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Need Help becoming pro

Joe Daly
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Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 45
Hi everyone i am new to this site so sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this but anyways, i am not new to programming i am competent in core java, c++ and some other languages, but i need help at reaching a professional level at java like what should i learn, what could i do to practice, how can i test my skills at a somewhat pro level, i am very passionate about programming and software development and i would like to be able to get a job as a programmer i have searched EVERYWHERE and cannot seem to find an answer if anyone could help me i would be extremely grateful, Thanks in advanced.

oh yhea and does anyone know of any good books for learning java ee, Thanks.
Seetharaman Venkatasamy
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Joined: Jan 28, 2008
Posts: 5575

Welcome to JavaRanch Joe Daly
Joe Daly
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Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 45
Thanks
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11499
    
  16

Many folks around here swear by "Head First Java". If you are already a C++ programmer, it may be too basic, but I would still bet you'd learn a lot if you read it. Bruce Eckel's "Thinking in Java" is also a popular recommendation.

As to practice problems, we do have our own CattleDrive you can look at. The problems are all posted and free. If you want a Ranch Staff member to nit-pick your solutions, there is a modest fee that goes to paying the site's costs.


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Joe Daly
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Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 45
fred i have read like five java books and head first was one of them, i am good at core java but want to learn about java technologies that are used in the workplace like web services and java ee Thanks for the reply though
Panagiotis Kalogeropoulos
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Joined: May 27, 2011
Posts: 99

One good way to learn about new technologies is to try to apply new solutions to applications that you have already created. For instance, if you have an application that uses MySql as the database model, why not try to do that using JPA and Hibernate? Or if you have a Java Gui app, how can you make that into a web app? This will make you practice (ultimately, the best way to learn) your way through this new knowledge.

Another great option is to pass certifications. Since you are interested in web and java enterprise, you can check the Web Component Certification or the Web Services Certification. They will help you get more expertise on this area and you will also have obtained a proof of knowledge that you can use when applying for a job (many believe that certs are not so important, but it is better than nothing). See the respective forums here in coderanch for each certification to learn more about them.

Regarding the available books, there are many great ones available. Recently I stumbled upon the "Java EE 6 Development with Netbeans 7", which will guide you through the basics of Java EE along with the use of Netbeans. Recommended, since you don't have much experience on this field. I am sure that with a quick search here in Coderanch you will find out more great books.

Good start with your "Java EE adventures" and remember that the journey is worth more than the destination (more philosophical quotes later...). And don't forget to come back for any questions that you may have!
Joe Daly
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Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 45
Thank you very much i have been trying to look for good books seemingly for ever for java ee, but my main problem is how do i learn about jpa/hibernate/using mysql with java(i have some mysql experience)/web apps in general. Great reply though
Joe Daly
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Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 45
so could anyone recommend some good books for learning technologies like spring, hibernate, jpa, ect...
Thanks
Panagiotis Kalogeropoulos
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Joined: May 27, 2011
Posts: 99

Since you are interested in a wide range of technologies, I do not think that providing you with a long list of books is going to be very helpful. You can start with the book I mentioned in my previous post. It will give you the basics in all major Java EE aspects, from JSF to JPA to SOAP Web Services (and some more). You will also learn how to use NetBeans effectively to get your job done faster. Later, when you feel comfortable with the basics, you can start to read more advanced books. Here in coderanch we have many forums for everything regarding Java, so searching there for more specific (and more advanced eventually) subjects is the way to go.

Hope this helped you a little bit.
Joe Daly
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Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 45
ok then, i was just curious because when ever i look at job requirements it seems that i know everything but the java web service technologies, i wondered how all the professional programmers learned.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61766
    
  67

The vast majority of Java jobs that I see, at least in my area (Austin), are for web development. If it's employability that you are after, and you want to work in Java, that's the way to go.

Here's what I suggest: ignore JSF until much much later. It's too complicated to hit until you have a good grasp of the underlying technologies, and its use is on the wane as far as I can see. (3 of my last 4 jobs were to delete JSF monstrosities and replace them with something more reasonable and much simpler.)

