The Top 7 Tricks and Tips to Give Your Java Learning a SpeedHack

The Top 7 Tricks and Tips to Give Your Java Learning a SpeedHack
In the world of powerful open Internet resources like books, tutorials, libraries, Youtube videos, blogs, and programming courses, everybody is talking about online learning. Now you have everything to study fast and effectively, at your own pace.
However, if you’d like to make things even easier, you may wonder if there are any tips and tricks that may boost your learning how to program. And yes, there are certainly a lot of hints to make the whole process as quick and enjoyable as possible. Today I will tell you about some of the most popular ways to skyrocket your Java learning journey. I hope you’ll find something that will suit your very needs and stimulate your mind the best.
So, let’s get started!

1. Start an Exciting Project

Referring to a tip from Brian Knapp, a professional programmer and the author of the Code Career Genius blog, find something exciting that can sharpen your skill and keep you extra-motivated.
I highly recommend you to create your own project even when you’re somewhere in the middle of your learning path. By building a real-life Java project, you’ll get a practical grasp of the theory you’ve already learned in a very engaging way. Most likely, you’ll also see your strengths and weaknesses.
As a bonus, you’ll be able to include the projects in your CV in the future and significantly increase your chances of getting a job right after you finish learning. That’s because companies usually prefer candidates with at least a few coding projects in their portfolios since they show how you can apply your theoretical knowledge to practical tasks.
When you’re still studying, the best idea would be to take on a simple project like:
  • Games: Minesweeper, Snake, 2048, Super Mario Bros; Clone, Flappy-Bird Game, Tetris, and many more;
  • Management Systems: for school, library, sports, or even for cooking recipes;
  • Billing System;
  • Currency Converter;
  • Airline Reservation System;
  • Small Apps like calculator, wish list, or to-do list; and so on.

2. Practice A LOT

One of the most common mistakes beginner learners make is believing they can master Java programming mainly by reading Java books and tutorials. Still, no textbook can make you a great programmer. Only practice can! Try to devote at least a couple of hours to coding daily. It would be perfect to distribute 80% of your learning time on practical training and 20% on the theoretical part. Try to consume the information in small portions and then nail down your freshly-acquired knowledge with practice.
Where to start? You can download some additional tools or use Intellij IDEA to start writing your code. In the beginning, do some simple tasks to avoid getting overloaded with information and eventually lose your passion for Java. Ideally, you should find yourself a mentor or, at least, ask for feedback on professional Java forums.
Alternatively, you can use online courses or training platforms for Java learners that include tons of coding tasks and auto-check of your solutions. Among the wide variety of websites, I approve:
  • CodeGym. This is a perfect online course for newbies, which includes more than 1200 tasks within step-by-step lessons, making the learning process exciting. The tasks are backed by instant verification by a “virtual mentor” that provides hints on how to solve the task and improve the code. It also has a special free games section, allowing you to create your own game, i.e., your own project (hello, tip #1). Two birds with one stone!
  • Codechef is not a fully-fledged course but an interesting website that holds contests and challenges every month. Here, you can sharpen your skills and get some rewards. It is a quite motivating platform, yet it requires some basic Java knowledge.
  • Codewars is another engaging online platform that offers fun training by completing real-world code challenges called katas. Like Codechef, Codewars isn’t meant for complete beginners and doesn’t include standard lessons. Yet, Codewars gives you a fantastic opportunity to compete even with experienced Java coders and, accordingly, learn from them.
  • Codingame is also a challenge-based training platform, yet you won’t compete with your peers in real-time. Codingame boasts fun exercises that address hot Java topics and let your skills progress at a comfortable pace. Ideal for those who dislike time limits and things like that.

3. No Breaks

I bet that any successful programmer has learned a lesson that they should study regularly and don’t take long breaks. A gap will interfere with your progress and make you less organized, gradually dragging you back. Try to code regularly and don’t skip even a day or two of education, especially when you’re at the very beginning of your path. Also, try to soak new information in wise portions without learning everything at once. Start a new subject only when you’re done with the previous one.

4. Seek Support

That being said, staying organized and consistent as a programmer can sometimes be tough. And when you’re feeling about flipping the desk over and ending your learning process, the best idea would be to look for support from like-minded learners like you.
It’s natural to feel stuck at some point in your learning process. But it would be a big amiss to avoid looking for extra aid or fear asking questions. By collaborating with other beginners and fresh learners, you’ll get support, valuable suggestions, and Java programming hints.
If you don’t know where to start, I suggest referring to communities like GitHubStackOverflowHackerNews, SitePoint, as well as such Reddit channels as:
  • r/programming
  • r/learnprogramming
  • r/codetogether
  • r/programmingtools
  • r/gamedev
  • r/prograrticles
  • r/webdev
  • r/dailyprogrammer
  • r/java
  • r/javahelp
or 
Slack channels:
— #Hashtag Developers
— #European Dev Explorer
— #DevOps Chat

5. Make Things a bit Easier for Yourself — Read Others’ Code

Another hint to make the learning path a bit less winding is to read and learn from existing code. By learning from professionals and using their code as examples, you can become more confident in your skills and modify their style to develop your own. Among the open resources that let you glimpse into other developers’ thinking, I recommend GitHubGitLabPluralsightFree CodeCamp, or SourceForge.

6. No Pain — No Gain: Don’t Set the Bar too Low

Now you see how simplified learning Java can be. But is this a reason to set the bar too low and be content with the easiest things? Obviously, no. Never doubt your abilities, and don’t think that programming is a tough nut to crack for you. Even if you’re in your late 30-s, 40-s, and so on, you can give younger developers a run for their money. There is no age bar when it comes to learning Java, and there are lots of databases and online courses that aren’t bound to any age limits.
Yet, regardless of your age, don’t try to reach too many practicing methods at once. Learning several programming languages or completing several courses simultaneously is a big no-no since you may easily get overwhelmed with information and totally confused as a result. It’s better to build a step-by-step learning plan with one or two resources involved to succeed.

7. Consider Code Handwriting

Though they sound a bit outdated, handwriting techniques can also help you stay more organized and concise. You will remember all the topics better with less chance of skill “amnesia” by making notes. Actually, when you write down some concepts or key theses, your thoughts flesh out, and your knowledge strengthens. To structurize your knowledge, you can take advantage of some old-school handwriting note techniques like:
Alternatively, you can gravitate towards digitalized notes and try different note-taking programs like NoteLedgeEvernoteMoo.do, and others.

Conclusion: Extra Tip — Never Stop Learning

Hopefully, all of the abovementioned hints and tricks will help you master the basics of Java easier and quicker. But what to do after the successful learning? The best thing is to keep on going and never stop.
Only by learning something new and keeping in step with evolving programming trends and the latest Java updates, you’ll be able to stand above the competition and get your place in the sun. Remember that there are no limits to perfection, and there will never be too much Java, so try to adopt new skills to become the best of the best in your industry!
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