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What Should I Build as a Beginner

 
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Hi folks!! I have a simple question but first I'll provide some background. I'm 38 and I'm trying to change careers. My entire career was in the health industry so I've started from scratch about 9 months ago. For about 8 months I learned Javascript, first Vanilla and then Angular. I really enjoyed it, but some friends asked me to develop websites for them on Wordpress (so they could take over after I designed it) and when using it I noticed that anyone could make a decent website without any backend knowledge. I understand that there's way more to front-end than I've learned so far but something told me I should pursue programming on a different level.

I chose Java after researching a lot and because two friends are senior developers and it's always good to have support from close friends. Some friends that work with Python/Node.js told me to stay away from it because it's too hard but I decided to start anyways (maybe not a great idea considering learning curve, at my age).  But I understood pretty early on that you gotta pick something and stick to it. After all everything has haters and if I keep searching about what to study I'll get pushed in a million directions.

Having said all of that, I was very excited with Webdevelopment in the beginning because I could create something to present and be used in the real world (my biggest achievement was create a real website for an event here in Brisbane, Australia). I love learning regardless but I have to say I learned way faster when I was building something and trying to solve real problems. I'm doing a Java Course that's SUPER EXERCISE HEAVY AND I LOVE IT and they probably have projects later on, but I would love some advice about what I should build in Java as a beginner.

The stuff I built with Angular was always in the "scratch my own itch" territory. I made apps for personal use: budget, sleep tracker, habit tracker, dance moves database (with firebase), etc. Should I keep following this principle in Java? I know I can find a lot of good info with some research but I'd love to hear your opinion about it. I don't plan to stop learning the theory but I NEED TO BUILD STUFF.

Thanks in advance. I'm happy to be part of this forum, I'm loving reading the posts and it seems like there are many clever, supportive, empathetic folks around here (I hope to be one of them when I know enough).

 
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This is my recommendation that I give to all those that ask what they should do to start:

1 - degree in computer science with an emphasis in programming (please note that Java is a tool, like a hammer is a tool to a carpenter, IMO you need the fundamentals of programming--most of which you will never get or will not pickup for quite a while without a degree)
2 - in the absence of a degree, then get a few books on programming--NOT LANGUAGES--but programming, what makes a good program, problem solving approaches, and etc...
3 - open a newspaper and look in the help wanted ads for your area--what does it say?  Pick up a tool for the popular language in your area
4 - get your programming books out and fit the information to the tool you bought to learn for your area
5 - see if you can find someone to intern with

I have been in this game for about 30 years now, and I see it all the time: people that have no degree, but are "just as good or better as those that have gone through the program".  I say it is possible and I know a lot of good programmers that are not degreed, but they also have 10+ years of experience and make less than I did out of college.  The first job I went to out of college I was the only college trained programmer... All the new stuff that the company wanted to take on, found my desk, and not the "just as good..." people.  The second job they gave every one a $10K a year raise so they wouldn't bitch too much when they hired me in as their senior developer, with about a year of hard development under my belt and a 4 year degree from a major university.  The first thing I did was to find out what everyone's experience and training.  Those guys with 20+ years of experience where good at what they did, but they didn't have the depth to run with new stuff, so we had to get back to fundamentals and train everyone on how to do things.  Believe me after being the big fish in the pond for a few years you don't like the new guy coming in with his new fangled ideas and messing it all up, but if you don't know it, you have to learn it or forever be handicapped.

Now having said all of that...

If you just wanna be a web developer, then grab a book on cascading style sheets and HTML 5 and go to it with some Java script.  Try to overlay a little structure to what you do so the next poor fool can actually make out what you did because chances are, he's not going to have much background either.

If I sound biased, then I would have to say: yes, I probably am... but I've been 30 years in making the cases for that bias with real world experience.

Les
 
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Les Morgan wrote:. . . a few books on programming. . . .

