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Join or Not Join?

Lei Zhang
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 10, 2007
Posts: 29
I'm reading the style guide while I'm working on EvenOrOdd right now, don't have confidence to get to the end of this cattle drive, Should I join this cattle drive? any suggests?

I need to set the SCJP 1.5 test before the end of this year, still struggling

sigh~~


Hare & Tortoise
Rory Lynch
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2007
Posts: 95
HI Lei

I first looked at java approx 2 weeks ago so I am a total novice.
I too intend to pass the SCJP this year but my real deadline is Feb.

I like you saw the Cattle Drive but was unsure.
I decided to do it and have just completed EvenOrOdd succesfully.

It has given me a lot of confidence, it is a lot of fun and you are forced to learn.
It is helping me bridge the gap between total novice and the SCJP study guide, which assumes some familiarity.

One very important point is that you have to submit your code for other people to see, it is no good writing the code yourself and then evaluating it yourself, you will allow your own bad habits to germinate and grow.

Join the drive

Rory


I wish that for just one time, you could stand inside my shoes.<br />You'd know what a drag it is to see you.
Marilyn de Queiroz
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9053
    
  12
I think the thing you need to do is to begin. Then you just put one foot in front of the other, and eventually you get to the end. It is rather daunting to look at the end from before the beginning.


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

Joined: Jul 10, 2007
Posts: 29
Originally posted by Marilyn de Queiroz:
I think the thing you need to do is to begin. Then you just put one foot in front of the other, and eventually you get to the end. It is rather daunting to look at the end from before the beginning.


I guess you're right, Marilyn. Maybe it's time for me to take a step forward.
I have a question about the style guide. Do ppl really indent space by 4 spaces in the real world?? Because it's really time-consuming to actually put 12 or 16 spaces if they're coding a for loop. Thanks in advance.
Carol Murphy
village idiot
Bartender

Joined: Mar 15, 2001
Posts: 1199
I find the coding style for the drive makes code so much easier to read and organise in my mind. The code samples I see in books and the practice tests I've looked are more difficult for me to read.
You have to get used to seeing different styles, but the 4-space indent was never a huge inconvenience for me.
I've always coded in notepad, and it still hasn't been an inconvenience.
Katrina Owen
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 03, 2006
Posts: 1367
    
  18
Originally posted by leigh zhang:
Do ppl really indent space by 4 spaces in the real world?? Because it's really time-consuming to actually put 12 or 16 spaces if they're coding a for loop. Thanks in advance.


I use a text editor that
1) automatically indents code
2) lets me tell it how much to automatically indent
3) lets me tell it to make the TAB key put in 4 spaces instead of a TAB character

This has made the indenting a non-issue.

I rarely code in windows, but when I do I use Crimson Editor, which highlights syntax, auto-indents, and probably would let you tell it how to treat TABs...
Lei Zhang
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 10, 2007
Posts: 29
Just paid the fee through pay pal! Now I'm finally jump in the saddle too.
Katrina Owen
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 03, 2006
Posts: 1367
    
  18
Welcome to the Cattle Drive

You are in for a very educational ride!
Rory Lynch
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2007
Posts: 95
Welcome along Lei, good decision.
Jinny Morris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 29, 2007
Posts: 101
Thanks, Marilyn, for pointing me to this forum. The reason I'm still "dithering" about really joining is not the nature of the assignments so much as the amount of my monthly social security check! But I'll probably give in ...
Marilyn de Queiroz
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9053
    
  12
In my opinion (as a former student and as a nitpicker), you get a lot for your money. We'd be very happy to have you on the trail with us.
Rory Lynch
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 03, 2007
Posts: 95
Here here.

If you like learning, and you dont mind someone saying that you're doing it wrong, then saddle up.

Basically, to have someone as good as these guys review your code, in fine detail and tell where it is wrong, then review it again, and again until it passes would cost a lot of money.
Plus it is fun.
Plus you get to go at your own pace.

1 tip though, flattery does not work on these guys, even subtle flattery like in the paragraph above.

The only way to get the instructors solution is to write readable efficient code that compiles and does exactly what it is supposed to do.

You cannot help but learn, and one last thing...
You get out of it what you put into it
Jinny Morris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 29, 2007
Posts: 101
Another possibility for Lei Zhang and the 4-spaces issue: I don't like to space either. I'm using emacs as an editor and discovered by copying and pasting into notebook that it's tab translates to 4 spaces - not to a tab. Which is great, at least for the moment - I've been trying to figure out how to make it tab only 2 spaces but haven't managed to yet.
John Abong
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2007
Posts: 79
Rory, doing it wrong is learning if it gets nitpicked! Lei, I've just submitted java-4b(Say). I've been working on it for months. Just yesterday a light went on and I threw away 300 lines of code and re-coded it in many, many, many fewer lines. It still must be nitpicked but even when it comes back all marked up, I know I have just gained what a software engineer friend calls "personal style" that can't be taught in school. I could have only learned it from the Cattle Drive!

Never, never, never give up!

John Abong
[ September 27, 2007: Message edited by: john abong ]
Katrina Owen
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 03, 2006
Posts: 1367
    
  18
Originally posted by john abong:
Just yesterday a light went on and I threw away 300 lines of code and re-coded it in many, many, many fewer lines.


Doesn't it feel great to toss code in large swaths like that? Gotta love those lightbulb moments!

Reminds me of that quote by Dijkstra:
(...)if we wish to count lines of code, we should not regard them as "lines produced" but as "lines spent" (...)

But sometimes it just seems like it is going to cost 500 lines. Then someone comes along and says "oh, I got that one for 20 lines over at CodeMart the other day".
John Abong
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2007
Posts: 79
It sure does, Katrina! This quote also rings true:

�If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my ax�. Abraham Lincoln


John Abong
Katrina Owen
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 03, 2006
Posts: 1367
    
  18
Very true!

Granny also has some great quotes...

One that is relevant to what I am doing at work these days is:
If you have too many special cases, you are doing it wrong.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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