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Java in 3 1/2 months?


In 3 and a half months I will be starting the Computer Science major at my school. The majority of the courses within the major use Java. I was wondering if, using this website and others, if I would be able to become efficient in the language before starting my classes at the college. I have a lot of free time and since I very much enjoy the subject, I can easily dedicate 5 or 6 hours a day to learning Java.

If I go in already knowing the language, the classes should be significantly easier (I would expect). Sure it may prove boring waiting for the other students to learn Java, but I would have time to learn another computer language before I graduate (in two years from now) and review Java. At the moment I am not sure which other language to learn but hopefully one day I´ll get smacked by some wisdom and decide.

So, what do you guys think. Could I learn Java in 3 and a half months in my situation? Thank y'all for your time and have a good night/morning.


I add that I just started yesterday. I´m fresh out the cradle lol

3 Answers

Michael Hess
Michael Hess
24,512 Points

I think it's definitely possible. The treehouse java track, for the most part, has covered the majority of material in my university's intoductory CS course -- with the exception of OOP and other things like 2d arrays, ragged arrays, and GUIs (which were used as a pedagogical tool to teach us OOP). The current treehouse java track touched on some OOP -- but not in depth. They really should add a OOP/OOD course to the treehouse Java track -- but, I digress.

If you familiarize yourself with the syntax of Java and practice solving programming problems in Java in the next 3.5 months, you'll be in a better position to use the Java programming language to solve the problems presented to you in your programming labs, and programming projects, in your intro CS class and beyond.

Thinking in Java by Bruce Eckel is a well written book that covers just about everything you would ever want to know about Java (and it's free!) It covers everything your freshmen CS classes will cover and it has some programming exercises in each chapter: http://www.saeedsh.com/resources/Thinking%20in%20Java%204th%20Ed.pdf

MIT OCW has an intro Java course as well: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-092-introduction-to-programming-in-java-january-iap-2010/

There is a book called Outliers that says that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill -- the only way you'll get better at something is by practicing and refining your skills. Try to set aside some time everyday to program. Work on problems from a programming textbook, your own projects, or refactor code from a finished project.

Only the Intro to Java course? That sounds to me like a little little bit, although i havent taken my intro to CS yet so i don´t know how in depth to java it goes

Michael Hess
Michael Hess
24,512 Points

The introductory courses at most schools will actually cover a lot of material -- so it's really not a little bit. All of your upper level CS courses will build off of the intro CS course. A lot of the material covered in your intro CS course is covered on the teamtreehouse Java track -- see where I'm going with this?

Most people can probably go out and find a programming internship after they complete an introductory CS course -- if that helps put it into perspective.

Let's put it this way, if you keep working on just the teamtreehouse Java track alone, without using outside study materials (although you should use outside study materials) you'll put yourself in a position where you're ahead -- it's feasible to do that in 3 and 1/2 months with 5 to 6 hours of study per day, too.

Steven Garcia
Steven Garcia
3,553 Points

(Stanford Computer Science Intro to Java) Here's a resource that I've been using as I just recently signed up with treehouse. I'm going to be a freshman next year in Comp Sci too! I feel that the best thing to do is actually write code for an actual project (like an Android app in Java) so you'll be familar with the syntax of the language and have a project in your portfolio. So you won't be a Java 'beast' but you'll be able to write code that solves problems!! :)

Greg Kitchin
Greg Kitchin
31,522 Points

I'm doing a part-time IT degree, and I'm finding the Treehouse stuff far better than the materials supplied to me. The only possible issue is that they're not showing the use of an IDE, or running code outside of the workspace. But so far, it's helped drill in some concepts that I'm struggling with.

As Steven above says, having a project is also a good way to learn. For example, I wrote a program based on a mathematical formula invented by Gauss. It's an easy way to figure out the sum of the numbers 1 to x (seems strange, but I actually had a reason to figure out the sum of the numbers 1 through 10). You'll have a practical reason for learning something, which helps you learn it as well.