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Java...Where to start?

Discussion in 'Scripting & Programming' started by jatpunjabi, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. jatpunjabi

    jatpunjabi New Member

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    Hi all,
    I want to learn Java programming and have no idea of where to start from? I have Mathematics background. Please tell me from the start I mean the very first step -- Do I need to learn something else first? Do I need to do any background reading? or something els?
    I am just curious and have lot of time after my job so I thought why not learn something in IT and for whatever reason Java is stuck in my mind don't ask me why!!!!
    Please think of me as complete new to this. All I know it's a computer language. I don't even know what that means. You professional guys (and gals) are light years ahead of me so please be kind to me.
    I think curiousity is good enough reason to learn something.
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Pheonicks56

    Pheonicks56 Kilobyte Poster

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    You're going to need a Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to actually write the code in. You can obtain many good free versions across the web, I personally use NetBeans. I would then recommend working through the beginning tutorial and getting yourself a beginner book from Amazon.com such as Head First Java: Your Brain on Java. After you do this you should have a pretty good start and you can always ask questions here.
     
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  3. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Personally I was taught Java in 1999 back at Uni when I was doing my HNC, while the JAVA course was ok, it was made easier by a year of learning C/C++ and 2 years learning VB before hand.

    You don't state where you are, if you're in the UK, why not check out your local college to see if they do any part-time programing courses (this could be anywhere from a C&G level 2 in programming, all the way up to degree level, especialising in Software Engineering). I found it easier to learning programming (or should I say grasp the basics) in a class environment then trying to self study :)

    -Ken
     
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  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    You might find it easier than most with a maths background.

    Try the following :-

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Head-First-...=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247004972&sr=1-3

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Programmers...r_1_21?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247005004&sr=1-21

    Most people do find it easier to take a couple of introductory programming classes.

    I prefer Eclipse IDE to netbeans, you can get it here :- http://www.eclipse.org/

    You can get the Sun JDK here :- http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp

    Have you done any programming on your maths course ? Mathcad, Matlab, S, R, Ocaml, Haskell, F#, FORTRAN ?

    If you enjoy maths and science you might enjoy something like this :-

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/F-Scientist...=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247005197&sr=1-1

    (Its not a beginners text on F# though, so you might need another book if you decide to look into F#.)
    There are many specialist programming texts aimed at numerical and scientific computing.

    Loads of resources around for programming, if you get stuck just ask. I know a little about Java and programming (unfortunately not much math!):wink:
     
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  5. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    Or the JDK and notepad 8)

    Googling "beginners java tutorials" might be a good idea, there's plenty out there to get you up and running.
     
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  6. Pheonicks56

    Pheonicks56 Kilobyte Poster

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    This is true that you can use notepad, I just find it's easier to get started with the tutorials provided in the IDEs, and they can help check code and throw up flags that can be helpful if there's errors.
     
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  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Notepad and JDK is fine to get started. Once you've got more than five source files an IDE or something like Ant or Maven just makes the build easier to manage.

    The class browser, intellisense and the refactoring support of an IDE really helps on real projects with thousands of files.

    Ever get the feeling Java and C# are just Smalltalk for the noughties ?
     
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  8. Pheonicks56

    Pheonicks56 Kilobyte Poster

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    I have to say this, I hate programming. I am just not good at it, and wish I never had to deal with it. Unfortunately, I have two upper levels in Java coming up in a few months, and I didn't do so hot with the basics. Who knows, maybe this time it will stick a little better.
     
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  9. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    I agree that for anything more than about 5 non-trivial files you need some sort of file management in place. For a complete beginner though, I think notepad is helpful in nailing syntax and getting used to the sometimes cryptic compiler error messages.
     
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  10. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Agreed.

    On my HND we had to use notepad for pretty much all of our java programming. Helped us get the syntax down and enabled us to actually search for errors in the code, rather than them being pointed out to us (as is done with netbeans etc).

    I thought that it helped quite a bit.

    Qs
     
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  11. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I think an initial non IDE approach is good for learning fundamentals and the environment.

    Things like what is a compiler, the classpath, environment variables, the command line, basic file structure, source code vs bytecode, what the JVM is, etc

    I think it's scary how many .NET programmers probably don't know what the CLR or MSIL is or that you can run the compiler from the command line.
     
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  12. jatpunjabi

    jatpunjabi New Member

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    OK then I am going to start and see what happens. Thank you all sooooooo much. This is the best forum. By the way I am in UK.
     

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