Interview: Ralph Steyer on New NetBeans IDE 8 Crash Course

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Interview: Ralph Steyer on New NetBeans IDE 8 Crash Course

· Java Zone ·
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Ralph Steyer lives in Germany, near Frankfurt. You can find his homepage at http://rjs.de and his blog at http://blog.rjs.de, while his Twitter handle is @rjsedv

He recently released a new online course about NetBeans IDE, specifically about the latest version, NetBeans IDE 8, in German. Here's a direct link to it:


To get a taste of the course, some free parts have been made available here:


To celebrate the new course, here's an interview with Ralph!

Hi Ralph. Thanks for taking this interview. Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?

I studied mathematics and then worked for several years at an insurance company as a programmer. Since 1996 I am self-employed as a freelancer. I write computer books, teach computer training, and record video training. I also program Web and Java applications. My two priorities are definitely Java and Web technologies - although I work with. NET.

With Java I have been working since version 1.0. Back in 1997, I wrote my first book about Java. Currently, I am fascinated by JavaFX. I started with the first version of JavaFX, but with the new version 2, JavaFX has finally become hot.

When I'm not working I do lots of sports (athletics, paragliding, cycling), make music in my rock band, and spend time with my family.

Can you tell us about some of the courses you've produced in the past?

I’ve record a lot of courses over the past years. Most are designed for programmers, but usually they are basic courses or for switchers from other technologies. Some were very general courses. For example, basic courses on Java and JavaScript.

In recent times, the courses are more specific on a particular topic. For example, a course on the JavaFX Scene Builder for designers, a course on Database Programming with Java, a course on regular expressions, while there were also courses on SVG, JavaScript for C# programmers, JQuery, Phonegap, and GWT.

You can find more here: https://www.video2brain.com/de/trainer/ralph-steyer

Why was NetBeans chosen as a topic for a course for your latest course?

There are different reasons.

Most of all – I have used NetBeans already in several courses, especially in the JavaFX course, but also in courses on GWT and Java and Internet issues.

However, there was as yet no special course on NetBeans in the course catalog and customers have very often asked us for courses on NetBeans IDE.

What's your background in NetBeans, how/why did you get started with it?

I have been working with Java since version 1.0. In the beginning, I used a simple editor and the JDK. But, of course, an IDE was very quickly necessary, as I was used to IDEs from Delphi or Visual Basic at that time.

So I’ve used JBuilder and Visual Cafe but also the very early Forte. Therefore, I've known NetBeans IDE for a long time.
What do you like most about NetBeans?

To be honest - there are various excellent IDEs. I've been working for years with a variety of IDEs. In recent years, three IDEs are, in my opinion, however, outstanding. When I work with C# or VB.NET, I use Visual Studio. In all other cases either Eclipse or NetBeans. Particularly in the Java environment both have their specific advantages. 

However, these are my findings in relation to NetBeans IDE:

  • For working with JavaFX and FXML NetBeans is unrivaled in my opinion. Together with JavaFX Scene Builder, NetBeans IDE is a perfect combination.

  • The Swing GUI builder of NetBeans IDE is the best that currently can be found.

  • I find the configuration options of NetBeans to be really good. It is not too complex, yet sufficiently flexible.

  • Overall, the good integration of NetBeans IDE in the Java world is a decisive argument for NetBeans.

What are the highlights of the NetBeans course, who is the target audience?

The target groups of the training are developers who are new to NetBeans IDE.

However, they should already have experience in programming. Best of all Java, but also another programming language, such as PHP or JavaScript or even HTML is OK.

In the course, I show:

  • The main concepts of NetBeans-projects.
  • How to perform basic operations in NetBeans.
  • How to work with different types of projects in NetBeans.
  • Versioning
  • Debugging
  • Task management.

Are you planning more courses where NetBeans will be used?


I’ve used NetBeans repeatedly in courses, already. Mostly in parallel with Eclipse, but sometimes exclusively.

For specific topics to NetBeans I am also open. I'll wait a bit for the reactions to this training and observe the requests of the customers.

I will also use NetBeans in my current book on JavaFX, which will be released during this month.
Anything else you want to share?

I wish there was support for JavaFX on Android, in particular with the simple and powerful wizards that NetBeans provides!


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