CodeGym /Java Blog /Learning Java /How to Learn Java From Scratch
Alexey Yelenevych
Co-Founder at CodeGym

How to Learn Java From Scratch

Published in the Learning Java group
Programming is representing ideas as code that the computer can understand and execute to achieve a goal or solve a problem. Without code, we can’t have computers as the operating system itself is code. That’s why it’s such a good idea to know how to learn java from scratch. Java is one of such languages that breathes life into the hardware and make possible a myriad of different applications. It is a high-level multi-purpose programming language, and according to TOIBE index, it is one of the most popular languages as of January 2023. It also works on almost every platform. The motto “write once, run anywhere” means Java code can build anything from computer programs to websites to mobile applications. Powerful as Java is, it was used to implement the Android OS, as well as many Android applications.

Why learn Java?

  • High demand for Java developers. With thousands of Java programmers around the world, there is still demand for new programmers. This is because Java is everywhere: Android phones are increasing in numbers; many games are developed and maintained in Java; not to mention the extensive use of Java on enterprise-level server applications.

  • High salaries. On average, a developer in the US gets paid $107K per year, while in Europe they are paid nearly $60K. In addition, there’s the opportunity to get into freelancing with a huge market for Android and gaming Java programmers.

  • Platforms and devices variety. Java can run on a wide variety of devices like cell phones, laptops, PCs or gaming consoles. It also can function on almost any operating system e.g. Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, etc.

  • Strong community with huge learning resources. Java has a very powerful beginner-friendly community where members discuss the features and future of the language and share learning resources. There are countless courses and tutorials teaching Java from beginner to master levels.

How to Learn Java From Scratch with a Right Learning Plan? - 1

Common Problems When Starting From Scratch

Learning Java is an easy task if you’re in the right mindset. You need to have a plan and be patient to practice. Here are some common problems that can cause you frustration while learning and how to overcome them:

Imbalance Between Theory and Practice

Too much theory from the start could be overwhelming and discouraging. Finding the right balance between theory and practice, on the other hand, is the key to answer the question of how to learn java from scratch. Of course, you should start off by learning the basics of the language; however, you should get into coding right away. You’ll benefit a lot more from the hands-on experience and trial and error. Don’t try to learn everything at once. Programming concepts are better divided into smaller elements. When you learn a bit, practice it until you’re comfortable with it, then, move to the next part. Practice as much as you can and incorporate what you’ve already learned into the next task, and so on.

Lack of Planning

You can achieve a better learning curve by having a plan in mind. After learning the basics of Java, it’s time you developed some sort of a learning plan or followed a pre-made one. CodeGym provides you with a well-developed curriculum. Your plan should have clear achievable goals; don’t learn for the sake of learning. Focus on the concepts that’ll make you progress faster. When trying to solve a problem, take a minute to think about what this problem entails and how to approach it effectively. It’s true that jumping to coding could offer you a fast solution, but is it the most effective one? One more thing, learn when to stop. Some challenges are hard to tackle. Instead of sticking with a complex task for ages, move to other challenges. This way, you have better chances of finding inspiration to solve the hard one.

Inattention to Errors And the Debugging Process

Bugs (errors) in your code are bound to happen. Some errors are easier to find than others. This could be an issue for the self-learner. So, you need to keep an eye out for the bugs from the start. Even if your code works fine, experiment with it; ask yourself would this code behave differently in other circumstances or for different input? Debugging is the continuous process of trying to find bugs in your code, hence the name. It could be an overwhelming task. A good piece of advice is to do it along the way; don’t wait till the program is finished to debug it. To help you, there are many Integrated development environments (IDEs) that offer debugging tools to make your life easier.

Studying Alone

Self-studying doesn’t mean you have to be alone. There are online communities that you can be a part of to share the experience with your peers. This can help you stay motivated when faced with hard tasks. Don’t be shy to ask questions; it’s an integral part of learning. However, develop the good habit of searching before asking. Chances are that somebody has already asked the same question and received a working answer. CodeGym’s help section is a good place to start asking and answering questions.

Ways to Improve

CodeGym is a good example of a website that incorporates all the elements for convenient Java learning in one place:
  • The Course is 80% Practice. It has 1200 Practical Tasks that start from the very first lesson.

  • The course is distinctly structured. The CodeGym course contains 600 lessons. Each of them explains one topic so that the student can focus on that topic without being distracted.

  • IntellijIDEA integration. This offers you debugging tools while coding.

  • Strong Java community. With a large community of like-minded people, you won’t be alone. You’re always a few clicks away from the help you need when you are really stuck.

