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Asking advice on what to learn next...

 
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Hello all,

I've been using Java for a while now, and have passed the SCJP exam, but feel as though my understanding of the language is less than complete. Before I start digging in to the J2EE and all it has to offer, I'd like to be more confident with my level of knowledge.

I'd like some suggestions on where to focus my attention. I'm comfortable enough with Swing, and can get by with what I know of JDBC. I'm currently reading up on design patterns, and then plan on diving into the java.util and java.io packages a bit further.

I guess what I'm asking is, what packages and/or classes do you find yourselves making use of most often? What should I focus on, to make the most of my time and become more productive? This may seem terribly vague, and I apologize. I'm simply not sure where I should go from here.

Any insight would be appreciated.

-Adam
 
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Here are seven things you should know before you move onto J2EE. The list, of course, is subjective.

1. package java.io: both binary and character IO. Serialization.
2. The collection framework in java.util: extra points if you do this in 1.5 with generics

3. Learn ant: http://ant.apache.org/
4. Learn logging: http://logging.apache.org/
5. Learn unit testing: http://www.junit.org/index.htm
6. Learn XML: including DTDs and Schemas, parsing with SAX and DOM ( http://www.dom4j.org/ )
Xmlbeans ( http://xmlbeans.apache.org/ ), XSLT, XPATH, XQUERY.
7. Learn an ORM: http://hibernate.org/
[ December 08, 2005: Message edited by: Jeff Albrechtsen ]
 
Greenhorn
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Sometime back I was in the same position as well, trying to figure what to do next after learning the fundamentals and not willing to cross over to J2EE.

First I also tried to go by learning different packages. But I was not satisfied because nothing was concrete. My experience was just a bunch of examples here and there. That is when I came across Sun certified Java Developer Exam and following are the advantages that I derived from it.

  • Allows you to develop a concrete project
  • Gives you an opportunity to design, develop and test
  • Sun tests you for all the J2SE packages that are normally used in real time application
  • You are evaluated by Sun which lets you know where you stand
  • Basically you get hands on experience in variety of packages and design tools

  • Hope this helps
     
    Sheriff
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    Jeff has a pretty good list. I would add:

    1. J2EE is not all about EJBs. JSP/Servlets are part of J2EE, too. Learn about those. Extra points for JSTL.
    2. Learn about MVC frameworks like Struts or Tapestry.
    3. Learn about Spring. IoC/DI is very useful.
    4. Learn about Test-Driven Development
     
    Ranch Hand
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    By the way...let me know when your understanding of Java will be complete

    The best practice is learn what you need for your work. Just reading about it is weak knowledge and easy to forget.
     
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