There is a Humble Bundle package available this week only which might help you there. It includes Urma and Warburton, which was discussed recently in this forum. LM: please have a look at this t‍hread, where I think you will find something to disagree with
 
Pablo Aguirre
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Les Morgan... thank you so much for taking the time to write such an excellent reply. It will definitely help me rethink my approach to programming.

Staff note (Knute Snortum):

If you really like a post, click on the "thumbs up" button, or (if you have the ability) click on the cow button.

 
Pablo Aguirre
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I forgot to ask something in regards to your reply

Les Morgan wrote:This is my recommendation that I give to all those that ask what they should do to start:

1 - degree in computer science with an emphasis in programming (please note that Java is a tool, like a hammer is a tool to a carpenter, IMO you need the fundamentals of programming--most of which you will never get or will not pickup for quite a while without a degree)
2 - in the absence of a degree, then get a few books on programming--NOT LANGUAGES--but programming, what makes a good program, problem solving approaches, and etc...



It probably won't be possible for me to start an CS Degree at least until 2021. What would you suggest as a game plan for the mean time? I take that you would suggest learning the fundamentals of programming. What else would you recommend?

Thanks in advance
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Pablo Aguirre wrote:. . . learning the fundamentals of programming. . . .

Probably, no.

If you find somewhere good, they will teach you the fundamentals anyway; there is a risk of your learning badly in the meantime, and having to un‑learn a lot of what you thought. The one skill you need beforehand is knowing how to use a keyboard. I don't know what to suggest, but maybe somebody else will have something useful to recommend.

[Addition] I hadn't noticed you are new, PA. Welcome to the Ranch
 
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Dear Pablo Aguirre,

There is no unique answer to the question "What Should I Build as a Beginner".  I somehow stick to the recommendations given by Les Morgan, anyway in the mean time IMHO I recomend the courses given by Robert Sedgewick  in Coursera. Forget about the age and follow your instinct, you are in the right path.
 
Pablo Aguirre
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ludoviko azuaje wrote:Dear Pablo Aguirre,

Forget about the age and follow your instinct, you are in the right path.



Thanks mate! Right now I'm reading "Code Complete 2", as it's the most recommended book for computer scientists and even the first 40 pages already show me a bit more about the big picture.
 
Les Morgan
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Pablo,

There is one book I would recommend: "The Mythical Man-Month".  I must apologize I do not remember who it was by, but it was required reading in my studies.  It is a short, paperback book, less than 200 pages I believe, that takes a humorous, but yet very insightful look at the world of programming.  You'll be amazed at how often a line from the book jumps into your mind, and often, out your mouth at appropriate times.

If you do decide to go for a CS or SE degree, do not be afraid to ask to modify your program to accommodate the things you want to know.  I had a good counselor that tried to push me down the road the university had laid out, but for me, there wasn't enough real hard theory in it: I ended up taking a ton of math for problem-solving, AI (because I was really interested in it), and a bunch of language classes to get familiarized with the pros and cons of various approaches presented in computer languages (the tools and how they differ). I came out with a degree that fit all of the university requirements but was tailored to exactly what I felt I needed to know.  I became very familiar with our department chair as he had to personally approve my schedule most semesters due to the changes I wanted to make in my studies.

One philosophy that has worked well for me over the year has been: you need to have fun, life is too short to waste doing something you don't want to do, so love what you do and do it with distinction, otherwise, you are just wasting your life collecting a paycheck.  I am strange, in that, I truly love what I do, that is: provide custom solutions to hard problems.  That is what I wanted to do before I went to college, that is what I trained for in college, and that is what I have done after college for several companies.  I freely admit nobody has ever hired me for being a language smith, an expert in a language, but when they need to have somebody come in and face their big ugly--my resume seems to pop out of the pile and I get a call.

Have fun with your journey, it should be an adventure that brings you many fond experiences.

Les

Pablo Aguirre wrote:Les Morgan... thank you so much for taking the time to write such an excellent reply. It will definitely help me rethink my approach to programming.

