Java programming for non-programmers

This is the very beginning of a new tutorial for me, in progress: Java for a first programming language

I just started it Oct 9th, 2012. So its fairly incomplete. But if it doesnt eventually make it to more useful stuff, please feel free to give me a nudge!

Who this is written for

This tutorial is written for a person who is trying to learn a "real" programming language for the first time. It ignores attempting to teach academic concepts such as "Object Oriented Design philosophy", and instead focuses more on, "This is how you get a program written in Java." I try to showi things that can actually run, right from the beginning. If, on the other hand, you are specifically looking for Object Oriented design philosophies, you might want to read my Object Oriented Programming guide instead, if you are just looking to make the transition to OOP style langauges.

If you have a unix-like machine, and have been using the command line, it would probably be easier to learn Korn Shell as your first programming language. But if you really want to jump into the deep end, I'm going to try to teach people how to program in java "the right way, right from the start". Because there are faaarrrr too many people learning it the wrong way, and never realising where they went wrong.


At some point, you will need to have access to:
  1. Java itself. Your computer probably alread has some version.
  2. A java compiler (usually comes with the "JDK", or developer edition)
  3. An editor (to edit/write programs)
At this early stage in my writing, I do not know whether to recommend a full "IDE", like netbeans, or to do things yourself. It probably depends on how well you can type, and what kind of operating system you are on.

If you are on some unix variant, such as linux, you may do well in command line. However, if you are coming from a MS-Windows or MacOS environment, you will probably prefer an "IDE" (Integrated Development Environment)

At some point, I intend to write a little intro page to using the NetBeans IDE. But not yet.


Now... on to the first lesson!

Temporary table of topics written so far

  • Objects
  • Primitives
  • Variables
  • Using objects