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I Completed My First College Java Course, What Next?

 
Greenhorn
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Netbeans IDE C++ Java
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I just finished a course in Java, which I really enjoyed! I thought the instructor was awesome and passed with a decent grade (mid-to-high-B). I also took a C++ class at the same time, which kind of complicated things. I enjoyed coding in each language, but I enjoyed Java much, much more. I am taking a Java course centered around data structures next semester, but after reading up on some topics here on the forums, I learned that after that, Java coders are left out in the open. I want to avoid this and have a clearly defined next step after I finish the course next semester. What do you guys recommend?

Extra Information that may help with feedback:
  • I really want to work with computer hardware (mainly the internal components of a computer)
  • I learned recently that if one is to work with computer hardware, they need to know a lot about the code, which is most often incorporates some sort of C language, that goes into making this hardware
  • I also want to have a good emphasis on being able to code applications, hopefully in Java
  • I want to be able to design 3D virtual environments (for example, level-design for video games), but it isn't top priority

  • I don't know if this is a dumb question or decent one. I just don't want to be left in the dark with no idea of which direction to go after I complete my education. I love coding in Java and I think it's fun. I can definitely get the hang of coding in C++, but to me the syntax is so much more difficult to get comfortable with. It also doesn't help that, as far as I know, there are no known compilers out there that provide live feedback and error checking for C++, which you can find in the Java Compiler in the NetBeans IDE.
     
    Marshal
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    Zachary House wrote:. . . after I complete my education. . . .

    If you think you have completed your education, you are mistaken. You need to keep learning throughout the whole of your lifetime.
    What makes you think developers are left out? You would expect a good employer to keep developing your skills.
    There is a big difference between hardware and software, and between apps programming and OS programming. You might do well to ask your college for contact details of recently‑left people whom you can talk to.
     
    Bartender
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    It is probably helpful to know at least the basics of database systems/SQL and NoSQL.
    More and more data is being collected on a daily basis and that data needs to analyzed to make it useful.

    Zachary House wrote:I really want to work with computer hardware (mainly the internal components of a computer)


    It's my understanding that know C and assembly and other low level languages are an asset for this.
    I also suspect that many of these people are at least somewhat familiar with Linux.

    Zachary House wrote:I learned recently that if one is to work with computer hardware, they need to know a lot about the code,
    which is most often incorporates some sort of C language, that goes into making this hardware


    Sometimes yes, other times no.
    For instance you can do programming on Raspberry PI devices in Java, Android, C, C++, C#, PHP, Perl, Python and probably other languages.
    This gives you hardware that you can customize and program for fun or for learning etc.
    Some people have used Raspberry PI devices with a camera sensor to solve things like Rubik Cubes, as security systems and more.
    There are other devices such as Arduino and more which offer about the same as Raspberry PI.

    Zachary House wrote:I also want to have a good emphasis on being able to code applications, hopefully in Java


    Generally speaking Java certification will help you to understand and learn many of the accepted/recommened Java practices.
    If you are going to do this then you may want to look at the stories found here https://coderanch.com/wiki/659980/Ocajp-Wall-Fame
    There are plenty of Java certifications however not everyone cares or recognizes certifications.

    Zachary House wrote:I want to be able to design 3D virtual environments (for example, level-design for video games), but it isn't top priority


    For this you should become familiar with a variety of programs such as 3DS Max, AutoCad, Maya, PhotoShop all rather expensive unless you are able to get a Student version.
    Alternatively you could use Blender, Gimp, Inkscape which are 100% free.
    Not only that you may want to look into the UnReal Engine or Unity both of which can use C, C++, C# and possibly even JavaScript I think.
    Both UnReal and Unity are free to use for learning/non commercial projects.

    There are various threads out there about IDEs for Java and everyone has their preferred IDE.
    Personally I like IntelliJ which is also used in Google's Android Studio for Android development.

    I suspect that this doesn't really help out Zachary too much, but I hope that they add to the list options or things to think about for Zachary.
     
    Zachary House
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    Pete Letkeman wrote:I suspect that this doesn't really help out Zachary too much, but I hope that they add to the list options or things to think about for Zachary.



    You may be pleasantly surprised to find you are wrong here. You have helped immensely by providing all this information! I this gives me nice web of skills I need to learn. I was already aware of a few of the suggestions like the use of Blender, AutoCad, Photoshop, Raspberry PI programming, and a few others. Still, this has been one of my favorite replies yet because the the amount of useful information in it.

    Campbell Ritchie wrote:You might do well to ask your college for contact details of recently-left people whom you can talk to.



    Thank you for this suggestion actually. I could get a (somewhat) professional opinion of what to do or where to go after college from them. At the moment, I don't know who I would need to contact in order to connect with graduates who've made their own way or if I would be able to obtain their contact information. I've had a few conversations via e-mail with some of the other professors that teach higher-level programming classes, so I may be able to start there and ask around.
     
    Rancher
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    Zachary House wrote:

  • I also want to have a good emphasis on being able to code applications, hopefully in Java



  • If you want to develop mobile apps I would take a look at android studio. For web or standalones I would recomend the Spring framework.
    You also need a good understanding of html, css and jsp or thymeleaf.

    Zachary House wrote:
    I can definitely get the hang of coding in C++, but to me the syntax is so much more difficult to get comfortable with. It also doesn't help that, as far as I know, there are no known compilers out there that provide live feedback and error checking for C++, which you can find in the Java Compiler in the NetBeans IDE.


    There a lot of ide's that can help you with coding in c++, netbeans has a c version, eclipse, visual studio and so on. There is also software that can convert java to c++.

    That being said if your realy in to java and want to make a career of it, I wouldn't wait till the next college course, There's tons of websites that provide free courses to follow.
    udacity for example, provides the same java-course as teached on stanford university and lot's of other intresting stuff.

     
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