 
Campbell Ritchie
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Les Morgan wrote:. . . "The Mythical Man-Month". . . . I do not remember who it was by

Frederick Brooks. This is where I saw it at the lowest price. Also available here.

. . .  I became very familiar with our department chair as he had to personally approve my schedule . . . have fun . . .

You were very fortunate finding somewhere which allowed you to tailor your courses like that. Well done there Yes, if you can tailor your course to your interests, so much the better.
If you want some more books on the same sort of subject, try the two “Joel on Software” books by Joel Spolsky. I have both and enjoyed them: not that I agreed with everything Spolsky says.
 
ludoviko azuaje
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Pablo Aguirre wrote:

ludoviko azuaje wrote:Dear Pablo Aguirre,

Forget about the age and follow your instinct, you are in the right path.



Thanks mate! Right now I'm reading "Code Complete 2", as it's the most recommended book for computer scientists and even the first 40 pages already show me a bit more about the big picture.



What book to recommend ? There are hundreds of books that claim to be written to beginners... again just to add my cents you can check Core Java Volume I-Fundamentals (11th Edition) by Cay S. Horstmann, this author has been invited to coderanch several times, you can check the archives to get an idea, in my opinion a great technical writer.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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I agree that Horstmann's book is very good, but I am not convinced it is suitable for beginners.
 
Les Morgan
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I used to use Core Java I and II as text and reference materials for new programmers in one of the companies I worked, I highly recommend them.  Also that Code Complete is definitely worth a good read--it is one of the few books I have read cover to cover and not just a section here and a section there.

ludoviko azuaje wrote:

Pablo Aguirre wrote:

ludoviko azuaje wrote:Dear Pablo Aguirre,

Forget about the age and follow your instinct, you are in the right path.



Thanks mate! Right now I'm reading "Code Complete 2", as it's the most recommended book for computer scientists and even the first 40 pages already show me a bit more about the big picture.



What book to recommend ? There are hundreds of books that claim to be written to beginners... again just to add my cents you can check Core Java Volume I-Fundamentals (11th Edition) by Cay S. Horstmann, this author has been invited to coderanch several times, you can check the archives to get an idea, in my opinion a great technical writer.

 
Campbell Ritchie
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Les Morgan wrote:. . . new programmers in one of the companies I worked, . . .

Presumably they weren't beginners if they had programming jobs?

I agree that Horstmann's books are very good as I said before. I think I would call his big book my favourite Java® book.
 
Les Morgan
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Pablo,

As you gain knowledge you'll find that most of the material in books and just "blah blah blah... same old same old... blah blah blah...", don't worry about it; I found once I was out of college, that I bought books to answer questions that I had, sometimes it was 3 sentences in one paragraph in one chapter of the book that gave me the clarity that I needed--and the book was $70, but it was money well spent.  Very rarely has a book been interesting enough to read from cover to cover... I have always treated them as references and gleaned what I needed, then tossed them--technology books are not sacred, their subject matter goes out of date faster than they can print new editions, expect to be learning for the rest of your life, and spending a significant amount each year on volumes and volumes of materials, journals, and books that are and have always meant to be disposable, dated, short term information; so when you get one, don't set it on the shelf and say: I'll get to it after this project is over--it will be dated material by then.  Read what you bought it for ASAP.

Make the time to keep yourself current in technology and don't be afraid to change jobs after you complete a project so you can keep on the high side of the technology curve.  It also let's your bosses know you're not trapped or afraid to venture out to find new excitement, you'll may be surprised at how agreeable they are to pull you over to the new cool project and giving you a raise rather than losing you to a more progressive company.  (keep in mind that very often if a company thinks you have no place to go, then you go no place)

Les
 
Pablo Aguirre
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Thanks for the excellent advice. I'm devouring Code Complete and I'm loving it. It's giving me a lot of perspective. Do you guys have any advice about how to read CS books? Do you take notes? Create summaries? In my Java Course I create cheat sheets with code I'll be using a lot plus important concepts but I'm not 100% sure of how to go about books like Code Complete. Thanks in advance.

