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How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: target reader?  RSS feed

 
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Hello Allen & Chris

I am interested in accelerating my java learning process and i am always looking from good books .I have a few questions :

1. What would be the target reader that you aimed for with this book and what would be the type of reader this book is not for ?

2. I am a bit of a self learner and what helps me learn and keeps me motivated is validation of my effort aka exercises and tests where you can reverse/use what you read from a different angle and at the same time validate the effort you made . Does your book focuses on this and if so how ?

3.This is a more of an esoteric question . I think there is a difference from someone that has great proficiency and talent in a domain and someone that is a great teacher . How do you see this yourselves and how you implemented being a "great teacher" in this book ?

My last question is not related to the book but it's something that bugs me recently . I m a java novice , all i know so far was obtained via self study from books . I m working as a QA engineer that sometimes feels the shoes of an automation engineer. I know more theory then most of my colleagues but i m not as proficient at writing code as half of them. Being from a non technical background education wise and just starting java less then 2 years ago what do you advice me to do to gain more actual code writing skills . ( write code is almost implied as an answer here but i find it hard to find meaningful stuff to write code about ,at a level useful from my current skill level - i would love a more structured approach).
 
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Hi Tiberius,

1. The preface says, "Think Java is an introduction to computer science and programming intended for readers with little or no experience." While writing the book, we kept two main audiences in mind: college / high school students in an intro course, and self-taught programmers in industry who perhaps know another language like C++ or VB. It may not be as useful for experienced Java developers. However, because it's so concise, it's great for filling in gaps and getting back to the basics.

2. Each chapter includes a number of exercises that include starting code in a GitHub repository. We will be releasing the sample solutions for them later this year.

3. Both Allen and I are primarily teachers (college professors), not professional software engineers. The tone of this book is down to earth. Each chapter takes about 45 minutes to read (plus however much time you'd like to spend experimenting with the content). We expect students to read and understand every word, as opposed to giving them an 800-page textbook that they won't read.

To follow up your last question: I actually have students "read the book" only one day per week. Then I give them structured labs and assignments to learn to program well. So in one sense, the book won't give you everything you need. But on the other hand, it's everything that students can and should be able to learn on their own so we can use class time for more challenging experiences.

If you'd like to try any of my labs or assignments, they're all online at https://w3.cs.jmu.edu/mayfiecs/cs149/.

--Chris
 
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