Learn the basics of Java programming by developing a simple mobile game that you can run on your computer, Android phone, or tablet.
Programming is everywhere: in dishwashers, cars and even space shuttles. This course will help you to understand how programs work and guide you through creating your own computer program – a mobile game.
Whether you’re a complete newcomer to programming, or have some basic skills, this course provides a challenging but fun way to start programming in Java. Over seven weeks we will introduce the basic constructs that are used in many programming languages and help you to put this knowledge into practice by changing the game code we have provided. You’ll have the freedom to create a game that’s unique to you, with support from the community and educators if you get stuck. You’ll learn how to create algorithms to solve problems and translate these into code, using the same tools as industry professionals worldwide.
The course will combine video introductions, on-screen examples, downloadable guides, articles and discussions to help you understand the principles behind computer programs and the building blocks that are used to create them. Multiple choice quizzes will help you to check your understanding, while exercises each week will show you how to use your new skills to improve your game. Expert guidance from staff at the School of Systems Engineering at the University of Reading, UK, will help to support you as you learn more about the exciting world of programming.
At the end of the course you’ll have a complete game that can be played on an Android phone or tablet, or even your computer. You can share it with your friends and family, use your new knowledge to improve the game further, or even create new games of your own!
This course teaches the basics of programming and you don’t need any knowledge of coding to take part. You may find it challenging at times, but we hope it will be fun too. However, the course does require you to be comfortable downloading, unzipping and installing software to your computer. If you think that you may find this difficult, you may like to have someone on hand to help you — particularly in Week 1.
You may find that the course takes longer than the 3 hours per week estimate to complete. This will depend on your experience and to some extent how powerful your computer is.
The course will give you an opportunity to write and edit your own programming code using specific software. To run this software effectively, we recommend a computer (Windows, Mac or Linux) that has a dual-core processor and a minimum of 2GB of RAM — though this may vary. For information on operating system support see the Android developers’ site.
It is also helpful to have access to an Android device (such as a phone or tablet) to run the game, but this is not essential. If you just want to watch the videos and read the tutorials, you should be able to access these on most web connected devices, such as smartphones, tablets and consoles.
This course includes video content and other visual teaching methods. As such, blind and visually impaired students may need a helper.