Welsh software company Imitation has come up with a system which it claims will have you Java programming within half an hour – or at least producing your own Java-based applications.

Imitate is the brainchild of Dr Edmund Furse, a senior lecturer in computer science at the University of Glamorgan and MD of Imitation. It is the product of over 10 years of research into how people learn.

The software demonstrates in simple steps how to create a function, such as a flashing banner, quiz or animation, and then writes a Java program to create these functions.

Put simply, you tell it what you want to create, and the software takes you through all the necessary steps – the aim being to enable even a novice user to develop impressive features and effects, learning from the software as they go.

"It is designed for people who want to create a more complex website, but don't want to learn how to do programming", explains Furse. He believes that by using the principles of imitation makes learning new tasks simpler "Lots of procedures in life are learnt by imitation, it is a powerful learning mechanism."

To back this message up the software comes with a series of instructional movies, which show you how to carry out various procedures, such as web clipping, designing layout and giving buttons actions.

The software launches today (11 June), and costs £99, or £40 to students. For more information visit Imitation