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Hour 1. Becoming a Programmer
Computer programming is insanely difficult. It requires a four-year degree in computer science, thousands of dollars in computer hardware and software, a keen analytical intellect, the patience of Job, and a strong liking for caffeinated drinks. If you're a programming novice, this is probably what you've heard about computer programming. Aside from the part about caffeine, all of the rumors are greatly exaggerated.
Programming is easier than most people think, although there are several reasons why you might believe otherwise:
Because of the growth of the Internet and other factors, this is a great time to learn programming. Useful programming tools are being made available at low cost (or no cost), often as downloads from World Wide Web sites. Thousands of programmers are distributing their work under "open source" licenses so people can examine how the programs were written, correct errors, and add their own improvements.
The goal of this book is to teach programming to the person who has never tried to program before, or the person who tried programming but hated it with an intense passion. The English language will be used as much as possible instead of jargon and obscure acronyms, and all new programming terms will be thoroughly explained as they are introduced.
If I've succeeded, you will finish Sams Teach Yourself Programming with Java in 24 Hours with enough programming skill to be a danger to yourself and others. You'll be able to write programs, dive into other programming books with more confidence, and learn programming languages more easily. You also will have developed skills with Java, the most innovative programming language to be introduced in years.
The first hour of this book provides some introductory material about programming and gives you instructions on how to set up your computer so you can write Java programs. The following topics will be covered:
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