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I start a year long industrial placement in September where i will be coding in Java predominantly. I am going to use the summer to brush up on my Java as in year one of the degree Java was the main language taught for OOP modules. However this year i have had no Java exposure except for an algorithms module, which was one of eight, so as you can see i am probably getting really rusty!.

What i wanted to know is, how does the "real world" java programming differ from university coding and what do you suggest i brush up on that would be different to my normal workings. As a start I definitely need to get familiar with a professional IDE like NetBeans, opposed to having used BlueJ throughout but more specifically what coding practices should I get more familiar with.

I appreciate they wont expect me to be a qualified full developer and will give me time, but I would like to hit the ground running as it were, with me having full hopes to secure a permanent position after I finish my degree.


migration rejected from stackoverflow.com Sep 17 '13 at 8:10

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closed as primarily opinion-based by ChrisF Sep 17 '13 at 8:10

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

May I just add, in addition to all the good answers below, don't be too surprised if you get out there and your company is doing none of these good, best practice things, but instead have a few, many thousand line long 'utility' classes that do everything. If this happens, don't despair and give up, it's all good experience... –  Paddy May 24 '10 at 15:59
@Paddy great comment there! How can we forget those Utility classes! ;-) –  MalsR Mar 9 '12 at 17:36
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1 Answer


This is the single most important feature of the code that is absolutely required by production code, and that doesn't matter much in an academic setting.

Academic code? Well, you run it and when it is done it is done. Next thing. If you see it crash you fix the problem and run it again.

Production code? You need something that can run for very long time without human intervention, and which can survive whatever happens to be thrown its way so that service can continue reliably as well as notify appropriately. This has a very strong influence on how you write code, because you cannot just say "This will never happen, no need to handle" because some day it will, and it usually happens at 03:00 in the morning and be very expensive to the customer.

To me the change in mindset to write that kind of code, was the biggest difference.

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