that one day, I never would have known Javaranch existed. I know what I now know because of many failed attempts. Sometimes I'm dense and other times I'm briliant. Either way, as long as I'm learning, I'm content.

...driving from coast to coast at night when you can only see 200 feet in front of you sounds impossible, but if you just keep moving, eventually you'll get there.

So, I hope this helps shed some light on your journey. Get busy!

john
Carol Murphy
village idiot
Bartender

Joined: Mar 15, 2001
Posts: 1187
I stumbled onto the ranch by accident, and I am glad I did. The Cattle Drive experience was my only training in programming, which I do strictly as a hobby at the moment, but maybe that will change one day...............
The kind of learning one experiences from doing the drive is the kind that sticks with you, and there is a lot of pride in figuring it out on your own. That eureka moment when it all becomes clear at the end of an assignment is like a drug. ( A GOOD drug. )
Katrina Owen
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 03, 2006
Posts: 1344
    
  12
Originally posted by john abong:
I have never taken a formal programming course so nitpicking will hopefully help me to create better habits as I trudge along in the cattle drive.


I have taken a formal programming course, and I had to hand in a bunch of mandatory assignments where the only apparent criterion for approval was that the program more or less work. No feedback, no suggestions, no 'best practices', no nothing.

I've learned more in the cattle drive working on 30 lines of code than I did handing in a thousand lines of code at school.

Originally posted by john abong:
(...) "stick-to-it-iveness". I can focus on one problem for hours (sometimes days) until I see something that I didn't see the first 100 times I looked at it.

The satisfaction that you get from figuring something out that, at first seems impossible, is priceless.


Now ain't that the truth!

The cattle drive is very rewarding!
Marilyn de Queiroz
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9043
    
  10
I started out by taking formal courses. The course in C and the course were extremely elementary and the course in C++ seemed more about learning to use the IDE than about C++. Then I found JavaRanch. I sent in my first assignment and was amazed that instead of "You got 80% on this assignment", I got suggestions on how to improve my code. I was so excited that I became a nitpicker myself (after I finished the Basic 8) -- and have continued on until today.


JavaBeginnersFaq
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that's why they call it the present." Eleanor Roosevelt
Pauline McNamara
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 19, 2001
Posts: 4012
    
    6
Great to have you along on the Cattle Drive John. It's certainly been a place that has meant a lot to many of us. Indeed, some of us just never leave.

I like what you said, and most of all this:

Sometimes I'm dense and other times I'm briliant. Either way, as long as I'm learning, I'm content.


If I were into having a signature, I think I'd quote you in mine.
[ June 13, 2007: Message edited by: Pauline McNamara ]
John Abong
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2007
Posts: 79
Thank you for your encouraging responses. It's refreshing to see that there are actual people on the "other end" of the Internet.

-- I think I know what I want to be when I grow up...a kid.

Marilyn, if you ever go to Racine's or Goodfriend's, mention my name to the owners (please tell them hi for me). They'll either kick you out or give you a free drink

john
 
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