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Java Programmer Interview Questions for HS student  RSS feed

 
Art Williams
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Greetings all
Would anyone mind answering a few questions about Java, —your “love affair with Java.”
I am a 10th grade Mathematics Teacher—former coder (J2EE 1.3- was my last stint with programming—I’m a “SWING” man!)

A student of mine is eager to learn all he can about the Java Programming language—he’s interested in coding with Java and he’s decided to research the topic. He has interviewed me (the dinosaur); however, he needs one to two more interviewees.

Here are the questions are below:
1. What was your field of study in college?
2. In your field of study in college, how much Java did you actually learn and use?
3. What was the first Java application you created?
4. What is your opinion on the importance of Java in the world of computing?
5. What are your recommendations for a newcomer, like me, in getting started with Java?
6. Have you faced any struggles while learning Java, and if so what?
7. Do you think there will be a point when you know that you have learned everything about Java?

8. Are there any other recommendations that you can offer me regarding becoming a great Java Programmer?

Thank you for the help and time.

Thanks in advanced community- Mr Willz
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Welcome to the Ranch

I am not sure this is the best place to get lots of answers, so I shall try duplicating this discussion.
Search the Ranch fora for recommendations to be a good programmer. Apart from practice practice practice of course!
 
Junilu Lacar
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I'm your huckleberry...

1. What was your field of study in college?
Mechanical Engineering

2. In your field of study in college, how much Java did you actually learn and use?
None. I was in college a decade before Java was created.

3. What was the first Java application you created?
Trivial: Hello, World. Non-trivial: part of the Tax system for the State of Ohio

4. What is your opinion on the importance of Java in the world of computing?
Incredibly important

5. What are your recommendations for a newcomer, like me, in getting started with Java?
Read & practice. A lot.

6. Have you faced any struggles while learning Java, and if so what?
Thinking in objects (OO programming concepts)

7. Do you think there will be a point when you know that you have learned everything about Java?
No, Java is too big and it's constantly evolving.

8. Are there any other recommendations that you can offer me regarding becoming a great Java Programmer?
Understand OO thinking & OO principles. With the advent of Functional Programming in Java and the JVM, you'll need to understand that paradigm as well. Programming is about thinking and organizing your thoughts; Java technology is just a means to do that and it only plays a secondary role, IMO. Also, read more and practice more. No, whatever you're thinking, you have to do more than that. Seriously. One in ten programmers is an order of magnitude better than the other nine. It takes a lot of work to be in that top 10%.

 
Jesper de Jong
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Welcome to the Ranch. I'll have a go!

Art Williams wrote:1. What was your field of study in college?

Electrical Engineering.
Art Williams wrote:2. In your field of study in college, how much Java did you actually learn and use?

None, it was before Java existed (1990 - 1996).
Art Williams wrote:3. What was the first Java application you created?

Around 1998 I was working as a C++ developer and we heard about this new cool thing called Java. Together with a colleague I wrote a chess playing Java applet. We made several implementations of chess players, so that you could play chess against the computer.
Art Williams wrote:4. What is your opinion on the importance of Java in the world of computing?

Java is the most used programming language in the world, so it's very important. It is a very popular programming language for server-side software used by many different companies.
Art Williams wrote:5. What are your recommendations for a newcomer, like me, in getting started with Java?

The Oracle Java Tutorials are a good place to start. Make sure you learn the basics first (the language itself, syntax, etc.). Don't try to learn too much too fast - there's a huge ecosystem of open source software in the Java world.
Art Williams wrote:6. Have you faced any struggles while learning Java, and if so what?

Some parts can be complicated, such as generics, especially if you want or need to know all the exact details. But overall Java is an easy to use programming language, which is probably also why it is so popular.
Art Williams wrote:7. Do you think there will be a point when you know that you have learned everything about Java?

No. Even if you're just talking about the rules of the language, you must be almost superhuman to understand the details of everything that the language offers in detail. Besides that, there are thousands of open source libraries and frameworks, it's simply far too much for a person to know everything. Even Java's standard library already has more than 4,000 classes and interfaces - nobody can know by heart what each of those classes and interfaces are.
Art Williams wrote:8. Are there any other recommendations that you can offer me regarding bec oming a great Java Programmer?

Write a lot of code, and experiment. Write lots of little programs to try out language features. And have fun!
 
Art Williams
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Thank you Jesper de Jong, thank you Junilu Lacar . I'm relaying this info. to my student now.
-These are great responses!
 
Mike. J. Thompson
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1. What was your field of study in college?
I'm assuming here that college means university (I'm from the UK, and here college generally means something different). I did an undergraduate course in Physics, and a Masters in Software Engineering

2. In your field of study in college, how much Java did you actually learn and use?
In my Physics undergraduate course we did no Java (or any other programming). For my Software Engineering Masters Java was the only programming language that was used.

3. What was the first Java application you created?
The first full application (that wasn't a simple exercise) was an Othello game (also known as Reversi). This was just the GUI and game-logic, no AI.

4. What is your opinion on the importance of Java in the world of computing?
Very important, but there are a lot of other languages out there that are also important.

