Help a beginner learn Java/J2EE
September 28, 2012 1:20 PM   Subscribe

I need to learn Java/J2EE. Where do I start? What resources are out there? How do I become a good programmer overtime?

This is my first question, be kind!

I am an Information Systems student who was recently given the opportunity to interview for a summer internship where I would be working on back-end development for an online insurance quote system. Great! I want to be involved in programming and web/software development.

However, I won’t be taking any programming courses until next semester (Spring). I’ve been instructed to come up with a clear plan to demonstrate that I can learn Java/J2EE before summer. Regardless of whether I get the internship or not, I want to create and adhere to this plan. At best, I’ll be chosen for the position (seems unlikely). At worst, I will have more experience under my belt and leave a good impression with a potential employer.

I currently have experience with HTML and CSS (markup language, I know). I’ve also briefly delved into JavaScript and PHP. Everything I have done is self-taught. I am absolutely dedicated to this and I am a quick learner. I’d like to approach this as a complete beginner.

TLTR: Help a beginner learn Java/J2EE.
posted by turniphead to Technology (4 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
First things first. Get Eclipse. Then create your Hello World! Here is one that's a servlet (standard way to communicate with a java backend from a browser front) since the job will be an online system.

Once you've got your environment set up, come up with a small project to do. It could be as simple as entering some info about a customer. Start coding...

One thing to remember to not get overwhelmed - start with the most basic functionality that you can, then just keep adding to it.

If you have specific questions about how to do something head over to google then if you don't find an answer stackoverflow or /r/learnprogramming.
posted by pyro979 at 1:42 PM on September 28, 2012

Java is easy, and a large number of teaching aids exist both on- and off-line to help you learn it. I would start with the official Java tutorials. They will tell you what tools to download (NetBeans) and give you all the information you need to get started.

JavaEE is going to be a bit harder. For one thing, you will need a significantly heavier set of tools, including your own Application Server. There is a Java EE tutorial, and you could start there, but just understand that it's going to be significantly more difficult than learning Java by itself.

Unfortunately, your HTML and CSS won't help you much, and your JavaScript will probably make things worse rather than better. (JavaScript and Java look a lot like each other, but have totally different semantics and object models). But between now and next summer is a long time.
posted by ubiquity at 1:45 PM on September 28, 2012

Best answer: I'm a C# developer but these are suggestions from people who know Java:

Stanford's Programming Methodology class is free online and teaches Java: - a structured class like that is IMHO probably the best way to convince the higher ups that you have a solid plan to learn Java.

If you want a book: Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates' "Head First Java" book
posted by exhilaration at 1:59 PM on September 28, 2012

J2EE is at the top of the list of Large And Complicated Arbitrary Computer Things. A realistic plan should focus largely on Java first -- maybe for two thirds of your time -- and not worrying one nit about J2EE. Once you feel moderately comfortable reading and writing Java programs, then start understanding all the things people have built on top.

(Incidentally, if you don't actually get the internship and you're looking to make a career out of programming, you might want to skip the J2EE part entirely and continue learning more fundamental and generally applicable programming stuff instead.)
posted by value of information at 12:47 AM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

« Older the reading rainbow   |   Does Eczema Blanch? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.