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Beginning Java - My first Post and Introduction  RSS feed

 
Jb Thomas
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I figured I should make my first post. Maybe introduce myself and gather some encouragment for the road of learning.
My name is Jason. I'm 37 years old, and have spend the last 17 years involved in web development. I've worked on Projects for Microsoft Network (the late MSN). I also spent time working for telecommunications giants and even in health care technology. I'm no longer designing, and I'm no longer coding much of anything these days. The last few years I've spend my time managing a team of developers who are doing all the work, and it's left me feeling quite bored and unmotivated. I've been thinking of shifting gears and going back into the grind.

Where this leads me today if a funny story. My oldest son, who is obsessed with the game Mine Craft really only cares about one thing in his life right now... and that's Mine Craft. Sometimes connecting or talking to him about anything else can be a difficult task. He's about to be out of school of the summer, and since I work from home, I figured a summer camp might be a good idea. My wife hands me a kids magazine with summer camps suggestions, and what do I see? Looking back at me on the page is a camp designed to teach children Java basics using Mine Craft. The developers I manage are all Java Programmers, but my experience with Java is minimal. I did some research on his game and sure enough the entire thing is programmed in Java! I decided this would be a good thing to show him and we could actually have a conversation with some substance. I basically wanted to use his favorite game as an example, and reinforce the importance of school and learning and explain that even in dads work day - what we are doing involves the very thing that created his favorite game.

That conversation opened a brand new can of worms! Before I realized it, he had me looking into his game further and asking questions I couldn't fully answer. As I looked for answers for him, I soon discovered how much I missed writing code. His simple little game (though I admit to be very entertaining), was really quite a blessing in disguise. I've spend the last month, reading and learning as much as I could about Java. I really do love it so far, and I want to go as far as I can with it, and go back into programming.

This dad still has some questions and maybe some of you can answer to help provide some guidance.

1. In terms of my programming experience, I'm 80% self taught, and the rest has been classroom experience. The very best things I've done, I taught myself, so I've never put much trust in structured/paid learning. Do you think this approach will work with Java? Will I be able to teach myself everything I need to obtain any certifications and make a career change? Will I need classroom hours in order to be eligible to test and obtain these certifications?

2. To approach this learning experience at a very basic and foundational level, what are the best resources you've used to start? Maybe a first book recommendation?

3. On average, how long does it take to become proficient in the language?








 
Knute Snortum
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Welcome to the Ranch.

I learned Java at an "older" age (about 50) after a lot of other programming. It took me about two weeks to be coding simple projects and about 6 months to code complex ones.

I like the book Learning Java for people with programming experience. Head First Java is good for more visual learners and younger programmers like your son.
 
Jb Thomas
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To start at basic level. I went to public library and picked up the only book I could find... Java for Dummies. I read it about half way through, and realized I couldn't stand all the non-sense in the book and returned it. I did pick up Head First Java online, and started reading it. I'm currently waiting for a hard copy of it in the mail because I prefer physically holding a book. So far the book has been good. I'm currently reading the section on creating the game battleship, however I think I enjoyed the previous 130 pages a bit more. I'm also running Eclipse IDE since this is what we use at work.
 
Oceas Anderson
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Welcome to Java Ranch and the world of Java in general!

I myself am a student in University for Computer Science and have an internship working with EE Java development on a daily basis for the past year now. I sadly do not have the proper knowledge in recommending if formal classroom lecturing is required for certifications so I'll leave that to some more experienced.

As for good material to start learning Java I highly reocmmend a youtuber MyBringBack who has a Java tutorial series which teaches alot of the core fundamentals from variables to threads and even basic gui deisgn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEApt1B8ycs&list=PL691F825EFC74A181 . The time it took me to become proficient was about two months to get the core java skillset to work on my own projects but depending on what aspects of Java such as Java Swing developement or Java Server Faces this time can greatly increase for me learning JSF has taken close to six months focusing just on it to become really skilled in it.

I hope this helps and good luck!
 
Ron McLeod
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Jb Thomas wrote:My oldest son, who is obsessed with the game Mine Craft really only cares about one thing in his life right now... and that's Mine Craft. Sometimes connecting or talking to him about anything else can be a difficult task. He's about to be out of school of the summer, and since I work from home, I figured a summer camp might be a good idea. My wife hands me a kids magazine with summer camps suggestions, and what do I see? Looking back at me on the page is a camp designed to teach children Java basics using Mine Craft. The developers I manage are all Java Programmers, but my experience with Java is minimal. I did some research on his game and sure enough the entire thing is programmed in Java! I decided this would be a good thing to show him and we could actually have a conversation with some substance. I basically wanted to use his favorite game as an example, and reinforce the importance of school and learning and explain that even in dads work day - what we are doing involves the very thing that created his favorite game

I bought the YouthDigital MOD DESIGN 1 course for my 11 year old son, and he loved it. The list price is $250, but there are offers/codes to get it for discounted by 40% or 50%. We are working together now to connect Minecraft to to Arduino using sockets so that the physical world (buttons, LEDs, buzzer, etc.) can interact with the virtual one.
 
Jb Thomas
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Ron McLeod wrote:
Jb Thomas wrote:My oldest son, who is obsessed with the game Mine Craft really only cares about one thing in his life right now... and that's Mine Craft. Sometimes connecting or talking to him about anything else can be a difficult task. He's about to be out of school of the summer, and since I work from home, I figured a summer camp might be a good idea. My wife hands me a kids magazine with summer camps suggestions, and what do I see? Looking back at me on the page is a camp designed to teach children Java basics using Mine Craft. The developers I manage are all Java Programmers, but my experience with Java is minimal. I did some research on his game and sure enough the entire thing is programmed in Java! I decided this would be a good thing to show him and we could actually have a conversation with some substance. I basically wanted to use his favorite game as an example, and reinforce the importance of school and learning and explain that even in dads work day - what we are doing involves the very thing that created his favorite game

I bought the YouthDigital MOD DESIGN 1 course for my 11 year old son, and he loved it. The list price is $250, but there are offers/codes to get it for discounted by 40% or 50%. We are working together now to connect Minecraft to to Arduino using sockets so that the physical world (buttons, LEDs, buzzer, etc.) can interact with the virtual one.


That is crazy. The coarse we found was offered at www.codakid.com. It's 500$!
I have my Arduino UNO sitting here next to me. Waiting for some code. We were planning to build and program a ball throwing machine for his wiener dog. Haha. He already has a automatic dog feeding machine. I shouldn't say his only love is Mine Craft, because he loves that dog just as much.
 
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