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Java coding for Dummies: what’s the best option to learn it from scratch

Published in the Learning Java group
Learning anything from books seems the right option, but does it make sense in learning to code? Let’s picture that you’re totally new to programming and have a vague image of what exactly you should know and do to find a real job. It’s okay to grab a book about Java coding for dummies to get a general idea, but what’s next? You surely can’t include this experience in your CV :) Java coding for Dummies: what’s the best option to learn it from scratch - 1Programming is a skill that sharpens thanks to a daily habit to code. You won’t become an outstanding sports player by learning the rules of the game, as you need to practice every day and get hard knocks to gain great results. Now, let’s talk about the major mistakes of many beginners and think of how you can escape them by framing a perfect plan of your learning.

Where to start and what NOT to do

There were millions of learners before you and there will be even more successors, and guess what? Many of them still fall into common traps. But you won’t be among them, mate :) Because you have a shortlist of common mistakes almost all beginners do and now you probably won’t spend time on:
  • too many research instead of practice;
  • continuous learning without a defined goal;
  • making too long pauses in education;
  • solo learning.
Can you get rid of these obstacles once and for all? Is there an option to learn Java for dummies with the right mix of theory, practice, motivation and goal setting? A magic pill, which one can take and become a great Java developer, simply doesn’t exist. But we now a great setting with the right tools, which will help you in this great challenge.

Meet CodeGym: a Java tutorial for dummies (and advanced learners, too :)

CodeGym course easily goes for the total beginners in programming. You don’t have to show outstanding results in math or have a background in IT to pass the course. All you need is time for learning and practicing. Here are a few CodeGym’s features to level-up your Java learning.
  1. Start with a thought-out learning plan

    You may have noticed that not all top professionals can be also top teachers. Sometimes too experienced specialists can't explain any concept they know to a complete beginner… only because they can’t keep it simple.

    We know how tough it is to understand a new topic explained with something purely theoretical and unfamiliar expressions. It’s better not to delve too much into every smallest feature, which is somehow relevant to the topic.

    CodeGym’s goal is to give you the minimum basis of theory you will need as a junior developer. It is a complete Java tutorial for dummies, where you learn by doing (or coding, to be more specific).

    The course consists of a dash of theoretical knowledge explained as simple as possible and thousands (!) of coding tasks. You start with elementary assignments and move step by step to more tricky tasks and coding projects. Don’t worry: the course will guide you from a ground zero to a clear understanding of how to run java programming.

    Your journey at CodeGym is divided into four quests: Java Syntax, Java Core, Java Multithreading and Java Collections. Each quest consists of 10 levels. Each level has 12-13 lessons. Every lesson covers a certain topic and includes a theory plus a set of tasks. Here, you have an educational plan with short and easy to understand lectures and "homework"!

  2. Get immediate feedback about your results and progress

    The book can offer you only what’s already written. It won’t answer additional questions and surely won’t advise on how to fix your code either!

    You need a mentor for these purposes. Studying in classes or private tuition is way more effective than learning Java from books, but it also has cons. Firstly, it’s a demanding schedule. Secondly, belated feedback. Your tutor needs time to check your assignment and give you recommendations, and you can wait for a response for days.

    At CodeGym you get an instant review of your solution in mere seconds, see whether your code fully meets the requirements and much more! See for yourself: programming in Java for dummies can be exciting. You start coding from the first lesson using a handy webIDE, get tips on your solution and some advice on how to make your coding style better.

    Everything is simple: write your code, click the “Verify” button and immediately see the results. The system will also provide you with the average number of attempts taken by other students.

  3. Learn with a sense, motivation, and a good company

    Why Java learners stop halfway, regardless of their performance? The answer is simple: a lack of motivation or (and) a tedious learning experience. No matter what background in programming you have if you’re not engaged it’s tough to will yourself into studying. But there’s one thing we all like to do — play.

    If you’re familiar with games, you know that they can easily “steal” you from reality for hours and days, until you pass the quest or conquer the imaginary world. Can education be that much entertaining? Again, welcome to CodeGym.

    Here you can learn and play in a futuristic surrounding. Your aim is to level-up a character by passing quests and solving tasks. Each successfully solved task brings you a “dark matter”. It’s your reward and a resource you need to open further lessons and practice. To pass the whole game up to the end you have to code a lot. In such a way by the end of the course, you will have the knowledge and 300 to 500 hours of real practice.

    What’s also important, you’re not alone here. CodeGym’s community is growing and you can always ask for help with tasks or get advice on adjusting your studying. Make coding your daily habit, and you will surely learn how to run Java programming.

A bonus list of books to learn Java: from “for dummies” series to in-depth reading

Don’t get it wrong, nobody’s trying to reason you out of reading. Actually, books can be a pretty good addition to your learning plan. Here are a few sources, which are worth your attention:
  1. Head First Java by Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates

    This book is arguably the best introduction to Java, where the core language and the concepts of OOP were explained on the real-world examples. You’ll get engaged from the first page till you finish it. Try not to skip exercises and puzzles at the end of each chapter to better memorize the material.

  2. Beginning Programming with Java For Dummies

    You may be sceptic about “the dummies series”, but still they’re good for those who know nothing at all in the specific field. Here you will learn the major things you need to start with Java coding, like how to install Java, compile code and complete different practical exercises after you finish the reading.

  3. Java: A Beginner’s Guide by Herbert Schildt

    Okay, jokes aside. If you expect a profound explanation in a serious tone of voice, try this one. This book introduces you to the core terms of Java and guides you from the basic understanding of data types, classes, and objects to more complex concepts like lambda expressions and functional interfaces. This book also has a self-test section at the end of each chapter.

  4. Core Java Volume I — Fundamentals

    Don’t be confused by the impressive 1000 pages — you can easily read this book from cover to cover. Each chapter is devoted to a certain subject, starting from introduction to the language and Java programming environment and moving to data structures, objects and classes and so on. Unlike many books for beginners, Core Java gives an explicit coverage of collections and generics, which is useful for real programming.

  5. Think Java: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist by Allen Downey and Chris Mayfield

    This book for complete beginners will teach you how to think in code. Like many others, it starts with an introduction to OOP. Each chapter has the vocabulary and exercise sections to consolidate theory and master the skill of programming thinking. It is more suitable for beginners than readers with even a small experience in coding. For starters, it is simple and kind of fun to read.

Wrap up

Remember that your entry level of understanding programming is only relevant at the very beginning. You have all the chances to outrun more prepared learners if you have at least these three things:
  • clear goals and timeframe
  • motivation
  • ...and tons of practice, of course
Good luck!