16 Replies Latest reply on Oct 4, 2009 1:50 AM by Foxchx

    Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.

    FlexDouche Level 1

      Brief Version (For those who hate to read):

      I took C++ and Java classes when i was in college but that was almost a decade ago... Long story short, my OOP skills are horrible.


      Is this Flex in a Week "program" good for those of us who are not only new to Flex but to OOP programming entirely?

      And if not, could someone suggest alternatives?




      In more detail:


      I have been working the "Flex in a Week" videos and have just finished day two (its taken me 3 days).

      I have been forced to go over several videos multiple times because I cant get my head around what she is explaining.


      She starts typing code sometimes in a sort of "matter of fact" way which makes me think I am suppose to already have some sort of foundation.


      For example, Event handling is kickin my rear and, as she is jumping from component to component adding this, editing that, im pullin my hair out just trying to figure out how she knew that "blahArray" had a method called "blahArray.getItemIndex". Am I suppose to know already that this method exists and what it does???

      Hell I barely understand methods, properties, and umm the other one...


      So is this some sort of trial by fire methodology or am I out of my league here?


      All I have to say is, Thank god for pause and rewind!



      -Side Note.  As for the "exercises" they dont seem to help much as they are not well explained (i.e. I am doing this because of this...) so I find myself simply reading along and typing what he tells me to type with little understanding of why or the logic driving it.

        • 1. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.
          Gregory Lafrance Level 6

          The best way to learn Flex really quickly is to go through this section of the Flex Builder help system page by page first:


          Flex Programming Elements


          Read all the topics, compile all the sample programs.


          Then continue going through the FB help system as you try to develop some small applications that are somewhat useful.

          • 2. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.
            Steve Howard, ACP Level 3

            I'd say this is a good start to help you get to grips with Flex.


            But if you are not already a fluent OOP developer, this won't make you one. I've only found a small amount of time to commit to building 'real' apps having worked through Flex in a Week, and so far have found it very tough. I'd like to see additional discussion on the docs, including how to get the dumb Adobe 'help' to actually give search results that point directly to the help. I find Google is more useful, which is crazy!



            • 3. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.
              Foxchx Level 1

              I totaly agree with you, it is bit confusing what we will actually get from the flex in a week...


              when you start you think they gonna bult the app from scratch and show you how and why...


              they difinetely to tell the "why" of things and didn't even finish the employee app!? they jump from files to project to a diferent tutorial concept...and if you actually look at the source files for the employee directory app you realise that they didn't teach you anything about it because it's an all diferent structure and i realised that i am not gaining anything from those videos.


              moreover, i think i am like FlexDouche when i say that reading is not the way i understand things... it seems flex doesn't really have much for us non reader and video learner.


              The fastest way for me to learn software so far was to follow video tutorials that show how to built sth(exemple that works) that i will be able to use at the end and then reverse engineer trying diferent variation off codes.


              Are we wrong saying that the "flex in a week" does not teach how to build an app but merly teachs how to understand small specific bock of code?


              as an alternative i started to ask mutiple basic questions on the forum but although the reply are good and quick i never got reply offering learning solution/links outside of adobe!




              -Side Note.  As for the "exercises" they dont seem to help much as they are not well explained (i.e. I am doing this because of this...) so I find myself simply reading along and typing what he tells me to type with little understanding of why or the logic driving it.


              No  Kidding even by copying and pasting i get errors and diferent outcome

              • 4. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.
                Gregory Lafrance Level 6

                Ya gotta be nimble. I personally hate learning from videos and training classes, as to me they usually are a waste of time. The videos take way to much time and teach you way too little, and the training is a waste because the instructors are usually just warm bodies going through an instructor's manual.


                Y gotta be nimble, and that means going through the Flex Builder help system, reading, compiling, figuring things out when they don't work (usually by simplifying and commenting out code).


                Ya GOTTA be nimble...

                • 5. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.
                  Foxchx Level 1

                  you right the video training of adobe are or seem to be oriented to people like you (i call readers)(i personaly not a reader i need to see(visual) to understand) but these video do teach in a readers maner and definitly lose time over reading.


                  usually the advantage to video training is that the trainner can explain what is doing and why! they don't do that much at flex in a week and that is exactly my problem with flexinaweek.


                  First instance of that issue is:


                  they teach you how to retrieve data via httpservices.....


                       -They repeat the "help file" info

                       -They show you how it works

                       -they do not provide the data used in the tutorial(no source files) (SO i cannot experience or duplicate or get a feel of the last part of the tutorial)


                  So basically the flex video tutorial are only showing the workflow and the coding

                  instead of showing you everything like proper video tutorial do for every other software that i learnt in the past.


                  now i understand why you always reffer to using help files as best way to learn, it's true but that's only true because ADOBE is so off the track in teaching their stuff,



                  or maybe i am wrong ....?

