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Ted Howe
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Hi!

I'm a current computer science student at the University of Southern Maine. I have one whole semester of Java under my belt, am in the process of my second, and have found that I really, really love coding. It took 30 years, but I finally figured out what I want to be. Java is what USM starts us on, so I figure I may as well throw myself specifically at Java and get certified so that I increase my odds of getting a job. I spend a lot of my free time on projecteuler.net, and I just found Java Ranch today. There is a lot of stuff on here, most of which is way, way over my head. Where's a good place to start? Also, are there any books that I likely won't read in college that would be good for me? What about magazines, blogs, industry insights, anything? The way I see it, I'm about 10 years behind the curve, so I am eager to make up lost ground.

Thanks in advance.
 
Danny Treart
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I can certainly relate as I am in a very similar situation. Interested in any responses as well.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Ted Howe wrote: . . . Where's a good place to start? . . .
Here
I'm about 10 years behind the curve, so I am eager to make up lost ground.

Thanks in advance.
No, you are not behind. You are a beginner.
You would have to tell us which books you have seen before we could make any suggestions. We have some books pages.

And welcome to the Ranch
 
Knute Snortum
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For someone coming from a background in CS and knowing some code, Learning Java is a good book.
 
Jesper de Jong
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Welcome to the Ranch.

Oracle has many Java Tutorials, ranging from absolute beginner level to more advanced subjects, and also some specialized subjects (like creating GUIs, etc.).

There's a huge amount of libraries, frameworks and tools in the Java world. Don't try to learn everything at once!
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Ted Howe wrote:I'm a current computer science student at the University of Southern Maine. I have one whole semester of Java under my belt, am in the process of my second, and have found that I really, really love coding...

And just to warn you: THERE may be the rub.

Coding is always fun - if you like that sort of thing - it's new, and exciting, and if you get it right you get instant results.

However, it's NOT a major part of a professional programmer's life; and it's getting less and less so as time goes on. In fact, Java may be one of the last languages that we get to "code" ourselves - as opposed to hand off to some codifier program that can probably do the job equally well (and maybe better).

We already have Java-based frameworks where a significant portion of what we write is left up to "configurators". It's pretty well inevitable, since the major cost of a corporation is its people.

So: I don't want to be a doom and gloom merchant, but learn to enjoy the design side of the language; because that's got a lot more mileage in it than simply churning out code. Learn what objects and interfaces are, and why they're there. And learn about WhatNotHow (←click).

And I hate to say, but that involves spending a lot of time not coding - DELIBERATELY.

HIH

Winston
 
Bear Bibeault
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Of course, some of us may use the term "coding" to encompass all of that, rather than just typing Java into an editor.
 
Bear Bibeault
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P.S. Ted, loving what you do is a key ingredient for success. While it is possible to be successful at something you are not passionate about, it's much easier to get good at something you actually enjoy.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Winston Gutkowski wrote: . . . frameworks where a significant portion of what we write is left up to "configurators". . . .
That is why things like Streams and λs are useful. Not only do they allow one to write code much moer succinctly, they also allow a declarative style where you write “what” rather than “how”
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:
Winston Gutkowski wrote: . . . frameworks where a significant portion of what we write is left up to "configurators". . . .
That is why things like Streams and λs are useful. Not only do they allow one to write code much moer succinctly, they also allow a declarative style where you write “what” rather than “how”

Indeed, and I have to admit that I'm enjoying them a lot. Right now, I'm kind of taking them in by "osmosis" as I find a need - or find them in the API docs. They remind me a lot of the pipelines that you find in scripts.

BTW: Are the tutorials on them any good? Or are there any decent explanation docs out there? I'm reminded of Gilad Bracha's one when generics was added - I found that really useful.

Winston
 
Campbell Ritchie
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I have one of the three books which were promos on the Java8 forum. I have Urma Fusco and Mycroft, which is good. I don't know about the other two, but I am sure anything by Horstmann would be good.
 
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