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Thread: Need Help Getting Started

  1. #1
    Lacnez is offline Member
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    Default Need Help Getting Started

    Hey Everyone

    So in May I finished my first year in Software Engineering, and since it was a general first year everyone had to take similar courses, so I completed a course on matlab programming and an course on Java programming. The teaching was not very hands on and the professors didn't really specialize in programming they did it kind of as a side hobby. So I did pick up on a few programming concepts and can make very basic programs, but going into my second year now I'll be taking a whole bunch of programming courses and I fear I will most likely fail if I don't learn how to program.

    If anyone could suggest how to learn and how to grow in programming, any sort of steps to learning and becoming better it is very important I learn this stuff.

    Thanks in advance

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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    Aren't you taking those programming courses to actually learn how to program? You're not taking them to prove that you can already do it.

    If you fear you don't know enough, get a good book and start working on it in your spare time out of school. I think you'll find that most accomplished software engineers today are not where they are because a teacher held their hand. They had a genuine love for programming and dove into its mysteries all on their own. You need to find something that interests you and apply programming to that. For me it was game programming that did it.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    What The Gimbster says +1.

    The only way to learn how to program is to get your hands dirty. Get your JDK running, do a "Hello World" from the command line. Make sure you know how compiling, packages and classpaths work. Then you might want to get an IDE, and start coding. Start easy and work your way up. For example:
    - Learn how to print something on screen.
    - Learn how to get input from the user.
    - Play a random number game (higher/lower).
    - Learn about arrays and collections.
    - Make Yathzee
    - ...
    - Profit!
    "It's not fixed until you stop calling the problem weird and you understand what was wrong." - gimbal2 2013

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    DarrylBurke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    Another way of learning is to find a reasonably active programmers forum in your area of interest, and read every question and replies for several weeks or months. this has the advantage of exposing you to questions you wouldn't have known enough to even ask.

    That's pretty much how I learned Java, in 6 months of reading almost every post in CLDC and MIDP, New to Java and Advanced Java on the erstwhile Sun forums (which Oracle have effectively murdered ).

    db
    If you're forever cleaning cobwebs, it's time to get rid of the spiders.

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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylBurke View Post
    Another way of learning is to find a reasonably active programmers forum in your area of interest, and read every question and replies for several weeks or months. this has the advantage of exposing you to questions you wouldn't have known enough to even ask.

    That's pretty much how I learned Java
    Yep, same here, to learn Java web programming. I still keep my eye on mostly Stackoverflow. You learn the most from other people's problems.

    New to Java and Advanced Java on the erstwhile Sun forums (which Oracle have effectively murdered ).
    Indeed Oracle murdered the forum software which drove away most of the good people, and what was left over are the pretentious douchebags. I tried to persist but I couldn't stand it any more especially after one particular instance of what can only be described as hate.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    JosAH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    Why/how was that forum butchered actually? I was out of there before/during the change Sun/Oracle, so I missed it ...

    kind regards,

    Jos
    Build a wall around Donald Trump; I'll pay for it.

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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    Basically:

    0) There were the Sun forums. Happy times, lots of questions, a very active community (and probably the place where most of us met for the first time). Also those wonderful troll ("goldie") threads which went on for 20 pages unmoderated.

    1) Oracle took over and merged the old Sun Forum into the existing Oracle forum. Bugs were fixed, useful features were killed and all at the expense of terrible performance most of the time. Some people left in this period, but most persisted. Over time, the number of questions asked really dwindled - probably more because of Stackoverflow than because the forum sucked. Times were still pretty happy in OTN land.

    2) A few years ago Oracle 'upgraded' to a new version of Jive; this was no longer forum software, it came closer to social media such as Google+. An idiotic user interface paired with a horrendous migration that went sour for too many people made questions dry up, regulars who were actually decent at helping people simply gave up.


    I took another look a few weeks ago to see if things had changed. Not really.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    That Goldie was hilarious; his secret army, his secret rockets, him being a kung-fu master and a whine connoisseur, dinners with the queen and what have you :-) he couldn't program himself out of a wet paper bag though ... like I said, I completely missed the transition (and not feeling bad about it)

    kind regards,

    Jos
    Build a wall around Donald Trump; I'll pay for it.