 
Les Morgan
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I tend to just go though with a yellow highlighter... be advised though, after 5 to 10 years a lot of yellow highlighters fade.  I have some basic theory books on AI where I found that out.

More importantly though, if it's something I really need to remember, then I make a small program to cement the concept into my memory.  Things stick a lot better for me if I actually use it a couple of times and actually see what it does.

Pablo Aguirre wrote:Thanks for the excellent advice. I'm devouring Code Complete and I'm loving it. It's giving me a lot of perspective. Do you guys have any advice about how to read CS books? Do you take notes? Create summaries? In my Java Course I create cheat sheets with code I'll be using a lot plus important concepts but I'm not 100% sure of how to go about books like Code Complete. Thanks in advance.

 
Campbell Ritchie
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Les Morgan wrote:. . . after 5 to 10 years a lot of yellow highlighters fade. . . .

If you leave the yellow paper in the sunshine, it takes well under one year to fade to a nasty brown.
 
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I am also trying to work on a meaningful project for a beginner. Something that actually makes a difference in how I use the PC on a daily basis. In the spirit of this youtube.

I'm not necessarily trying to make a career change, but I do want a good taste of computers and computer programming, and gauge that to see how far I want to take it.

The youtube kind of emphasizes practical computer skills and concepts and applications over theory. If nothing else this seems valuable for motivation to learn. Applications are more exciting than random theory from CS101 classes. I know as I've dropped out of maybe a dozen attempts to study CS101 in formal classes.

Kind of in contrast to:

Les Morgan wrote:
This is my recommendation that I give to all those that ask what they should do to start:

1 - degree in computer science with an emphasis in programming (please note that Java is a tool, like a hammer is a tool to a carpenter, IMO you need the fundamentals of programming--most of which you will never get or will not pickup for quite a while without a degree)



more in the spirit of:

Pablo Aguirre wrote:
The stuff I built with Angular was always in the "scratch my own itch" territory.



Books are great, but the exercises and projects they include are created/suggested top down from the author to the student, rather than bottom up, where the student learns about solutions that the student cares about.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Welcome to the Ranch

What an interesting post

There are various things you might have to learn about driving a car:-
  • 1: The chemistry of petrol and rubber for the tyres and metallurgy of the metal for the car's structure.
  • 2: The design of engines, how the Otto engine differs from the two‑stroke engine, from the Diesel engine, from the electric engine, from the Wankel engine. And similar. How brakes work. etc.
  • 3: How to repair the engine if it goes wrong. How to verify the integrity of the vehicle's structure.
  • 4: What happens if you turn the steering wheel, or move the indicator lever, or push the right, middle, or left pedals, etc.
  • 5: How to avoid hitting obstacles, other road users, etc., whilst driving around. How to avoid breaking the motoring laws, etc.
  • 6: How to get from A to B.
  • 7: What to do when I get to B.
  • That video, which I think you have misunderstood, tells you that you don't learn to drive because you want to drive. At least it would if you substituted “drive” for “program” throughout. You learn to drive because you want to go to XYZ and do ABC when you get there. The video says that the motivation for learning to program is because you want to make something. As opposed to learning programming being the motivation for making something.
    You are not learning to program because you want to program, but because you want to make something and have it do something for you. Very few drivers regularly need to use 1 or 2. Most of us only use No 3 occasionally when we need to check the oil, washer fluid, tyre pressure, etc. Actually, that is something you need to do at least once weekly. So you do need to know about the car's structure. That knowledge will also tell you when something goes wrong and you need more help. The fact that you don't think about spark plugs when trying to do more than 30mph in heavy traffic doesn't mean knowing about spark plugs is useless.
    The video doesn't tell you that you don't need to learn to program. It tells you two things:-
  • a: The motivation to program comes from wanting to make something. Just as the motivation to learn to saw and glue comes from a wish to make a table.
  • b: The skills are “generic”; if you can make a table out of deal, you can make a chair out of beechwood.

