When starting off with Java programming – the first productive step you can make is to select an integrated development environment (IDE) that supports your learning and development efforts. In my case the IDE is pretty much preordained as it already the IDE of choice for Domino development – Eclipse. The transition from using it within the Domino Designer environment to using it standalone was a little strange as it takes on a different persona when used as a java ide. Addition tricks and tools come out of the woodwork since Eclipse is primarily a java ide but is able to be customised to suit other languages as well.
As I am only starting out on the Java developer trial and primarily its to bolster xpages development with Domino – I may not get to look at some of the other facets of Java and Eclipse but so far the support for Java 8 / Java FX and the ease of getting the necessary components including Java SceneBuilder 2 is impressive and painless.
I would definitely recommend getting the environment set up and run through the examples / samples that come with the Java SDK and Scenebuilder 2. One point to note – if you get an applet error on a 64 bit machine – check that you installed the 32 and 64 bit plugins as you may well have browsers that need both or either. This happened on two different machines so I am pretty sure this is the issue. See here for more details