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Beginning Programming with Java For Dummies, 5th Edition by Barry A. Burd

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Chapter 1

Getting Started

IN THIS CHAPTER

check Realizing what computer programming is all about

check Understanding the software that enables you to write programs

check Revving up to use an integrated development environment

Computer programming? What’s that? Is it technical? Does it hurt? Is it politically correct? Does Google control it? Why would anyone want to do it? And what about me? Can I learn to do it?

What’s It All About?

You’ve probably used a computer to do word processing. Type a letter, print it, and then send the printout to someone you love. If you have easy access to a computer, you’ve probably surfed the web. Visit a page, click a link, and see another page. It’s easy, right?

Well, it’s easy only because someone told the computer exactly what to do. If you take a computer directly from the factory and give no instructions to this computer, the computer can’t do word processing, it can’t surf the web, and it can’t do anything. All a computer can do is follow the instructions that people give to it.

Now imagine that you’re using Microsoft Word to write the great American novel, and you come to the end of a line. (You’re not at the end of a sentence; just the end of a line.) As ...

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