James Williams

Basics Without Boilerplate: Java the Pain-free Way

For many of us, the first introduction to Java was the classic Hello, World! program. For something that's supposed to show you the most simple thing you can do in the language, there's lots of procedural and ceremonial things you as a student need to know or ignore. There's access modifiers, classes, functions, arrays and more.

Java HelloWorld Animated GIF

That's a lot. Some students can ignore the foreign concepts and others can't cope with not knowing. In their defense, it is a weird feeling to have parts of the most basic program be unknown and hard to understand. So when we were discussing making this course, I asked, "What if we didn't have to teach students about the advanced topics present in a Java app until the moment they needed them?"

So our version of Hello, World! looks like this:

In-Class IDE Animated GIF

As the student progresses through Java Programming Basics and the upcoming course on advanced topics, less and less code is written for them. By the end of the course, students will be really confident with general Java syntax, control flow, looping, and functions.

Check out the Java Programming Basics course and our Android Developer Nanodegree.

In case you were wondering what actually gets executed when the student hits "Submit," here's a sneak peek. I'll talk about some of the technical details in a future post.