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.
Common Problems When Starting From ScratchLearning 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 PracticeToo 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 PlanningYou 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 ProcessBugs (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 AloneSelf-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 ImproveCodeGym 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 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.
How to learn JavaIf 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:
- Set your goals in a career by answering a question “Why exactly do I need Java”.
- With this context, create your personal educational plan with a schedule.
- Choose tools to help your needs: books, courses, coding platforms, etc.
- Find additional sources of information: media, forums, Java communities — everything to keep you up to date.
- Practice a lot: you need hundreds of hours of coding before it becomes your habit.
- Don’t get stuck on something you don’t quite understand — go on with your study and practice.
- Never stop learning: this is what successful programmers do.