Java Fundamentals: The Java Language


Welcome to this review of the Pluralsight course Java Fundamentals: The Java Language by Jim Wilson

Jim has over 30 years of software engineering experience, with the past 15 years heavily focused on creating mobile device and location-based solutions. He has co-founded multiple software-related startups and has served in a consulting role at several more.

After nearly a decade as a Microsoft Device Application Development MVP, Jim now focuses on developing Android and iOS device applications. Jim’s passion is mentoring software developers. He blogs at

Java Fundamentals: The Java Language

Introduction and Setting Up Your Environment

What to Expect in This Course

  • String foundation in the Java language
  • Hands-on
  • Java syntax, constructs, concepts, and usage

The language skills taught in this course are intended to be useful in any Java-based environment, including:

  • Java Standard Edition
  • Java Enterprise Edition
  • Java FX (smart client applications)
  • Java Micro Edition
  • Android

Jim says that although Java Micro Edition is rarely used in phones anymore, it still plays a big role in smart devices and the Internet of things.

What is Java?

Java is both a Programming Language and a Runtime Environment. So when you hear the word, someone might be talking about one or the other of these or maybe both.

Or maybe they are talking about coffee?

Jim explains that Java EE, Java ME and Java FX all derive from the standard edition and are either supersets or subsets of it.

Android uses a different runtime than those that are provided by Oracle. But it still uses the Java programming language.


There are two parts that we need to run and create Java Applications:

Java Runtime Environment (JRE)

  • Required to run Java apps
  • End-users normally require only the JRE

Java Development Kit (JDK)

  • Provides tools required to create Java apps
  • Developers normally require the JDK
  • JDK installation includes the JRE

If we create a Java source file, for example, we use the JDK to produce our Java Application with platform-independent bytecode.

The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) provides what we need to run it on any host environment.

Demo: Setting up the JDK

You can use the URL to find the most recent version of the JDK for download.

Jim shows us how to download it for your platform, and install it. The JDK includes the JRE.

Introduction and Setting up Your Environment: Integrated Development Environments (IDE)

There are many choices for which IDE to use for Java programming.

A couple of popular free choices are:

  • Oracle NetBeans – supporting Java SE/EE/ME/FX but not Android
  • JetBrains Intellij IDEA community edition – Jim’s preference, supports Java SE and Android

There is a full commercial edition of Intellij

Demo: setting up NetBeans IDE

Jim shows us how to download this via

We can download and install it with the JDK and JUnit if we like.

Demo: setting up IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition

Jim shows us that downloading, installing and loading this is easily done.

Continue to Part 2 – Creating a Simple App


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