Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I'll have a cuppa...

So I'm trying to learn Java.

More accurately, I'm working my way through Java: A Beginner's Guide, Sixth Edition by Herbert Schildt.

Why? Reasons.

It's really driving home how I really am not a programmer.

I've dabbled before.

When I was a kid, Basic was a big thing. Of course, the Pyramids were new and we'd just come out of the last ice age, so... yeah.

It never really stuck, though. I didn't really have the head for programming as a kid. In fairness, I didn't have a head for anything that wasn't sci-fi pop culture. So it goes.

Fast-forward a chunk of time and I'm learning the basics of UNIX (oh god, vi...) and I take a class on Perl scripting.

Sweet FSM what a hellscape that became.

I can remember bits and pieces of Perl, but never really needed it on my job so the knowledge faded. I still have my O'Reilly book on Learning Perl, but it's got a layer of dust on it.

A few years back, I decided to familiarize myself with JavaScript. I picked up A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript by Mark Myers. Myers has very digestible lessons with short exercises to test one's knowledge.

I was actually doing pretty well with it. I got about halfway through, then life kicked me in the balls and I focused all my energies on getting a new job.

Then I had to learn the new job stuff, which mainly meant studying a lot of Salesforce platform stuff. Not Apex, their JavaScript knock-off, but their clicks-not-code bits.

I got my 401 certification from them and let my brain coast for the last year.

Then life came along and kicked me in the balls again.

Now I'm trying to learn Java.

Not so much to program. I mostly want to be able to read code in a fairly-common object-oriented language and understand WTF is going on.

It's not a painless process, but damn me if I'm not having a bit of fun. Once I got my first crappy little Java program to compile, it was immensely satisfying. Running it and seeing the corny message, was a warm-and-fuzzy feeling.

I'm determined to put in at least an hour every day to get through this nearly 700 page behemoth and understand this damn language.

Then, who knows? I think I'll revisit JavaScript. Maybe even look at Perl again.

Assuming my brain hasn't exploded.

No comments: