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  1. #1
    fander1980 is offline Member
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    Default Practical question from a newbie

    This is more of a practical question instead of a technical one. I'm trying to learn programming through the Java language, but what I want to know is how do software developers know what to create when starting a new application. I find it hard to learn how to even begin any application when the processes for creating one is unclear to me. For example, say if a developer wanted to create a blackjack game application. How would they even know where to start and then how would they proceed. Any help in getting my started toward jumping out the nest would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    LetsG0Blue is offline Member
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    Default Re: Practical question from a newbie

    Making a document about what you want to accomplish can help a lot.

    I use a completely blank piece of paper (no lines, print paper) and a sharpie then completely start writing the rules of the game and what happens during the game.

    Write stuff down before you even start coding

  3. #3
    fander1980 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Practical question from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by LetsG0Blue View Post
    Making a document about what you want to accomplish can help a lot.

    I use a completely blank piece of paper (no lines, print paper) and a sharpie then completely start writing the rules of the game and what happens during the game.

    Write stuff down before you even start coding

    That makes since, but how do you know when to create like say a variable, or a method or a constructor. Thanks for replying.

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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Practical question from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by fander1980 View Post
    That makes since, but how do you know when to create like say a variable, or a method or a constructor. Thanks for replying.
    Because you learned, understood and remembered the rules. The same for any other aspect of life: you need to study, you need to invest time.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

  5. #5
    JosAH's Avatar
    JosAH is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Practical question from a newbie

    Write down a first draft of a solution of your problem; in plain English or whatever language. Mark the nouns in your little story; they are (probably) the classes in your solution; also mark the verbs in your story; they are the methods in those classes. What you're doing is actually a CRC (Classes, Responsibility, Collaboration) setup. Next, start playing a bit of a mental game: let those classes communicate with each other, given the verbs and see if the 'game' or 'play' solves your problem; because you haven't coded anything yet, you can go back to step one and change the entire setup. If you're happy with the virtual crew (the classes) and what they do (their methods), you can start coding.

    Note that this little exercise is an easy thing, i.e. all you need is a pencil and paper (or just the wetware between your ears); you can drink a beer and smoke a sigaret while going through your own mental 'play'. Actual coding on the other hand, is a boring activity, i.e. your hands are tied to the keyboard and mouse, you have to concentrate and debug a lot, so it's much better to spend some time with the first exercise instead of that slave labour in the next phase ...

    kind regards,

    Jos
    cenosillicaphobia: the fear for an empty beer glass

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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Practical question from a newbie

    Artists also use that strategy. First you sketch, then you paint. Its only logical.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    fander1980 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Practical question from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by gimbal2 View Post
    Because you learned, understood and remembered the rules. The same for any other aspect of life: you need to study, you need to invest time.
    Oh OK so once I learn specifically what each process in Java does, I will have a greater understanding of where to put certain processes.

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    fander1980 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Practical question from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by JosAH View Post
    Write down a first draft of a solution of your problem; in plain English or whatever language. Mark the nouns in your little story; they are (probably) the classes in your solution; also mark the verbs in your story; they are the methods in those classes. What you're doing is actually a CRC (Classes, Responsibility, Collaboration) setup. Next, start playing a bit of a mental game: let those classes communicate with each other, given the verbs and see if the 'game' or 'play' solves your problem; because you haven't coded anything yet, you can go back to step one and change the entire setup. If you're happy with the virtual crew (the classes) and what they do (their methods), you can start coding.

    Note that this little exercise is an easy thing, i.e. all you need is a pencil and paper (or just the wetware between your ears); you can drink a beer and smoke a sigaret while going through your own mental 'play'. Actual coding on the other hand, is a boring activity, i.e. your hands are tied to the keyboard and mouse, you have to concentrate and debug a lot, so it's much better to spend some time with the first exercise instead of that slave labour in the next phase ...

    kind regards,

    Jos


    Thanks, I guess if I can learn to write the processes for a program in plain English, all I would have to learn is the syntax and how to debug to become proficient in coding.

  9. #9
    JosAH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Practical question from a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by fander1980 View Post
    Thanks, I guess if I can learn to write the processes for a program in plain English, all I would have to learn is the syntax and how to debug to become proficient in coding.
    It's the last part of your sentence that is the difficult part in knowing how to program; a carpenter can design a nice wooden chair, but if he doesn't know how to use a hammer, he'd probably use his fist and probably he succeeds, but it'd be a painful exercise. Java is a language and a complicated tool set; know your tools and know what tool is not in your tool set. There is more than syntax when it comes to a programming language; don't let this scare you off, simply start and get your feet wet; practice gives you a feeling of the connection between theory (writing down the solution in plain English) and practice (actually hammering those nails in)

    kind regards,

    Jos
    cenosillicaphobia: the fear for an empty beer glass

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