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Your Background Doesn’t Make Any Difference In Learning To Code Java: The Story of David, RPG Developer and CodeGym student

Published in the Success Stories group
CodeGym is 2.5 years old by now, with almost half a million users from around the world. Many students have finished the course and found their dream job. And although we always prompt you to share the success stories, the stories of those who are in the middle of their learning experience sometimes may be motivating and interesting to the same extent. Our first story is about David (David Haines). He’s an RPG developer from the U.S., who’s been in development for more than 25 years already. This spring, due to a pandemic situation, he was put on a furlough, so he decided to learn Java.“Your Background Doesn’t Make Any Difference In Learning To Code Java”: The Story of David, RPG Developer and CodeGym student - 1

“Java will be around for a long time and it will only get better”

Why did I choose Java among other programming languages? I can think about two reasons. Firstly, when I was put on a furlough in my company, I heard that we were switching to Java for a lot of our in-house stuff. So I thought it would be beneficial if I learn something about it. Secondly, I know that Java is a well-established language and it’s going to be around for a while. A lot of people I’ve talked to have the same opinion. It will be around and only get better. So it was a no brainer for me to select Java. Of course, if my company would start focusing on C#, I’d look for C#. Or we’d do Python, I would look for Python.

“CodeGym was the best option for me and achieving my goals”

So, I went on the internet and basically googled “learn Java”, and looked at CodeGym and some other options that showed off. From what I saw and what I’ve read, I decided that CodeGym was the best option for me and achieving my goals. What I like about this course is the context. You treat learning like a game, and it makes learning fun. It’s been very easy for the most part to understand. But of course, there have been times when it’s been a little confusing. I don’t usually google a lot of stuff and I don’t usually pick the right keywords, so I sometimes spend a lot of time looking at useless stuff to get where I want to be. I don’t remember what was the lesson, but I got stuck on it for 4-5 days and tried to figure it out. I’ve been learning on CodeGym since spring, I believe. Right now I’m on level 12, so probably I’m going a lot slower than a lot of other people do. At first, it was 3-4 hours a day at least. But at the end of May, I lost my job due to Covid-19, and the search for a new job took over, so the learning was cut down to 2-3 hours 5 days a week. I use IntelliJ IDEA and the CodeGym plugin and find them amusing. I’ve recently discovered the “Correct solutions” feature in the plugin, but I try not to look often. For example, I can take and reverse engineer the solution to figure out how they got there. To me it’s very beneficial, I like it. I also use the “Help” section on occasion. When I get stuck I’ll look there to find something similar, and see the suggestions that are made. I actually posted a couple of questions that were answered, which were very helpful. Finally, I’m fond of games! I’ve just finished the 2048 game. I’ve done the Minesweeper, and that’s the kind of accomplishment I’m proud of because when it worked it was wonderful. I’ve had problems with 2048, and again, when it worked, I felt that sense of pride. Look what I’ve done! Now I'm doing the Snake game, and here’s the problem: I have to decide whether I want to write the game or continue with the lessons. I kinda have to force myself sometimes and think “I did the game for the last time. I gotta learn something this time”.

“Your background doesn’t make any difference”

I’m completely new to Java. The course is very educational, straightforward, and entertaining. It makes learning Java fun. To me, that’s important, because I wanna learn and enjoy what I’m doing. I don’t think that your background makes any difference in learning to code. Of course, it can be beneficial and helpful at some points. As an RPG programmer, I’m already familiar with the whole programming logic. Somebody who’s brand new to programming and learning any programming languages may not have that type of proficiency. But to be honest with you, I think CodeGym does a very good job of familiarizing with the basic concepts. It helps you achieve the goal: learn Java and meet the market demands. When I was much younger my dream was to start a software company, create video games, and stuff like that. I love coding in RPG. But with Java…Who knows? Maybe I’ll become good enough, create a game, sell it and start my own company.

“Devote more time to learning, especially in the beginning”

From my personal experience, I’d give a few tips to everyone who starts to learn Java and programming:
  1. Devote more time to studying, especially in the beginning.

    It helps increase the desire to learn more. I wouldn’t start out to do half an hour here, half an hour there. It’s not enough to pique our interest and pull you in. Give it an hour, two hours, four hours! At least at the very beginning.

    I’ve got to the point where I know, that I want to continue learning and I know why I’m doing this, and I don’t always have the time to devote, but when I have time, I will come back and sit at my computer for 1-2 hours, up to 4-5 hours sometimes, especially on weekends, and just learn.

  2. Pay attention to what you’re doing and enjoy it. The rest will take care of itself.

    I have no doubt that even in my limited capacity now I can learn to code Java. It’ll be helpful because nobody is specialized anymore and you can’t do either RPG or Java. You have to do something more, like Python, C++, or C#. You have to be versatile enough to be able to perform more in your position.

    The bottom line is: find something you wanna learn, you’re willing to learn, and just do it.

Comments (2)
Justin Smith Level 41, Greenfield, USA, United States
6 July 2021
When he wrote this back in December, he said "I'm on Level 12". He's on Level 41 now. Good job!
Chrisantus Makokha Level 32, Nairobi, Kenya
16 December 2020
Nice article David.