Thursday, 28 February 2013

Content of the new introductory Java Course

The new Introductory Java course is now being edited. As a result I have a pretty good idea of the final content and running order, although the editing and review process will highlight any key areas that need to be changed, or added, so this might not exactly match the final course content or structure.

I have written the course from the perspective of someone with some programming experience (in any language, such as C, Visual Basic, PHP or just JavaScript) and so this is very much a "conversion" to Java. The first part focuses on how to do things in Java that you are likely to be familiar with in another language, such as declaring variables, conditions and loops, and the second part then covers topics that are more unique to Java and so may be completely new.

I'm conscious that some people will want to use the course having done little programming before, so I've been careful to make sure that any concepts not fully explained are easily understandable by the novice if they are willing to spend a bit of time doing their own online research.

So here's the likely running order:

1 - Introduction to Java
2 - Installing Java and Eclipse
3 - Key aspects of Java syntax
4 - Introduction to Object Orientation
5 - Structuring applications
6 - Java libraries and Javadocs
7 - More advanced Object Orientation (including inheritance and abstract classes)
8 - Exceptions
9 - JUnit
10 - Collections
11 - Yet more object orientation (Interfaces and polymorphism)
12 - Databases
13 - Distributing your software

In any of the books or other courses I have seen on Java, I find that trainers struggle with object orientation (OO) - the issue is finding an example that individuals can understand and relate to. I have been really careful to ensure that we build up the OO aspects in a practical and logical way, and rather than talking about something that is really not related to programming, such as the number of legs on an insect (I do remember that being the example when I first learned about object orientation, and I certainly didn't get it at the time), our examples are hopefully modern, understandable, and useable in real world applications.

Throughout the course we have a key project that we work on together, and while we don't fully complete the application, we do end with a good solid framework and code base that could be extended to be a live, functional and useful application.

I've give another update as we get close to the launch date.


  1. Would there be anything on Generics in the tutorial? Its a difficult subject for people new to the feature

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