Sunday, April 8, 2007

Whew . . .

I struggled through it but for the first time in three years I wrote Java. It was simple . . . Tic Tac Toe, but I feel so satisfied. I've been struggling unsuccessfully for the past few months on dead-from-the-start personal projects. Some were python, heck one was C# but I never got anywhere more than a random hundred lines of programming-equivalent chicken scratch.

Now I can write very, very verbose chicken scratch.

The most interesting thing in this adventure to relearn Java was the realization I had about my own skills as a programmer. Four and a half years ago I took two semesters worth of Java classes and learned a small subset of the language. At the time I was a bit cocky but more so I was nave. I thought that those classes had taught me programming and that damn it, I knew what I was doing. Three years of a break from Java and two years of immersion into programming . . . in a different language . . . for Google has made me realize how uninformed and unskilled I was.

I had learned Visual Basic and dabbled in php when I was in High School then c and c++ during my year at Purdue but never at any point do I feel (looking back) that I got anywhere past the point of simply learning the language. I never pushed myself to the point wher I was actually learning to program. I've been fortunate enough to have that experience working at Google and now am taking advantage of it daily as I spend my work day at the job I dreamed about in High School.

I thought it would be fun at this point to excerpt some of my old code and comment on it here, but it seems my terrible internet connection is refusing to allow me the pleasure.

[jlapenna@zane 130] traceroute
traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
 1 (  2.810 ms  3.187 ms  2.993 ms
 2  * * *
 3 (  15.014 ms  22.287 ms  13.962 ms
 4 (  14.332 ms  16.152 ms  16.999 ms
 5 (  38.520 ms  16.269 ms  16.496 ms
 6  * (  11.335 ms *
 7 (  19.770 ms  16.349 ms  17.258 ms
 8 (  18.287 ms  19.217 ms *
 9 (  22.241 ms  17.933 ms  14.214 ms
10  * * (  15.430 ms
11 (  17.122 ms  11.585 ms  11.790 ms