The Bear Minimum - Finding and Installing the required software

In order to write code all you really need is a keyboard and a text-editor. You don't need anything special at all! You can even write code with a pen and paper, but I doubt a computer would ever make sense of it.

The code is meaningless without the tools you need to compile and run it. For Java, these tools are packaged in the Java Standard Edition (SE) Software Developers Kit (SDK) -- yes I know, it's a long name. Navigating is pretty complicated so here are some images to help.

On the right rail, you'll see a list of Popular Downloads, click on Java SE. Try to fight the temptation of clicking on Java EE 5 SDK!

Then on the downloads page, click on the Download button that follows Java SE Development Kit (JDK). And again, avoid the temptation of clicking on the first button, Java SE Runtime Environment (JRE). The JRE allows you to run java programs but not compile or "make" them.

Finally, on the next page fill out the required information to begin the download. After it's completed, install it!

JavaScript is a programming language that you probably already have. It's packaged with most modern browsers. Congrats! You don't have anything extra to do here... Except that if you're using Internet Explorer you may want to consider downloading FireFox or Opera.

Python is sometimes considered as a lowly-scripting-language but it's a very powerful and modern language that I highly recommend. In order to install this language go to and click on the download link on the left rail. You'll want to download a version of Python 2.6+ because the next version, Python 3+ is not fully adopted yet.