This page is aimed at beginners of the Java programming language and using an Integrated Development Environment for the first time. This lesson will help you set up and start developing Java applications using Eclipse or IntelliJ.

Downloading the Java JDK

To begin developing Java-based applications, you will need to download and install the latest Java Development Kit or JDK for short.

N.B. At the time of writing the latest java version is java 14. However, the minimum version required for these lessons is java 8. Any version from 8 onwards will work just fine.

You can find this at Oracles JDK download page. From here you can select the ‘JDK Download’ button under the Oracle JDK section:

The Java Development Kit (JDK) contains a runtime environment(the JVM) that runs on top of your computers operating system. It also includes all the tools required to compile, run, archive, document and profile applets and applications written in the Java language. We’ll learn more about each of these features in each of the courses on this website.

Here, you’ll find a list of downloads to choose from. Select the installer specific to your OS then, accept the license agreement:


Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions. The Default installation is good.

Installing an IDE

Now that you have installed Java on your machine, it’s time to install an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). An IDE is a development tool you will use to create and run your programs.

It’s worth noting that there are many different choices of IDE out there. Popular ones include Eclipse, IntelliJ and Netbeans. It is also worth pointing out that programs can be written in text editors and run from the command line using the JDK you have already installed but IDE’s contain many features including auto complete and they continuously compile your code and highlight any errors you have made. So to help us we are going to use an IDE for each of the lessons.

IntelliJ is fast becoming the De facto IDE for java development in the industry. Using IntelliJ over other IDE’s will simplify the importing of sample projects should you choose to download them.

To download IntelliJ, please go to the IntelliJ download page.

Note that IntelliJ has both a community (free) version and an ultimate (subscription based) version. There will be no future requirement in any lesson to have the ultimate version so you do not need to pay for it!


Importing the sample project

Once you have IntelliJ installed, please download the example project here and extract the zip folder.

Next, follow this short video to setup and open the sample project:

And to run the starter project:

Next: Hello World

In the first lesson of the beginner series, we’ll learn about the project structure and the class file.