For a long time I have wanted to improve my programming skills. Well, skills might be a overstatement. I have had two short introductory programming courses during my many years at uni, one C++ and one Java. But after the course is over I stop programming, since there are no more hand-ins, and as a result I quickly forget even the basics.
So now my hope is that if I spend one or two hours a week working with some problems (with a math twist to keep my focus) I will pick up the basics and get more familiar with Java (the programming language that I have chosen to start out with).
So I have started working the problems at Project Euler. I haven’t spend that much time working the problems yet, but I have solved the first two (using very brute force and non-elegant code), but it seems I have to do a bit of thinking for the third problem. Somehow working through all the integers from one to 600,851,475,143, check if they are a factor of 600,851,475,143 and then check if that factor is a prime is not the most optimal way to find the largest prime factor of 600,851,475,143. Back to the drawing board…
Of course I could ‘cheat’ and just do
$ factor 600851475143
in a shell, but that way I won’t learn much…
If you know of other interesting problems useful for brushing up on a programming language, feel free to leave a comment.
And before I forget, a big thanks goes out to Søren, who has been very patient with my basic questions like “how do I check if one or the other condition is fulfilled in my if statement?”. I promise, I’ll pick up a book soon and stop bothering you with trivialities on chat!