Programming Woes...

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SnotRocket

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
388
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Georgia
Alright, I need help from anyone who has taught themselves Java, or had a similar problem to mine.

I am in an engineering school, focusing on Software Engineering as my major. I chose the field because 1) it's a growing field with many job opportunities, 2) software engineers make a very nice salary and 3) I had a little experience with coding before and enjoyed it.

My problem was, however, I had no experience in C++, Java, and did very little with programming before. That didn't appear to be a huge problem, though, because my first class was introduction to programming. A class for people with no experience at all with programming. So I figured I was alright and ready to learn.

I was WRONG. I appear to have one of the worst professors my school offers (similar situation in my math class too :(). She stands in front of the classroom for an hour, writing examples of code on the board that we are to copy down for "notes", and then paste into our programs. Never does she explain what the code does, or why the logic works that way.

I was doing fine in the beginning of the class, using if, while, do-while statements, System.out.print statements, etc. However, I had a bit of experience in BASIC, so I understood those very basic programming concepts.

We later moved onto using classes, and have now moved into arrays. I got lost on the classes area. Her lack of actual teaching means that, in the areas I pretty much understood, I was fine, but now I am lost in areas I had no experience in. To top it all off, the book we have is atrocious, and never explains itself either. I am totally lost in this class.

I have heard nothing but negative comments from other students of her, and they all tell me that the other professors are many times better than she is. I will be much better off in other professor's classes, apparently.

So now I am worried. I really need to understand this basic class in order to have any foundation at all in programming. Can any of you point me towards some excellent free tutorials explaining arrays, classes, etc., and how they will be useful in programming? I am desparate for help here.
 

Nimsky

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 22, 2005
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Elitist Prick Nude Beach
Tip: ditch school and get a job. School ****s, 90% of all teachers are incompetent dicks with the intelligence of a brick wall.

Or even better, see if you can go on an internship, and learn your skills there. Really, don't rely on school to learn stuff. It's a waste of time.

Oh, and be honest and tell her straight in her face that she ****s donkey balls. If you don't do it, no one else will. Bad teachers have to be dealt with, and cussing them out is an excellent way to do it.
 

sandorski

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 16, 2006
253
0
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coquitlam, bc, canada
She does sound bad, but tough it out and hope the following courses/teachers are more thorough. You could also checkout a local Library and try to find other books on your subject. I never completed my Programming program back in '86/'87, but I had a similar professor in Assembly who was as useful as a bag of rocks.

Just like to point out that BASIC a pretty poor language to start with(or use for that matter) as it lacks the structure used in the languages most useful for creating complex programs.

You might wanna Google for a website/Forum that deals with the particular Language you are learning. ;)
 

SnotRocket

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
388
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Georgia
Yeah I know BASIC is bad, believe me. But when I messed around with it, it still came installed with windows. I think I was 8 years old back then. Even went out and bought a Q-BASIC programming book. What a loser. :rolleyes:
 

Colt .45 killer

Grizzled Veteran
May 19, 2006
3,997
775
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well im taking computer science in high school right now, we just passed over java and did classes. haha, it seems funny that im talking about this as i know about classes but your in a college/university course, hehe, i am in computer science AP though, which is the harder version, and the 42g course is what you learn in college for the first year.

neways, about classes, il write a short bitty of a program here to see if it helps.
(my memory might be a bit foggy here because we moved back to dr scheme)

public class Bob(notice bob is capatalized, because its a class, never caps a first letter unless its a class or java will muder you like a pig)
{
private String name;
private int age;

//accessor methods
public (dont remember return type for these, srry) getage()
{
return age;
}


public void getname()
{
system.out.println(blablabla you said you were fine with these)
}
}

the reason for havin an accessor method is incase you want to access things from outside of the program, in a different part of the class. i know what you mean about having a bad teacher, my comp sci teacher is famed for being the worst in the whole school. i know the stuff i wrote there probably wont help, but if you have any specific q's just ask and il see if i can answer..
 

sandorski

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 16, 2006
253
0
0
coquitlam, bc, canada
Yeah I know BASIC is bad, believe me. But when I messed around with it, it still came installed with windows. I think I was 8 years old back then. Even went out and bought a Q-BASIC programming book. What a loser. :rolleyes:

8? Ok, that's different. When I was 8 me and my friends rode our bikes Dogfighting WW2 style! :D That's a whole other stage of life where any interest in Programming is commendable no matter the language. :)
 

Mannlicher

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 24, 2006
23
1
0
Kongsberg, Norway
I'm sorry to hear you're suffering a bad teacher. I'm a 100 % self taught programmer on his second programming job myself, so I can't say that I've ever had that problem with regards to this subject.

