Matt Matthews

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since Dec 02, 2014
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Recent posts by Matt Matthews

You say you only have two instance variables for the LightController class but in your constructor you are calling xPos,yPos etc. Won't that give you compilation errors since those instance variables don't actually exist in your class?
4 years ago

I am not sure what the OUColour is suppose to be? I assume OU is from a class library?
I put the 'this' keyword into the code since you would have declared these (int xPos, int yPos) as instance variables.
4 years ago

Campbell Ritchie wrote:No, it says cannot ship to my address. Lots of American sellers won't ship to UK. So they aren't saying it is out of stock.

Unless it was a copy damaged in printing?

I too live in the UK and I would not even ask to ship here. A small fortune in shipping these days. I remember paying up to $100 for a small packages via USPS when I was moving back home to the UK. Customs opened my packages and made me pay tax on my own computer parts. Though yes, it is a fortune. Loads of UK eBay traders have gave up selling due to high royal mail costs.
4 years ago
BlueJ is rather frustrating at first. We used it as our first Java IDE in university. Still using it slighty at the moment. We were taught OO concepts via the use of BlueJ. Creating objects and being able to communicate with those objects. Also BlueJ is where we learnt to create classes etc.
Our main IDE is Netbeans which I really enjoy.
4 years ago
I worked in web development and ended up hating it so much. Friends always asking if I could fix their computer. Clients I had to deal with who were beyond a joke and expected free work. Never helped the fact that the place I worked was doing " free demos ". Literally, a potential client would come in and they would be told that the developers would make a 'demo' for them. Developers never got paid for these demos. Only got paid if the client actually went with it. It was a nightmare.
Then the sheer amount of drag and drop bedroom "developers" who were nothing short of cowboys advertising full ten page custom sites for £99. Though I do still look at CSS Awards and love the great designs some make. Web Development drove me towards software engineering, so not all bad.
4 years ago
I know basic Javascript as I use to work for a web development company. I also know X/HTML, CSS, XML, SQL and I do have working knowledge of various IDE's and using Apache databases etc.
Through my University we have also gained strong network engineering skills. A lot of CISCO work. As part of our degree we have gained our CCNA. We started with using MIT's Scratch for programming then studied HTML and XML and then we moved on to OO programming with Java. I have seen next semesters workload and it is packed with engineering principals of development. I have found Ian Sommervilles ' Software Engineering ' books to be beyond valuable to our studies. Maybe we will move beyond Java. Either way, it seems from my local job market that I should maybe learn .NET?

On a side note, I really enjoy Java. Very tough at times and I must admit, I spend some days wanting to throw the computer out the window. This site has also been so very useful to me.
4 years ago
I was speaking to a rather senior software engineer yesterday and he mentioned that in his company which is a major UK wide company, that they mainly use C for programming. To be honest, most of the technologies he mentioned are technologies that we simply do not learn at university.
The vast amount of our programming is all Java. Leaves me feeling rather worried as I would like to know C/++. It got me looking, most jobs right now are looking for people with language experience that is not Java. So why are the universities only teaching us this?
My degree is computer science but my major/pathway is software engineering. Is Java the future? Is Java what I should stick with?
4 years ago

Winston Gutkowski wrote:

Aarden Axford wrote:Up until this point, I have created methods to keep track of the score, but I have simply left them commented out so I could build the rest of the program.

My advice: Don't do that. If you don't have a "body" for a method, simply have it throw UnsupportedOperationException until you're ready to code it. That way, your API is complete, and other objects can happily call the method if they need to. If you keep "uncommenting" methods, it'll be changing all the time.

And as long as throwing the exception is the only thing you do, the method will compile just fine.

It's called "stubbing" - at least, that's what I call it...


I get the concept of using methods within the class he is using to track scores. As a student myself, is it best to keep it this way or would it be viable to create a new class that will only handle scores?
Or does creating a scoreResults class just complicate things?
4 years ago

I get calls for all sorts of weird and wonderful jobs that I am completely unqualified to do. Apparently I really should be doing ex-military recruitment.