                  -source files?

                  -tutorial to build and app from scratch, step by step, that works?(and i am not talking about a helo world application)?

                  -video download to play offline? I like to control my ****! that's why i hate mac and that's why i am not to keen about the "get adobemediaplayer" bull*?


                  For the record everytime that i have to fight with  adobemediaplayer to move on the timeline and it keeps going back to begining really piss me off!!!

                  • 6. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.
                    Gregory Lafrance Level 6

                    Readin is a better way to learn, even if you have to force yourself to endure it, because it engages your mind better, and you can absorb more information faster. With a video, your time is also taken listening to the speaker's voice, his pauses, etc.


                    Let me ask you this, if you had to pay for this Flex in a Week series, but you knew it was really good, better than this free stuff, what do you think you would pay? I'm toying with the idea of creating a series of video tutorials to get people up to speed quickly with Flex, so I thought I would ask.

                    • 7. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.
                      Foxchx Level 1

                      I am glad you ask... but before i must say so that you understand the issue between reader and non-readers:

                      I TOTALLY agree with you that reading and writing (writing what you learn is better than reading) but the problem that visual learners like me have is that learning to reading takes time(i am talking years) now, I am a french/english/spanish/chinese speaker and live at least a year in each country but i am pretty sure i would fail any highschool test in any of those 4 languages INCLUDING my mother tongue, so the idea to become a good reader, well i kinda throw that out the window by now. BASICALLY there is the reader and the non-reader.


                      so that said we can offer both ways, adobe does (1-the help files 2-the flex in a week) what i don't like about the flex in a week is that it focus the workflow/etc like i said in other posts.


                      For your question, I think adobe would have a lot to win in teaching their stuff for free, I mean it's a really small price to pay for a company like adobe to create tutorials that would ultimatly make user better and maybe boost the sales(i don't really know the money side but the easier it is the more ppl will be using and buying, no?)


                      There is pretty good paying tutorial already and if adobe where doing more it would definitly work, after flexinaweek i would be pissed off to pay for that!


                      In my mind good video tutorials should do:


                      - Let the user complete the training with a complete working result(so that the learner now the basic and feel he accomplished sth)


                      - explain further than the objective( branch out in explaining stuff that is out of the scope)(of course don't go too far timewise...but if you can't talk about because it's too long that means you need a new section)


                      - simplify the help files (everytime you mention sth that could be simplifed go for it simplify it as if you were talking to a kid "tell me the same thing in a diferent way")


                      - Source files, Source files, Source files! (now i really don't think that the end source files are always good but the begining one are definitely needed)(i think in flex you might need the end source as well because it seems that if you just copy and paste problem emerge for some reason!?)



                      you should check


                      - 3dbuzz (this is my favorite type of tutorials because although you want to punch the speakers out for talking too much and discussing their life in the video... they do go in depth and anyways it's video i can fastforward when they lose too much time!(at least i have the choice))(they don't do flex )


                      - lynda.com the main place for video tutorial (i am sure you know about it)(it doesn't have a style because it comes from many source)




                      I really appreciate the time you take on this forum i really don't know how to feel about this forum is good is it bad?!?! at lease you definitely make it better being involved like that.



                      • 8. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.
                        Gregory Lafrance Level 6

                        Yeah. If a foreign language is in the mix, its a different story.


                        I lived in Japan for 6 years and learned the language, but reading was always a pain, though I love it.


                        Thanks for the info on tutorials.


                        I always believe anyone can get a slice of the pie if your product is good enough.


                        I love the Flex forums. It's a great place to contribute and learn.


                        BTW, if this post helps you, please mark it as such.

                        • 9. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.
                          Foxchx Level 1

                          well that's what works for me, best case senario i'll see more tutorial taking these concideration!


                          about this forum, i hate the software but really like the comunity! so we'll see who wins over time, hehe.

                          • 10. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.

                            I too have quickly lost interest in the "Flex in a week" stuff, waste of time...


                            Try Lynda.com and TotalTraining.com, although they are not free the videos are alot better and in somecases pretty thorough on certain topics. Plus you get all the exercise code!

                            • 11. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.
                              Gregory Lafrance Level 6

                              I suggest giving up on these videos as they just are not complete enough to be of real value to you. Go through this section of the Flex Builder help sys:


                              Flex Programming Elements


                              That will give you a good start in Flex. Then continue going through the help sys. Its the best way to learn Flex.

                              • 12. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.
                                j.beckton Level 1

                                I'll have to admit I rarely read help manuals unless I am really stuck on something. They tend to be boring and usually lack the information to "Put it all together" But I will give the Flex Builder help system 4.5 stars for good structure and lots of code samples. I think this might actually be a decent learning tool...

                                • 13. Flex and Flex in a Week

                                  Hi Everyone.

