Weekly Learning Update (10)

Well, school is finally back in full swing! I could be miserable, and say that distance learning doesn’t seem to be as effective for me, and that I get easily distracted while studying from home. But at the same time, I also really enjoy not having to worry about the logistics of getting to and from college (especially late at night!) and I knowing that I don’t need to worry about having a workstation that isn’t running properly, or somehow forgetting to transfer a file and losing access to my notes! Being able to make a coffee during my break isn’t half bad either!

This term I’m taking two classes: Business Communications, and Java Application Development.

Communications

I’ll fully admit that I signed up to this course because I thought it would be reasonably easy, and not a huge time commitment. That was planned though, because I anticipated my Java course being heavier, and wanted some balance.

It’s really easy to slip into a casual style of communication, and this class is all about making more deliberate choices. As a native speaker, there a lot of things that I know sound wrong, but can’t put a finger on why. Parallel sentences are one of those things; it’s easy to see how to fix with a simple example, but often gets more difficult when trying to express a more complex idea. Parallel sentences are very similar to balanced sentences:

Communication is so important in any career- I suppose it always has been (even when I’ve been shouting across a kitchen!) I’m really enjoying this class, and how it’s making me look at communication, and seeing where I can improve!

Java

After a term using C#, if feels kind of nice to be back to Java! [Well, apart from having to switch back to the Eclipse IDE- I definitely prefer Visual Studio!]

I wonder about commenting. Any lecturer in an intro to intermediate class (and probably even an advanced class) is going to tell you to comment your code. Most of my lecturers have told us that any public field or method should have a comment. But then there’s the argument that I’m behind: good code should be self-documenting. I visited a website that took a second to load properly, and in that second I saw that they were still using x and y as variable names:

There is x of y left

Daaaaaaaaamn! How do they know what they’re doing when they look at that?? The more I look at code that I didn’t write, the more I appreciate the need for meaningful variable names. Even method names. Sure- it’s easier to abbreviate or give something a shortened name, but I would rather have to type out another word than have to hunt around to find out what a method is actually supposed to do.

I’m not very far into this Java course yet, so it’s mostly been brushing up and finding the style of the new lecturer. We’ve started to explore some topics more in depth though, and I’m excited to learn more about some of the things we’ve touched on in previous classes!

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