I was in the military and it was the biggest waste of time ever. I went in with decent IT knowledge from my previous job in web development and came out nearly starting from scratch. I really regret that I held my IT career back by serving.

4 years ago

Winston Gutkowski wrote:

Matt Matthews wrote:A problem that we have in the UK at the moment is that many IT companies are using recruiting agencies to employ developers...

I'm not sure that that's necessarily a problem, as long as they're not too "formulaic". When I lived in Vancouver, I actually got several jobs (including the best one of my career) through an agency; but he was a one-man band: Complete nutter with a "lazy eye" who drank like a fish; but he seemed to have a knack for fitting "the right person with the right job" - and he made mucho dinero out of me.

Got my best contract job (at Sun UK) via a recruitment firm too.


I don't mean that agencies are not good. Some are excellent but I happen to wonder at their ethics. Having family and friends who have sadly been dropped from jobs, they feel a lack of job security with agency work, how an agency could phone you at 2pm and expect you to start a new job by 4pm etc. That is certainly what goes on with many agencies in the UK. Though I am sure there are some good ones around.

4 years ago

Winston Gutkowski wrote:

Bear Bibeault wrote:Back "in the day" it was a lot easier to break into software development without a background. When I worked at DEC, the group secretary moved into development (and she turned out to be a good developer).

Absolutely, and I remember quite a few 'making the move' from operations (back in the days when computers needed operators) too.

I don't see that happening a lot today.

And I reckon that part of the reason is that it's much harder to actually get to an interview these days. Companies have HR departments, so the people in charge of the "first cut" probably aren't even in IT any more; and I suspect they'e under strict orders to bin CVs that don't include a degree. I didn't even have a CV for my first three job interviews...and I got 'em all.

And to me it's a great pity. We seem to be going the way of Japan, where life from 12-25 is simply a competition to set up your career, and universities are production lines for graduates with degrees that have less and less meaning, except to say that you "did your three" (or five, or seven). I think, if I ran an IT company, I'd want to actively recruit "hobbyists", regardless of whether they have a degree or not - ie, people who like computers and computing - and I'd be much more interested in seeing what they've done, rather than a piece of paper that says whether they got a first or a Desmond.

But I don't; and I very much doubt that the great machinery of recruiting is likely to change any time soon.


A problem that we have in the UK at the moment is that many IT companies are using recruiting agencies to employ developers. These recruiting agencies for the most part have zero idea what they are looking at. Yet to meet any who know or understand what a computer science degree is. They must just match words on a page to your resume. My friend who graduated last year in business got asked if he wanted a server admin role. He can just about turn a computer on.

A few who graduated last year in computer science can't even get a job. Some are working in retail for minimum wage just to get by. For those who even get shortlisted, they then have to go and sit a test to even see if they are worth interviewing. I know of one job that had over 700 people apply and only 2 positions to offer. So hard right now. Not to mention the sheer amount of huge companies that have shipped all the programming jobs off to India were they can pay people a pound per day.
I am honestly scared of graduating.
4 years ago

Bear Bibeault wrote:Back "in the day" it was a lot easier to break into software development without a background. When I worked at DEC, the group secretary move into development (and she turned out to be a good developer). I don't see that happening a lot today.

Very true.
My step Father's degree was actually in business and he ended up getting into software back in the late 70's. Even worked in silicone valley in the golden days. Would have loved to have seen those days.
4 years ago

Winston Gutkowski wrote:

Matt Matthews wrote:I think your comment about degrees being useless in the UK is totally ignorant and offensive...

Steady on. I don't think Danny was slagging off recipients of degrees - 'sounded more to me like a political comment.

The fact is that I STILL don't have a degree, yet I consider myself a pretty good programmer. And given that my last experience of trying to get one (back in 1996) consisted of a year of telling tutors what they wanted to hear - with the requisite quotes from refereed journals of course - I'm not sure I want to any more.
I actually passed the first year, but work moved me away from Uni, so I couldn't complete the course.