5. What are your recommendations for a newcomer, like me, in getting started with Java?
Get lots of hands on experience. It is much easier (for me at least) to remember things when I'm doing them rather than just reading about them. And also get people better than you to give you constructive feedback to get rid of bad habits before they form.

6. Have you faced any struggles while learning Java, and if so what?
Well Java was the first programming language that I used so there was the struggle of learning what it means to program, but that isn't Java specific. Java's syntax is a fair bit simpler than some other languages I can think of and the compiler feedback is generally helpful, so I'd say it's a forgiving language for a beginner I think.

7. Do you think there will be a point when you know that you have learned everything about Java?
Nope, I don't think that could happen. I haven't even read the Java Language Specification and that basically is the definition of what it means for something to be called Java. There is a lot of stuff that the average developer just does not need to know on a day to day basis. Overall, the Internet is my friend. It has a much better memory than I do. So here's another addition to question 5: Learn very quickly how to search the Internet for answers to questions, especially searching the Javadoc for the standard libraries.

8. Are there any other recommendations that you can offer me regarding becoming a great Java Programmer?
Enjoy yourself, and learn from people better than you. And learn to take constructive criticism well (that's something I still find hard!).
 
Tim Cooke
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OK, well if you boys are playing, I'll play too.

1. What was your field of study in college?

College: Computer Engineering
Uni (Undergrad): Electronic / Electrical Engineering
Uni (Postgrad): Computer Science / Electronic Communication Engineering
2. In your field of study in college, how much Java did you actually learn and use?

College: None
Uni (Undergrad): None
Uni (Postgrad): One class, very basic.
3. What was the first Java application you created?

Uni (Postgrad): Some nonsense assignment, can't remember what it was.
Professional: Part of a team writing a Digital Signage (Video / Photo presentation) system for Sony
4. What is your opinion on the importance of Java in the world of computing?

Hugely important. The most important part now being the JVM platform which has become really quite excellent and has attracted a number of new programming languages designed to run on it, such as Scala and Clojure.
5. What are your recommendations for a newcomer, like me, in getting started with Java?

Practice, practice, practice. Don't be afraid to get it wrong. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
6. Have you faced any struggles while learning Java, and if so what?

Working for companies that don't foster a culture of continuous learning and just expect you to write code day in day out. These times are a struggle because you have to work especially hard to improve your programming skills and resist picking up bad habits.
7. Do you think there will be a point when you know that you have learned everything about Java?

No. If you ever find that you've arrived at a point where you think you have learned everything about Java, you're kidding yourself. I don't mean to sound negative or discouraging and this advice applies to all aspects of life. It's just not possible to know 'everything'. In fact, the reality is that the more you know, the more you are aware of what you don't know.

A colleague of mine gave me this great analogy about learning. Think of your body of knowledge as the area of a circle, so everything inside the circle's circumference is stuff you know. Everything outside of the circle is stuff you don't know. The contact point between these two areas, which is the circumference of the circle, is your awareness of the things you don't know. So as your circle grows with increasing knowledge, so does your awareness of what you don't know.
8. Are there any other recommendations that you can offer me regarding becoming a great Java Programmer?

Read a lot of books, blogs, and journals. Learn what other programmers in the community are up to. Do programming stuff that interests you, it'll do wonders for your motivation.
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Junilu Lacar wrote:I'm your huckleberry...

Best Doc Holliday EVER. Pity he seems to be such a screw-up in real life...

My answers:
1. What was your field of study in college?
If you mean university: never went.

2. In your field of study in college, how much Java did you actually learn and use?
None. Self-taught.

3. What was the first Java application you created?
Non-trivial: A BigFraction class.

4. What is your opinion on the importance of Java in the world of computing?
Huge. It was the first widely-used "memory managed" language; and the 2nd (AFAIK) "WORA"-based one.

5. What are your recommendations for a newcomer, like me, in getting started with Java?
Read this.

6. Have you faced any struggles while learning Java, and if so what?
Same as Junilu: Thinking "objectively"

7. Do you think there will be a point when you know that you have learned everything about Java?
Nope. I doubt I know even half the stuff in the SE libraries.

8. Are there any other recommendations that you can offer me regarding becoming a great Java Programmer?
  • Think before you code.
  • "What" is MUCH more important than "how".
  • If you don't know how something (a class, field or method) is going to be used, make it private (classes excepted) and final.
  • Prefer immutability.
  • Write Dumb Code.
  • What everyone else has said.

  • Winston
     
    Jesper de Jong
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    Winston Gutkowski wrote:Huge. It was the first widely-used "memory managed" language;

    It depends on what you mean by "widely-used", but automatic memory management with a garbage collection is much older than you think; according to Wikipedia it was invented in 1959 by John McCarthy, for the LISP programming language. Even the BASIC on the Commodore 64 had a form of garbage collection.
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Jesper de Jong wrote:That's not true - automatic memory management with a garbage collection is much older than you think; according to Wikipedia it was invented in 1959 by John McCarthy, for the LISP programming language.

    I did say "widely-used". Although I do understand that there are many LISPophiles out there.

    I also don't remember any memory-management when I was learning Smalltalk.

    Winston
     
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