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Almost certified -- Too green programmer

 
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So long story short, I got my college degree in Graphic Design from a 4 year college. Fast forward 3 years and no job except working at gas stations, grocery stores, etc. A friend of a friend said since I did some HTML/CSS work programming might be up my alley. I signed up and took 2 intense crash courses in "Fundamentals of Java" and "Java Programming." It was an online live class with visible instructor. I felt I learned a lot and not so intimidated by coding. Granted, it's a very deep field, much more than HTML, but it's similar in a way I find comforting. I tried a practice test before the Associates Certification and got a 20% which is pretty poor. Makes me wonder. So I'm working on small projects and trying to build up a portfolio of a sort. My main question is, what sort of SIMPLE java programs can I code and show off for employers while pursuing the two certifications down the road??

I have the video recordings of my two week courses I can review, many hours, and I have a 3 month sub to Lynda and have been watching the Java videos there. Not sure where else I should go for more information to just really drown myself in Java? Are the Oracle forums friendly to new comers at all?

Thank you and first post!
 
Marshal
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As you already have design and web experience, perhaps you may be barking up the wrong tree. Perhaps you should be concentrating on JavaScript rather than Java? Just a thought.
 
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You can check out the JavaRanch cattle drive on this site. They have simple programs for you to try.
 
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This forum is friendly to newcomers .

The Cattle Drive link is a good suggestion. Also, Thinking in Java has good exercises at the end of each chapter (prior editions are free.) Another source of practice questions is the homework for a university class website.

As far as what to show employers, I think you'll need to learn more Java before having something impressive enough to show off.
 
primnull jones
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what do I do with the apose site?
I'm confused with it's purpose

as for a "portfolio" do programmers have one? I mean what do I have? A flash drive with name.class files or full on compiled apps?
 
Bear Bibeault
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primnull jones wrote:what do I do with the apose site?


That's an ad. It has nothing to do with your question.
 
primnull jones
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ok well the ad pops up and i see no way to close it
doesn't seem very professional site if so hard to get to

some basic questions..

1. what is difference between java programmer and developer?
2. what does front-end development work? and back end? Is this like client and server relationship?
3. my instructor said applets are not used that often so would it be a bad idea to get into that, outdated tech? i still see demand for it when i do an indeed job search.
4. what very entry level job should i search for? a developer or junior programmer? terms are a bit confusing

thank you guys very helpful
 
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primnull jones wrote:1. what is difference between java programmer and developer?


No difference, just semantics.

2. what does front-end development work? and back end? Is this like client and server relationship?


Yes. Front end is the code displayed in the browser; HTML, CSS and Javascript. And JSP but that's a bit more complex. Back end is the business logic that runs on the web server. A back end developer may never write a single line of HTML, and a front end developer may never write a line of Java. Some of us get to play both roles, but in large shops the jobs are usually segregated by expertise.

3. my instructor said applets are not used that often so would it be a bad idea to get into that, outdated tech? i still see demand for it when i do an indeed job search.


Your instructor is correct. Applets are huge security hole and should not be used in new development.

4. what very entry level job should i search for? a developer or junior programmer? terms are a bit confusing


Don't get too hung up on the job titles. Look at the job description, i.e. what skills are they looking for. At this point, you are going to be a junior whatever.

I'm with Bear on the design work. As a graphic designer you are well suited for front end design work, and good designers are hard to find. I find it to be the hardest part of my job. I can write the code, but I need someone else to explain exactly what they want the site to look like; color scheme, layout, graphics, etc. Anyone can tell that my pages are build by a techie nerd, not an artist. Learn HTML 5, CSS 3, and JavaScript and jQuery. As an artist, I think you will enjoy doing the design work more than writing back end servlet code.

As for a portfolio, get a domain name and build a web site of your own. Offer to build web sites for some local small businesses, charities, or churches. Offer to do it for little or no money if they agree to give you a job reference. That way when someone wants to see your work, you just give them a list of URLs.
 
J. Kevin Robbins
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And welcome to the Ranch!
 
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Good advice from Bear and JKR re. web stuff. Many modern web applications are moving away from heavy reliance on server-side Java towards combining JavaScript frameworks and HTML/CSS to provide similar functionality. Like many back-end developers, I have almost no visual design sense (my wife would no doubt agree about my general lack of visual intelligence!) so I think your design skills would be a very useful foundation for exploring on JavaScript and web front end development. Good luck!
 
primnull jones
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Ok good. I am much more familiar with HTML/CSS world. I have sub to Lynda and have been watching videos on Javascript, CSS3, and Jquery.

SQL, or called sequel, what is that used for? Servers? It's it's own language?
 
J. Kevin Robbins
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primnull jones wrote:SQL, or called sequel, what is that used for? Servers? It's it's own language?


It's a language unique to databases. It's used for database operations that are known as CRUD. Create, retrieve, update, and delete. For instance "select * from library.tablename" would retrieve all the records in the table referenced by "library.tablename". It's going to be used by back end developers. If you are going to focus on front end work you don't need to worry about it, although it wouldn't hurt to become familiar with the basics of it. SQL statements can become quite complex when used across multiple tables that have many-to-one relationships. Some of them make my head hurt just looking at them.
 
chris webster
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primnull jones wrote:Ok good. I am much more familiar with HTML/CSS world. I have sub to Lynda and have been watching videos on Javascript, CSS3, and Jquery.

SQL, or called sequel, what is that used for? Servers? It's it's own language?


You might want to check out the free online courses in web development available from Udacity and Coursera (look for the free options, not the "verified" or "certified" ones).
 
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