Journey to Java: Episode 1 “Pilot”

To learn a new skill or language with no incentive is hard. A majority of people won’t spend their scarce free time to learn something that they aren’t being paid for. Others will not spend their money on books or resources to invest into themselves to achieve their goals. If you are reading this blog series as a employer I hope to display an amount of grit and commitment to becoming an experience software engineer and improving my skills to benefit a company and it’s users. If a developer stumbles across this blog I hope they become motivated enough to learn whatever they feel like learning. The biggest step forward is the first one.

As I continue my job search after graduating my Software Engineering course, I feel the more things I can learn the more employable I will be. I value learning things that are valuable rather than sexy, After playing sports my entire life, I value refining fundamentals of those skills. This will be a mini blogging series that will be different than my other blogs that were supposed to be a reference to myself and others learning a new concept. This series will be my journey learning a new language from complete scratch. A mixture of technical concepts I am learning plus feelings and my headspace may be helpful to show new programmers learning isn’t a beautiful linear process as well as employers that I am coachable, positive, and hungry to learn.

I knew I wanted to learn something new on the server side. I was stuck between Python (the internet seems to thing this is the best thing to learn) and Java (job applications have shown me employers want this). As I am applying and building my network on LinkedIn, most jobs I am seeing posted keep mentioning Java. Not only is Java desired and one of the most popular languages, learning is supposed to be beginner friendly, and opens up possibility for Android mobile development which is an added bonus. All of this has lead me to invest into myself again and purchase a Java course. This is part 1 to what I am learning and how I am feeling about it. This series will also act as notes for my own study and others to pick up syntax and vocabulary.

First I should mention besides the fact the course recommends IntelliJ as the IDE but I am using Eclipse based on a recommendation from a friend. Switching IDEs from Visual Studio Code to Eclipse has actually been a challenge in itself for me. Everything from opening a project to setting up the environment and pushing to GitHub has been awkward. I am sure it will become second nature after I look more into Eclipse and practice while I work in Java.

JDK — Java Development Kit — Software to allow making of java projects.

Access modifier- allows us to define the scope of what we can do or others can do to this code.

public- Full access access modifier (see above).

class- Used to create a java class. The following word will be the class name.

main- A special method java looks for when running. The entry point.

static- No definition for this yet in the course but it is needed for me to write my first Java program.

void- The method won’t return anything

int- Integer

Print- Things put in the parenthesis will be printed to the console.


Class- Things inside the nested curly braces are in the main method and will be included in the program.

public class ClassName {      public static void main(String[] args) {      }}

variables- You have to declare the data type of the variable in Java which is new for me coming from ruby.

int variableName = 5;

At the end of my first day setting up environments and studying Java I was able to make my first Java Program! This is obviously not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but it is a giant milestone to take on a new challenge where everything is new and uncomfortable.

My first Java Program!

My first java program is a simple but a giant step for me just to commit to the learning experience. I am going to simply create a class with all of the keywords I have learned. This is very different syntax than what I am used to in Ruby. Inside the class is the main method which is the starting point of my code. From there I simply set a variable and print it to the screen when I run the code. As an experienced Ruby developer this is simple but necessary and I am just happy to expand knowledge.

public class HelloWorld {   public static void main(String[] args) {      String stringVariable = "Hello Medium";      System.out.println(stringVariable);   }}

Student at The Flatiron School in Washington DC

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