1. Download and install the Java Development Kit (JDK) from http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp. (For more information, see How to Install the Java Software Development Kit)
2. Download and install an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). For example: NetBeans or Eclipse (open source) For basic editing, notepad will work fine too.
3. If you can afford, buy some good book about java programming and carefully read the beginning. With this language, the beginning is more difficult than later steps.
4. Read up and follow a Java tutorial (one of the first recommended tutorials could be tutorial on collections).
5. For specific info on the classes, methods, and variables, visit Sun’s API
6. If you face any problems, always try the web search. There is a lot of good articles about java on the web.
* Practice makes perfect.
* After you master the basic, try to join the existing open source project and work together with other people. From the view point of learning, this is more efficient than to develop something large and complex in loneliness.
* Keep your code organized and add lots of comments for easy reading, remembering, and updating.
* Random and/or unnecessarily long fields are looked down upon since they make your code hard to read and difficult to update.
* Don’t use magic numbers if you can help it. Magic numbers are numbers and values that are in your code when they should be put into a field so they can be reused. This makes code easier to maintain and update.
* Master JUnit and write automatic tests that check the consistency of your program. The most of the serious projects do this.
* Go throught the API provided with the SDK. Make a habit of reading the description of the methods and classes. This will help you remember the method or class used the next time you need it.
* Learn technologies in which java is strong: network communication, database connection, web development and others.
* After you get some experience, try to get the official programmer certification from Sun Microsystems itself. This is a lot more serious than any other certification you can get from the third parties.
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