Concentrate on Servlets and JSP. No Spring. No Struts. No frameworks. Until you understand JSP and servlets, frameworks will prevent learning them well. Afterwards you can concentrate on whichever frameworks seem to be in vogue for the jobs in your area.

Learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Learn them well. Anyone who thinks HTML is easy, doesn't know jack about HTML. Server-side Java developers are a dime a dozen. Developers who can code equally well on the client, as well as the server, are in high demand.

After, and only after, you have a grasp on these basic technologies should you think about frameworks.

The one exception is perhaps JPA/Hibernate. You could learn a bit about that concurrently with servlets if you need DB access (most likely in the majority of web apps).

[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

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  67

Also, familiarize yourself with the difference between web applications and web services.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
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  67

One more thing: a lot of people have suggested reading material. Reading is good. But reading isn't enough. Code, code, code, code code, code, code, and then code again.

Only by writing reams and reams of code will you become proficient in any technology. That's especially true for web applications; most likely due to the vast array of mixed technologies that are required.
Andy Jack
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Joined: Nov 22, 2012
Posts: 257
Bear Bibeault wrote:One more thing: a lot of people have suggested reading material. Reading is good. But reading isn't enough. Code, code, code, code code, code, code, and then code again.

Only by writing reams and reams of code will you become proficient in any technology. That's especially true for web applications; most likely due to the vast array of mixed technologies that are required.


Bear's point is good. I want to add some more points to it -
Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code, Code, code, code, code code, code, code,

and don't forget to code...did i say that before ?


Java Newbie with 72% in OCJP/SCJP - Super Confused Jobless Programmer.
I am a "newbie" too. Please verify my answers before you accept them.
Joe Daly
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Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 45
Thanks everyone for helping answer some questions that i have had for a while i will learn lots about jsp and serverlets i am already confident in html, css and i am learning javascript Thanks alot
Andy Jack
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Joined: Nov 22, 2012
Posts: 257
Bear Bibeault wrote:
Concentrate on Servlets and JSP. No Spring. No Struts. No frameworks. Until you understand JSP and servlets, frameworks will prevent learning them well. Afterwards you can concentrate on whichever frameworks seem to be in vogue for the jobs in your area.


Servlets and JSP ? I rarely saw them in about 100 plus java job postings. I suspect that they are not in demand. All I could see was these words combined with Java - Spring, Hibernate, Struts, JSF and some more.

Bear Bibeault wrote:
Learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Learn them well. Learn them well. Anyone who thinks HTML is easy, doesn't know jack about HTML. Server-side Java developers are a dime a dozen. Developers who can code equally well on the client, as well as the server, are in high demand.


Yes, those are seem to be in high demand. Can you give some examples/anecdotes which show that HTML is not as easy as it looks ? I barely touched HTML and I feel that it easy, never felt that about Java, C or Python.

Bear Bibeault wrote:
After, and only after, you have a grasp on these basic technologies should you think about frameworks.


Why do you recommend that order ? What are the issues or problems we might face if we do not do it that way ?

Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61766
    
  67

Andy Jack wrote:Servlets and JSP ? I rarely saw them in about 100 plus java job postings. I suspect that they are not in demand. All I could see was these words combined with Java - Spring, Hibernate, Struts, JSF and some more.

Implicit. Without a good handle on JSP and servlets, you're not going to get a foot in the door for any job requiring JSF, Struts, SpringMVC and so on.

I barely touched HTML and I feel that it easy

The analogy I use is chess. You can learn the moves in 20 minutes. But you're going to suck at it until you get a lot of experience.

Why do you recommend that order ? What are the issues or problems we might face if we do not do it that way ?

It's like saying "I want to learn Swing without having to learn Java." The frameworks are mostly based on JSP and servlets, and if you don't have a handle on those basic technologies, you're not going to be able to using the frameworks effectively.
Andy Jack
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Joined: Nov 22, 2012
Posts: 257
Bear Bibeault wrote:
Why do you recommend that order ? What are the issues or problems we might face if we do not do it that way ?

