How to program in Java – Absolute Beginners Guide to Java

constructor javaJava is still one of the most popular and most important programming languages. Once you understand Java, you will have the foundation for understanding a lot of the modern programming languages today like JavaScript. This article is a basic introduction to how to program in Java. It includes basic concepts you need to know to start your Java learning journey.

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Programming Environment

The programming environment is the place that allows you to program in a language or develop routines. Program environments are normally a set of applications that allow you to turn your code into programs that the computer understands. Programmers call program environments IDE’s or Integrated Development Environments. There are a number of different IDE’s you can use to create and then compile your programs in Java. Most of the IDE’s are free for download. You can find various IDE’s available from Java.com.

One of the most popular IDE’s at the moment for Java develop is the Eclipse IDE. If you download Eclipse, you will have all the tools you need to create Java codes and turn those into Java programs that can run on computer or that can run on various other android devices.

Understanding the Elements Necessary to Program in Java

To learn to speak a new language and to learn to program in Java, requires that you understand the basic rules of the language. In terms of programming, those basics include syntax, statements and blocks of code. Let’s take a look at these elements and what they are so that you have a good fundamental basis for learning how to program in Java.

Syntax and Java Syntax

Syntax is the term that is used to refer to the structure of the language itself. In English, sentence syntax generally refers to subject verb object and sentences require a subject verb object to make sense. In terms of a programming language, syntax refers to how to create sentences that the computer will understand. In programming, syntax is the set of rules that govern how you write the code in that language. Syntax prescribes how variables, strings and other program elements can be combined to form sentences that the computer can understand. The syntax required to create the code must be correct when you compile the program. If there are syntax errors, that program will not compile correctly. Syntax is used to indicate to programmers how to write the sentence.

It is important to note that Java is case sensitive so “Hello” would be different from “hello.” It is also important to note that there are a number of reserved words in Java which have specific meanings and syntax.

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Java Statements

Statements are lines of code or one set of instructions within the code. They are the similar to the sentences that make up the paragraphs of a story. Sentences in English end in a full-stop. Statements in Java generally end with a semi-colon. Like English, it is acceptable to have a number of statements on a single line, but with programming, the structure should be kept in mind so that other programmers can easily read the code you write. A computer executes one statement at a time and generally executes statements in a linear fashion. Think about a set of steps required to complete a task. Generally you would describe the set of steps as a list from start to finish. You program in the same way using a set of statements from start to finish.

Java Code Blocks

Statements are grouped together to form blocks of code. Generally a code block is written to achieve a specific aim or purpose. Code blocks are the paragraphs of Java. In English, we group similar concepts together in the same paragraphs so that the reader can make sense of what we are writing and trying to say. Code blocks in Java work in the same way. Programming concepts are grouped together in code blocks so that computers can make sense of the code.

Code blocks are grouped together using curly braces in Java. Unlike English, Java code blocks may consist of zero statements. Code blocks can also contain other code blocks. This technique is called “nesting.”

How to Program in Java

You now have an idea about the Java language and the structure of the language, take the first steps towards becoming a Java developer.

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