What is Java?What are the key advantages of Java? How old is Java? Actually, Java is a high-level, object-oriented programming language that is relatively simple to read and write due to its English-like syntax. Java has been around since 1995, and since its appearance, it has been regularly holding the top positions in the shortlists of the most popular programming languages in the world. And things don’t seem to change anytime soon. Some of the reasons are to the fact that Java boasts easy syntax, constant updates, significant support from communities, and a wide range of applications. More precisely, with Java knowledge, you can develop software, web applications, enterprise applications, network applications, desktop applications, games, android applications, and many more. That just being said, actions speak louder than words, so let’s look at some statistics and key facts about Java's popularity.
What Makes Java so Popular
According to TIOBE Programming Community Index, Java is currently the third most popular programming language in the world.
As already mentioned, Java is a high-level programming language run on billions of different devices. From this, it’s easy to conclude that many companies choose the Java language for their projects and need experts to implement them. So, the demand for Java programmers is really high — more than 12 million Java specialists are involved all across the globe. And here we are approaching the most tempting advantage — Java programmers earn big. The job as a Java specialist is really rewarding. The income goes over $80,000 per year, which is definitely much higher than the national median income in most countries.
Java is an object-oriented programming (OOP) language that will teach you how to think in both specific and abstract ways during the process. Hence, it’s fair to say that you'll master a high level of logic by learning Java, which you can further apply to more complex programming languages like C, C#, and C++.
Since Java is a mature language with more than 25 years old history, almost all the problems have been solved by someone else. Thus, the learning path won’t be that thorny for complete newbies. And if you happen to get stuck at some point, you can always ask any question in numerous communities.
Java is a quite secure programming language that involves lots of APIs, tools, security algorithms, and protocols.
And finally, the best perk of Java is that it’s very pervasive. The best catchphrase that describes Java’s cross-platform capabilities is “Write Once Run Anywhere” (WORA). It’s a platform-independent language you canuse across different environments to power Android apps, server apps, financial apps, IoT, serious Big Data tech, reactive programming, and many more. In other words, Java apps can move freely from one OS to another to serve one purpose or another.
The Main Applications of JavaAs you can see, the Java language covers almost any IT sphere as it provides a rich range of APIs to help programmers develop various applications. After you master Java, you’ll be able to create the following applications (and some more):
Android Mobile AppsThey call Java the official language of Android apps. To add more, the Android OS itself is written in Java. Though some developers now frequently refer to the “fresh” Kotlin language, the funny fact is that Kotlin still uses the Java Virtual Machine and can freely interact with Java code. Moreover, the most popular android app development IDE, Android Studio, uses only Java for creating Android apps. Some more facts: Android’s global market share for mobile devices is now about 85%. The most popular android apps include Spotify and Twitter (originally developed using Java).
Desktop AppsSince its inception, programmers has been mostly using Java to create desktop apps. But you can also develop a GUI application using Java (namely AWT, Swing, and JavaFX libraries).
Web-based AppsJava gained its initial popularity through web development because it provided applets that could run in a web browser. Of course, now applets are a thing of the past, and Java currently provides vast support for web development through popular technologies like Servlet, JSP, and Struts, as well as frameworks like Spring, Hibernate, and Spring Boot. Among the most popular websites written in Java, we can highlight LinkedIn, AliExpress, IRCTC, web.archive.org, and many more.
GamesJava boasts a powerful 3D engine (JMonkeyEngine). And since Java is a free, open-source language (as well as all its features), many game devs stick to Java, lured by no license fees to pay. By the way, the engine provides unparalleled performance when designing 3D games, and can give its pricey peers a run for their money. The most popular Java games are Minecraft, The Sims 3, Space Invaders, Contra, and a little bit primitive but widely-loved Tetris. One more fact: Besides the JMonkeyEngine, Java also attracts game developers with its popular Frameworks and Libraries like LibGDX and OpenGL.
Big Data TechnologyJava is the first choice for big data as well. The thing is that the famous Java tools (Hadoop, Spark, and Storm frameworks) come in great handy when you need to process, store, and stream big data.
IoT AppsIf you don’t know what an IoT is, it’s the Internet of Things technology that connects the devices within the network and communicates with them. In fact, IoT is found almost in all the small gizmos such as smartwatches, smartphones, health gears, smart lighting, and other devices that exchange data through the Internet. And due to its superior flexibility, versatility, and security, Java is among the top choices for developers.
Distributed AppsKnowing the Java Intelligent Networking Infrastructure, called JINI, you will be able to provide, register, and maintain distributed Java applications.
Cloud-based AppsJava is also on-demand for creating cloud-based apps to share data between companies. Why? Low cost and wide use.
Enterprise DevelopmentLast but not least, developers extensively use Java in the enterprise sphere, in all types of businesses, large and small. Specifically designed for enterprise development, Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) includes network apps, web services, and a scripting environment.
Well-known Companies Using JavaAlthough we have already scratched the surface of what companies use Java in their tech stack, we would like to go even deeper.
Netflix. Nowadays, Netflix is one of the best-known and largest entertainment platforms all across the world offering movies and TV series via streaming media. And the majority of Netflix’s apps use Java (with a little bit of C++).
NASA Word Wind. With Java, NASA has created the Word Wind app that has a 3D virtual globe and displays geographical data. The program uses imagery and aerial photos from satellites to build 3D models of the planets. Most importantly, it’s open-source software, and since it’s written in Java, it supports any OS.