You don't necessarily need to be a genius, have a programming background, or be in the pride of youth to start a career in programming. If you're willing to learn and are ready to pursue your dreams no matter what, everything is possible.
We've collected the best hints and tricks from our students who have completed their Java training and shared their experiences with us. This text is aimed to motivate you a bit and make your learning path less winding.
Tip 1: Don't Fear to Start Coding Regardless of Your Background and Career
According to David Heines and his personal experience
, "your background doesn't make any difference"
in learning Java (though it would be unfair to say it can't be beneficial at some points). There is never too late to switch to IT, regardless of your age or the career you're building. Many of our students joined the course not after graduating the university but when they felt the need to change their type of job. Many of them were really successful in what they were doing. For example, students like Sergei
were occupied in industries far away from the IT-sphere. However, "meager salary and lack of career prospects"
made them look for alternatives.
And they stopped at Java.
The thing is, knowing Java is fun and very rewarding. You can create useful apps and services and many other things like that, or even start your own software company. Learning Java may also be fun, which we can guarantee if you learn with CodeGym :) So, if you're still on the fence about what to do in the future or just want to change your life, just start.
Tip 2: Customize Your Learning Process
CodeGym is a perfect course for those eager to devote at least 1-2 hours to learning per day. It includes a minimum of theory, maximum of practice. At the beginning of the course, be consistent and devote more time to studying. Give it not an hour or two but three or four hours if you can.
Many of our students, including Dmitry Mersianov
, whose days were filled with work and evenings with family time, tried to get up at 5-6 in the morning and study before work. However, if that sounds too much for you, you may devote an hour to theory in the morning, and an hour to hands-on practice in the afternoon or in the evening.
"Study hard, but don't overdo it," Alex Yedamenko
Some of our students report that they happen to study in waves. They say there were weeks or even months when they didn't study at all. Naturally, their progress was insignificant. It was only when they realized that consistency is the key that things got much better. It's better to study a little at a time, but regularly over the long term.
That just being said, don't force yourself and when you're stuck, give yourself a rest. As Jaroslav mentioned in his story
, "Don't forget about your personal life and yourself."
Sometimes, it's essential to listen to your inner self, shift your focus, and clear out your mind to avoid burnout.
Tip 3: Create a Roadmap Tailored for Your Specific Needs
Don't set the bar too low by simply completing our step-by-step lessons. Take your time and create an effective roadmap
targeted towards your needs (App development, games, QA automation, software, etc.) As Eugene Denisov recommends in his story of success
, once you feel you're already familiar with the basics of Java Core (roughly corresponding to Level 15 on CodeGym
), proceed with your own project that you will find interesting for yourself. Many CodeGym learners say that their first application didn't do anything useful. However, it helped them hone their skills, master new technologies, and give them the confidence that they could already put the knowledge into practice.
After Level 20
, you may start exploring more complex things like Git or Maven. The vast majority of our grads recommend that everyone should learn how to work with streams since they can help you avoid overwhelming volumes of code.
After Level 30
, you can start mastering Hibernate. It's one more useful tool that drastically reduces lines of code by maintaining object-table mapping. It relieves programmers from manual handling of persistent data and saves your time and maintenance cost accordingly.
At the finish line
, right before getting to searching for a job, it's a good idea to become acquainted with Spring documentation. Most companies, particularly large ones, work with SQL, and it would be a huge bonus for you if you'll have something like Core Java + SQL in your resume.
All that just being said, don't try to learn everything at once, especially if you also need to concentrate on your current job. Create a step-by-step plan and get to the next topic only when you feel you've mastered the previous one.
Tip 4: Use Additional Resources
Though we are proud of our course, we don't demand you to be limited to CodeGym only. Broaden the horizon with different books and videos. For example, sometimes, our students read the lesson and then search for additional explanations in the books by Horstmann or Eckel to fully understand the topic. It's natural to try different add-on resources that convey thoughts and information differently. So many men, so many minds.
As for articles and blogs
, our students highly praise:
Sviatoslav from Tomsk
highlights the Understanding architecture
article that can help you better understand the architecture of your future applications.
. As the name implies, it's the mini Java World on the Net. This is one of the most informative Java websites with lots of tips from Java experts and several blogs hosted on the page.
by Peter Verhas. It is a technical Java-oriented blog.
is a blog dedicated mostly to sharing fresh news and views on Java. There are also many links to useful YouTube playlists.
And, just for reference, we give you a very useful shortlist of the best books for Java learners
: 21 Books Java Developers Should Read in 2021
Tip 5: Don't Neglect Extra Help and Motivation
Another very learn-boosting tip is to enter the community where you'll interact with like-minded people passionate about software development. Moreover, communities allow you to exchange experiences and ideas and overcome difficulties when you're stuck at some point. Your peers are always ready to help you solve tricky issues and offer support when you need it.
, you can ask questions, whereas Java Code Geeks
, and StackOverflow
can help you find friends that will help you not to languish at your learning path.
Tip 6: Get Prepared for the Job Interview
Once you're done with the course (or you're at 30+ level), it's high time that you started looking for a job. Read about how to write a successful resume and how to write cover letters. Try to put emphasis on specific skills in your CV. Don't write something like "I know Java" as that's too vague. Instead, mention Core Java with a couple of things/additional topics you know really well.
To increase your chances of getting a job offer, create a resume with a portfolio of your projects. The potential employers usually appreciate the proven track record of developing projects above all. Then, send your CV to everyone and look at the feedback you get.
After you get an invitation, prepare for daunting interview questions (many of them are readily available online). Be ready that employers will be asking a trick to check your general intellect and problem-solving skills rather than Java knowledge. So, it's better to surf the Net in advance to get prepared for those tricky questions.
Don't fear to fail since, as practice shows, you will most likely get rejected after your first interviews. Some of our students
had more than 10 interviews before landing their dream job. Everything is going according to plan, and there is nothing wrong with it.
A successful CodeGym graduate, Anzor Karmov, says in his story of success
that "After you fail your first interview, give yourself a pat on the back"
— analyze each of your interviews to make the knowledge gaps smaller with each new one. You're not in a rush. You're just getting closer to your desired job.
Summing up, you shouldn't hesitate to learn Java regardless of your age and programming background. Just read these success stories
from CodeGym graduates to see how different these people are, though their goal is similar.
Understand what you really like and create a clear training schedule depending on the topics you'd like to cover, the time you'd like to devote to the whole course, and your lifestyle. Don't be afraid to make mistakes and look for help. Immerse yourself in the process and continue your learning no matter what. The thrill of a Java developer's work lies mainly in anticipation of the next personal breakthrough. So, all good luck in pursuing your goals!