547:202 Blog 01 (9/6/2009)

Required Blog Posting for 547:202:

Before coming to the first lecture on Wednesday I was definitely nervous about taking this course on the sole basis of the fact that I have not worked with Java in any extent since my 198:111 class in Fall of 2002. However, after speaking with Professor Marshall about it, he seemed to indicate that I would be ahead of the game due to having some exposure to Java and having done some Python and PHP programming. This was a great relief as not taking this class this semester would cause my entire class schedule to get severely discombobulated. This is my 2nd degree at Rutgers and I am following a very guided and planned out class schedule and 547:202 is a major pre-requisite for several classes in the ITI department. The professor and teaching assistant (aid? I don’t think we ever finally pinned down her exact designation come to think of it) both seem very laid-back and easy to work with. However, even though they seem laid-back I think that the class will be very thorough and in-depth on the basis of the scope of the material. Even though Professor Marshall indicated that we wouldn’t be doing many (if any) particularly lengthy code projects or assignments I still expect a level of complexity - that is just how computer programming can get.

The exercise to create directions to get from the X in the center of the room to one of the doorways was very eye-opening in light of the fact that one of my recent code projects for Rutgers University Campus Computing Facilities was released on the very same day and people were finding very random ways to break it that I had never thought about. Needless to say, that brief lesson has already proven to be very useful.

I am looking forward to learning more about Object Oriented Programming because Python (the language which I am currently using and trying to get very familiar with because it is becoming more widespread) seems to be very customizable and very modifiable. I am sure using Objects instead of repeating segments of code would be a far more efficient and less cycle-heavy.

As for the books, if I had to sum them up in one word it would be this: expensive. If I had to sum them up in a quick phrase it would be this: expensive but probably useful. I have read books similar to these for ASP, Python, and PHP and they have proven invaluable to the point of earning a permanent place on my bookshelf at home. While the up-front cost was tremendously high, I can see using these books for a long time so I will consider it an investment for now.

As for what I would like to see in the coming weeks, it is very simple. I would like to (and in fact need to) see a refresher on Java programming. I have downloaded and installed Eclipse on my laptop and gotten it up and running – I have written a few programs and it is slow going because I keep forgetting that types need to be assigned to variables in Java (they do not in PHP or Python). I am also trying to force myself to remember some of the standard commands from Java (System.out.println(variable) for example - which is difficult again coming from Python [where it is print(variable)] and PHP [where it is echo(variable)]).

-M, out


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