Why Java is so popular and why I should learn itWell, Java IS extremely popular, but not the only popular language in the world. Now you’re probably thinking: “why exactly do I need Java of all options”? As we told before, there is no programming language with unchallenged authority. Still, you can choose easely, if you analyze the long-term benefits of mastering a certain language. Let’s try to get what makes Java so popular and why to learn it is a good point.
Java is beginner friendlyYou definitely can find languages that initially are easier than Java. First of all, it’s Python, a language with concise and understandable syntax. However there are more real-world tasks that are easier to solve in Java than in Python. Java is easy to learn because it is relatively high-level. This means that you don't have to dive deep into the weeds as you do with lower-level languages. For example in Java garbage collection (i.e. killing "unused objects taking up space in memory") happens without your involvement, unlike in C++. But at the same time, Java is low-level enough to handle most tasks.
Java is everywhere so you may choose what to doWhat is Java used for? It is used for everything! Java is almost everywhere and here is a short list:
- Big Enterprise server side apps
- Android Apps
- Different Web and desktop applications
- Server Apps at Financial Services Industry
- IoT, blockchain
- Big Data technologies
- AI, Machine Learning
Java can help you to find a job of your dreams.
Java is everywhere because it can solve different problemsJava has hundreds or even thousands of frameworks, libraries and other tools that help developers solve problems. A very small percentage of developers get absolutely new problems. Most likely, someone has already solved your problem before you and created one of the tools we have told above. So you can use them too, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Java has a huge amount of extremely useful libraries and frameworks you can use.
Java has a huge and friendly communityThis paragraph you may connect to the previous one, because forums, such as forum for newbies JavaRanch and Java threads on reddit or stackoverflow. You can ask any questions there or look for a solution to your problem. BTW, here on CodeGym we have a friendly community as well. Use CodeGym Help to get help with your tasks or any Java problem. Even if you have difficulties in learning Java, you can easily get help from a global community. There are more than 9 millions Java developers in the world, and their online community is vast and dynamic. You can easily find an answer to almost any question, that appears while you study and get useful sources to deepen your knowledge.
You may have heard some opinions like “Java is everywhere only because it is very old and there are many legacy Java code. It will be out of use in a few years”. Actually, it’s not quite true. Yes, there are enough old projects with old Java code, but it is only a part of Java infrastructure.
The story of Java starts in the 90s at Sun Microsystems, software and hardware company from California. You may know (or remember), that back in the 90s a TV was truly influential in communications and entertainment. For this reason, it inspired many useful progressive inventions. It is hard to believe, but TV was kind of a kickstarter for Java language.
It was initially developed for interactive television and different household devices to let application developers write code once and run it on any platform without decompiling. For the purpose of code portability JVM (Java virtual machine) was created. Java code, written by a software developer, is compiled into bytecode by Java compiler (javac). JVM reads this bytecode and “translates” it to run on any platform (mobile device, PC, Mac, Coffee Machine and so on).
Now you understand why the Java motto is “Write once, run everywhere”. The same Java code really can run almost on any platform.
So Java is everywhere not because it is old. It is everywhere because it is very useful and has very smart architecture.
Java is everywhere so it is easier to get a first JobThere are many large outsourcing companies who work with huge projects. These projects usually have tens of thousands tasks requiring different qualifications, from the most basic to expert level. Hence, they need hundreds or even thousands of software developers. Simply put, large companies always need those who do work that experienced developers don’t want to do. They need trainees and Juniors! These big companies often work specifically with Java. Of course, competition for Java Junior positions is quite high. You need to be well prepared, but anyway it is much easier for a beginner to find a job in such a company, than in a small one.
Java is one of the easiest ways to get a first software developer job.
Java and JVM has a bright futureJava is constantly evolving. A new version appears every six months, and features that are needed for modern programming appear in it. At the same time, Java has very good backward compatibility (compatibility with older versions). When you get familiar with the Java Virtual Machine, you can easily use other languages with such a runtime environment. For example, Groovy, Scala, Kotlin and Clojure. So if you want to, you can join as many interesting projects as you wish and enhance the knowledge of the technology stack.
Least but not last: Java developers are well paidJava developers work on promising projects and earn high salaries. According to Indeed.com, an average Java developer salary in the U.S. is more than $104 000 per year.
Way of Java DeveloperLet’s see what’s waiting for a future Java developer step by step.
Step #1 Learn to code from zeroAs we said before, Java is a beginner friendly language and that is one of the main reasons to learn it with zero programming skills. Don’t worry, you shouldn't be a math genius to start coding or to be a software developer. Some programmers really need good math skills, such as physical game engines creators or scientific programming specialists. But most of them don't. It is not about math, you simply need to understand the logic. This step is about learning Java Core. Here are the main topics:
- Basic Java constructs, operators, and data types
- OOP and its implementation in Java
- Java collections framework
- Input/output API
- Multithreading and Java Concurrency API
- Unit testing
Step #2 Learn FrameworksJunior Java Developer requirements sometimes include knowledge of Spring, Hibernate and Spring Boot. To study these technologies on your own isn’t a trivial task, but, nevertheless, it is possible, especially at the superficial level. A deeper understanding will come during work.
- Spring MVC
- Spring Boot
Alternative Step #2 Learn AndroidIf you are interested in mobile development, learn how to program for Android. If you know Java it opens up the Universe of Android development for you. Download Android Studio and try one of the courses.
Step #3 Try to create your own projectIt could be a Web or Android Application, a game or time management assistant, something that is interesting for you to create. It shouldn’t be a big thing, just a project to train your programming skills and to demonstrate them to your potential employer.
Step #4 Write your CV, apply for vacancies and start as a junior developerOnce you’ve gained core knowledge, you start a career as a programmer on Java: this is what you aspire, don’t you? As a beginner, you’ll feel more confident knowing that Java has a huge number of libraries and frameworks for numerous tasks. As a learner, you write your own routines to get plenty of practice and make sense of the programming process. But later, as a developer, you can adjust ready-made solutions to your project. They will help you save time in numerous large-scale projects. Plus everything you need is there for you in a great Java documentation at Oracle and Stack Overflow.
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.