Robert Johns | 15 Mar, 2024
Fact checked by Jim Markus

10 Best Java Projects for Beginners 2024 [With Source Code]

If I could go back in time to help my younger self learn Java, I'd tell him to build more Java projects!

That's exactly why I wrote this article: to share 10 Java projects to help beginners like you.

Whether you’re looking to start a career in Java development or enhance your portfolio, these Java projects are perfect for leveling up your Java skills.

I’ve also personally designed the first three Java projects to be step-by-step tutorials so you can follow along with me to get hands-on and code some cool stuff.

You can think of these tutorial projects as taking a free Java course while growing your Java portfolio!

I'm also regularly adding new Java projects with step-by-step tutorials, so make sure you bookmark this page and check back for the latest Java projects to grow your skills.

Without further ado, let’s dive in and start building with Java!

10 Best Java Projects for Beginners in 2024

1. Java Chat Application

Build your own Java chat application

What is this Java project?

In this Java project, you'll build a chat application, a dynamic and engaging tool that facilitates real-time communication between users

I've also designed this project to be a step-by-step tutorial so you can follow along with me to build something very cool and very practical.

This project also goes beyond merely creating a functional application; it serves as an excellent example of utilizing Java's networking capabilities and Swing framework to create interactive and responsive desktop applications.

It's a perfect addition to your portfolio, particularly if you're looking to demonstrate your proficiency in Java development, as it showcases essential programming concepts within a context that is both interactive and practically valuable.

So get ready and fire up your favorite Java IDE, and let's get building!

Java Skills Covered:

  • Networking Logic: Develop the core logic for establishing client-server connections, including handling multiple client connections simultaneously.
  • Dynamic UI Updates: Utilize the Swing framework to dynamically update the chat interface, reflecting messages and user actions in real-time, thus enhancing the overall user experience.
  • Event Handling: Manage action and window events to capture user inputs such as sending a message or exiting the chat.
  • User Interface Design: Apply principles of Swing GUI design to create a clean, user-friendly interface for the chat application, demonstrating skills in creating appealing desktop applications.
  • Multithreading: Implement multithreading to handle concurrent tasks, such as listening for incoming messages while allowing the user to type new messages.
  • Best Practices in Java: Write clean, efficient, and well-structured Java code, adhering to best practices for readability, maintainability, and performance.

Build This Java Project Here

2. Java Chess Game

Build your own Java chess game application

What is this Java project?

In this project, you will create a fully interactive chess game, a classic strategy game that brings to life the timeless battle between two opposing forces on a checkered board.

I've also designed this Java project to be a step-by-step tutorial so you can follow along with me to build something fun, challenging, and very impressive!

This project also goes beyond creating a basic application; it's about mastering the intricacies of Java's Swing framework to create a visually appealing and user-interactive gaming experience.

It's also a perfect addition to your portfolio, particularly if you want to demonstrate your ability to handle complex logic and state management, problem-solving skills, and an understanding of GUI development.

So, warm up those coding fingers, and let’s get started with this exciting project!

Java Skills Covered:

  • Game Logic Implementation: Craft the fundamental logic for chess, including piece movements, capturing mechanics, and game-ending conditions like checkmate.
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI) Design: Utilize the Swing framework to design and implement a user-friendly and visually appealing interface for the chess game.
  • Event-Driven Programming: Manage user interactions through event listeners, enabling players to move pieces, respond to game states, and interact with the game dynamically.
  • Advanced State Management: Develop sophisticated game state management to handle the various states of a chess game, including tracking turns, game status, and special moves.
  • Problem-Solving: Demonstrate advanced problem-solving abilities in implementing chess rules, strategizing piece movements, and validating legal moves.
  • Best Practices in Java: Write clean, efficient, and well-structured Java code, following best practices for software design, maintainability, and GUI development.

3. Java Email Client

Build your own Java email client application

What is this Java project?

In this Java project, you're going to build an email client application, allowing users to interact with their emails through a desktop interface.

This is another Java project that I've designed to be a step-by-step tutorial, so you can follow along with me to build something practical, challenging, and quite cool! I'll also guide you on how to setup your email client to connect with Gmail.

This tutorial is not just about coding; it's about applying Java's powerful capabilities in networking and the Swing framework to craft applications that are both interactive and efficient.

It's also a perfect addition to your portfolio, particularly if you want to demonstrate your ability to handle complex logic and state management, problem-solving skills, and an understanding of GUI development.

So, stretch out those digits and get started with this exciting project!

Java Skills Covered:

  • Email Protocols: Learn to use JavaMail API for handling SMTP and IMAP protocols, enabling the sending and receiving of emails.
  • Dynamic UI Updates: Utilize the Swing framework to dynamically update the email client interface, reflecting changes in real-time and improving the user experience.
  • Event Handling: Implement action listeners to capture user interactions like composing emails, adding attachments, and authenticating users.
  • User Interface Design: Employ Swing GUI design to develop a clean, intuitive interface for the email client, showcasing your ability to craft appealing and functional desktop applications.
  • Session Management: Handle email session management efficiently, ensuring secure and persistent connections to email servers.
  • Best Practices in Java: Write clean, effective, and well-organized Java code, adhering to best practices for code readability, maintainability, and application performance.

