A Basic Overview of Developing Java Software

By Barry Burd

When you create a Java program, you repeat the same steps over and over again. First, you write a program. After writing the first draft, you repeatedly compile, run, and modify the program. With a little experience, the compile and run steps become very easy. In many cases, one mouse click starts the compilation or the run.

This figure illustrates the cycle.

Developing a Java program.

Developing a Java program.

However, writing the first draft and modifying the code are not one-click tasks. Developing code requires time and concentration.

Never be discouraged when the first draft of your code doesn’t work. For that matter, never be discouraged when the twenty-fifth draft of your code doesn’t work. Rewriting code is one of the most important things you can do (aside from ensuring world peace).

When people talk about writing programs, they use the wording in the figure. They say, “You compile the code” and “You run the code.” But the “you” isn’t always accurate, and the “code” differs slightly from one part of the cycle to the next.

For most people’s needs, this figure contains too much information. If you click a Run icon, you don’t have to remember that the computer runs code. And for all you care, the computer can run your original Java code or some bytecode knock-off of original Java code.