Tokugawa Ieyasu, looking stoic and dependable.

Tokugawa Ieyasu, looking stoic and dependable.

That’s a quote from the Samurai Warriors version of Tokugawa Ieyasu, which I would have benefited from keeping in mind during my study sessions this week. I spent an hour or so yesterday going round and round in circles trying to figure out why a couple of exceptions kept occurring in my JDBC experiment program, and it turned out that the whole problem was due to me not using the next() method to move to the first row in the ResultSet object. Something I would have realised was necessary, had I actually read through the whole JDBC tutorial!

Unfortunately, my approach to studying and programming has been more Maeda Keiji than Ieyasu recently; I’ve been so enthusiastic about the tasks and projects I’m working on that I’ve been rushing the process, jumping around the tutorials and documentation, and trying to build working programs before I really understand the basics of the classes I’m using.

Maeda Keiji, advocate of the Let's go crazy!!! approach.

Maeda Keiji, advocate of the "Let's go crazy!!!" approach.

I’ve been doing this kind of thing at work recently too, making silly basic mistakes and rushing through tasks without reading the instructions properly – either I’m fatigued or I’m starting to lose it! And I don’t even have the excuse of a heavy workload, since I only work 30 hours a week and I’m only doing a 20 point OU course. Quite worrying, really!

To be honest, I think I’m getting a bit frayed around the edges due to some stuff at work (I’m developing an Access database as an interim replacement for part of a COBOL behemoth which is being reworked, and the project has given me a deep fear of end-users and a huge amount of respect for anyone who deals with user requirement specifications!), combined with a bit of general gloominess caused by the short, cold winter days. The work stress isn’t going away any time soon (when they said “interim”, they meant “in use for a year or two, depending on how fast the COBOL development goes”), but at least when the days start getting longer and the weather starts warming up, I should feel a bit more resilient.

In the meantime to get myself back on track with my Java studies, I’ve been slowly and carefully reading through the Sun JDBC Basics tutorial. I’m in the middle of the “Retrieving Values from Result Sets” section at the moment, and am trying my hardest to resist the temptation to skip ahead to the page about using JOIN statements. Hopefully Alex won’t think I’m drunk or senile if I start muttering “slow and steady, slow and steady” to myself as I’m reading…