Putting Java to work

As ever a blog was kept.


Not a word, or an activity, that I like.

who is this course for?

I’m at a wee bit of loss. It’s a strange one—a twenty-point filler between M255 and M256? Probably much more than that, but I’m not sure as to the extent of the much.

Half of the course is a re-hash of M255 [it should by done alongside M255], although there is a slight extra level of detail. It wasn’t until unit six, when we were introduced to the joys of javax.swing, that something totally new appeared. Then we got to threads.

Given the choice, I’d have probably dropped this one; much that you can learn here you should be able to learn on your own—if there’s a programmer inside you, you’ll come here anyway. That said it isn’t completely useless, being able to talk to other students and tutors about threads and event-driven programming was worth the entry cost.

what’s involved?

There are twelve units, two are optional, which you will skip.

Units 1–5
As stated above, a slightly more in-depth quick M255
Units 6 & 7
All about the user interface
Unit 8
Unit 9
We code our first client/server
unit 10
Some tiring drivel about other Java editions

There’s a slightly odd marking structure, you have five CMAs, a marked-dummy TMA and then two proper TMAs. The CMAs are their usual pest—guess—it isn’t worth your time making an effort to get it right. The TMAs are a real joy. Take time to have fun with these, they are the best part of the course.

what did you do neil?

For me this couurse has been all about the people. Great people. The fora were brilliant—almost all my revision involved talking to people online and my tutors were just excellant. [I should probably say more about how wonderful my tutors were, but this is supposed to be generic.]

Before M208 kicked in I spent quite a bit of time in a shared-activity creating various things. I hope that we all learnt some lessons. It was fun coding together, it was great to see how others go about things and there was a real sense of “building something”. Programming is about much more than the ability to write good code, it helps, but there are many other skills involved. I began to learn about those skills and my lack of them on this course.

a good course?


This isn’t something that you have to do, but if your presentation is anything like mine it’s something that you should do. It was fun, lot’s and lot’s of fun and I was introduces you to much that I will spend the rest of my life thinking upon.

Here’s what others said…