Introduction to Java Programming

If you want to learn computer programming but don't have any prior experience, you'll enjoy a tour of Java, one of the most widely used computer languages in the world. It’s a breeze to learn in a friendly and supportive environment. Start with the basics of program design and go on to write your own programs and integrate input and output, calculations, decision making, and loops. Build your knowledge and confidence with easy-to-understand examples and plenty of skill-building exercises. So whether you just want to try it out to see if you like it or plan on doing more with Java, this is a great place to start!

We’ll use the latest release of Java, from Sun Microsystems, the company that maintains and supports the language. We’ll also use BlueJ, a graphical development environment designed especially for students. Both are free open-source products, and I’ll give you the proper instructions to download them. By the time we’re done, you’ll be comfortable with Java programming and ready for more!

To enroll in this course, click the Enroll Now button below:


Microsoft Windows 98 or better, or Macintosh OS X or better, or Linux; Internet access; e-mail; and the and the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser. You will also need a working copy of the most recent versions of the Java Development Kit (JDK) and BlueJ (free downloads). Download and installation instructions are available in Lesson 4.


All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when the lesson is released, but you must complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

A new section of each course starts on the second or third Wednesday of each month. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week One
Wednesday - Lesson 01
If you're curious about computer programming or wondering what all the fuss is about, this course is a great place to start. You'll learn the basics of programming and enough of the Java programming language to start writing your own programs. You'll also gain a foundation for further study and training in computer programming or in Java.
Friday - Lesson 02
Have you ever wondered exactly what a computer program is? In this lesson, we'll go over how a program does what it does, and then we'll examine the steps involved in designing and writing a program. Since lack of preparation is the most common cause of program problems (or almost any other undertaking!), we’ll focus on the planning stages of designing a program.
Week Two
Wednesday - Lesson 03
Even if you’re familiar with computers and have done some programming, you may not be familiar with object-oriented programming, which is what Java is all about. In today's lesson, we'll discuss classes, objects, attributes, and methods, and how they all work together to form programs that are both modular and reusable.
Friday - Lesson 04
Now that you’ve got some basic concepts under your belt, it's time to get down to business. Today, you’ll download and install all the software you need to write and test Java programs. You’ll also test your installations by running your very first program, and you'll learn what it means to compile a program before running it.
Week Three
Wednesday - Lesson 05
Now that you’ve installed all the software and run your first program, you’re ready to actually write a program of your own. In this lesson, you’ll start from scratch and write your first program, which will duplicate the results of the one you ran last time. Along the way, you’ll learn how to define a class, the data it needs, and the methods that make it work.
Friday - Lesson 06
This lesson will be a bit like peeling an onion. We ran a program that we didn’t write (the whole onion) in Lesson 4. In Lesson 5, we took one layer off the onion when we wrote a program to do the same simple task. Today, we'll peel back another layer or two as we start the process of writing a more complicated program, one that will take us several lessons to finish. Hopefully, we'll be able to avoid the tears as we begin our development and go over basic program structure, data types, and calculations.
Week Four
Wednesday - Lesson 07
In this lesson we’re going to continue developing the program we started last time. We’ll add decision-making to our programming repertoire, and we'll see how Java compares values. Then we'll discuss how to use those comparisons to decide what course of action to take in any given situation.
Friday - Lesson 08
Round, and round, and round we go. . .where we stop, nobody knows! Actually, you will know, because today's lesson is all about using loops to repeat actions as many times as you want. And if you write your loops well, you'll definitely stop where you want!
Week Five
Wednesday - Lesson 09
In today's lesson, you’re going to learn how to write applets, which are small Java programs that run in browser windows and use GUI (Graphical User Interface) tools. Just like before, we’ll start out very simply, then dive into the deep end in another lesson.
Friday - Lesson 10
Ready to bring out your inner Picasso? Today, we'll use Java’s 2-D graphical tools to draw simple shapes like rectangles, ovals, arcs, and polygons. Along the way, you’ll also learn some more programming techniques related to storing groups of items in a single collection called an array.
Week Six
Wednesday - Lesson 11
In this lesson, you’ll improve your graphics capabilities by learning how to load an image and display it. If you have any digital pictures of family or friends, now is the time to get them out! You’ll also see how to enhance your text capabilities using different font faces, styles, and sizes.
Friday - Lesson 12
Wow! We’re down to the last lesson already! We’re going to wrap up the course with a couple of final topics related to graphics: animation and interactivity. You’ll see how to animate simple shapes by moving them and redrawing them. Then you’ll learn how to make your programs interact with the mouse so that a user can make things happen using a simple click-and-drag interface.

To enroll in this course, click the Enroll Now button below:

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