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How should I go about preparing?

Souvvik Basu
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Joined: Apr 05, 2010
Posts: 96
Hi,
I am 2.5 yrs into IT with about 13 months experience in Java. For the last 1 year, I am completely out of touch with Java in my job. My earlier experience included working in Struts. I hadn't learnt Struts thoroughly while working before, but had learnt enough to do the work assigned to me. Now I want to go back to Java and work in that field. But that might need changing my job, because chances of getting to work in Java in my present company are slim. I understand that I need to learn a lot in Web technology before I can think of going back to that field. While trying to do some self-study, I am totally confused.
Should I study about servlets/jsp/containers etc in general (by reading something like Head First Servlets), and then study a framework like Struts? Or should I concentrate more on working on a project in a framework and not get deeply involved in understanding these basics? (Since what I'll eventually do is work on a project, and studying a head first series book doesnt give me enough chance to do any project.)
Can you please suggest how I should go about this whole thing?

P.S. I cant afford to spare a lot of time and study everything in detail, because I am really bored of my present work, and want to change my profile soon enough. So time is an important factor for me. (But this doesn't mean I'll not do any serious study. What I want is....a study plan that'll include having the necessary knowledge yet yield quick results.)
Kr Manish
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Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
What is your idea of a "Java" job in contrast to the "framework" job ? You are taking a very very narrow view. You cannot expect to further your career if you concentrate on just one single technology/language. If you want to work in the general spectrum of Java/J2EE field, you need to know core java & jsp & servlets & MVC frameworks like struts & spring (most important modules like DI, spring security) & the list goes on.
Point is: No good successful project is JUST java or struts or similar. It consists of almost all the technologies. You HAVE to be good in the basics (core java,jsp,servlets) AND the framework side too. If you concentrate on one thing, you will not be having the bigger picture.
If the current job is not involving enough basics concepts, you should read the whole Head First JSP/Servlets, and change your company to one which offers you work in those basic stuff.


You know what I am saying ?
Souvvik Basu
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Joined: Apr 05, 2010
Posts: 96
What is your idea of a "Java" job in contrast to the "framework" job ?


I dont mean to say these are contrasting jobs. They are on the same lines. That's what I feel. But my present job has no relation whatsoever with Java. Its just a tool support work. I know core java.
When you say..I should know everything, should I first strengthen the basics before I get on with the framework? Or can both of these go hand-in-hand?
Kr Manish
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
You have to know the basics & nitty gritty details of core java/jsp/servlets anyways if you prepare to change your job. The smaller companies ask for stuff like your familiarity with a framework, and how to configure this & that & similar xml related config stuff. The better companies will not emphasize on these , infact if they use spring mvc & you know ANY mvc (struts) they are happy. They would test you MORE on the core java/data structure algorithms. Get your core java strong strong by solving progressively harder coding stuff, get basics of jsp/servlets. That is important. The framework part is not that hard.
Souvvik Basu
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Joined: Apr 05, 2010
Posts: 96
Hi Rajeev,
Thanks for your replies. I have just one more question. If I stress more on the core parts, and do that through reading a head-first servlets book ( I talk of this book because I have this book and its a nice read), will I not end up learning things piece-meal? will I not loose out on the big things? for eg, I read through the first 4 chapters of this book, and then glanced through the next 3 chapters. But I don't recall any hands-on project type stuff that they have placed (except the 3 versions of the servlet they have given in the initial chapters). My concern is...am I not remaining ignorant to something like....working with a DB (how to make connections, how to update/read the db etc)? Isnt that a very vital part of any app? I'm not sure if I'll end up getting to see how all of this actually works in the real world. I fear I'll end up having a very theory-based knowledge. And since I have had little or no work ex in Java for the last one yr, will this not be a drawback?
Kr Manish
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 138
No point in trying to read a novel when you don't even know the alphabets. Learn your a b c d's, then learn to make sentences,& then try writing a novel. Do one thing at a time. Then try to get the bigger picture and try to relate what fits where.

arulk pillai
Author
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Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3220
In my view, both hands-on experience and learning the basics must go hand-in hand. Both are very important.


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Souvvik Basu
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Joined: Apr 05, 2010
Posts: 96
Thanks Rajeev & Arulk...for the responses.
Rajeev, any other book you will suggest? or is head first good and sufficient?
Arulk, what book to follow for a hands-on learning? Can you please suggest something??
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3220
I generally google to find out tutorials and articles on the topic. There are so many good resources out there for free. If you are really after good books, go to amazon.com and search for the books and check the review comments to short-list the books.

People do have personal preferences when it comes to books. Some like more code, whilst others like more pictures, etc. So, once you have short-listed a book, get a free sample download or walk down to the local bookshop to have a quick browse through to see if you like the style, content, etc before purchasing it from your local bookshop or from online.


Check a few online advertisements to see what the prospective employers are looking for. Identify what skills you lack. Then start learning them. Once you have done some tutorials, use those skills in a self-taught or open source project. Then add those skills to your resume or CV. When you are ready to change jobs, look for opportunities to enhance those skills.
Souvvik Basu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 05, 2010
Posts: 96
Arulk,
Thanks for the suggestion. I have been searching on the net for a while now. But I'll just let you know the kind of book I am looking for, just in case you have come across such a book. I am looking for something that teaches making a project, beginning with a simple project that has all the basic features, and then going on to the more complicated aspects. Have you, by any chance, come across such a book?
arulk pillai
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3220
Souvvik,

No. Google for "eclipse JBoss tutorials" , "Eclipse tomcat tutorials", "java step by step tutorial", "NetBeans JBoss tutorials", etc. Check my website. I do have some tutorials, but I have not updated them for a while. You can fix the issues if there are any, especially maven related

 
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