Sunday, 26 April 2015

Gimme another cup of Joe

The Java programming language is the one constant of the enterprise software stack. Despite a history littered with so many abandoned frameworks and paradigms. Despite .Net, Python and Ruby. Even the fact that it's now owned by Oracle, the industry villain everybody loves to hate, hasn't changed its status.

As a database developer I have dabbled with the language. I have written Java Stored Procedures and the occasional JDBC client. But largely I have been on the receiving end of Java applications, and usually in the worst possible way. Typical I have just been looking at other people's code, trying to figure out what it's doing and why it's affecting the database the way it is.

Anyway, it's 2015, Java has been part of working life for fifteen years and it's time to get a proper handle on it. So I'm doing the Oracle Certified Associate course. This blog is a part of the studying process. I'm going to write up my progress through the OCA Study Guide, and document some of the interesting aspects of Java as a programming language.

A Baseline

But first, a benchmark. The OCA Study Guide has an assessment of twenty question, to baseline the student's starting knowledge of Java. The questions are quite subtle. There are very few quiz-style questions: most of them require looking at code snippets and predicting whether it will compile, and if it does what will happen. Thinking like a compiler is a very different skill from just figuring out business logic.

Anyway, I scored a massive 6/20. So, plenty of room for improvement :)

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