This Instructable contains a series of instructions and concepts necessary to begin programming in Java. It ends with a demonstration that combines all previously learned material.
Step 1: Step 1: Download and Install the Java Development Kit
To get started, you need the Java Development Kit (JDK). At the time of this writing, the current location for the JDK is here. You'll see a section of the page that is similar to the image for this step. Download the correct version of the JDK for your operating system.
After downloading the JDK, run it. An install wizard should pop up. Read and follow the directions in the wizard and it will complete the rest of the work for you.
Step 2: Step 2: Download an Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
An IDE is a program with built-in programming tools like debuggers, build automators, and source-code editors. Good, modern ones also contains useful features like syntax highlighting and intelligent code completion. Which IDE to download depends on your wants and needs, but I recommend Eclipse which can be found here. Make sure to select the operating system you are using and download the Eclipse Standard for the correct bit depth.
After downloading Eclipse, extract the files from the zip archive.
Step 3: Step 3: Launch Eclipse and Familiarize Yourself With It
Navigate to where you extracted Eclipse and launch "eclipse.exe". You'll be met with a popup asking to specify or create a workspace folder. This folder will contain your programming projects. After doing this, you'll be met with a welcome screen. Feel free to go through the tutorials or click the x next to the welcome tab to open the standard programming view.
The left side is the package explorer, a hierarchical view of your workspace that shows projects, packages, classes, and associated content files. The center area is the text editing window for writing and modifying code. The right section is an outline which shows structural elements. The bottom window has 4 tabs; Problems, Javadoc, Declaration, and Console. If console is not visible, click Window -> Show View -> Console.