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Java workshop


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Hello,

**What's this post all about then?**

The idea of this thread is you can post bits of Java code that aren't working or you don't understand, ask questions about specific Java API or object oriented principles, or ask for help on how to solve a particular problem using Java.

I'll fix it / explain it / help you solve it respectively :)

Think of me as an asynchronous debugger. If I fix something for you, I'll also explain how I fixed it and teach you why it was broken. I basically want it to be as easy as possible for you guys who are working with Java to learn and progress, I have the free time so why not.

Don't worry if you are using some third party libraries either, I'll figure it out.

**I want to learn Java but I don't know where to start**

No worries, head over here, tick the box and download the JDK for your OS. Java runs in a virtual machine, or VM, often referred to as the JVM (java virtual machine). What this means is when you write code, it is compiled into something called bytecode, that the JVM executes. This means as long as there is a JVM for a given platform, java will run on it - the JDK includes all of the core java libraries that we work with when coding as well as tools to hook into and debug code running in the JVM:

[http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jdk8-downloads-2133151.html](http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jdk8-downloads-2133151.html)

Install that. Then, head over here and download yourself the Eclipse IDE, this is the IDE an overwhelming majority of java developers use, there are others, but this one is free and does the job very well. You want the _Eclipse IDE for Java EE developers_, this just means you want bells and whistles:

[http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/](http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/)

It comes as a zip file and there is no installer, extract the folder somewhere easy to remember like your home directory. You won't be able to pin it to your task bar initially because eclipse, though awesome, is a pain in the arse, you can fix it by following the guidelines here:

[http://androblip.huiges.nl/2011/10/11/how-to-get-eclipse-to-pin-to-taskbar-in-windows-7/](http://androblip.huiges.nl/2011/10/11/how-to-get-eclipse-to-pin-to-taskbar-in-windows-7/)

Alright, when you first open Eclipse it will ask you which workspace you want to use, just press ok. A workspace is just a folder that all of your projects are saved in, when you are working with large sets of projects for different companies it is useful to have multiple workspaces, we don't have to worry about all of that :)

Now we are ready, here are a set of video tutorials that specifically take you through getting started with java in eclipse, they are awesome, just make sure as you watch them you also code what you are seeing, this is how you will learn! It is _so_ important not to just watch / read, you **have** to actually duplicate what you are seeing or you'll never really learn how to work with the language.

[http://eclipsetutorial.sourceforge.net/totalbeginner.html](http://eclipsetutorial.sourceforge.net/totalbeginner.html)

Once you are a few tutorials in he starts talking about test driven development and stuff like that, at this stage bin those video tutorials and head over to the oracle tutorials, at this point you should know enough about your IDE and very basic java to start working through them:

[http://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/](http://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/)

Again, as you go through them, code everything that you are shown. Play with the examples, break it, fix it, etc. You'll learn faster than you think.

**Alright, I don't understand some aspect of all this crap you just told me**

Lucky you are in a thread where you can ask questions about exactly this sort of thing then aren't you ;) Best of luck chaps,

Liam
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