How to get started with Java

I regularly receive e-mails from Notes/Domino developers asking how to get started with Java. In general people are intimidated by the language itself and turned away by the absence of good resources for novice Java programmers so they ask my advise on how to get started. Normally the focus is to use Java for web development (J2EE) and Notes 8 development.

Although evidence to contrary Java is actually quite a simple language at its core and it’s mainly about syntax and a few (dozen) rules. I recommend starting with the language itself and focusing on that before diving into Java for Notes, J2EE and Notes 8 development.

Although not the easiest of routes I suggest the following:

  1. Start with a good Java book and learn the language itself without focusing on Notes/Domino. I can recommend the Thinking In Java book. Skip stuff on threading, GUI development and other advanced topics. Make sure to read up on the framework (e.g. how to read/write to/from files) as that concept is used a lot. All in all – read chapter 1 through 12.
  2. Be sure you read the book and did the hands-on labs… 🙂
  3. Start doing some simple Notes agents in Java instead of LotusScript. Maybe even convert a few existing agents into Java. Here my posts called “Java explained” might help.
  4. Do step 3 again and again until you’re confident with the language.
  5. Start looking into more complex areas such as J2EE development and Notes 8 development.

If you have questions feel free to ask them here.

2 thoughts on “How to get started with Java”

  1. Great post. Starting with Java in Notes is a painful way to get going.

    I also found doing the sun certification for java programmers very helpful as it forces you to concentrate on the core aspects of the language (which is at times very dry).

    ‘Thinking in patterns’ is also a handy book as it will make understanding the layout of some of the java apis a lot simpler.


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