It's like saying "I want to learn Swing without having to learn Java." The frameworks are mostly based on JSP and servlets, and if you don't have a handle on those basic technologies, you're not going to be able to using the frameworks effectively.


Thanks. I did not know that spring, struts, jsf etc were based on jsp and servlets. Can you tell me which concepts from JSP and Serv are used in frameworks ? I will learn those too.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61766
    
  67

Andy Jack wrote:Can you tell me which concepts from JSP and Serv are used in frameworks ?

All of them.
Joe Daly
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Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 45
Ok then lots of helpful answers, so is there any particular book or learning resource on jsp & serverlets , my main problem is now i am worried that if i ever get a java web development job that i would go on the first day and not have a clue about what to do, is there anyway i can get rid of this worrie people said to code alot wich is what m trying to do but i cants seem to think of anything to code.
chris webster
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Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1872
    
  16

Joe Daly wrote:Ok then lots of helpful answers, so is there any particular book or learning resource on jsp & serverlets....

Head First Servlets and JSP is a great place to start. It's a few years old now, but it will give you a fast and enjoyable introduction to the core concepts and APIs, before you move on to look at the latest versions of this stuff in more detail.


No more Blub for me, thank you, Vicar.
Joe Daly
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Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 45
Thanks i will look it up, i also saw this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1890774448/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1K609DV5X0DVDK635JGF&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=317828027&pf_rd_i=468294
is it any good whats your opinion
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
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  67

I have not read that particular book, but I have not been impressed with Murach's stuff in the past. I'd also recommend the Head First book. (Disclaimer: I was a technical adviser for that book, but I feel I'm being objective when I recommend it.)

With regards to what to code: surely there's some problem in your life you'd like to have a solution to? I taught myself a lot about web apps by writing a recipe sharing web app (that's also how I taught myself Java and Swing way back in the Ice Ages as well). Perhaps something to organize your DVD collection? Balance your checkbook? Etc...
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61766
    
  67

Also, when you study JSP, even though you need to know about obsolete scriptlets to deal with legacy code, new JSPs should contain no Java code at all. Be sure that whatever you pick to learn from emphasizes the JSTL and EL for new development.
Joe Daly
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Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 45
my java ee 6 development with netbeans 7 came today so this and the head first jsp and serverlets is what i will hopefully use to get a grasp on java web development, and i know this sound stupid but could someone with experience please give me a good definition of what a web app is, how its run, where its run... ect,
that would help me out to understand a lot thanks in advanced
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
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  67

Nutshell: Java web apps are very different from Java console or Swing apps.

Almost all the code runs as a result of an HTTP request from a remote client, usually a browser. The unit of execution is a servlet, which executes in the context of a servlet container such as Tomcat or Glassfish.

The role of the servlet is control. The role of a JSP is view. The result of processing the JSP forms the response to the HTTP request.

If you want some insight on JSP, read this article.

For info on web app structure, read this article -- though this one may be a bit advanced, so don't feel bad if you don't grok everything.
Joe Daly
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Joined: Dec 18, 2012
Posts: 45
Thanks, i will read theses articles to get more of a grip, So:
browser calls jps --> which executes a serverlet on an AS like jboss, tomcat... ect
please correct me if i am wrong,
this will help me out alot because it seems every job where i live is a java web developer job
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61766
    
  67

Not quite. At a high level:
  • Browser sends request to server.
  • Server delegates request to a servlet.
  • Servlet performs any processing, including dealing with the Model.
  • Servlet forwards to JSP (or redirects to another servlet) passing any data needed.
  • JSP executes to create an HTML page.
  • HTML is sent as the response.


  • Note this is a generalization. There are times when it is deviated from but the above is what usually occurs. An example exception would be when the request is for a PDF rather than an HTML page. A JSP would not be involved in such a case.

    The second article deals with this flow.
    Joe Daly
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    Joined: Dec 18, 2012
    Posts: 45
    ohhhhh thanks i understand now, this stuff all seems very confusing i am reading this book and it seems like there is nothing to do with java or anything else so its all relatively new to me thanks for clearing stuff up.
    Joe Daly
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    Joined: Dec 18, 2012
    Posts: 45
    so how long would it take to learn about jsp, serverlets.. ect just looking for a rough figure
    Andy Jack
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    Joined: Nov 22, 2012
    Posts: 257
    chris webster wrote:
    Joe Daly wrote:Ok then lots of helpful answers, so is there any particular book or learning resource on jsp & serverlets....

