If you have always wanted to learn programming, but never taken a course and found most online tutorials too confusing, Codecademy is a great way to start. The lessons are quick, simple, and don’t require anything other than a browser. You can sign in, or do them anonymously.
Not only does it introduce you to the basics of variables, math and arrays, it teaches you how objects interact (name.length, for example) and lets you play with if, else, and all sorts of fun logic tests and loops. Once you get a fairly firm grasp on these concepts, programming in general should make a lot more sense.
After you’re done with the tutorials, check out the Oracle Java Tutorials, and grab Eclipse to play around a bit more. If you’re looking for a good book, I’d recommend Thinking With Java [PDF], which gives you excellent tutorials and explanations of how the Java programming language works.
What’s your favorite online programming resource? Let us know in the comments.
Hat tip to the folks of #whitenoise who pointed this out!