Build This Java Project Here

4. Brick Breaker Game

This brick breaker game is one of many fun Java projects that has you trying to break bricks at the top of the screen. The player controls a tiny ball placed on a small platform at the bottom of the screen, which can be moved around from left to right using the arrow keys. The goal is to break the bricks without missing the ball with your platform. The project makes use of Java swing and OOPS concepts, among other things.

Source Code

5. Data Visualization Software

Data Visualization has become important as it displays data visually using statistical graphics and scientific visualization, to the point where data visualization software has been created. This project displays the node connectivity in networking in data visualization form. This node connectivity can be located at different locations via mouse or trackpad. 

Source Code

6. ATM Interface

This somewhat complex Java project consists of five different classes and is a console-based application. When the system starts the user is prompted with a user id and user pin. After entering the details successfully, the ATM functionalities are unlocked. 

Source Code

7. Web Server Management System

This web server management system project deals with the information, maintenance, and information management of the web server. It covers several concepts, including tracing the physical location of an entity, and identifying URL authorities and names.

Source Code

8. Airline Reservation System

The project is a web-based one featuring open architecture that keeps up with the dynamic needs of the airline business by the addition of new systems & functionality. The project includes online transactions, fares, inventory, and e-ticket operations.

The software consists of four key modules, i.e., user registration, login, reservation, and cancellation. The app allows communication through a TCP/IP network protocol thereby facilitating the usage of internet & intranet communication globally.

Source Code

9. Online Book Store

This project is mainly developed for bookstores and shops to digitize the book-purchasing process. The aim is to create an efficient and reliable online bookselling platform. It also records sold and stock books automatically in the database.

Source Code

10. Snake Game in Java

If you are a ’90s kid or an adult you have probably played this game on your phone. The goal of this game is to make the snake eat the tokens without the snake being touched to the boundary on the screen. Every time the snake eats the token the score is updated. The player loses when the snake touches the boundary and the final score is displayed.

Source Code

How To Setup Your Java Environment

Before you start coding in Java, it's essential to have your coding environment properly set up and ready for action.

Being a compiled language that runs on a wide range of devices through the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), Java requires a bit more setup compared to interpreted languages like JavaScript that run directly in web browsers.

Here's how to set up a Java development environment on most operating systems.

Install a Java Development Kit (JDK)

First and foremost, you need the JDK, which includes the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the compilers and tools needed to compile and run Java applications.

  • Download the JDK: Visit AdoptOpenJDK or Oracle's official Java site to download the JDK. I recommend choosing the LTS (Long-Term Support) version for stability.
  • Install the JDK: Run the installer and follow the instructions. Make sure to set the JAVA_HOME environment variable to the JDK installation path and add the JDK's bin directory to your system's PATH. This is crucial for making Java commands accessible from your command line or terminal.

Verify Installation

After setting up, verify that everything is working correctly.

To begin, open a terminal or command prompt and run these commands to check the installed Java and Java compiler versions, respectively:

java -version
javac -version

Then, try creating a simple Java program and compile it using:

javac YourProgram.java

Then run it with:

java YourProgram

This should confirm your JDK is correctly set up.

Install a Java IDE or Code Editor

You'll need an IDE or code editor that supports Java syntax highlighting and potentially IntelliSense for code completion.

Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJ IDEA are some of the most popular choices and three of my personal favorites.

That said, I'd also consider Visual Studio Code (VSCode) as this is a hugely popular choice among developers for various languages thanks to its extensive and lightweight feature set and vast library of extensions.

If you do go the VSCode route, head to the VSCode extension marketplace and install the ‘Extension Pack for Java’ from Microsoft, and you’ll be good to go.

If you're really new to coding, you might want to skip this step, but even then, I'd really recommend becoming familiar with Git as soon as you can.

If you want the TL-DR, Git is a version control system that lets you track changes in your code and collaborate with others.

While this step is not strictly necessary for Java development, it's a best practice, especially for larger projects or when working in a team.

Simply download Git from the official Git website, and during installation, you can accept most default settings. That said, you might want to choose your preferred text editor and ensure that Git is added to your system's PATH.

Wrapping Up

And there we have it! If you've taken the time to build these 10 Java projects, you should be feeling much more competent and confident with Java.

You'll also have a burgeoning Java portfolio that's packed full of interesting and practical Java projects, each demonstrating your dedication and abilities.

I also hope you enjoyed following along with my step-by-step tutorial on the first three Java projects!

My motivation with these Java tutorials is to guide you through the nuances of Java development while also giving you hands-on experience that you'd usually only get when taking a Java course.

Here at hackr.io, we're huge fans of project-based learning, so I hope these Java projects have bolstered your confidence and sparked a deeper interest in web development or any other form of Java development.

Remember, the journey doesn't end here!

With new projects and step-by-step tutorials regularly added to this page, be sure to check back often for new opportunities to refine your Java skills and expand your portfolio.

Happy coding!

Want to sharpen up your Java development skills in 2024? Check out:

Udemy's Top Rated Course: Java 17 Masterclass: Start Coding in 2024

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By Robert Johns

Technical Editor for Hackr.io | 15+ Years in Python, Java, SQL, C++, C#, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, .NET, MATLAB, HTML & CSS, and more... 10+ Years in Networking, Cloud, APIs, Linux | 5+ Years in Data Science | 2x PhDs in Structural & Blast Engineering

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