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john sayeau
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I am trying to learn more about java and programming in general. I just finished Head First Java and was looking at starting the Head First JSP book.
I've learned some java and written some simple programs and I have some ideas for projects and could probably make them work but I'm not sure If I'm breaking it up properly.

I'd like to know more about how to structure an application. How much do I break it up into classes, what goes where...
Is this where learning about design patterns would help?

Any suggestions on what to study/read would be welcome.

 
Greg Charles
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Head First JSP would be great to read if you specifically want to make web applications. If you want to make stand-alone programs, then learning Swing might be a better first step. Design patterns are absolutely something you'll want to learn someday, but they tend to be too abstract for beginning programmers. You need some programming experience before you can even begin to grok what makes the patterns useful.

In other words, reading is great, but if you aren't also doing, you won't retain what you read. You might want to think of an application you'd like to develop, and then implement it. You'll learn all kinds of things about software engineering just by forcing yourself through the process. If you can't think of anything, then something like Conway's Game of Life is a good start. If you get ambitious, Java Ranch has a programming diversions forum that suggests things to try. Also, I've been learning Ruby recently, and have found the Project Euler problems to be a good way to drive that.
 
john sayeau
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Thanks.
I have a couple web apps I'd like to try and I guess I'll improve my Java along the way.
JSP it is.
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