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From "Frank W. Zammetti" <>
Subject Re: My first Approach
Date Sun, 16 Oct 2005 18:58:45 GMT
One further suggestion: don't hesitate for a second to start playing. 
You can spend 20 hours reading the best book out there and I would still 
say you won't learn as much as 10 hours of just hacking away at code 
will teach you.

Some people like to take a sample app and rip it apart, and that's fine. 
  I personally do better when I come up with some sort of project and 
just start doing it, solving each problem and learning what I need to as 
I go.  Pick something that isn't going to be too difficult, but 
something that will be just challenging enough.

When I was learning Struts, I made myself a file manager.  Still use it 
today :)  Other good projects would be your own simple blog system, a 
message forum, simplistic CRM app, a webmail client or a multi-page 
survey system.  Anything that gets you interested and will touch on a 
bunch of areas to explore.

Also, on a specific topic, I would stear clear of EJBs for a while. 
There's plenty leading up to that, and many people don't like using them 
anyway and its possible you'll never have to.  Once you have a decent 
grounding in everything else, you should be able to learn EJBs as you 
need to without too much difficulty.  Maybe you'll be lucky and not have 
to until EJB 3.0 is out and you won't have to deal with everything we 
have to deal with today :)

I personally would suggest starting with straight servlets and JSPs. 
This should give you experience with the fundamentals.  Then, move on to 
a framework.  I would suggest Struts because there's plenty of examples 
and docs and help available and it is pretty simple.  Some will argue 
you should just right into JSF or some other framework du jour, but even 
if you eventually wind up not using Struts, you'll have some experience 
with frameworks in general and since most other frameworks take cues 
from Struts in various ways, the uncerlying concepts tend to transfer 
quite a bit, even if the specific don't.

Also, if you don't know it already, don't ignore HTML, Javascript and 
CSS.  Web developers that can handle all aspects of development, even if 
they generally don't have to, tend to be a heck of a lot more useful 
than those that can't (I deal with a lot of people who can code the hell 
out of an EJB, but don't know what <a> or <img> do!!)  You may wind up 
working somewhere that has dedicated page developers and you'll just be 
coding the back end, but rarely is the separation so absolute that 
knowing something about the other side doesn't help.

One last bit of advice... DO NOT use an IDE initially!  Write all the 
code yourself, even the simpple, mundane stuff.  Once you know all that, 
THEN move to an IDE that makes your life easier.  I can't tell you how 
many people I've met that started out with an IDE, and they just click 
the "Generate xxxx code" button, but when I ask them what the code is 
all about, they have no clue, they just know what goes in and what goes 
out.  Those people are inevitably not as capable as those that could 
write that code by hand but choose not to.  I personally STILL use only 
a text editor, but it's a matter of choice for me.  In beginning, don't 
make it a choice, make it a means to learn better.  Think about making 
your life easier only AFTER the knowledge is embedded in your brain :)

Ok, really one last bit... don't hesitate to ask questions!  There are 
plenty of people out there that are more than willing to help.  But, be 
careful to stay on-topic.  I doubt anyone will say anything about a few 
general web development questions on the Tomcat mailing list, but 
eventually someone is going to point out that the questions aren't 
really on-topic for the list.  I would suggest JavaRanch 
( and any of the Java newsgroups out there.

Hope that helps!

Frank wrote:
> Hi Claudio,
> first steps are always exiting. You need to get yourself knowledgeable. 
> There are good books and good online resources to get you started.
> Btw. Tomcat doesn't do EJB, you would need Jeronimo for that (which used 
> Tomcat for JSP/Servlets). So Servlets/JSP is your entry point.
> My absolute favorites are:
> Book: Head first servlets and JSP (O'Reily -- eventually available in 
> Latin languages)
> Online:
> just as an entry point...
> :-) stw
> "Claudio Veas" <> wrote on 16/10/2005 22:43:51:
>>Hello my name is Claudio Veas Im from Argentina and I have successfully
>>installed Tomcat 5.0.28 if Im not mistaken. This is the first time with
>>Tomcat so I wanted to ask you people which should be my first step into 
> the
>>world of web applications you know ( JSP, EJB) but ima total newbie in 
> all
>>this so if you can help me start Ill apreciate it.
>>Thanks on advance
>>Claudio Veas
>>Im from Argentina and My english is not so good so excuse any 
>>mistake in my grammar 

Frank W. Zammetti
Founder and Chief Software Architect
Omnytex Technologies
AIM: fzammetti
Yahoo: fzammetti

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