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How can I use my bus commute time to enhance my Java skills without getting ahead of keyboard time?

Gary Charles
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Joined: Oct 29, 2012
Posts: 32
I'm self-studying Java as essentially my first programming language.

Typically what I do is read some pages in my book and when I next have access to a PC run through the examples and play around, breaking things, trying to understand how things work, etc. The problem is I have more reading time than keyboard time. When I do have keyboard time, two areas that I seem to have the most trouble with is problem solving and creating algorithms for the end-of-chapter exercises. I know that I need to break the problems down to the smallest unit possible, but I still think I'm not very good at this aspect.

So, I'm looking for ideas of things I can do to increase my problem solving/creating algorithms/logic skills while I'm on the bus commuting(1.5 hours per day) and I don't have access to a computer(too bumpy for a laptop). Typically I would buy a book for something like this and I'm happy to do that but I thought I'd get the wisdom of the readers here for ideas too. I guess I don't have to work on problem solving/creating algorithms/logic skills but really anything I can do to increase my Java skills. I don't have a lot of math in my background so I've thought about just going through Algebra books again, just as one idea. One thing I don't want to do is get a book or embark on something where it too will require keyboard time since that will take away time from the Java book I'm going through.

Any other ideas?

Thank-you,
Gary
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38513
    
  23
Start with all those things we are forever telling people to do with pencil paper and eraser (search for “pencil paper eraser”). Work out algorithms on paper. Sorting algorithms, searches, loops, etc. Find some of the problems people have with loops on this website, print them out, and go through the loops with your pencil.
Gary Charles
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 29, 2012
Posts: 32
Thanks Campbell. I see what you mean now. That is a FAQ. And it doesn't cost me a thing.
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38513
    
  23
You’re welcome and I hope it helps.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
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