  • How is a book going to “know” what projects its readers will prefer to what the author suggested? That is the sort of thing you can discuss and develop on a forum like this, where the person asking the first question (the OP) can guide the discussion to suit their own interests. But don't worry. You will soon find that the commonest reason for a program to fail to work correctly is that its writer isn't applying programming theory properly.
    And remember how easy programming is (also, somebody's on their way to help already, and the cheque's in the post, and etc).
     
    Les Morgan
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    I have an AI book that I put on the shelf, closed and in a dark, dry, place; in 5 years I went back and looked at it wanting to refresh my thoughts on some of the theories they presented, and ALL the markings were completely gone, gone without a visible trace. I went back to using the less "pretty", but more durable ugly yellow one, rather than the nice, bright, florescent yellow one.

    Campbell Ritchie wrote:

    Les Morgan wrote:. . . after 5 to 10 years a lot of yellow highlighters fade. . . .

    If you leave the yellow paper in the sunshine, it takes well under one year to fade to a nasty brown.

     
    Campbell Ritchie
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    For singing etc., I use a 4B pencil, which was the softest I could find. Pencil is very durable, and such soft pencil marks can readily be rubbed out when I have finished with them.
     
    Robby Sthenam
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    I don't know a lot about cars so it was a bit hard to follow your post.

    What I was able to follow I basically agreed with.

    I never expected a book to be able to know my interests, but I was simply pointing out a flaw in learning from books or tutorials or videos....

    Hopefully a forum or some other help would provide that bottom up learning and studying I referred to.
     
    Campbell Ritchie
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    Try and see; suggest a project and let's see how you are getting on with it. Also let us know how much experience you have got.
     
    Robby Sthenam
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    I'm a recovering personal computing junkie. I used to utilize all sorts of efficiency solutions. I have since scaled that down in the interest of developing more competency and self-reliance in the more important functions to utilize.

    I spend hours a day in front of the Personal Computer (PC).

    I don't know how PC works under the hood (operating system or software or hardware or cloud).

    I'd like to develop expertise in those areas to feel more and more self-reliant should my hardware break down or to limit the data exposure on 3rd party websites like google drive or social media or google chrome. In this sense, I am following the spirit of the CheersKevin youtube I referenced, only kind of backwards. I have already found solutions and are immersed in using them, but now I want to gain competence in them, to limit vulnerabilities. To use the car analogy: imagine that you saw the value in driving cars to get places, so you got a car and now you really need that functionality to get places, but then you realize you are incompetent in maintaining it, and it is a crucial tool to know how to maintain and repair, so you want to go back to square one and learn the science and engineering of cars.

    Specifically things I use are:
    Google Chrome for web browsing (this probably needs flushing out, as I use all sorts of websites)
    Google Sheets for habit tracking
    Windows Notepad for journaling
    Basic social media

    It will probably take a large investment of time, but in order to gain competence to use these solutions, I think I am willing to go down the rabbit hole to study electrical engineering of hardware and operating system basics and even some theoretical computer science concepts (I have enjoyed a little bit of the pure computer science I had exposure to), etc

    My background in computers is pretty much 80% a simple user and 20% some theory from CS101 classes attempted and failed.

    In the past I have used Mozilla Firefox and thought it was kind of nifty. In the interest of using more Free and Open Source software options, I would make the switch from Google Chrome web browser solution to Mozilla Firefox. Maybe Chromium would be better as it is closer to Google Chrome and also "Free and Open Source"
     
    Robby Sthenam
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    I’ve been writing programs for over half my life. I’ve taken a couple university classes. I even worked through the content of a CS degree online (which is totally unnecessary if you want to learn to code, by the way).

    https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2019/07/08/learn-to-code/
    Staff note (Paul Clapham):

    Robby, I changed your text URL into a clickable URL. (That makes it easier for Ranch visitors to use, but also apparently it increases Google's opinion of both the Ranch and Scott's site.)

