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Thread: Hi There! / Need some guidance.

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    NoMan's Avatar
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    Default Hi There! / Need some guidance.

    Hello, I'm new to this place, My name is Nolan, blah blah blah, you know the story. I know there's a separate section for introductions, but I figured I'd just initiate two birds with one method (I'm terribly unfunny, yes?) and cut to the chase here.

    I'm in need of some simple guidance. Nothing too specific, so apologies for the vague thread title.

    I've been reading more-or-less linearly through the Really Big Index for the past month or two, whenever I'm not at work, and I'm on Interfaces and Inheritance at the moment.

    I'm not having any particular trouble understanding interfaces and inheritance: That's not the problem.

    The problem is I'm not quite sure if I really need to be looking into things as much as I am. I have a bad habit of overanalyzing new ideas to the point where I'll spend way too much time on a single lesson and it'll actually hinder my flow and progress. I stick with each sub-lesson until I fully understand the concept, not just on a sensory "if you do this then you get that" basis, but on a deeper, more intuitive level.

    Case in point: I haven't programmed ANYTHING yet that wasn't just to help me understand something. Everything at the moment just seems like pure drudgery that I might even be able to skip over, if I'm smart enough. But I don't because I can't be sure.

    What's the ETA on when I can actually crap out a creative product, like a phone app or a 2D game, if I continue as I do, completely self-taught? Is it a matter of when I come up with ideas? Am I just being impatient? I'm worried that I'm moving at too slow a pace, or that there are excellent resources I'm not utilizing enough, or something.

    In short, give some really general guidance on what someone who is completely new to not just Java but programming as a whole should be focusing on?
    And note that this particular person is already somewhat good at abstract and mathematical thinking. Also, I use Eclipse as an IDE, but I've read arguments from a lot of programmers who say that IDEs hide the inner processes of programming and make newbies dull. I've kept their ideas in mind and I try to read up as much as I can on what I'm doing, but I don't follow through with their suggestion to use notepad. I do however pay attention to my syntax as I learn it. Anyway thanks a ton in advance, to whoever helps! And sorry for the ridiculously long first post. I'll shut up and wait, now.

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    Default Re: Hi There! / Need some guidance.

    The more code you write the more you'll learn. Think of projects and write some code.
    Make a game or a tool that will do something useful on your PC.
    If you don't understand my response, don't ignore it, ask a question.

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    Default Re: Hi There! / Need some guidance.

    Thanks for replying, Norm, but could you be more specific, please?

    Like, what were some early projects you did that gave you those necessary "lightbulb" moments which allow you to climb one rung higher on the ladder?

    I'm aiming for rapid succession of lightbulb moments, you see.
    Last edited by NoMan; 03-24-2012 at 10:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Hi There! / Need some guidance.

    Try answering questions in the forum with small programs (although don't submit the answers to the forum unless a) you're pretty sure that it's the correct answer, or b) you add a strong caveat to the answer that you're a newbie too and your answer may very well be wrong).

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    Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hi There! / Need some guidance.

    It was a long time ago.
    First was a chat client/server.

    Next was a slideshow program(this was 2000 before Google etc) Picasa does the same thing.
    It organized pictures and created html wrappers or showed the images in an applet. I had over 1000 pictures that I uploaded to websites. I still use it.

    Next was a HTTP server copied from a textbook and enhanced over and over again.
    Before Swing I wrote several components to enhance AWT classes that were to weak or simple. Most have been replaced by Swing classes.

    Then a website "scrapping" program to download thousands of pages and a special editor to scan the html and fix all the links to be local and a mass file renaming tool so I could rename a folder full of files.
    A file search program that would create a html page with links to the files containing the text.
    Then what I called a jar server that put it all in a jar. When the jar file was opened it started your browser with its own localhost address and then allowed you to go through the pages in the jar file using normal links from the brower. The file search program was changed so it would work in the jar file and could be used from the browser.

    The reason for all of this is that I wanted to have an easy way to get all the info from the websites while I was away from the internet. (I was on a sailboat in the Caribbean) Also could share with friends by giving them one file.

    Another tool was what I call ExecuteJava. It allows me to run many of my tools in one JVM. This was when CPU speeds were <500MHz and memory was 512M. I still use it as it has a dropdown list of the tools and can be placed on the toolbar giving me one easy place to get to a tool.

    Another tool more recent was a toolbar tool with a popup that has a list of canned responses. There are many responses I give over and over. Now I rightclick on the icon, select the message and its copied to the clipboard and can be pasted into a box.

    A brief history of 10 years of my java hobby.
    Last edited by Norm; 03-24-2012 at 11:14 PM. Reason: added sideshow
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    Default Re: Hi There! / Need some guidance.

    If the previous hints and tips and suggestions are too 'visual' for you, try to program a two person's game with complete information; I'm not talking chess here, but another, more simple game would do fine where the computer can take the role of one of the players. There'd be quite a bit of (mathematical) theory involved and quite a bit of jut creativity on your part to make the computer at least reasonable. Don't bother about graphics etc. yet, i.e. a simpe e2-e4 output on the console is sufficient.

    kind regards,

    Jos
    I have the stamina of a seal; I lie on the beach instead of running on it.

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    Default Re: Hi There! / Need some guidance.

    For me, my first extracurricular program with Java was based on a class example. The example was a program that would create a deck object of 52 playing cards and shuffle them. Then it would play out an interactive game of blackjack in the compiler output with the user. So basically it would prompt you to hit or stay until the game was over. Anyway, my biggest hobby is playing a card game called Magic: The Gathering. Maybe you've heard of it. It's been out for about 22 years and continues to keep my wallet empty after all of those years. So I designed a program that would effectively deal you a randomly generated pack of 15 cards within a given set. (A set being a complete expansion of about 140-350 unique cards). Additionally in a pack of cards you can expect to find one rare card (or mythic rare card 1:8 chance in place of the rare), three unique uncommon cards, and eleven unique common cards. The output would only list the fifteen card names along with a single character following it to represent the rarity (r: rare, u: uncommon, etc). Currently I'm still working on the code to improve it to display the actual card images in the output as an applet. If you're interested in this kind of thing, there is a far superior and vastly more complex app called Forge that fully implements the rules of Magic that also uses Java.

    When I was first getting started with Java, I would go to JavaRanch - A Friendly Place for Java Greenhorns and Kiowok. The latter is a basic website created by one of my college instructors and covers many of the basic concepts in OOP. Best of luck!
    "The secret to getting what you want is to reject everything that you don't want." -Wolbers

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    Default Re: Hi There! / Need some guidance.

    I always liked the head-first series as a book. It walks you through the fundamentals and gives you some challenges after that. The challenges are usually short and contained.

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    Default Re: Hi There! / Need some guidance.

    This thread is over 3 years old so the OP has probably resolved the issue.

    Regards,
    Jim
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