Object-Oriented programming with Java


As usual I kept a blog during this course.

who is this course for?

I always start my reviews with this question and I think that it’s a particularly important question for this course. The answer? It’s for those who want to learn about the object-oriented paradigm, for those who want to learn Java and for those who want to learn both at once. However, there is another target group—those who are graduating from level one courses, like M150 or T175, to real programming. In short a, potentially, disparate audience.

what’s involved?

Not quite as-stated-on the tin, there were three areas covered–

  1. The Object-Oriented paradigm [units 1–7 mainly, although there were wee bits later on]
  2. The Java language itself [units 1–12]
  3. An introduction to testing and software development methodologies [units 13 and 14]

One was very well covered. [Although it was a wee bit jumbled-in with the basic Java stuff]. The concepts were clearly described and there were some good examples of where, and why, they are useful. Even if they had to use frogs.

Two, well covered. But with non-essential nonsenses re the way Java went about under-the-hood things. To me these got in the way of more essential understandings. In the long run, perhaps, they may be useful but I ain’t going to be attempting to tune the garbage collector any time soon. [This wasn’t part of the course but it’s an example of what I’m moaning about—pro stuff.]

Three could have been dropped entirely. There are only, about, four marks on offer for it during the exam and frankly you’re going to have to know a good deal more about for it to be of any use.

what did you do neil?

Well you can read what I did, exactly, in my course blog, but what’s more important here is what it was that I thought that I did. Which was, ‘not a lot’. Why do I think I thought that?

This course, more than any other that I’ve done so far, failed to grip me—it was too slow, went on too long and covered too little. Harsh, but I think fair, words. That said I think that the essential problem was that the course had to deal with the disparate audience [see above]. If you are trying to be all things to all people you’re flirting with being nothing to anyone. I don’t think that the course did that—it just didn’t work for me.

a good course?

Such a difficult question—I’m going to say yes, which may surprise you given all that I’ve said above. It’s an entreé, the main meal is hence. If you’re thinking about writing serious software start here, if you want to know if you have it inside you to be a programmer start here, if you don’t know what type of techy you are start here.

For me this was a required course, it may not be the same for you. But, if it’s an option, I think that you should do it anyway. Computer scientists should do it alongside M263, there’s a synergy, IT nerds should do it so that they can appreciate programmer problems, if you have the itch to tell your computer what to do start here.

to sum up…

This not be the best course in the world but it is worth doing. Despite my carping it taught me a lot, and the parts that I most disliked may have taught me the most. Anyway here is what others thought— [can’t deep link for some sites]

I’m going to finish this with a quote—a quote that I’ve stolen from a fellow student — Kay, a quote that I’ll steal for my own and a quote that we should all espouse, one that I’ll translate for those of you who don’t have the Greek—

String star = "To the Stars"; boolean nonTwat = star.equals("ad astra"); // bugger I'm a twat