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Need some advice: What path to take?

Bd Howard
Greenhorn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 80
Hello All,

This is my first post as a new member. I'll get right to the point:

I am in my early 40s, back in college seeking a CS degree. Java is used in many courses and I have come to like it, and I find it just makes sense to me ( in the OO sense that is ) so I am trying to learn it at a much deeper level than is required for school. I stumbled upon the certifications available for Java, and that got me thinking it might be a good thing to have, in order to give me a leg up on all of the "kids" I am in school with. I figure I need as many "pluses" as I can get to balance out my age when seeking employment.

So my question is, what cert is the most beneficial for a new programmer? Since I'll be looking for an entry level position, I am thinking a more general cert would be better than a more specialized cert since when I am finished with school, I don't anticipate I can be too choosy when accepting an offer. As far as my interests go, I guess I am game for anything but game programming. I've been playing video games since I got my 2600 for Christmas in 1978, but I have no interest in making games. Therefore, I see myself as more of a backend/server kind of guy, but I can't say for sure, since I've not taken any courses yet dealing with that sort of thing. I'm still learning about what makes Knuth-Morris-Pratt better than Brute Force. :-)

I'll also take any other advice you feel might be beneficial to me. Oh, someone already told me about not eating yellow snow, so I've got that one covered. ;-)

Thank you for your time,

BD


I've got just enough Java knowledge to royally screw everything up. :-)
Helen Ma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 01, 2011
Posts: 451
If you feel more comfortable with the first Java certification , you can take SCJA. Then, once you pass SCJA, try to pass SCJP.

In college, the classes in computer science like Operating systems (about multiple threading) , Object-Oriented Programming, Software Engineering, Data Structure in Java are all helpful to build a foundation for SCJP.

When I took CS courses 12 years ago, our school uses JDK 1.1. I keep learning Java programming through the class projects and reading books on my own. Then, my Java programming skills are enhanced and improved when I work as a Java developer.

From my perspective, learning Java is like a on-going process.

Bd Howard
Greenhorn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 80
Thanks for the response, Helen. :-)

I agree that Java is a "never finished" learning process. I am a bit overwhelmed with all of the built-in classes. Seems everyday I find out about one that makes my job easier/more efficient.

BD
Avinash Ga
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 13, 2011
Posts: 78

Hi Howard,

Welcome to the exciting world of java....... If you are new to the world of Object Oriented Programming then i suggest you go through some of the best java / OOPS books like The Complete Reference Java, Head First Java etc..... for newbies i suggest to read Head First Java and then to take a deep dive reading The Complete Reference Java. Once you finish these two you will no longer be a newbie ....... I suggest you to download eclipse and start practicing on that, so that you will save your time on coding and debugging...... If you need help on any topics (no matter how simple/silly or complex) we are here to help you out......

Happy Learning..............


Avinash G.A
OCP Java SE 6 Programmer, OCP Java EE 5 Web Component Developer, OCE Java EE 6 Web Services Developer, VMware Certified Core Spring 3.x Developer, EMC Proven Professional (ISM-V2)
Bd Howard
Greenhorn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 80
Thanks for the tips Ga. Is Ga your name, or your family name? My friends call me BD.

I've been able to make good headway in learning Java since I've taken a few courses that require its use. I am at the stage where I know just enough to cause real trouble for everyone. :-)

I make use of Generics, inner classes and the other "intermediate" concepts, and am actively gathering more knowledge of Java. I know I have a long way to go, and the best way to learn is to write code, so I recently joined USACO and have started solving their challenges.

Turns out there is not enough hours in the day, or so it seems. :-)

BD
Avinash Ga
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 13, 2011
Posts: 78

Hi BD,

My Name is Avinash , and i can understand your progress. Generics and Inner Classes, thats really great . I suggest you to try one program (Just for fun). it is no where related to complex OOP abstractions / encapsulation but it requires some logical thinking (which i believe is far more higher than any language.).

Ok here is the program's input.....

09hello
10hello
01aaa
01aab
01aac
9
6
12
777
1
aac
aaa
aab

after sorting you must get output as....
1
6
9
12
777
01aaa
01aab
01aac
09hello
10hello
aaa
aab
aac

this is kind of the sorting which is used in sorting some of the mp3 tracks in some mp3 players. you can use Comparable or Comparator for sorting. Im sure once you finish this you will be a master of Java Collections. Take your time enjoy sweet time with your family. And do your very best with USACO......
Bd Howard
Greenhorn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 80
I've used Comparable a bunch of times, but never Comparator. I'll need to look into that since I just had a discussion with a fellow student about Comparator, then you mention it. :-)

Right now I am learning to use Logger instead of System.out.println statements to monitor my programs.

Off to school for me,

Cheers

BD
Avinash Ga
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 13, 2011
Posts: 78

Log4j is the best logger out there.....


Good Luck......
Bd Howard
Greenhorn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 80
Why do you say that is the best logger? Is this an example where personal preference carries more weight, or does Log4j have stuff that the built in logger doesn't? Or does it boil down to ease of use?

BD
 
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