Introduction to Programming in Java

Introduction to Programming in Java


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Course Description

This course is an introduction to software engineering, using the Java™ programming language. It covers concepts useful to 6.005. Students will learn the fundamentals of Java. The focus is on developing high quality, working software that solves real problems.

The course is designed for students with some programming experience, but if you have none and are motivated you will do fine. Students who have taken 6.005 should not take this course. Each class is composed of one hour of lecture and one hour of assisted lab work.

This course is offered during the Independent Activities Period (IAP), which is a special 4-week term at MIT that runs from the first week of January until the end of the month.

Installing Java and Eclipse

To write Java programs, you need two things: the Java Development Kit (JDK), and a source code editor. Please follow these directions before the first class, so you can get started on the first assignment faster. If you run into difficulty, we can help you during the first class.

The Java Development Kit contains the tools needed to compile and run Java programs. The source code editor lets you write programs, and has features to make this easier. For this course, you can use any tool you like, but we recommend Eclipse, and will demonstrate it during the first lecture.


To write programs, you need a piece of software called an editor. They come in two flavors: simple source code editors, or complex integrated development environments. For this course, we recommend using the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE), but it is useful to be aware of the options that are available to you.

Source Code Editors

A source code editor is a program for editing text, like a word processor, but it has features which make it easier to read and write computer programs. An advantage of using a plain source code editor is that they are usually lightweight applications that are easy to learn and use. Additionally, the editors typically support many programming languages, so you can use the same tool for all your work. The disadvantage is that you will need to use the command line to run the compiler, and to organize larger projects.


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session


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