Java for the Beginner - The BEST Resources for Learning Java
Everything you need to get started with Java
If you want to learn Java programming, you've come to the right place! Here you'll find everything you need to get off to a great start learning Java. You can start by downloading the Java Language and NetBeans Integrated Development Environment or Eclipse (for free!). Grab a few good books and tutorials (for free!), or purchase some of the best books written on the topic. I have personally used all these books and wouldn't recommend them if I didn't find them very helpful. You'll also find links to online support groups and forums where you can ask questions or search messages for fast answers, as well as links to code repositories with thousands of source files where you can find practical examples of how others use Java.
Just what IS Java anyway?
Java is a (free!!) flexible programming language developed by Sun Microsystems, now owned by Oracle.
With Java, you can quickly build Web-enabled as well as full-featured stand-alone applications and games. Java programs are portable can be run on many different kinds of computer without being re-written. This was a revolution in programming languages and one of the biggest reasons why since it was first released in 1995, it has been one of the most popular languages ever.
The best part about Java is that the language itself is free from Sun Microsystems, and there are also several free options for training and support of programmers at all skill levels!
First Things First - Downloads you'll need to get started
Here you will find Links to download the Java SDK (Software Development Kit), NetBeans, Java's IDE, as well as other outstanding free tools like the Eclipse IDE and jEdit, a feature-rich java-based programmers' text editor. An 'IDE' is an "Integrated Development Environment" tool.
Note: While an IDE is not required to program in Java (without one you really just need the Java SDK and any text editor, and a huge amount of patience). I feel having an IDE is a great tool for the beginner and can really help with that learning-curve. An IDE is much more than just a text editor. The two most popular IDE's I am aware of are NetBeans and Eclipse. I personally prefer Eclipse, and if I were downloading just one tool besides the Java SDK, Eclipse would be it. Try them both if you have time and see what you like best - they are both free, but you probably only need one IDE.
- Download Java and Netbeans directly from Oracle
Download Java and NetBeans IDE, a free development environment for developing Java applications. Note: The SE kit will do for most beginners, the EE kit has added features for use with web server and networked applications, the ME kit has features es
- Eclipse IDE for Java Developers - a must-have for beginners and Pros alike.
Eclipse IDE is an open-source (free software) project of the Eclipse Foundation. While there are several projects always going on within the Eclipse Foundation, the IDE itself is a very powerful, intuitive progamming tool and I highly recommend it. T
- jEdit - A great Java-based Programmers Text Editor (Optional)
jEdit is a mature, platform independent programmer's text editor. While jEdit beats many expensive development tools for features and ease of use, it is released as free software with full source code, provided under the terms of the GPL 2.0.
Free Java E-books and Tutorials - You'll find everything you need right here to get started now!
You'll find there are many books and websites to help with learning Java programming, but not all are very helpful for actually learning to program in Java. The links, and the recommended books below are the best I've found anywhere for beginners, and will give you a solid foundation from which to build. I will mention, though, that the online format can be hard to follow and I recommend buying one of the hard-copy books lsted below for a solid, hands-on resource.
- The 'Official' Oracle Java Tutorial Online - Free!
This is the newest version of the original Java Tutorial "Trail" - straight from the source, Oracle. While this is a great resource, and free, the web format can be tedious. A hard copy of the book can be purchased below at a reasonable price.
- Essentials of the Java Programming Language, Part 1 - Free E-Book! Download
This book takes you on a straight and uncomplicated path through the more common programming features available in the Java platform. You will learn how to build applications, applets, and servlets, how to build a basic user interface that handles si
- Essentials of the Java Programming Language, Part 2 - Free E-Book! Download
This series of lessons builds on the material presented in Java Programming Language Basics, Part 1, listed above. The lessons and code examples for Part 2 are somewhat more complex. They walk you through network communications, building a user inter
- Introduction to Java Programming| What is Java
An introduction to java programming page that relates the basics of how java works and has links to more tutorials and resources for learning Java.
- Programming: Introduction to Programming Using Java
This book is great for the non-programmer wanting to learn Java - The approach is that of learning about Programming, with Java as the language used for the discussion and examples. While not a comprehensive primer on the Java Language, it is a great
Fast-paced Introductory Java Books - Need to learn Java in a hurry? On-line books are great, but nothing takes the place of having a hard-copy in front of you.
