🗒️ Ben's Notes


Exceptions #

Basics #

An exception occurs when something unintended occurs and the interpreter must exit.

While this might sound like a bad thing, we can often throw our own exceptions to handle known errors or edge cases more gracefully.

Exceptions in Java #

In Java, there are two types of exceptions: checked and unchecked.

Checked exceptions are handled during compile time, and are included in the method declaration. As an example:

public void openFile() throws IOException {
  • All children that override this method must also throw the same exceptions.

Unchecked exceptions are not handled during compile time, and thus are thrown during runtime. All Error or RuntimeException types are unchecked; all other exceptions are checked. Some examples of unchecked exceptions are dividing by zero (ArithmeticException), or accessing an index that doesn’t exist (IndexOutOfBoundsException).

Some of the more common Exception types in Java.

Creating Custom Exceptions #

We can use the throw keyword to create exceptions with custom error messages as follows:

public void divide(int a, int b) {
    if (b == 0) {
        throw new Exception("Error Message");
    } else {
        return a / b;

This is often used within a try catch block, as such:

public void divide2() {
    int a = 0;
    try {
        return 10 / 0;
    } catch(Exception e) {

An alternate to custom exceptions is to simply handle exception cases. For example, we can add a check to make sure a number is not zero before running a division operation.

Try/Catch/Finally Example #

Let’s check your understanding of exception handling!

static String tryCatchFinally() {
        try {
            throw new Exception();
        } catch (Exception e) {
            return "done catch";
        } finally {
What will be printed (and in what order) when tryCatchFinally() is run?

First, trying will be printed.

Since an Exception is thrown, the catch block will run next, so catching is printed next.

Since finally blocks always run regardless of result, finally is printed last.