I started Java some 3 years ago .At that time, I was only familiar with C programming and little with VB.
Unfortunately no one around me could guide me for it. A friend suggested that it needs to download jdk 1.4 to compile and run java programs.
When I was searching for jdk 1.4 I got links of NetBeans .After reading about it and installation instruction, I downloaded it and installed it on my PC with little effort.
At that time , there was no book in our library about java .So I simply used to Drag & drop and some blind exploration on netbeans only . I downloaded some tutorials from various sites and tried them.
Method listing and its java doc was very helpful and slowly I got to work with many components well. I used to work mostly on GUI components.
At that time I was so comfortable with these GUIs that I dared to grab a project in Java from a low Profile company from Delhi.
Later came many books in our library and it greatly enhanced my skills. Especially the books from sun microsystem are really good.
I owe my Java skills to Netbeans. It would have taken much longer if I have used any other IDE I believe.