These are my favorite books for getting started in Java in a hurry. I have used these myself and recommended these to several friends who agree. These are good for a quick beginners' overview to get you going right away - whether you are new at programming or even if you are an experienced programmer with other languages this is a good place to start!
Along with these, I would also recommend a more comprehensive and technical resource, like or one of the other fine resources listed in the reference section below to go with them. Thinking in Java (4th Edition)
This very popular book takes a humorous approach and breaks things down for the reader, putting concepts into ever-day, easily understandable language. People love this book, it is an easy read, and a good way to really 'get' the concepts in your head
This book takes a very interesting approach, applying cognitive science, neurobiology, and educational psychology to exploit the way your brain works to learn Java programming at a deeper level than just than just reading text on a page. It speeds up the time it takes to really learn Java, and not only shows you what you need to know about Java syntax, but it enables and encourages you to think like a Java programmer. It also helps with the concepts behind Object Oriented Programming which a lot of people find difficult at first. This is an excellent wy to get started and helps past some of the biggest hurdles I first encounted when learning Java.
In the classic 'Dummies' style, you don't need to be a Dummy to get a lot out of this book. This newly released resource includes eight "minibooks" plus comprehensive online resources, covering everything new programmers need to get going with Java. It focuses on getting up and programming with Java and covers all the basics - explore programming essentials, object-oriented programming concepts, and special programming techniques. Also covers much more - including usage and syntax for Java 7 (the newest version), programing for mobile devices and more. This is a great resource, offering a lot for the beginner on up.
My Personal Java Reference Book Recommendations: - It's essential to have a reference handy as you learn.
(Click on the picture or link to see more book details)
My personal favorite Java reference book is 'Thinking in Java', listed below. The author manages to explain the more difficult concepts in language that is clear and concise, yet doesn't talk down to the reader like some other books. Also - check out the other great books below, which I've found very helpful..
This book is great! This is a good one for learning, yet stays very useful as a reference and for more advanced topics. Walks carefully through the concepts underlying all of Java programming using a lot of, right to-the-point examples, and also gets into more serious Java topics like Java AWT, multithreading, network programming with Java and covers those topics with the same thoroughness and simplicity. If you get only one Java book - this should be it! 1500 Pages.
Completely new to programming? Get this book. As described in the free books section above, this book is a great book about programming for the beginning programmer, which happens to use Java. It give a well explained introduction to new programmers, with an emphasis on programming concepts and fundamentals using the Java Programming Language. If you'd like a free peek at this book, you will find a link to download it in the free books section above, However, I highly recommend purchasing the paper copy as it is (for me) a easier to follow, notate, and work with when you have a real book right in front of you.
A hands-on guide to the Java programming language, The Java Tutorial, Fifth Edition is perfect for any developer looking for a proven path to programming with Java SE. This popular tutorial Originally from Sun Microsystems when java was first released is a classic that has been updated to also cover the most up-to date features.
If you want to learn about the new features in Java 7 you might give the new offering from Packt Publishing, Java 7 New Features Cookbook, a try. This book offers comprehensive coverage of the new features of Java 7, organized around easy-to-follow programing recipes. It covers new features such as the try-with-resources block, the monitoring of directory events, asynchronous IO, new GUI enhancements, and more. It features an example-based approach that focuses on key concepts to provide the foundation to solve real world problems. A great resource if you are already somewhat familiar with Java and one who likes to learn by example.
A great beginner resource brought to you by Oracle - This excellent book starts with the basics, such as how to compile and run a Java program, and then discusses the keywords, syntax, and constructs that form the core of the Java language. You'll also find coverage of some of Java's most advanced features, including multithreaded programming and generics. Get started programming in Java right away with help from this fast-paced tutorial.
Online Forums and Code Respositories - Get in touch with other Java programmers and find examples to get the answers you need.
Sometimes, even with the best of resources we have questions or need help or examples to refer to. The following are links to various forums and Java code respositories.
- Sun Developer Network Forums
Sun Developers Online Community - Free! You can browse the forums as a guest or login and post your own questions.
- IT/Developer Network Java Forum
A moderated question and answer Java forum - Ask away!
- ProgrammingTutotials.com Java/J2EE Forum
A community for programmers and those who want to learn to program. Here you will find a General forum for discussions on any language or development related topic as well as specific forums on Java/J2EE. Feel free to post questions, help provide a
- Java examples (example source code) Organized by topic
A huge library of source code on a variety of topics organized by topic/technology.
- Java Programming Examples
Java Programming Source code sorted by functionality.
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