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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    I remember someone on that forum who was programming Teh Jav. He was guaranteed pages of fun :)
    "It's not fixed until you stop calling the problem weird and you understand what was wrong." - gimbal2 2013

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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by SurfMan View Post
    I remember someone on that forum who was programming Teh Jav. He was guaranteed pages of fun :)
    Wasn't that the dude who threatened to hack everyone because he was a l33t hacker?
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by gimbal2 View Post
    Wasn't that the dude who threatened to hack everyone because he was a l33t hacker?
    Can't remember. Could well be. My biggest fear, to this day, is that one of those proper idiots actually gets a job in coding and ends up as my co-worker. *shudders*
    "It's not fixed until you stop calling the problem weird and you understand what was wrong." - gimbal2 2013

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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    Also those wonderful troll ("goldie") threads which went on for 20 pages
    Goldie was before my time; the only account I saw was closed within hours.

    But I got to know UJ so well (once closed 28 accounts in 2-3 hours on a Sunday morning) that I recognized her second post on the Ranch a couple of years ago (that account was closed too, but not by me).

    But Interfaces and Abstract Classes notwithstanding, my favorite thread of all time was https://community.oracle.com/thread/1207938

    db

    edit: That thread has more than 3 pages. One more example of lousy forum software
    Last edited by DarrylBurke; 07-23-2015 at 12:06 AM.
    If you're forever cleaning cobwebs, it's time to get rid of the spiders.

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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylBurke View Post
    But I got to know UJ so well (once closed 28 accounts in 2-3 hours on a Sunday morning)
    Perhaps UJ is the "hacker" I was thinking about.

    But Interfaces and Abstract Classes notwithstanding, my favorite thread of all time was https://community.oracle.com/thread/1207938

    db

    edit: That thread has more than 3 pages. One more example of lousy forum software
    poor Duffymo really got the worst of the forum migration, his account was detached from like 200k internet points worth of posts if I remember correctly.

    You posting a link to this exact thread is poking my memory. We've already discussed the old forums not too long ago probably :)
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    DarrylBurke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    Jeff lost the most posts, to an account '3404' which you can see in the linked thread. He had around 50k.

    % had a lot less.

    I only lost the count of my posts in the private mods' forum and in trashed threads. Still left me with about 20k though.

    db
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    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    I stand corrected!
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

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    Xen
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    Default Re: Need Help Getting Started

    If you want to learn to program... you can't. You can only do it.

    And you do it by primarily seeking out stuff you want to make.

    And ideally that is stuff that is useful to you.

    Make a calculator. Make something that can read a web page and see if a certain string is present. Make a little game (text mode) where you can gamble with yourself (that's how I started it). Okay I was tutored in that. It was an MSX Basic programming guide. For children. There were actually guides for children.

    Learn about recursion. For instance, Learn how you can calculate the faculty of 24 divided by the faculty of 6 in an iterative and a recursive fasion, so you learn the difference between the two.

    Try to find out what is the biggest integer you can put into a regular primitive (long?) and then add something to it, and see what happens. Then do the same in a BigInteger and see how far you can go ;-). Try to find the best way to split a string into components using a variety of techniques. Learn to do it with a simple for loop and string copy routines, and then use that Scanner or StreamTokenizer or "split" method to accomplish the same. Then run your script 20 million times and register the time it takes to run it (or more) and see how much time every option takes. Check which is the fastest and which is the slowest.

    Read a file and spit it into sections, write out the sections to disk, then make another program that recombines them (boring). Connect to a telnet server and see what happens when you read data from the socket. I don't know. Combine everything you know and do something else.

    Try to construct your own binary tree with Nodes and experiment with the 3 types of traversal you can have. You can go "around the left", "around the right" and "mid first". Open the source code to java.util.HashSet and see how it works (or Hashtable). Do the same with java.util.BitSet. There are endless ways you can learn more about programming.

    I can help you get started, by the way, if you want. I think I will be around for a while... currently I guess. I can tutor you. I have been programming since I was 8 or 9. Never been able to teach anyone and I'm not in the position to do so professionally in any way. So my offer is to you, if you need assistance to speed up the learning (curve) or to flatten that curve, I'm here for you, I guess.

    I might learn a thing or two as well.

    I have done some Matlab in the past myself (as part of Computer Science / Software Engineering) but these were just courses, they didn't amount to much. I have been doing Java since I went to university back in 1999 or a little before, but I was programming in Delphi and Pascal and Basic (and Assembly) way before that. I've been through the same university stuff but the difference was I was already an ace programmer ;-). Never completed my studies though, but that was due to illness. Anyway, that is my advertisement ;-).

    Good luck and I'll hear from you I guess.
    Last edited by Xen; 07-26-2015 at 02:03 PM.

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