     
    Campbell Ritchie
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    There are quite a lot of things Young says which I agree with, e.g.:-
  • 1: Languages are all the same under the skin. That is only true in the first stages, however.
  • 2: Choose a project you are interested in.
  • 3: Start small.
  • But I am not convinced that following his advice blindly will make you into a programmer. You are liable to hear the pejorative term “code monkey”, but that is what people become if they only learn coding. A “real” programmer knows how to decide what to program, and it is that decision step that is the difference between programmers and code monkeys. In one breath Young tells you that a university course is unnecessary, and a page later how useful it was to learn proper CS. What I think Young is actually saying is that he thinks you don't need to go away anywhere to learn CS, which is slightly different. You should learn a lot more in the academic life than simply what the subject is you are reading.
    He also seems to suggest that coding is easy, which it isn't, and give explanations why people think they can't do it. But I still think the best way to learn is from somebody who knows what they are doing, and knows how to pass that knowledge on.
     
    Robby Sthenam
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    I'm on board with:

    Campbell Ritchie wrote:
    2: Choose a project you are interested in.
    3: Start small.


    as well as:

    Campbell Ritchie wrote:
    But I still think the best way to learn is from somebody who knows what they are doing, and knows how to pass that knowledge on.



    I already know which projects I am interested in (at this point in my intellectual development), as I said in my previous post about the technology I use:

    Robby Sthenam wrote:
    Specifically things I use are:
    Google Chrome for web browsing (this probably needs flushing out, as I use all sorts of websites)
    Google Sheets for habit tracking
    Windows Notepad for journaling
    Basic social media
    [edit I also use fitness watches, currently FitBit or Suunto]



    I guess my problems are trying to find help (seems like 1 to 1 help would be most efficient; doesn't seem like small groups exist, forums are limited, and college courses are slow, inefficient, and not interesting - at this point for me), and finding help that can see my interests and helping me find interesting projects on a smaller modular and manageable level.
     
    Campbell Ritchie
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    One to one help like that may entail parting with folding money.
     
    Les Morgan
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    At some point, we were all beginners at programming Java.

    Campbell Ritchie wrote:

    Les Morgan wrote:. . . new programmers in one of the companies I worked, . . .

    Presumably they weren't beginners if they had programming jobs?

    I agree that Horstmann's books are very good as I said before. I think I would call his big book my favourite Java® book.

     
    Campbell Ritchie
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    What I meant is that by the time they have jobs, they are beyond the beginner stage.
     
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    Once, I said to a CS professional(.Net at origin): I want to learn Java.

    He asked:
    Why do you want to learn Java?

    At the time, I thought it was outrageous to ask me why I want to learn Java.
    I wanted to learn Java, because I thought it will teach me a universal skill that I can apply to any language.

    I gave up. Instead I started learning Linux.

    I am back on my knees with Java, cause apparently I can't avoid knowing the trade of a developer, so I have decided to drop any Ops, so I can become Dev. And eventually DevOps

    Anyhow. Your question is a good question.
    Advice from a beginner:

    Start reading Java Official tutorials.
    Start building a ToDo app. In isolation.
    Get bored of it and start building a Shop.
    Get bored of it and start building a game.
    Use data structures for projects.
    Repeat.

    Ultimate advice: START WRITING CODE and ask questions.
    You and Me: we are such noobs that don't matter what we build, it's just play.
    Get bored and play again. Come back to what you got bored of and apply what you learned from further experiences.

    So, start writing code!

    Ps1: start writing code after you describe what you want to do in English
    Ps2: a CS degree give you structure, so I think is good to have, if you are like me. An average dude wanting to cross on the other side.
     
