How do you keep up with all the new java technologies
that are out so fast?I tried buying books , but end up not even reading half the material because there's too much to learn and so little time...
Don't try to keep up with everything. Instead, ignore stuff as hard as you can. Sun comes up and did come up with stuff that dies and died faster than it is or was thrown at developers.
Just for entertainment, check the conference reports of the last five years of JavaOne. 80% to 90% of the stuff tooted as "the next big thing" is now dead. Flatline, didn't make it out of infancy. And almost all of this stuff didn't deserve to survive.
Of course it is not only Sun coming up with one trial balloon after the other. It is paramount to the Java ecosystem.
There are two big disadvantages coming with this behavior. Of course it is impossible to follow everything. And, maybe even worth, existing things are badly maintained, because resources are used to invent the next stupid thing.
Point taken , :)...Focus , focus and focus on one thing at a time
I gues it also depends on the job you have, what requirements are needed for you by your employer. e.g Currently I'm working on a project where I program Java MIDP, J2SE, J2EE(servlets, and JDBC, JMAPI), HTML, XSL(APACHE XALAN), XML(XERCES), (inhouse XML MIDP parser) and yes it gets to much at some time. Online tutorials are a must(normally searching through google), and only learning which parts are most applicable to what you need, time is not on your side. One thing is shure a good programmer is measured in design and coding quality not how many APIs he knows. You can always study an API, but good programming comes with time....
I guess all of the stuff comes from sun when they realise some gap in the industry that they do not yet cover, but support have'nt always been great, e.g the Java Sound, Speach, and Video APIs
As it has been mentioned, keeping up with everything is impossible, so it's probably better to focus on one side while keeping a light eye on the rest of the Java technologies.
I'm not a big fun of books, mainly because they take too long to translate them into spanish and getting them in english, I have no problem with that, is too expensive. I basically get all the information from the Net.
What I do is try to get a light overview of more or less everything, trying simply to understand what it could be used for and such, and then whenever I happen to work on a project that might use something like that, then I invest the time to learn it thoroughly.
I also have a couple of pet projects that are simple enough that I can rewrite them every now and then, but they are complex enough that I can really experience the good and bad of the new things. I've used them in the past, for example, to try EJB2.1, Hibernate, JMS, Quartz... Then when I need to use it in real life, I already have some limited experience with the new things.
So as the previous poster said, nothing replaces coding something by yourself, and as of lately it's quite important as the hype for "the latest thing" would drive you mad going from one thing to another ;).
Of course, working at a university where I can take time to learn new things and test them helps, as when you are pressed to have things on time, you don't usuallly have the luxury of trying things that might or might not be useful.
Keeping up is quite impossible I believe. It's not possible to be an expert on all technologies, or even be good on all technologies. The best one can do to become a better programmer is to program. There is no short-cuts I believe.
I am in the beginning of the learning curve and also feel overstimulated by all the information. Books ARE valuable. There is a feeling of substance in books and they are much more easy to read in bed. :-)
1) Find one or two communities where you can ask questions (and get answers as well!)
2) Get a couple of good reference books and find the APIs on the net as well.
3) If you find tutorials about something on the net. Take the time to read them. It may take some time but you will learn stuff.
4) Code, code, code! :D
(Courses would be the preferred learning method but is not often possible.)
I guess the problem is wanting to know everything...or rather getting excited by everything and that comes with the feeling of being overwhelmed , not enough time, doing tutorials half way and never reading the book collection that one might have :(
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