CodeGym – Java Syntax Done!

It took me one month to complete the first part of CodeGym’s Java Course. The course is divided in four phases: Syntax, Core, Multithreading and Collections. I’m very satisfied with the course because it’s based on exercises. Some of them are easy, but for most of them you’ll need to research somewhere else. Many users complain in the comments, but that’s actually an advantage of the course. Thankfully in my short journey as a developer I realised pretty early on that the life of a coder is 5% coding and 95% looking for answers on the web.

I’m pretty sure I’ll have to go back to the first part of the course for consultation often. I have no illusions about knowing the Syntax well. But I do think I have a good general understanding of how it works and what to search when I have a specific problem.

Something I recommend for anyone trying this course is to create some sort of cheat sheet. I had to research for the same thing over and over as some of the exercises required the same code or something similar to it. I’ll create a very detailed cheat sheet for the second part of the course. It’s easy to feel tempted to just keep pushing on, but the time I’ll spend creating those explanations will save me a lot of time further down the road.

Another suggestion is: Read all the articles. I only started doing it at Level 7 and I regret not doing it before because it offers complimentary explanation about the topics. The basic lessons cover the basics of each topic but the articles will dig deeper and help you fill the gaps in your understanding.

And the last thing is something I learned a few months ago when learning basic Javascript: Don’t leave an exercise without understanding what EACH LINE OF CODE DOES. I know it can be frustrating to be stuck in a single exercise for 2 hours, but we have to remember: when looking at a piece of code for 2 hours (or more), trying stuff and researching every word/concept, THAT TIME IS NOT BEING WASTED. It’s actually helping us learn. There’s no point finishing an exercise without understanding it.

As I said a few posts ago I will also read the books suggested by CodeGym but I haven’t started yet. Actually, I did read the intro for “Thinking in Java” but they recommended doing the seminar “Thinking in C” first, which I want to do before reading the Java one. I don’t feel it’s a step back because I’ll keep learning with CodeGym for at least another year.

I’ll challenge myself to post every second day (at least) for the duration of the Java Core section to talk about my experience. I know nobody reads this now, but when I’m a successful developer and people start reading my blog I want them to know I also started from scratch and I what the journey was like.

See you tomorrow!! (Or the day after)

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