I'm making a card game and I found useful to include a 60 second countdown timer. Here is my approach:

import java.util.Timer;
import java.util.TimerTask;

public class SecondTimer {

    private Timer timer;
    private int countDown;
    private int secondsLeft;

    public SecondTimer() {
        timer = new Timer();

    public void reset() {
        secondsLeft = countDown;
        // Decrease seconds left every 1 second.
        timer.schedule(new TimerTask() {
            public void run() {
                if (secondsLeft == 0) {
        }, 0, 1000);

    public void setCountDown(int seconds) {
        this.countDown = seconds;

    public int getSecondsLeft() {
        return secondsLeft;

Is this considered clean? How can I test such classes?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What is hooked up to this code? How is the remaining time displayed? Is it supposed to trigger some action at the end of 60 seconds? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 2, 2016 at 22:27

1 Answer 1

  • Avoid using java.util.Timer. See Checking if a Java Timer is cancelled and java.util.Timer: Is it deprecated? Instead use a ScheduledExecutorService.
  • When changing to a ScheduledExecutorService, don't cancel or shutdown your ScheduledExecutorService, instead cancel the FutureTask that you will get when scheduling a task.
  • Don't decrease a counter once a second. Nothing guarantees that it will be called with exactly 1000 ms periodicity.

In your reset method, use System.nanoTime() (not System.currentTimeMillis) to calculate when the time is up, such as:

this.targetTime = System.nanoTime() + seconds * 1_000_000_000;

Then calculate in getSecondsLeft, by using System.nanoTime() again, how many seconds remain until the target nanosecond value has been reached.


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