What I DO remember is the best quote about academe from one of my tutors:
1. The first three years are spent proving you're worthy of actually having an opinion.
2. The next two (or three) are spent warding off the question: "You did get a FIRST, didn't you?".

Now that might be fine at 18; but not at 38.

IMO, a degree says no more about how good a programmer you'll be than whether you can throw a tight spiral. Unfortunately (@Danny), it's about all employers look at these days.


I know a few people who are very intelligent and excellent software developers who do not have a degree either. They are all Oracle certified now though. Of course you can be great at programming without a degree but one thing that students of software engineering have that those (for the most part)who are self taught do not have is the sheer in depth academic understanding of scientific and engineering principals. These skills are essential for being a successful software engineer. I have learnt so much at University that is simply harder to come across for non students. Plus the networking and career days are invaluable.
In our era of 2015 it is next to impossible to get a career without a degree. A degree as stated above shows dedication and the ability to learn along with in depth knowledge of that subject.
My step Father is a software engineering manager at a very successful company and he always said to get a degree and work your way up the ladder to become a senior manager etc. He is always sitting new certifications and traveling to conferences. We are heading to Black Hat Europe next year. His company won't touch anyone without a degree. The major companies who come to our University all require a degree minimum. Every job I see advertised in my region all ask for a degree.
I am currently working with an IT company and also whilst at University studying to sit further certifications to to try and stand a chance of landing a job when I graduate. So tough out there right now.

The era of walking into programming roles is long over. It is a very very competitive market and there are hundreds graduating with degrees each year in the UK for computer science.

But I 100% agree that there are people who are fantastic who don't have a degree. I knew one guy who was part of a start up company in gaming and his Java skills were stunning. He too is now attending University as even he can't get a career without it.
4 years ago

Danny Patel wrote:

Campbell Ritchie wrote:

Danny Patel wrote: . . . JAVA certification OR Oracle certified professional looks too hard and deep for me, is it worth doing over and above learning from few books and video based training? . . .

Certification is a basic qualification. Where I am most people sit degrees before going for programming jobs. Not getting certified is like applying for a driving job and saying, “I thought sitting a driving t‍est was too hard and deep.”

You have 100% misunderstood.

I am NEW.
I want to start somewhere.
Once i have understanding of basics, concepts and get used to the environment THEN i will do more intense course, certification.

NOW assume i am a 6 year old saying i wish to be a writer.

Degree in the UK became useless since 1998. In most subjects unless it was the core requirement. Lawyer or DR etc.

As for driving? I was asking which is the best driving course, which instructor and i CANT drive.

basic, new, newbie, nub, beginner, testing water, sampling.... that is me... never mind.

my search continues....

I think your comment about degrees being useless in the UK is totally ignorant and offensive.
I too live in the UK and currently a Computer Science student. Certified in several IT skills such as CCNA which I have now gained via University. I am also sitting my Oracle OCA this year and the OCA is what many consider to be a bare minimum. It is the most basic level that Oracle offer for Java developers.
I started work within IT back in 2007 and vast majority of employers now, do demand a degree or at minimum the likes of Oracle certification and experience. I do not know one software company that will even look at anybody who does not have the correct education behind them.
Java is our core language at University and this site is packed with tutorials and answers to thousands of questions. Also, the Oracle site even gives step by step tutorials for Java beginners. Download Netbeans and work along to those.

4 years ago
We were having a class today on access modifiers and it was stated that even if the superclass declares a private that you cannot access it directly from an instance of any direct or indirect subclass but if there are any public methods like getters or setters in the parent class that access or alter that private instance variable, then instances of the subclass will be able to manipulate it indirectly.

We can indirectly access it via getters and setters. Using statements such as SameColourAs (), getColour () and setColour(). We were told to be very careful with what access modifiers we use as they support data hiding and prevent accidental and intential misuse of private members of a class.
4 years ago