                                  Passed by and just wanted to share my 2 cents.


                                  I find Flex in a Week actually being a really valuable resource.

                                  For those who don't have much time to spend on learning the technology (which, however, is forged to be quite easy to use, and easy to learn if have some kind of experience with web development, or just UI development), it provides you with a quick path to follow to master the technology quickly.

                                  Bring together the pieces at the end of the day is, obviously, your duty.


                                  The programmer going though the series will greatly benefit from those, and the non programmer also will be able to build a flex application quickly, which in my opinion is a great strength of Flex.


                                  Just give it a chance.




                                  • 14. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.

                                    I 100% agree with FlexDouche  This is not a 5 day training title. No offense to anyone here, but this is the Nerdiest 5 day beginners tutorial I have ever seen. One point FlexDouche made.. is how the hell does she know that there is a secret method hidden inside a class, inside of one of the many class package APIs built into Flash ActionScript? or better yet.. how do you determine when it is time to call a method or just create your own? The exercises, start out easy, then start confusing the crap out of you. 100 steps to create a RemoteObject. After watching the videos 4 times to try to understand what the lady is even saying. I'm still somewhat confused. But I did follow each step.. and my project works pefectly. But I don't really understand why I made so many steps to create a drag and drop object. Im so damn confused .. I had to take detailed notes, and find myself doing tons of research on Flex that isnt on the Adobe website or help areas. I'm getting clearer answers and explainations from Lynda.com.


                                    In chapter 2 the narrator introduces us to MVC object oriented programming. But then leaves us hanging about the subject. I don't know if this Room Reservation App is built on the concepts of MVC or what. This is a very difficult to understand and time consuming training guide. The only guy who made any sense was Lee of goToAndLearn.com. His small video tutorial was the only one I understood. Why be so nerdy? Why can everyone learn how to program? Why keep it limited to all the rocket scientist and C++ experts?


                                    And one more thing.. How much of this information will change or be obsolite by the time Flash Builder 4 and its new syntax is introduced?


                                    Reason for me and FlexDouche to have such a bad attitude is, designers like myself who have been told we need to "know more code" eventually find ourselves becoming full blown coders and developers .. but not by choice. Because its the only way to keep our job. I still don't understand why you need to do so many steps to make one little thing work. This whole OOP, MVC, Pure MVC, instantiate this, invoke that.. is insane.All I need to do is display a listing of Cars for sale. lol


                                    However, after my rant which extends the class of FlexDouche's rant.. Not only do I say I totally agree with dude, I am going through the same thing. I will continue to learn this stuff. However I will have several questions to my Nerdy friends. Because if I can't beat you .. I have no choice but to join you like Ogre did in Revenge of The Nerds Part 2.


                                    My first question is.. how do they know to call all these classes, methods, events?  Like what makes a programmer start programming all of this code as if it was no problem? I read someone say read the help guide. But even reading that, is nerdy.


                                    Second question.. what math classes or skills can I take or brush up on to be a better Object Oriented Programmer?


                                    And I will give back too. I'll teach you some Photoshop tricks.


                                    Also for those like me just learning O.O.P the Adobe tutorials are rather difficult to understand in a laymans terms. But Sun's Java for beginners tutorial explains Object Oriented Programming in a very layman's like explaination.. (although some parts can get confusing).. its well writen. Just no videos. I suggest start learning Java.. and it will help to know with Flex.  http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/java/



                                    • 15. Re: Flex and Flex in a Week
                                      Don55AMG Level 1

                                      Ok. I will give it a chance. Thanks..



                                      But again.. how did she know when to import that class package.. ?

                                      • 16. Re: Advice for people new to OOP and Flex.
                                        Foxchx Level 1

                                        I couldn't agree more. i don't know why but i got the feeling that designer will soon be needed again on day... hopefully programmers will setup software like flex that we can use and focus on designing over coding.


                                        In my company i don't have an Adobe nerd team of 10 ppl to work every part of the application, i have to do it all myself. So after losing a bunch of time trying to make sense of adobe tutorials i went and hire a programmer to teach me the damn thing. Everything i know i learnd from the internet and this is the first time i just couldn't do it on my own.


                                        3d max-flash-photoshop-premiere-php etc - no problems.


                                        Then flex came along and i need to hire ppl to make sense of it, there must be sth rotten in danmark because it doesn't even seems that complicated when you look at it but yet nobody(that are not programmers) seems to understand it.


                                        First thing the guy tought me was to understand the outline and work with it as much as possible just that was enought to have me started and actually let me make changes to existing code that works, now i can trace my steps and know where to look for errors and stuff, it allowed me to make use of what they(adobe) teach you about the states.


                                        Just to say that his 5 minute little rant on the outline had more result then any adobe videos i watch. Now I just assume the learning stuff made by Adobe is just pretentious nerdy stuff.