How to Start Learning Java From Scratch And Not Make Common Mistakes?

Published in the Java Developer group
Are you puzzled how to start learning Java from scratch and don’t know where to start? A good beginning point is setting your goals and getting into coding right away. Along with that, you should consider some of the common mistakes Java beginners make to avoid them and achieve the best results of your learning process. And that is exactly what we are going to discuss in this article. How to Start Learning Java From Scratch And Not Make Common Mistakes? - 1

So, What is Java?

Java is a multi-purpose programming language that has always been one of the most popular ones. It 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. Since it is very powerful, the Android OS was implemented in Java. It is also used for writing many android applications and games.

Why Do People Learn Java?

  • Java developers are always in demand. This is because Java is everywhere; Android phones, games, computer programs, server-side web applications, etc. Java programmers can work as developers in companies or freelance with a huge market for Android and gaming Java programmers.

  • Well-paid jobs. On average, a developer in the US gets paid $107K, while in Europe they are paid nearly $60K.

  • Wide professional horizons. Java is a General-purpose language that runs on many devices like cell phones, laptops, PCs, smart TVs, and others.

What Are the Typical Mistakes In Learning Java And How to Avoid Them?

Learning without setting a goal

Goals provide a sense of direction, accomplishment, and motivation. They should be specific, realistic, and attainable. At first, set up learning goals suitable to your beginning level in Java. After achieving them, move on to the next level and so on. Don’t put the cart before the horse and overwhelm yourself with advanced material.

Trying to get everything at once

There’s too much Java to learn in one session. Instead, focus on the task at hand; don’t get distracted by side tasks. Having a learning plan in mind is the heart of being productive. So, try to follow a structured course with a curriculum that moves gradually from basic concepts to the more advanced ones. Move to the next part only when you’re sure you learned the previous parts.

Theory without practice

The imbalance between theory and practice is common among beginners. Learning starts with theory (e.g., the basics of the language); however, too much theory could be discouraging. You should spend more time practicing coding — hands-on experience is the key to success. Try to incorporate what you’ve already learned into the next task, and so on.

Learning in isolation

Self-studying doesn’t mean you need to work in isolation. You can be part of an online Java community where you share your experience with your peers and have discussions about different topics. This can help you stay motivated when faced with hard tasks.

Sticking with complex tasks for a long time

It’s true that solving complex problems brings about strong feelings of accomplishment; however, you shouldn’t spend most of your time on these challenges. Simpler tasks allow you to focus on the concepts that you need to learn more than the problem-solving process. You should also learn to stop if you got stuck with a task for a long time. It’s better if you move on to other tasks and revisit hard problems later.

Inattention to actual mistakes

Don’t get discouraged if you got errors in your code, it happens to everyone. Some errors are harder to find than others, which could be a challenge unless you keep an eye for them from the start. This process is called debugging and it’s a continuous routine by good developers.

Coding before thinking

Many programmers get overly excited and rush into solving problems without taking a minute to think about the problem at hand. Advanced Java programmers would tell you that planning your code is as important as the code itself. So, before coding, think about the most effective way to solve the problem and how can you test this solution.

Fear of experiments

Experimenting with your code can be a fun and satisfying activity. Does your code do exactly what you meant it to do? Will the code give the same results under different circumstances for the same input? How will the code behave if the user gave it unexpected input (e.g., letters instead of numbers as age)?

Not working on self-motivation

Programmers’ burnout is a real thing. Everyone is hit by a wave of losing passion for coding every now and then. Understanding that there are others just like you is the first step. To keep being motivated, surround yourself with like-minded peers, switch topics; move to more interesting concepts that require creative thinking to solve problems.

Some Useful Advice to Avoid These Mistakes

The Pareto Principle (a.k.a the 80/20 rule)

Pareto Principle states that 80% of the effects come from only 20% of the causes. For example, 80% of your coding projects will depend on the most common 20% of the concepts of Java. The same principle can be applied to your Java studies: devote 80% of your time to practice and 20% to learning theory.

Educational Planning to Start Learning Java From Scratch

  • Goal setting. You can achieve anything with Java; but, it’s not realistic to learn all things related to Java. Set a goal and choose a specific area to learn, be it cloud-based applications, games or android applications. This is the main step if you really decided to start learning Java from scratch and want to do the trick.

  • Asking questions and talking with other students. Be an active member of the Java community; ask questions when you’re stuck and help your peers if you know the solution to their problems. Explore what others are doing and get inspired by their successes.

  • Solving small tasks. Get in the habit of solving small tasks every day. CodeGym’s mini-games give you the opportunity to develop your own minigames and publish them for the others to play, which gives you motivation as well as satisfaction.

Practice

Practice is an integral part of your Java learning plan. Here are some useful resources to help you develop your programming skills:

CodeGym

CodeGym is a comprehensive online resource for learning Java; providing hundreds of courses with innovative approaches to starting learning Java from scratch. It’s like a game with storytelling and subplots, where you level up with each skill you learn, keeping you engaged and preventing burning out from frustration. It’s the best starter’s pack since the courses are guided by the experiences of many programmers. Transitioning from basic topics to complex ones smoothly, it prepares you for the work world. Why do fresh programmers choose CodeGym?
  • The course is well-structured. It contains 600 lessons. Each of them explains one topic so that the student can focus on that topic alone without distraction.

  • The course is 80% practice. Practicing starts from the very first lesson with 1200 total tasks.

  • Strong Java community. With a large community of like-minded people, you won’t be alone.

  • Virtual teacher. Assesses your solutions instantly and gives recommendations; providing a clear list of requirements regarding what you need to do.

Video Courses:

  • Java Tutorial for Beginners Playlist.
    This playlist contains 100+ Java tutorials starting for the very basics like installing Java for different operating systems to advanced tutorials, such as lambda expressions and web scraping.

  • Derek Banas: Java Code in 30 Minutes.
    Derek teaches the core knowledge needed to write Java code in 30 minutes. He covers a wide range of topics including primitive data types, comments, class, math, hasNextLine, nextLine, getters, setters, if, else, else if, print, println, printf, logical operators, for, while, break, continue, do while, and many more.

Best Books:

Wrap Up

Learning Java is a rewarding experience on both personal and professional levels. To make the best of it, you should approach the learning process by planning your goals, focusing on practice, tolerating mistakes and learning from experiments, and being part of an active Java community. These efforts can be aided by learning platforms like CodeGym, video materials, and books.

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