A Java course for everyone - accessible yet serious, to take you from absolute beginner to an early intermediate level
Let’s parse that.
This is a Java course for everyone. Whether you are a complete beginner (a liberal arts major, an accountant, doctor, lawyer) or an engineer with some programming experience but looking to learn Java - this course is right for you.
The course is accessible because it assumes absolutely no programming knowledge, and quickly builds up using first principles alone.
Even so, this is a serious Java programming class - the gradient is quite steep, and you will go from absolute beginner to an early intermediate level.
The course is also quirky. The examples are irreverent. Lots of little touches: repetition, zooming out so we remember the big picture, active learning with plenty of quizzes. There’s also a peppy soundtrack, and art - all shown by studies to improve cognition and recall.
Programming Basics: What programming is, and a carefully thought-through tour of the basics of any programming. Installing and setting up an IDE and writing your first program.
The Object-Oriented Paradigm: Classes, Objects, Interfaces, Inheritance; how an OO mindset differs from a functional or imperative programming mindset; the mechanics of OO - access modifiers, dynamic dispatch, abstract base classes v interfaces. The underlying principles of OO: encapsulation, abstraction, polymorphism.
Threading and Concurrency: A deep and thorough study of both old and new ways of doing threading in Java: Runnables, Callables, Threads, processes, Futures, Executors.
Reflection, Annotations: The how, what and why - also the good and bad.
Lambda Functions: Functional constructs that have made the crossover into the mainstream of Java - lambda functions, aggregate operators.
Modern Java constructs: Interface default methods; properties and bindings too. Also detailed coverage of Futures and Callables, as well as of Lambda functions, aggregation operators. JavaFX as contrasted with Swing.
Packages and Jars: The plumbing is important to understand too.
Language Features: Serialisation; why the Cloneable interface sucks; exception handling; the immutability of Strings; the Object base class; primitive and object reference types; pass-by-value and pass-by-object-reference.
Design: The MVC Paradigm, Observer and Command Design Patterns.
Swing: Framework basics; JFrames, JPanels and JComponents; Menus and menu handling; Trees and their nuances; File choosers, buttons, browser controls. A very brief introduction to JavaFX.
Programming Drills (code-alongs, with source code included)
A daily stock quote summariser: scrapes the internet, does some calculations, and outputs a nice, formatted Excel spreadsheet.
A News Curation app to summarise newspaper articles into a concise email snippet using serious Swing programming.
Support with choosing a programming environment; downloading and setting up IntelliJ.
Simple hello-world style programs in functional, imperative and object-oriented paradigms.
Maps, lists, arrays. Creating, instantiating and using objects, interfaces
Goal of Course
Write Java programs of moderate complexity and sophistication (at an early to middling intermediate level)
Manage concurrency and threading issues in a multi-threaded environment.
Use Reflection, Annotations, Lambda functions and other modern Java language features.
Understand the Model-View-Controller paradigm, the Observer and Command Design patterns that are at the heart of modern UI programming.
Understand the nuances of Java specific constructs in serialisation, exception-handling, cloning, the immutability of strings, primitive and object reference types.
Understand Object-Oriented programming concepts at the level where you can have intelligent design conversations with an experienced software engineer.
Create and modify files (including Excel spreadsheets) and download content from the internet using Java.
Build serious UI applications in Swing.
Gain a superficial understanding of JavaFX and Properties and Bindings