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JavaFAQ Home » Java Notes by Fred Swartz
Beginning programming textbooks usually concentrate on two topics: the
programming language and the general ideas the programming language constructs
implement. This is good, but there are basic program development techniques that
are often not taught, but which make program development much easier, and which
are used by professional programmers for maximum effectiveness.
Every programmer, beginner or more advanced, should use these techniques where
- Tools - Choose good tools and learn them well.
- Indentation - Be scrupulous about indentation. See
Java Coding Standards.
- Start - Start with a working program.
- Small increments - Work in small increments.
- Pair programming - Work with someone else.
All of the above plus
- Save your programs -- you may be able to use them as the nucleus for
- Create you own library. When you write a good general class or method,
add it to this library.
- Refactor (rewrite) parts of a program if you realize there is a
better way. A better written program will be less likely to have bugs and
will be easier to extend for the next iteration.
- Use an IDE (Integrated Development Environment), eg, NetBeans,
Eclipse, or JBuilder (A Java IDE requires learning, and therefore may not be
a good choice for beginning programmers. However, after you are comfortable
developing simple Java programs with a text editor and the JDK, the
advantages of an IDE for creating user interfaces and debugging can be
significant. As with all tools, learn to use it well. Check the menus for
options that might be useful.
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