If you're just trying to quickly wrap your head around a few simple concepts as they relate to Java, I'd recommend looking for instance at Suns own Java-tutorials for a quick overview. Arrays and Classes seem to have nice pages, though I haven't used them to learn anything myself, so I can't vouch for them. (I've long since lost track of the materials I used when learning the basic things about Java, I'm afraid...)

I might also add that arrays are a fairly basic programming construct (They're a bag of several things of the same type in an orderd sequence), while classes are a part of Object Oriented Programming, and should be taught as a part of that. You might want to read all of Object Oriented Concepts at Suns Java-tutorials rather than just about classes.
 

Dr. Peter Venkman

FNG / Fresh Meat
Aug 21, 2006
871
68
0
California
Internships ftw.

As far as having ****ty professors for math, science, or computer based classes, that really, really ****s. Other subjects can be dealt with easily of course. I was in a "computer business academy" for all of my high school years, and except for my communications (digital media) teacher, nothing was taught in regards to networking or anything of that type. Of course there was busy work provided by packets via Cisco (fill in the blank bull****) and no one learned anything. We just simply memorized router commands after our teacher gave us the answers because of low test scores. The only kids who aced that stuff initially were ones who knew how to do it in the first place. I stayed away from programming & ACAD classes at my high school as a result of that experience.

Are there any 'for dummies' books for programming? I am sure there are.
 
Last edited:

radix

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 22, 2005
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Germany
Try to understand the concepts of OOP before learning a programming language...
Try to understand what's the deal with :

ENCAPSULATION, INHERITANCE and POLYMORPHISM

and then you can start learning Java/C++ or whatever. Learning some UML can only help you.

When you are finished with learning the things above you should start to learn to DESIGN OOP applications (a thing that many forget :/).
As basis/starting point I would recomend you the book "Design Patterns" from Erich Gamma et Co.
 

SnotRocket

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
388
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34
Georgia
Meh, I think I'll jump into Networking next semester instead. Much more interesting and something I already know a lot about. Running a large company's network would be much more fun than writing software all day.
 

Bauer

FNG / Fresh Meat
Dec 24, 2005
408
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Canada
Design Patterns is a good book indeed, but it's more for intermediate/advanced level, IMO.

I would suggest that you pick up Bjarne Stroustrup's The C++ Programming Language to learn the idea behind classes and OOP. While not exactly Java, the same principles apply.

You kids these days though... What happened to learning structured programming first, and then moving on to more abstract concepts? I bet you don't know what a directory is. :p


Try to understand the concepts of OOP before learning a programming language...
Try to understand what's the deal with :

ENCAPSULATION, INHERITANCE and POLYMORPHISM

and then you can start learning Java/C++ or whatever. Learning some UML can only help you.

When you are finished with learning the things above you should start to learn to DESIGN OOP applications (a thing that many forget :/).
As basis/starting point I would recomend you the book "Design Patterns" from Erich Gamma et Co.
 

SheepDip

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
3,626
495
0
38
The Elitist Prick Club
It seems that no one in education can properly explain arrays. I couldn't even pick them up in uni. And failed some coursework on them (and JavaBeans) because all the lecturer did was put code up for us to copy and paste without explaining it.

Experts exchange was where I found help for most things though.
 

Wiglaf

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 12, 2006
86
5
0
http://w2.syronex.com/jmr/eckel/

http://www.bruceeckel.com/

Bruce Eckel's books are generally considered quite competend and the best part is that they are *free*.

Good free c-compilers as an example are "bloodshend" or "dev c", googling

Also check out "eclipse", very promising.
http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/
http://www.eclipse.org/callisto/

Essentiallly yuo need java- runtime above which eclipse runs and yuor off to to code whit appropiate blugins.

Yuo might wanna consider studying abroad, or so ,in some other institude whit actually some degree of competence.