If you want to learn computer programming but don't have any prior experience, you'll enjoy a tour of Java, one of the most widely used computer languages in the world. It's a breeze to learn in a friendly and supportive environment. Start with the basics of programming and go on to write your own programs and integrate input and output, calculations, decision making, and loops. Build your knowledge and confidence with easy-to-understand examples and plenty of skill-building exercises. So whether you just want to try it out to see if you like it or plan on doing more with Java, this is a great place to start! We'll use the latest release of Java, from Oracle, the company that maintains and supports the language. We'll also use BlueJ, a graphical development environment designed especially for students. Both are free open-source products, and I'll give you the proper instructions to download them. By the time we're done, you'll be comfortable with Java programming and ready for more! Course Revised November 2013
How It Works
This course is fully online, you require internet access and an email account. The course duration is 6 weeks, followed by a 2-week period to complete the final exam (online, open book). Lessons are released on Wednesdays and Fridays of each week, for a total of 12. You are not required to be online at any specific time. In addition to the specific lesson content, there is a discussion board with each lesson and often there is an optional assignment to apply the learning. Following each lesson, there is a short multiple choice quiz. Your score on these quizzes does not count towards the final mark but completing these helps solidify your learning as well as prepare you for the final exam. The final exam is an open-book, multiple choice exam and you need to achieve a minimum of 65% on the final exam to pass the course. There is only one opportunity to pass the exam. A certificate of completion from Ed2Go is available for printing immediately upon successful completion of the course and a certificate from the University of Waterloo will be emailed typically 1-2 weeks later. Many of the Ed2Go courses are eligible towards the various online certificates offered by WatSPEED.
Microsoft Windows 98 or better, or Macintosh OS X or better, or Linux. You will also need a working copy of the most recent versions of the Java Development Kit (JDK) and BlueJ (free downloads). Download and installation instructions are available in Lesson 4.
Lesson 1 - Introducing Java. Java is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world, on machines from microprocessors in DVRs and microwaves to supercomputers. This lesson will introduce you to computer programming in general and to Java in particular. I'll get you set up with the downloads and installations you'll need for the rest of the course, and I'll walk you through the process of editing, compiling, and running computer programs written in Java.
Lesson 2 - Writing Your First Java Program. Now that you have the software downloaded and installed, you're ready to start programming! Today you'll write your first Java program. Along the way, you'll learn to create projects and classes in BlueJ. You'll use the editor to enter your program, and you'll find out more about how to compile it and run it. We'll also look at some of the basics of Java syntax (or form), some of its naming conventions, and its basic data types.
Lesson 3 - Working With Java's Primitive Data Types. This lesson is about Java's primitive data types, the building blocks you need to use before you can build more complex types. I'll show you how to use them in some simple programs, and we'll look at how they relate to each other. Beyond that, we'll look at how to use a few of the classes in the Java libraries.
Lesson 4 - Working With Objects. This lesson introduces classes and objects. We'll revisit the HelloWorld application and rewrite it in Java's OOP (object-oriented programming) structure. While we're doing that, we'll look at how to declare classes, objects, attributes, and methods to Java.
Lesson 5 - Creating a Program That Makes Calculations. Today we'll go over how to declare our data variables to Java and how to use variables in arithmetic expressions to calculate new results. We'll also talk about data input, which means getting information into our programs from an outside source. Then we'll write a program that incorporates all these features.
Lesson 6 - Computer Logic: Writing Programs That Make Decisions. Making decisions is one of the most important and powerful things a computer language can do. Without decision-making, computers would be big, bulky calculators. We're going to look at the decision-making process in detail and see how Java does it. When you're done with this lesson, you'll know how to write Java programs that make decisions based on the principles of computer logic.
Lesson 7 - Writing Programs With Loops. In this lesson, you'll learn to repeat actions using a control structure called a loop. Loops in Java involve decisions, just as branches do. But in a loop structure, if the condition is met, the branch is backward instead of forward, allowing us to repeat actions. We'll also finish our temperature program.
Lesson 8 - Fixing Errors in Java. Today we'll discuss how Java generates exceptions and how we can prevent them from crashing our programs. We'll also look class methods and how to call them without creating any objects. Last, you'll find out about a debugger, which lets us look at what's going on inside our program as it runs.
Lesson 9 - Three Tools: Debugger, Enumeration, and Switch. This lesson is a grab bag of tools and topics. BlueJ's debugger lets you watch your program's internal actions as it runs. Enumeration lets you set up new data types with built-in limits on their values. Finally, Java's switch structure lets you replace a series of nested if statements with a single value-based structure. You'll find all these items useful in future programming!
Lesson 10 - Formatting Output and the Java Application Program Interface. How can you make numbers and other output look the way you want them to in Java? In today's lesson, I'll show you. We'll also look at Java's application program interface(API). That's the documentation of all the classes that Java includes when you install the JDK, plus explanations of how to use them. The interface has several thousand classes, and it's important to know how to find things within it.
Lesson 11 - Creating Windows and Adding Graphics in Java. So far in this course, everything has been text-based. Today I'll introduce you to the world of Java windows, and we'll begin to look at GUI (graphical user interface) programming in Java. We'll look at the basic components of a Java window and then add some simple graphics to it.
Lesson 12 - Java 2-D Animation. In our final lesson together, we'll continue our short exploration of Java 2-D graphics with a look at some simple animation. We'll use the same technique cartoonists have used for a hundred years now: redrawing an image in a slightly different location and repeating that process many times a second so the image appears to move. You'll learn to create a self-contained object that "knows" its own size, color, shape, location, and how to draw itself into our window. This is a fun lesson.