How to learn Java

If you want to learn Java, be sure you are ready to devote at least 3 to 12 months to self-education. Your practicing should be daily or close to this. The main point: programming is like swimming. It is all about practice. You can’t learn how to swim just by reading a proper book “Swimming for beginners”. You must swim to master it. The same story is with programming. So your motto for the first months is “80% for writing code, 20% for learning theory”. It is not a joke, but a very important thought. Many newbies lost their motivation trying to understand all the letters of their Java books first and later started to code. The right approach to mastering programming is… to code. In such a way you will get skilled at coding and won’t fall into an endless “rabbit-hole” of programming theory. If you are a CodeGym student it is easy to keep balance between practicing and theory. The course is extremely practical, has 1200+ coding tasks with validations, so you’ll have enough problems to solve as a programming rookie. And here are some tips for you of how to learn Java fast:
  1. Set your goals in a career by answering a question “Why exactly do I need Java”.
  2. With this context, create your personal educational plan with a schedule.
  3. Choose tools to help your needs: books, courses, coding platforms, etc.
  4. Find additional sources of information: media, forums, Java communities — everything to keep you up to date.
  5. Practice a lot: you need hundreds of hours of coding before it becomes your habit.
  6. Don’t get stuck on something you don’t quite understand — go on with your study and practice.
  7. Never stop learning: this is what successful programmers do.
And if you were searching for the (almost) perfect environment for learning Java, this is what probably brought you to CodeGym :) There’s no better time for starting than right now.

How to Become a Java Developer From Scratch?

Setting your goals and having a plan in mind is the key to success. Here are the main skills you need to add to your arsenal to know how to become a Java developer from scratch.
  • Java Core. These are the core concepts that you need to master to develop meaningful programs. You need to understand what are objects, classes, methods, what data types are supported by Java, and what operations are valid on them. Moreover, how can your program execute certain code under some conditions (called if statements) and how to make it repeat certain tasks (called loop statements).

  • Java Syntax. This is Java's spelling and grammar. It’s the set of rules that define what combination of keywords, symbols, and operators are right and acceptable as Java code.

  • Object-oriented Programming (OOP). It’s a programming model where programs are developed around the idea of “objects” rather than “functions” and these objects have attributes and behaviors. Once you learn it, you can start doing class abstractions or inheritance, or many other cool things.

  • Java Collections. This allows you to interact with individual objects as one unit (a collection).

  • Java Exceptions. Exceptions are events (errors) that arise when something goes wrong during the execution of the code. They’re very useful for debugging and making sure that the program runs smoothly against unexpected circumstances.

  • Input/Output Streams. Streams are how Java handles input and output operations, such as reading from or writing to a file.

  • Algorithms and Puzzles. Algorithms are a set of instructions on how to perform a specific task (e.g. sorting algorithms — step-by-step instructions on how to sort elements). They can be very useful to help you understand how computers work and how to approach certain problems in the most effective ways. In the same vein, puzzles can challenge you to think outside the box to find creative ways to solve problems.

  • Java Multithreading. This refers to making different parts of your code run concurrently to make the maximum use of the CPU.

  • Java Patterns. This concept is related to program design; how to write a program that makes use of well-developed programming patterns to save time and resources.

  • Unit Testing. This is an integral part of developing your program and an ongoing process. It entails making tests for different parts of your code; with the unit as the smallest testable part of your code.

  • Lambda Expressions. They were added in Java 8. They enable treating functions as a method argument or code as data.

  • Serialization in JSON, RMI, HttpUrlConnection, sockets. These concepts are more advanced and they enable you to make programs that can have multiple uses including connecting to the web.

Learn with CodeGym

CodeGym provides hundreds of tasks to help you learn Java. It approaches the process of learning in a fun way, like a game with subplots, and with each skill you learn, you level up. It also relies on storytelling and jokes to keep you engaged with the learning process, preventing you from burning out from frustration. The courses are created based on many programmers’ experiences to guide you from basic topics to complex ones smoothly; preparing you to be an expert. In addition, there’s a virtual teacher that assesses your solutions instantly and gives recommendations; providing a clear list of requirements regarding what you need to do.How to Learn Java From Scratch with a Right Learning Plan? - 2

Wrap Up

Java is one of the most popular programming languages. It can offer you many job opportunities with high salaries. So, how to become a java developer from scratch with CodeGym? The secret to learning it is to start coding right away! Learn some theory and practice it. Have a plan in mind; master the basics then progress to higher levels. Planning is the key to being productive and making the most of your time. It’s easy to miss important topics like Java exceptions and unit testing without a plan, especially when you’re studying on your own. Finally, try to be part of a community where you can ask questions and learn from your peers.
Comments (10)
Abe Level 13, los angeles, United States
20 October 2022
Nice article, feel energized. How does a newbie such as myself go about using IntellijIDEA integration tool?
8 October 2019
Find it Inspiring.
16 September 2019
Ahmed Level 23, Amsterdam, Netherlands
27 August 2019
I didn't see "yet" in codeGym anything about unit testing. Are you guys gonna include unit testing in the near future?
Victor. Ayo Ogundola Level 1, Lagos, Nigeria
22 August 2019
Very insightful
Honoré Tomaka Level 19, Lille, France
22 August 2019
Don't tell people they will become professional developers because they completed all Codegym exercices. That's wrong. I'm a professional frontend developer and I work with Java backend developers. The language and the platform is just a fraction of the learning path. To become an employable developer you need to master a lot more than just a language (frameworks, databases, servers, tooling, clean code, patterns, versioning, deployment, scripting and so on). This is just the beginning and I love Codegym anyway.
Maruf Islam Level 0
22 August 2019
Brandon Nicolle Level 5, Edmonton, Canada
21 August 2019
Right now I am on lesson and I really wish there was a way I could reset the tasks I've done and go back through them all, is this possible?
moufoulyroun kouferidji Level 12, New York City, United States
21 August 2019
Alexandru Ovcinicov Level 15, London, United Kingdom
21 August 2019