Programming 12: Java Cohort FYI


In a small cohort, you will be studying the Java programming language and object-oriented programming concepts in the next couple of months. Java is currently one of the most popular programming languages in use. It is a general-purpose, class-based, object-oriented programming language. Its applications are typically compiled to bytecode that can run on any Java virtual machine (JVM) regardless of computer architecture and operating system.  It is specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible and intended to let application developers “write once, run anywhere”, meaning that code that runs on one platform does not need to be recompiled to run on another. The syntax is similar to that of C/C++.

Java 6 and Java 7 are currently the two ‘mainstream’ versions of Java.

Setup Instructions

  1. Download the Java textbook on Moodle. The file can be saved on the school server or on a USB.
  2. If working on a personal computer, install JDK 6 (SE) with NetBeans. The link can be found on Moodle.
    1. JDK 6 (SE) is the Java Development Kit that allows you to compile codes into bytecode. It also includes standard libraries and run-time environment (JRE).
    2. NetBeans is an integrated development environment (IDE) that allows you to write and run codes. You can technically write the codes in Notepad and run them using Command Prompt, but NetBeans IDE makes the process easier. There are alternative IDEs to NetBeans such as Eclipse.
  3. If working on a personal computer, install Greenfoot next. It is important to install Greenfoot after NetBeans because Greenfoot requires JDK to be installed first. Greenfoot is an interactive IDE for designing two-dimensional applications such as simulations and games.

Daily Tasks

Refer to the self-guided schedule for the day-to-day activities, starting with Lesson 1, which is writing a Hello World program followed by a simple project. It is important that file name is the same as the class name. For example, if you created a class called HelloWorld (do not call it Tester), then you must save the file as

Most lessons start with concepts, followed by a few exercises and then a project. It is expected that students are responsible for reading the main concepts and completing the exercises. It is recommended that students do the exercises without a computer first and then check with a computer after. Because the teacher does not provide solutions, it is important to check for understanding with others in the Java cohort. The teacher will not mark any of these exercises but will use them for quizzes.

Projects are to be done independently with minimal assistance from peers and are to be uploaded onto Moodle in a timely fashion. Each lesson takes at most two classes. More instructions to follow when done up to Lesson 15.