October 31st, 2005, 02:25 AM
Get better programming? How?
I've been studying Java at an "accelerated program", and now I would like to know how can I become better at programming?
I thought practice might be good, like one would practice an instrument in order to become a virtuoso, but (unlike an instrument, where the music is given to you) I can't think of anything to program!
What should I be doing to become a good programmer?
October 31st, 2005, 04:30 PM
You hit it on the head. Practice. That's the best way to improve. Don't try to think of something just to program, think of something that interests you. Do you like network apps? Try writing an IM clone, or just a simple chat utility with Java. Why not try to build a browser? Do you like security? Try writing an application that checks some various things on a UNIX system. Like games? Make Hangman, or Scrabble, or any of a thousand simple games. You don't have to create something original, just pick something that you like and try to recreate it in Java. That's a GREAT way to get some extra experience.
/* You are not expected to understand this. */
October 31st, 2005, 04:44 PM
another way, is to get a job or training , like that u will have many challenges to do with a certain set of time and conditions
the best part in job is u get paid for it
the best part in training is that u get help from good programmers and u learn lot of tricks and how to that u may need lot of time to catch urself
another way, is to see other ppls codes,to look how someone did this
and u may improve from knowing how they did this and u can learn mush faster a lot of stuff
put ur codes online u so u can also help other programmers who are trying to improve themselves and if someone reads ur code he may suggest a few stuff to improve or exchange info with you if it happens u work on the same project or idea
and of course program some stuff that u might find intresting or ask around for ppl who want a special program and make it for them
another good thing if u are intrested for example in security
don't programm something that will let us say delete all files or with lot of KILL keyworkd lool
try to program something more to build not to destroy cuz it is much harder to do even programing something "bad" might be funny and will cheer u from time to time, but don't distribute it, it is not nice
October 31st, 2005, 05:26 PM
My advice is just don't stop with the programming assignments they give you in class. You should definitely practice...but try to move beyond the scope of your text. Even in an advanced oop class your assignments aren't going to fully prepare you for doing real work. I'm assuming you know this and that's why you asked for suggestions. I would develop a "useful" program (roswell had some good examples). Get a solid understanding of oop, multithreading, user validation and error handling, project deployment, etc.
Sometimes when you practice it's easy to say "well, I'm not going to put in a lot of user validation (or whatever)...but I would if it was a real project", I would do everything like this is something someone else will be using...follow the whole cycle through to completion.
Another thing that's fun (and good practice) is to create your own libraries, namespaces, or header files, etc...
If you need some good ideas of projects to make you can look around at Planet Source Code
October 31st, 2005, 09:36 PM
I've been having strange thoughts about programming recently. Most of the stuff we've been doing at school is stuff you can do just by looking up the usage of functions and using them how it says they're supposed to be used. I guess what I'm getting at is that anyone can look up functions and use them. I think what makes a programmer is being able to solve diffictult problems that don't just involve calling documented functions. Maybe I'm being a little bit hard on our school assignments, because we've had plenty of problems which fit that description. I guess like you have and everyone has said, practice. And also, be on the lookout for a challenge, and take the challenge when it presents itself. I sort of have spurts where I program a lot outside of school, then others where I don't do any programming outside school. All in all, taking classes has been the best thing for me for becoming a better programmer. Good luck.
October 31st, 2005, 09:53 PM
I agree, h3r3tic, about most school projects...they are pretty unimaginitive. It would be much better if professors wouldn't give such "canned" assignments. Sometimes it's almost insulting.
A good bit of advice...(I don't remember who said it - I feel like it was someone here on AO) is that in order to gain experience...you may want to check out the need for volunteer programmers - maybe someone would take you on as an apprentice. That way you can start working on real projects...and really expand your programming knowledge. Plus, the experience is invaluable.