After one full week of preparation, giving lectures and handling lab classes, the Java programming workshop has finally come to an end. The workshop was conducted by me with the help of my friend, Aswin, as a part of Software Freedom Week celebrations.
This was the first workshop conducted in college by me after I was selected as the Campus Ambassador for Sun Microsystems. Java is one of the greatest products from Sun, which is extensively used in programming, web applications, mobile applications and more. So, I felt that conducting a workshop on Java programming would help the students learn the language. The workshop was intended to show the students the door to the world of Java.
The curriculum of NITT does not have an exclusive Java course. But there are many students who are interested in learning the language. I have seen many friends of mine who have tried to learn Java, but were confused about where to start and how to proceed.
The workshop was planned for second year B. Tech CSE students of my college. I went to their classroom and briefed them about the various open source technologies, about the Campus Ambassador Programme of Sun and about the numerous workshops that are to follow in the months to come. I also asked the students to do a study on open source and write an article on the same. The response was very good.
My HOD arranged the conference hall and the laboratory for our use. With the help of Aswin, I installed Java and Netbeans in all computers in the lab. The projector was set up too. The stage was set for the workshop.
32 students had been selected for the workshop. Everyone had assembled, eagerly awaiting the start. I distributed the Netbeans CDs, pens and key chains which Sun Microsystems had sent for the workshop. Then the classes began.
We started right from the basics, explaining the simple looping constructs, the conditional statements and various other syntax. Then we moved on to object oriented programming and related concepts like abstraction and polymorphism. Concepts of classes and objects were explained with regular demos on screen.
When Aswin was handling the class, I was busy taking snaps. Our HOD also visited the class to make sure everything was running smoothly.
We then explained the concepts of streams used in input/output. Exception handling was taught in detail. The lab practice sessions were interesting. Some students came up with excellent solutions which even we never thought of. The workshop was a learning experience for us too.
We also conducted a small review examination to gauge the understanding of the participating candidates. We wrote a simple Java program to evaluate the answers of students. The answers were discussed later.
We then ventured into complex topics like networking and swt. Students were taught how to write a chat application. They also had a lab session on that, where they implemented chat application and file sending programmes.
Practice makes a programmer perfect. Learning from the book will not help in learning a language. To become an expert, one must practice various programs and develop programming skills. This was emphasized during the workshop.
During the workshop, we asked the students to look up some interesting topics online, like obfuscated code and the dining philosophers problem. This helped the students to learn loads of new stuff.
All the presentations used and the demo programs were mailed to the students. The students’ feedback on the programme was also overwhelming. On the last day, I requested the students to look beyond text books and the curriculum. There must be a thirst for knowledge. Everyone must participate in the development of open source technologies. Gone is the age when there was a divide between the developer and the user. Now is the age where the user is the developer.
The first Java workshop was thus completed successfully. I am planning for the next workshop, which might be on Opensolaris, one of the most stable operating systems from Sun Microsystems. Looking forward to learning and sharing…