How would you learn a new platform?

time to read 2 min | 232 words

Here is an interesting problem that I am facing. I have a pretty good working knowledge of computing, and while I can usually manage to get the gist of a new technology in a short amount of time, that is only useful for talking about it, not actually applying that. I am currently trying to figure out the parts where I am missing, and plug the holes. And I am running into a bit of a problem here.

A case in point, I can read Java, and I can probably write C# code in Java, but I can’t write a Java application. Not for lack of technical skills, but just because I lack the practical knowledge on how to do so.  The problem is that it is going to take too long for me to slog through everything myself, especially since my main problems are in things like IDEs and usage patterns, which aren’t really stuff that you learn from reading about it.

I am thinking on taking a Java course, not so much for the content of the course, as the ability to actually build Java apps in an environment where I can ask questions. On the other hand, picking the right course is problematic, I am not going to sit through “this is a for loop", but I don’t want to be the guy with the blank stare.