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Book or online course for an absolute beginner whatsoever

 
Greenhorn
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Trust me on this one, I'm a complete beginner. I have never programmed in my life. Well, I have, but for the sake of this question, let's pretend that I have really no idea how to program.
So, could anyone suggest a book or an online course for me to start with? I really just want to understand how to program as best as possible, no matter how long it may take. All I want is something that could just teach me the raw basics of Java, then I'll take it from there. Thanks.
 
Rancher
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Here is the link to the Java Really Big Index over at Oracle, it has everything from Hello World, to some really good tutorials on Generics and etc for Java.

Now for programming, I would suggest going through the tutorials and getting as much as you can, then look for a book. I was fortunate enough to learn to program before everyone thought learning a language was programming, most of today's book selections want to "teach" you by learning the language with little instruction on how to program. That is like telling you that I am going to make you a carpenter by telling you all about saws, hammers, and tape measures. It just doesn't work that way. Look for a book that is going to teach you how to do analysis, bottom up development, and speak about data structures, and looping constructs, recursion, and Object oriented design.
 
Marshal
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An online course that I would recommend for the absolute beginner is on Coursera.org and is called Programming for Everybody. It uses the Python language but at this level it doesn't really matter as the course takes you through the foundations of programming that can be applied to other programming languages, such as Java.

Your question is well timed because the next run of the course starts on Monday next week, 16th November.

Good luck, and have fun with it.
 
Bartender
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I second that Coursera class. It's excellent. They have recently added some more Java courses, and this one looks like a good class for beginners.
 
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