Task: Learn Java

Learning how to program is often a daunting idea. To learn by oneself would require lots of dedication, and to take a course would cost too much. But with Stanford University’s CS106A iTunes U course, it’s now quite possible to take a full Java course for free online, teacher and all.

The video lectures are great: Mehran Sahami, the professor, is very engaging. There are assignments, handouts, and even a syllabus (if you like to be really organised) online. The software is provided free. You will need a textbook which, though Prof. Sahami says needs to be bought, can be found online also. Though Stanford does not have answer keys to the Assignments, a simple Google Search for ‘CS106A answers’ will pull up a list of blogs that each have their own solutions to the problems. At the beginning, Prof. Sahami says that you don’t need any experience to start learning with CS106A, and he does start at Ground Zero, but he does burn through the subjects pretty fast, so if (like me) you have no previous experience, you’ll likely have to re-watch some of the faster paced lectures and read the textbook extremely attentively. Speaking of the textbook, it’s a good idea to follow along with the lectures with the textbook. I managed to finish Assignments 1 and 2 without the textbook, only to find myself completely confounded by Assignment 3.

But you guys are here to see the links, so without further ado:

CS106A Course Page
Karel the Robot Textbook
The Art and Science of Java Textbook 

We hope you have fun learning Java. Please comment if you have any questions about the links or the course. I’ll try to answer any others, but I don’t know much about programming, so any programming questions would be better asked elsewhere!