I haven’t been posting lately, as most of my time as been going to learning Java and I haven’t devoted much time to studying anything else. I don’t want to waste time reposting the blogs or articles of others or stray from the mission of making this blog a repository of my studies. That is exactly what this post does. It’s maintenance.

The book I’m using to learn Java currently is EXCELLENT. It’s available here. Genuinely readable and informative. The text has a great flow, providing digestible bits of examples and exercises that are clear in intent.

I’m finding it much easier to devote time to the study of coding than in working with electronics for several reasons:

1) Cost

Eclipse and Java are free. Electronics projects are not. Even with affordable components, there’s usually a shipping charge.

2) User friendliness

Without test instruments (I could definitely use a digital scope – debugging with LEDs can only go so far. This ties back to cost ; test equipment is expensive) it’s difficult to troubleshoot circuits that don’t work. It could be argued that circuits should be built right the first time, but software allows for much quicker iterations and much less labor (hence, the next point).

3) Time consumption

I think most of us can agree that, despite time management, squeezing in an hour or two a day of productive project work can be difficult with a 40+ hour work week. Getting a solid project built on such a time budget can be difficult. On the other hand, building a simple application, aided by eclipse or MS Visual Studio, can be much less time consuming but just as productive.

In the end, I hope the two skill sets can be integrated for better projects in the future. One of the best engineers that I had the pleasure of working with was a programmer before being an alumni WWU’s program and an applications engineer at Cypress, after which he went to Stanford for a masters.

He was the first to show me the power of developing applications through C# and .net. Within 10 minutes he developed a windows app to control a stepper motor through USB and RS232.

So, until the next organize post of the more informative post, I will continue to explore the beauty of JAVA and OOP 😀