    Greenhorn
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    Hi Pablo,

    I'm responding to this thread bc I'm in the same boat as you are, 38 and switching careers. I was a finish carpenter prior to learning code and hadn't touched a computer for probably 15 years. I started my journey in November 2019 and I am loving it too! Everything I have read and researched seems to point out that everyone in dev, tech or design needs at least a basic understanding of HTML and CSS. So that's what I've been focused on the most, learning that through and through. I recently have moved on to Javascript and W3.CSS (which is a wonderful lifesaver I might add)! I have learned mostly through online tutorials like freecodecamp.com, udemy.com (one of my teachers there also changed careers and used to be a doctor!) PluralSight and Coursera, which I took 'CS50: Intro to comp science' from a HARVARD instructor! (its kind of a big deal in the states). I have Debian Linux, atom.io, sublime, devdocs, w3schoools, mdn web docs, htmlcheatsheet (amazing), this website......I could go on and on about the resources out there! And you don's sound like someone who would be lead astray by "bad habit" coders. I have made portfolio websites for myself and my father, projects within the platforms/ websites I have mentioned, and just for fun, bc I was in your same boat, I'm making a "S$%tty S%##t that happens to our phones" website (unpublished lol). I'm kind of silly and I surely don't place any amount of money above my enjoyment of career choice and if you agree then you are doing great! Yep, a degree would be better, and I would be sore if I saw people doing my job I worked hard for and paid college money for too. I don't believe any knowledge or education is worthless, and if you're enjoying yourself than kudos! Hello! Also, I was thinking about offering pro bono work around my community for portfolio content - resume fillers. Or even just offering to "maintenance and design checks" for responsiveness and up to date styling class. There are tons of freelance opportunities out there as well.

                 Good Luck!
                           - the other curve challenged learner
     
    Campbell Ritchie
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    Welcome to the Ranch

    There is nothing unusual about changing nto computing after the age of 21. But if you are going to learn programming, you will find it much more work than designing a website.
     
    Les Morgan
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    We still call our newbies, just out of college and for the first 6 months to a year, beginners.

    Les Morgan wrote:At some point, we were all beginners at programming Java.

    Campbell Ritchie wrote:

    Les Morgan wrote:. . . new programmers in one of the companies I worked, . . .

    Presumably they weren't beginners if they had programming jobs?

    I agree that Horstmann's books are very good as I said before. I think I would call his big book my favourite Java® book.

     
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    I really liked this link posted previously as a way to help you decide where to start. But if you decide to make a career of software development, you will have to learn more than one language. coding is easy if you have a logical mind. Software Development is hard as there are a lot of pieces that you have to coordinate. And so your projects can grow, you need to learn architecture ie how to design your application so that it can grow and you can maintain it. One set of books that I recomend that teach this is the HeadFirst set of books. My only complaint is that they have yet to update their Java book to Java 8.  

    https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2019/07/08/learn-to-code/
     
    Greenhorn
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    Campbell Ritchie wrote:

    Les Morgan wrote:. . . a few books on programming. . . .

    There is a Humble Bundle package available this week only which might help you there. It includes Urma and Warburton, which was discussed recently in this forum. LM: please have a look at this t‍hread, where I think you will find something to disagree with



    this books is i t for free  or do we have to pay ? is there any book on html 5 in this forum?
     
    Campbell Ritchie
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    debs mahap wrote:. . . do we have to pay ? . . .

    Yes, you have to pay. The offer I mentioned expired in April.
     
    Greenhorn
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    Thanks  Pablo Aguirre, for starting this thread! It sure does have wealth of knowledge on how to pave path in programming if you are coming from non traditional background.

    I am also kinda in same boat, I do have an engineering degree but not in computer science or SE.

    Using Les Morgan's advice I also checked "The mythical man month" excellent book it is,  to build perspective of field!

    I wish you all the best Pablo!
     
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