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Mike McKnight
Mike McKnight
6,717 Points

Question about understanding

When I first started java I felt super comfortable in the challenges and was blazing through them. It would take me a minute or 2 to type the correct code and move on. But I'm nearing the end of objects and it's taking me like 10-15 minutes of trial and error to figure these challenges out and it's extremely discouraging. I also feel like I'm not memorizing all the terms that are getting thrown at me. Am I being too critical of myself or am I not grasping the material like I should be?

3 Answers

Mike McKnight: don't be too hard on yourself. When I first started learning JAVA in my computer science undergrad, it took me literally days sometimes of playing with my programs to trouble shoot them. The truth is that for all of the beauties of JAVA, it is a VERY explicit language (haha) and less flexible than some of the other languages out there. I love it because it scales very well for large applications and there is a lot of professional demand for JAVA at established companies (startups will favor the quick and fun to use languages like node.js). The beauty of JAVA though is that once you understand it, other languages are SOOOO much easier to use due to the explicit types and concepts of OOP.

Once you have taken the time to suffer through the complexities of objects though, things really start to click and you get better faster. Learning objects well is at the core of understanding JAVA. Take your time, check out the oracle docs and tutorials and post your questions or concerns here. You're doing a great job and this stuff is difficult. Give yourself the time and freedom to learn without pressure. Don't get discouraged because what you're going through is something we all go through when learning any new language. Keep it fun, make mistakes and know that you're on the way already to being a JAVA ninja master!

Keep it up man!

TL;DR Yes, you are being too critical of yourself.

If you were able to undertand Java objects fully on your first run-through of the video: congratulations, you are a programming prodigy! The rest of us mere mortals need to re-watch the videos (I think I watched the Java Objects video 3x before I really began to feel comfortable) and keep plugging away at it.

You may not have heard of this but there is actually a "syndrome" that permeates pretty much the entire programming community and it is called "Imposter syndrome". This "syndrome" basically boils down to the fact that the vast majority of programmers at one time or another feel as though they have no idea what they are doing and that they will be exposed as the imbecilic frauds that they must be because EVERYONE ELSE understands all this stuff, right?!?

The good news about "Imposter syndrome" is that everyone experiences it and it's really just that little nasty guy/gal inside each of us that constantly tells us that we aren't good enough. Learning to ignore that devil and just keep at it takes resolve but you can do it. The bad news about the syndrome is that, based on what I have read from experienced programmers, it never completely goes away. Programming is such a dynamic field and you will always be racing to keep up with the seemingly daily changes in languages/frameworks/hardware/IDE's/etc. Learning to live with uncertainty/self-doubt is a pre-requisite to maintining your sanity in the wonderful world of programming.

Welcome to the most interesting and frustrating experience of your life!

You are going through exactly what I went through 2 weeks ago. I just did not get it. I didn't get it until I got to the first project. When I opened the first project I immediately thought "Holy crap I have no idea how to do any of this". It was horribly discouraging. So what we did? Google. Any time there was a part I didn't understand I would go back and rewatch the videos or google it. I literally rewatched the whole first chapter (3 hours) right after finishing it. My lack of practice after each couple videos was my downfall. The project is pretty much forced practice. After finally finishing it, I am no longer discouraged. If you aren't in the techdegree program, I highly recommend it. Also, I find good practice going back to the community and answering Java questions for chapters I've already completed. The learning curve is high, but you can do it. If I can, you can too.

TL;DR Practice. Practice. Practice. The video gives you the tools for success, you just need to put action behind them.

and again, DON'T GIVE UP. (: