Practical Java Basics Course with Real-life Examples – Completed

Today I have completed the Practical Java Basics Course with Real-life Examples online course from Udemy. I decided to do it as a bit of revision of the Java that I have been writing as part of my Android Development and also, to see if there was any difference when writing purely Java. The principles are the same, particularly at basic level – it covered:-

  • Setting up your environment (IntelliJ) on Windows, iOS and Linux distributions (Ubuntu specifically).
  • Your first Java program.
  • Variables – both primitive and Object references.
  • Operators, loops, control flow and code blocks.
  • Methods (functions) and arrays – including multi-level arrays.

I found it useful to see how writing Java that wasn’t connected to my Android Development to see if it differed in anyway; I have always written Java with my Android apps in the past. I found that the principles were the same and in many ways it has helped me to put certain concepts in perspective and a little easier to understand. It was definitely worth doing.

I’ll carry on with the Android journey next time. I look forward to seeing you there…

The Tour Guide App

We had started to create multi-page apps and now to build on that we were tasked with building a Tour Guide app. The brief was to make our own multi-screen Android app to share our knowledge about a city that we knew well. It was to include top attractions, restaurants, public places or events for the city. We were shown how to create proper data structures to store lists of information and then build layouts to display those lists of data. We were to navigate through those lists in Fragments using a ViewPager or Navigation Drawer; creating out own custom classes to do so and properly handling images and/or audio if applicable.

I chose to base my Tour App on the City of Nottingham and I included places to stay – mostly hotels, places to eat – restaurants and takeaways, places to explore like Theatres and castles, and finally, a section on Museums. Each item on each of the lists when clicked takes you to the venue’s website and navigating between lists is as easy as a swipe left or right.

Creation of this app introduced me to allowing permissions in the manifest (Internet) and making those Arrays of the data and image assets. It was also the first time that I had come across Fragments usefully. I had read about them in Stack Overflow posts but until this time they had remained some mystical far off land to be explored sometime in the future. We were also encouraged to up our game in terms of styling and polish of our app. I was very pleased with this app and I may well go back and add extra venues and categories to make it more complete and useful – once the Covid-19 pandemic is over and people can get out to visit these sorts of places.

When most people think of Nottingham they probably think “Robin Hood” who was probably not a real person but a couple of fun facts; D.H. Lawrence lived and wrote just outside of Nottingham in Eastwood and William Booth founded the Salvation Army in Nottingham and there is a museum to him and the Salvation Army in Nottingham centre. It is in my app just a bit lower on the museums page.