Scott Mac Donald

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since Feb 02, 2015
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Recent posts by Scott Mac Donald

Hi!  I've done some Java tutorials and books in the past, but haven't had much opportunity to create meaningful projects yet.  I feel like I may be at the Intermediate level, rather than beginner though.  Is this book more geared for first timers, or would I find some material that would help me as well?

Thanks!
2 weeks ago
Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm just fresh off a Python tutorial and I'm looking for a good next step.  The description of this book suggests it's a good top to bottom exploration of the whole development cycle with a Python focus.  That sounds like a good place to go, to get a more holistic view of development.

Does that make sense?  Am I on track with what the book actually is about?  

Thanks!
1 month ago
I know the Python community has a bit of a rift over Python 2 vs 3.  Is there anything like that in Java?  Are there any advantages at all to starting in something other than the latest?
3 months ago
Not a Tutorial, per-se.  I read the Amazon description, so I see that it's a list of libraries, essentially.  I guess I was just wondering if, when it says "By the end of the book, you will have acquired the skills needed to write clean code in Python and develop applications that meet your needs.", that it meant that the book flowed sequentially or with some kind of purposeful order of the libraries used so as to use skills you pick up from one to apply to the other. Does that make sense? -=chuckles=- I hope so.
4 months ago
Hi!

Would you consider this book more of a reference volume, or something that would be read cover to cover as a learning tool?

Thanks!
4 months ago
Welcome Naomi!  
How suitable is your book for Python neophytes?

Thanks!
7 months ago
Sounds like a great book!

I'd say we have a few challenges so far that we're working though.  We like the process, generally, but still have a few stumbling points.

Tools are always an issue with anything I guess, but finding something that will work company/department wide has been a bit of an issue.  We went head first into Hansoft and are still trying to bend it to our will.  When you're trying to adapt both new processes and new software it gets to be a little complicated.
We're still trying to find the best task size for developers for our 2 weeks sprints.  I'm the Scrum master (which I'm loving) and also the QA resource on our team, so I'm usually pressuring devs into making their dev chunks small enough that I have stuff to do QA wise throughout the two weeks, inetead of all piled up on the end.
Our other big issue is defect management, which I think is also a tool issue.  We went from Microsoft Test Manager and TFS, which had some pretty strong bug recording features, but the version we had was weak on the reporting side. We're trying to get Hansoft to do the job for us as much as possible, but I haven't really been loving it yet.

To add to the fun, our QA department recently moved away from traditional test management into Session based test management.  Another curve ball which is, overally, a good shift, but another challenge to make it all work together.  If you're not familliar with SBTM, check out a guy named James Bach's work.  If you don't drink his Koolaid that's fine, but I think he make some good points about how testing should be done.
Hey, thanks for stopping by! My team just moved over from Waterfall, and what a ride it's been!  We've been using the Scrum methodology, so I'm wondering if your book covers that sort of thing, or useful tools for working in Agile.

Thanks!
Glad to see a Head First book making the rounds!

How much of a Java knowledge do you need to be successful with this book?  Does it assume the HF Java book has been covered?

Thanks!
1 year ago
@Pete I thought you might want to hear that, at long last, I finished that exercise!

My biggest problem has been the fact that I can't dedicate much time to learning, so when I get to that exercise, it didn't occur to me that I should re-read the class that the instructions told me to reuse from a previous project.  Once I got an understanding of what that class did, I clawed myself through the rest of the code.

I'm probably only 75% confident with the subject matter, but I came back to your message two or three times as I tore down my work and started again.

Very much appreciated!
1 year ago
Yeah, I was worried about the Wall of Text problem with posting my code, especially where I didn't know where to begin with this one, so I figured linking it would make it a little easier for folks.  For my next problem, I do have some idea where my issue is, so if I need to come back I definitely will post code snippets.
1 year ago
@Pete Letkeman I appreciate your feedback!  With your help I was able to at least get the program to run, but I do have another very early problem that I need to address.  I think I should be able to figure it out, but if not I may be back!
1 year ago
Hey Ron,

If I were to post the code here, would I just assume it's all in one file and put all the code one piece after the next?  I'm still pretty wet behind the ears on this one.

Pete,

Thanks for the help!  I'll look that over and see if I understand how to apply it.
1 year ago
Hey everyone,  I'm trying to work my way through the Java course at MOOC.fi.  It's been pretty good, and I like the pacing, but I'm having an issue with this exercise.
http://mooc.cs.helsinki.fi/programming-part1/material-2013/week-5?noredirect=1
I will admit that part of my problem is not being able to consistently work on the course, so I often have a week or more between sessions when I get stuck.

At present, this exercise is throwing a NullPointerException, and I don't know why.

https://tmc.mooc.fi/mooc/paste/B86NPB_dKOP7X66XgoHwnQ

If I need to give more details, let me know and I'll provide what I have and what I can.

Thanks!
1 year ago
Hi, thanks for stopping by the Ranch.  

How would you rate your book for a newbie?  Is it fairly friendly for novices or more geared toward folks who know their way around a little?

Thanks!
1 year ago