Feeling the fear…

18 Feb

Fear...
“Oh God. I am never going to understand this stuff!”

Got into some deep water this past week in the Udemy.com course on Selenium Testing with Java. The concepts of synchronization are not so difficult, but the actual practice of creating our own customized ExpectedConditions for use with the WebDriverWait class proved quite intimidating. This involves creating either a named class which is then instantiated as the argument for the wait.unti() method, which is where we would normally go straight to the existing ‘ExpectedConditions’ class and it’s stock methods (which usually suffice), or creating more of an ad-hoc ‘inline’ class which more of a one-off ‘disposeable’ approach.

The idea isn’t rocket science, but the coding aspect, for me, has yet to sink in.

So this time, rather than dive into the exciting distraction of Ruby on Rails, I’ve decided to face the beast and dig a little deeper into the Java language and into the deeper aspects of Object Oriented programming itself.

This leads me to a find I came upon recently which has been extremely helpful. There’s a site similar to Udemy which some may know of called Lynda.com which, for a very reasonable monthly fee, has a ton of surprisingly polished and detailed video instruction on all manner of topics related to software and business. The course I’m digesting know is called ‘Foundations of Programming: Object-Oriented Design’. In the course introduction, the instructor nailed something which I had felt but not yet put clearly into words, namely, that there are a lot of programmers (beginning as well as seasoned professionals) who work with object-oriented languages day in and day out, but who don’t fully understand how to use and apply the concepts and capabilities of the paradigm to solve the tasks at hand. He goes on to underline the importance of Analysis, Design and Programming (understanding, planning and building) and then holds up a sheet of paper saying that, “THESE are the tools we should be using as we begin a new project, NOT the editor or IDE”. Even as a student, I’ve felt the rush of opening the IDE and getting something of my own started, only to find later that I’m losing focus and perhaps realizing that I’ve chosen the wrong approach but am already too deeply vested in it to rip everything out and do it over. In a production setting of course this can be deadly.

So there’s a real emphasis on planning here, and I can see by the syllabus that this will be covered deeply in lectures to come. While ‘planning’ doesn’t sound like as much fun at first as ‘coding’, the excitement will come when I get the satisfaction of putting the two together and coming up with something productive!

This discussion leads right into a discussion on software development methodologies and then an increasingly detailed run-down on Objects, Classes, methods, Inheritance, Encapsulation, Polymorphism and so on, explained in terms which even the lay-est of the laymen like me can understand. For a $25 monthly fee, these lectures on Lynda.com are well worth checking out.

As for the Selenium training, I’m going to browse the remaining videos in the syncronization section and then move on, to cookies (and a glass of warm milk perhaps) and javascript, which I’m hoping will entail a return to a more comfortable level of Java programming. I have my work cut out for me, however, and I am determined to fill in the gaps until I can review (and practice) the the advanced synchronization strategies with confidence.

Fear?  Nah!
Herman says: “Feel the fear and code it anyways!”

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One Response to “Feeling the fear…”

  1. ScottVC March 20, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    Way to push through and get to it! Paper is mightier than the IDE ;)

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