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what would the old hand say.

 
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Say I came to work with you in a java shop. The bos says "Here is the new guy codes in Python, good at Sql and database design, need him up and running quick".

What would you say, to get me up and running on your java project quickly.
 
Sayth renshaw
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Bear Bibeault wrote:Moved to the Jobs Discussion forum.



Thanks I guess though it doesn't fit that forum as its an anecdote for advice not a request for a job.
 
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Requests for jobs would go in the Jobs Wanted forum. Discussing on-the-job training is certainly an appropriate topic for Jobs Discussion.
 
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Sayth renshaw wrote:Say I came to work with you in a java shop. The bos says "Here is the new guy codes in Python, good at Sql and database design, need him up and running quick".
What would you say, to get me up and running on your java project quickly.


If you have no prior Java experience, frankly speaking, I would say, who the hell hired this guy. There is no "quick and running" when it comes to new technology.
 
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Maneesh Godbole wrote:If you have no prior Java experience, frankly speaking, I would say, who the hell hired this guy. There is no "quick and running" when it comes to new technology.


Hmmm. Then I'd say you're going to miss out on a lot of good people due to Catch-22. Anyone who can write good programs in Python AND - possibly more importantly - can design databases, is a natural for Java AFAIC, because things like the distinctions between Sets, Lists and Maps are unlikely to be a problem.

If the only criterium for a good Java candidate is "has Java experience", where are new Java developers going to come from?

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Sayth renshaw wrote:Say I came to work with you in a java shop. The bos says "Here is the new guy codes in Python, good at Sql and database design, need him up and running quick".


Depends on how one defines quick. I'd take two paths:
1) Have him start learning Java. I need him to learn some basic Java syntax before he can do anything.
2) Look for tasks I can start him out with while he is learning more than just the basics. Writing unit tests, performance testing queries, etc. This would buy some time while the new guy started learning.

That's your question. I would have expected #1 to have happened before the first day. I work for a bank. It takes time to do a background check. At the interview, I'd suggest to the person to start learning certain things so we aren't starting with "here's how to write a loop in Java" on day 1.
 
Maneesh Godbole
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Winston Gutkowski wrote:
If the only criterium for a good Java candidate is "has Java experience", where are new Java developers going to come from?


Ok. We might have been thinking about two different facets. I had the "up and running quick" part in mind when I replied. While I do not disagree that lots of languages have lots of features in common, I am not a fan of the opinion that 'hey you are a great heart surgeon, here operate on this brain', or if you can drive a car, you can drive a truck. There is always some gestation period involved, which might or might not be "running quick". Plus you can expect the ego from the new guy 'After all I programmed in VB for x years'

Freshers on the other hand are exactly that. Freshers. No surprises. Only possibilities and potential.
 
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Sayth renshaw wrote:Say I came to work with you in a java shop. The bos says "Here is the new guy codes in Python, good at Sql and database design, need him up and running quick".

What would you say, to get me up and running on your java project quickly.


Having done something similar myself about a year ago, I'd echo the comments from Jeanne and Winston. I'd also recommend getting up to speed as fast as possible with Java tools like Eclipse, Maven, JUnit etc. The Java language isn't difficult in itself as most of the power/complexity is in the libraries. But the infrastructure/techno-bureaucracy on most Java projects is really painful as a newbie.

The Eclipse tutorial videos are several years old but still useful for getting started with Java in Eclipse.
 
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Such scenarios are why I am self-employed. I believe what I really would say to the new guy would be, "Excuse me a minute while I go talk to the boss." Then I would tell the boss that I'm a programmer, not an instructor, that hiring a guy who doesn't know Java if we needed a Java programmer was a very odd thing to do, and that I would very much like to assume that there is some part of what we are working on that needs to be done in Python and/or with SQL, and that this means I'm finally going to get the help on those things I know I would otherwise have been asking for during the next six months, but without the usual whining.

Now, if what the OP really wants to know is how a good Python/SQL programmer can get going in Java quickly, I would say that any good programmer can probably learn a new language, but that the danger is in assuming similarities represent identities. That is, when you start reading the Java tutorials, it might be tempting to skip the parts that appear to be addressed to people who have never programmed before. That's risky, because Java has idiosyncrasies all its own, just like every other language (no unsigned bytes, for example ), and you don't want to end up knowing the "advanced" stuff that quickly maps into your existing knowledge, while being ignorant of the "basic" stuff that is unique to Java, but would be common knowledge to every Java programmer (like the main routine's signature).

I wrote something along the lines of about six trillion lines of C code before learning Java, and it both helped and hindered me, until I slowed down, took it seriously, and (nod to Winston here) kept my hands off the keyboard. I read some good books and only wrote code when I felt I was sure I was ready to try what I had learned. Made a world of difference.

Alas, I wouldn't know a Python program if it wrapped itself around me and started squeezing the last air from within my lungs, so I don't know how big a leap it is from that to Java. Certainly, C-to-Java was a big jump because C lacks pretty much all the features that make any object-oriented language an object-oriented language, has pointers (how vulgar!), and has unsigned bytes . I did have some C++ and Visual Basic experience too, but each of those turned out to be just more of a mixed blessing.

If you know you're a competent programmer, I'd say just trust that you can be a competent Java programmer too, but don't assume you haven't got to master the basics. Start at the first page, read it before going on to the second, and proceed like that to the end. You'll do fine.
 
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I got asked a question like this today. Someone who knows another language and wants to transfer to a team using Java. We sat down and talked for a little while. I asked him about what he does know - both from work and learning and even school. If someone used C++ years ago, that is going to affect advice. I also asked him which team he was interested in to give him tailored advice.

Then I gave him a reading list to start with which included:
  • an intro to Java book
  • a JUnit book
  • an intro to Spring book


  • This particular position doesn't involve web programming which is why I left those out. I think he got better advice than what I posted in this thread because i know more about it. The advice suited his actual needs.
     
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    I think the above scenario would happen only

    -- if there is a shortage for Java developers
    -- or the Java shop is looking for an entry level Java developer who has proven records in other languages to compliment the existing skill sets

    Whilst, Java is easy enough to learn, it is easy for the beginners to get lost in its myriad of libraries, enterprise edition technologies, frameworks, tools, servers (MOM, SOA, BPM) etc.

    I have put together my thoughts: How to get an entry level Java developer job?

    With some working knowledge of Java, you can look at existing code to create new code once the infrastructure is in place. For example, creating a new RESful web service by looking at an existing one within the same project.
     
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