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Learning & Development

Jason Hardaway
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 11, 2011
Posts: 26

Hello, fellow ranchers. I am trying to gain more insight on the best/most efficient method (if that is even possible) to continue my knowledge base of programming/software development. The language that I'm currently utilizing is Java SE and am familiar with the basic fundamentals. At this point, I am doing a very small personal project which involves creating a GUI for a basic calculator with basic functionality(+,-,*,/) using Swing. (Although, I'm taking a 2-week break from this to read up on design patterns but I digress.) After this small project, I plan to learn JSP & Servlets and possibly switch over to PHP(maybe).

My main question is when you all are learning a language, what is the plan of execution that you use to learn and develop the knowledge to truly understand it? (I am aware that this takes time.)

I will use myself as an example. As I stated earlier, Java SE is my primary language which took me about 4-6 months to really get familiar with (I work full time so I program about 8-10 per week or more if time allows). After learning the language, I began to work on the basic calculator for about 4 weeks (as stated earlier). Now after the short 2-week break, I will continue working on the calculator for about another 4-6 weeks to get the basic functionality(implementing ActionListeners, JTextField, and such but I digress). However, after that time frame, I plan to move on to JSP/Servlets for about 4-6 weeks, then back to the calculator (assuming it did not get finished) or hopefully open source, or PHP, or another project for 4-6 weeks and so forth.

So as said earlier, what is the path that you all choose to learn and stay interested with your respective programming passion and do you all think my plan of execution of 4 to 6 weeks learning cycles is a good way to keep interest because IMHO, I feel that this will never allow boredom to set in. What do you think?

Thank you all in advance and I apologize for some of the redundancy in this message and its length. (I'm in an area where it is very loud in the background environment and it is difficult to concentrate LOL )

P.S. I have done some research for open source projects on source forge and code.google.com and I have also looked up vWorker freelancing to get a feel for what is hot at the moment and web development is on fire, thus why I was thinking about PHP. Thank you all, I appreciate your help.
Stephan van Hulst
Bartender

Joined: Sep 20, 2010
Posts: 3646
    
  16

For me, to really learn a language I need to have a project to implement using that language. If I *have* to learn a specific language (for school or work) then the project is usually provided for me. If I want to learn a language for myself, I think of a project I want to do right after reading about the basics of the language. It usually involves creating some game. I feel confident about a language when I can make the basic game mechanics work, I can make a GUI for it, and I can make two players play it through a LAN.

Learning a language without being able to apply the concepts you've learned right away simply is boring, and it won't take long for me to get tired of the language.
Jason Hardaway
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 11, 2011
Posts: 26

Stephan van Hulst wrote:For me, to really learn a language I need to have a project to implement using that language. If I *have* to learn a specific language (for school or work) then the project is usually provided for me. If I want to learn a language for myself, I think of a project I want to do right after reading about the basics of the language. It usually involves creating some game. I feel confident about a language when I can make the basic game mechanics work, I can make a GUI for it, and I can make two players play it through a LAN.

Learning a language without being able to apply the concepts you've learned right away simply is boring, and it won't take long for me to get tired of the language.


Thank you Stephan for your help . I agree totally when you said to have a project to implement using that language. I also agree that not being able to apply the concepts will make the language boring sort of like spinning your wheels or walking in a circle but not going anywhere. Thanks.
 
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subject: Learning & Development