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Thread: Nate's dumb question thread

  1. #1
    etancross is offline Member
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    Default Nate's dumb question thread

    First let me say I did to a search on my questions and wasnít able to find what I was looking for so I went to step to and decided to askÖ

    Hello, im new to Java and im taking my first class in it.

    I can see Java is very powerful and I hate to say this but honestly im just not getting it; Iíve used linux/unix, SQL, and a few other languages over the years but java just isnít sinking in. Iíve had a few classes since returning to college and my first class back is java. I feel like iím still waiting for something to click because its still like looking at a maze of letters and shapes, I understand some of it butÖ I have a few simple questions, I hope they donít make me look stupid but even if they do im going to ask anyway.

    I figured I would ask a few to start instead of just a huge barrage of questions

    The first 2 that are confusing me are:

    How do you know what class to use and when to use that class?
    How do you know when and when not to use a scanner class?

    Thanks guys

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    KevinWorkman's Avatar
    KevinWorkman is offline Crazy Cat Lady
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    Default Re: Nate's dumb question thread

    Quote Originally Posted by etancross View Post
    How do you know what class to use and when to use that class?
    The same way you know which tool to use when you're working on a car or building something. You start with a goal and what you want to do. Then you think the steps you need to take in order to accomplish that goal. When you have a set of steps, you can then decide which classes/tools are right for the job.

    Quote Originally Posted by etancross View Post
    How do you know when and when not to use a scanner class?
    You use it when you want to parse through an input source step-by-step. You don't use it when you don't want to.
    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way
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    etancross is offline Member
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    Default Re: Nate's dumb question thread

    Thank you KW for the fast reply!!

    I swear reading that about the tools for the car make me feel like im over thinking things... a bit. I guess i just need to keep practicing? or is there something i can do/read that would fasttrack me in java a bit more?

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    KevinWorkman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nate's dumb question thread

    Quote Originally Posted by etancross View Post
    I swear reading that about the tools for the car make me feel like im over thinking things... a bit. I guess i just need to keep practicing? or is there something i can do/read that would fasttrack me in java a bit more?
    I think maybe your trouble is that you're under the false impression that for any one task, there is exactly one best way to do it. That's not true at all- different people will take different approaches to the same problem. Programming is a bit of an art, and the only way to get better at it is to practice.
    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way
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    pbrockway2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Nate's dumb question thread

    Quote Originally Posted by etancross View Post
    Thank you KW for the fast reply!!

    I swear reading that about the tools for the car make me feel like im over thinking things... a bit. I guess i just need to keep practicing? or is there something i can do/read that would fasttrack me in java a bit more?
    When you are faced with a choice of tools to get a job done, Kevin is right: think about the steps you'll do and maybe that course of action will suggest the right tools (or, at any rate, a set of tools).

    There are a couple of traps you might fall in to. The first, you mention: overthinking. Basically you are staring at the toolbox and the range of choice freezes you into immobility. (To use the Scanner, or not to use the Scanner...). Far better to have a go! Making a poor choice of tool will, inevitably, be quite educational.

    The second is, having learnt one technique to apply it in every situation! While overthinking is a problem, so is not being conscious and critically aware of what you're doing.

    Practice is fundamental to acquiring any art. But a forum like this can also be helpful. Watch the threads of others and see what they are trying (and with what results). Contribute to those threads if your own experience suggests something useful (and accept both thanks and correction with equal grace.) One of the nice things about other people's problems is that you can turn them over in your mind without any of the stress imposed by homework deadlines etc.
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