    Head First Servlets and JSP is a great place to start. It's a few years old now, but it will give you a fast and enjoyable introduction to the core concepts and APIs, before you move on to look at the latest versions of this stuff in more detail.


    Good recommendation.

    To Joe Daly - Don't worry if this book is old. Maybe other books are also good, but i strongly doubt it. Those will probably confuse you and halfway through you might decide to stop reading and get a new book.

    This is what I am doing - Pick up a nice book like this, download all old versions of software and do the examples. Build your foundation with ease by using this book. After that, learn the latest versions using crappy books that were written in a boring way.

    Joe Daly
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    Joined: Dec 18, 2012
    Posts: 45
    ive recently gotten this book
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Java-EE-Development-With-NetBeans/dp/1849512701/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356080748&sr=8-1
    everything was going good until chapter 2 when in the examples it uses a SurveyData object that it hasnt explained and i get an error when typing it in netbeans
    Joe Daly
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 18, 2012
    Posts: 45
    if any one out there does web development for a living then could you please tell me how you learned?,
    i am just curious.
    Panagiotis Kalogeropoulos
    Rancher

    Joined: May 27, 2011
    Posts: 99


    ive recently gotten this book
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Java-EE-Development-With-NetBeans/dp/1849512701/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356080748&sr=8-1
    everything was going good until chapter 2 when in the examples it uses a SurveyData object that it hasnt explained and i get an error when typing it in netbeans


    I am surprised because this book is a very well written one (maybe not the best, but still a very good one). Have you checked at the source code provided with the book?
    Panagiotis Kalogeropoulos
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    Joined: May 27, 2011
    Posts: 99

    if any one out there does web development for a living then could you please tell me how you learned?,
    i am just curious.



    Easy. We were (and still are) writing lots and lots of code. You should do the same thing, write as much code as you can. Start slow: create a simple webpage with Jsp that says Hello World. If you have accomplished that, then add some more functionality to that page. Add a form with some textfields and a Submit button. When you press that button, show (either in the same page or in another page) what you have written in those textfields. When you have done that, add some more functionality. For instance, save what you have written in a database. Start playing with Sql queries and/or Hibernate. Then add some more functionality. And this is how it goes. Step by step.

    Panagiotis Kalogeropoulos
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    Joined: May 27, 2011
    Posts: 99

    ive recently gotten this book
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Java-EE-Development-With-NetBeans/dp/1849512701/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356080748&sr=8-1
    everything was going good until chapter 2 when in the examples it uses a SurveyData object that it hasnt explained and i get an error when typing it in netbeans


    Aha! I've found it! Go to page 76. There is says:
    "SurveyData is a very simple JavaBean with two private properties and
    corresponding getters and setters. Since it is so simple, it is not shown, it
    is part of this book's code download."
    Joe Daly
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    Joined: Dec 18, 2012
    Posts: 45
    Great could you please provide a link to download thanks a lot i thought i was just have to skip it.
    and the book seems good but when i start reading i don't really grasp the concepts because it just throws lots of code that it hasn't explained at me, but i will try again as soon as i get the download code so i can do the examples,
    thanks
    chris webster
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 01, 2009
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      16

    Joe Daly wrote:Great could you please provide a link to download thanks a lot i thought i was just have to skip it.
    and the book seems good but when i start reading i do really grasp the concepts because it just throws lots of code that it hasn't explained at me, but i will try again as soon as i get the download code so i can do the exaples,
    thanks

    I think the link to download the code for this book will be: http://www.packtpub.com/support/7334

    But you usually have to register with Packt (the publishers) before you can download code etc.
    Joe Daly
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    Joined: Dec 18, 2012
    Posts: 45
    Thanks
     
    Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
     
    subject: Need Help becoming pro