BlueJ is a development environment for Java that allows developers to create Java programs quickly thanks to a simple interface that is designed for teaching, and geared towards beginner and intermediate Java developers.
If you are looking to learn Java, rather than actively develop something in Java, BlueJ is an excellent solution for improving basic and intermediate skills with the language. If you are competent enough in the language to want to get started with an actual project, however, you would be served better choosing a true Java integrated development environment, like Eclipse Classic, or NetBeans IDE.
A hands-on way to learn Java
Though often mistakenly considered to be an IDE—or integrated programming development—it is more accurate to think of BlueJ as a learning tool for helping beginners get started and intermediate Java developers improve.
It does fit the bill of an IDE, but not a very good one, as the tools are too basic, and the interface is not optimised for use in real developer situations. As a learning tool, however, it provides an excellent way to see the effects of your code as you write it.
Who is BlueJ for?
BlueJ is a very effective learning tool for getting to grips with Java. Being able to see the effects of your code in real-time, including being able to interact with the objects you are creating, makes learning a much more intuitive experience. This makes it a powerful tool for those looking to pick up Java from scratch or brush up on their basics. It would not, however, be of much use to anyone who is already quite knowledgeable in Java and is looking to improve their skills.
Not a full IDE, but a great learning tool
The app is designed to be compact and portable, which is why it can be run on most platforms, and does not need to be installed. Instead, BlueJ can be launched from a thumb drive or memory card. It is also free, making it an extremely accessible learning tool with almost no barrier to entry on a technological or financial level.