Colin Principe

Words. Lots of words.

New developer – what I’ve learned thus far

This week I’ve learned how to make calls to a database in a Java app.  With that I now have all the pieces to potentially be a full-stack developer.

As a summary I will share a post I made on Reddit about this course:

 It’s a twelve-week course in total. We got into inheritance and polymorphism in Week Two and used them extensively since. We have to submit a summative assignment (assignment that requires us to use everything we learned) each week. I think my week 2 summative was at least 100 lines of code with multiple classes. We have covered MVC design, JUnit testing, Spring framework and Lambdas/Streams. It is a full-stack course so we are now working on Web Apps, JSP’s, AJAX, and JavaScript.


Projects we’ve worked on have been:

  • a console app for playing Rock-Paper-Scissors
  • a console app for maintaining a DVD Library (create, read, update, delete)
  • a console vending machine app (track money and product inventory, handle money and inventory errors gracefully, return change)
  • a flooring installation ordering app (maintain order records in flat text files for multiple days, take orders, apply prices and taxes from separate product and tax files, update and cancel orders)
  • an HTML/Javascript vending machine

The workload has been tough – we use an inverted classroom model so we spend most of our time in class coding and working with our instructor, while readings and videos are done out of class. I have two kids and my wife works so we’ve been doing a lot of juggling and I haven’t had a lot of free time. There are times when I feel exhausted just from everything I’ve been trying to learn and retain, but other times when I’ve been super-excited, like today when I wrote an API for my Java app and was able to successfully hit it via Postman.

In addition to what I posted above, I’ve learned the following:

  • Spring MVC for Web Apps
  • SQL Database design (very basic) and calls
  • CRUD for a Java App talking to a SQL database

I am working on one last single application and after that the final two weeks are a group project, and will involve Agile Development practices and ceremonies.  I am looking forward to working on something that is a closer representation of what my actual work will be like as a developer once I leave this class.

What’s to come

Recently I started listening to the audiobook of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.  I’m at a section where Rubin is talking about establishing her Happiness Project blog. That made me think about when I used to blog on a regular basis, either on this site or on LiveGeekOrDie, and also about what I could write about now.

Currently I’m engaged in a pretty intense Java bootcamp sponsored by my employer and run by the Software Guild.  It’s kind of like going back to university, except I’m actually trying to succeed this time instead of partying and sleeping like I did in my 20’s.  I am halfway through at the moment (total course length is three months) and my mind boggles sometimes at how much I’ve learned at the time.

As a result I’m thinking of using my blog as a way to reinforce what I’ve learned by forcing myself to talk about it.  We’ll see how successful it is, but one step at a time.

New site

This is the latest iteration of my site.  I’ve maintained a domain in one form or another since 2002.  Moved to a new host and debating what I’m going to do.

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