As computer security becomes more important due to the prevalence of mobile apps, the strong demand for Java developers is only going to continue. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for software developers is expected to grow by 22% from 2020 to 2030—much faster than most other occupations.
Choosing to specialize in a particular language to learn can make a huge difference in your career. So choose your career wisely by going for a language that has stood the test of time and will likely continue to do so in the future.
If you want to learn programming to grow your business, Java is an excellent choice. While developers will have an easier time learning Java, even those with no previous coding experience can learn the basics of this versatile language that’s used in everything from web development to Android apps.
Think About Which Applications You’d Like to Build
Before embarking on your journey to learn Java, it can be helpful to have an idea of the types of applications you’d like to build. This will give you a goal to work towards and a better understanding of how Java can be used.
As we’ve noted, Java is a versatile language that can be used for developing a wide range of applications, from simple websites to complex enterprise systems. By taking the time to identify the types of applications you’re interested in building, you’ll be able to choose the Java tutorials and resources that are best suited to your needs.
For example, if you’re primarily interested in developing Android apps, you’ll want to focus on tutorials that cover the Android SDK. On the other hand, if you’re more interested in building web applications, you’ll want to focus on tutorials that cover JSP and servlets.Narrowing your focus in this way will help you learn Java more effectively by ensuring that you’re only learning the concepts and tools that you’ll actually need.
Learn About IDEs and Libraries
Once you’ve decided on your main areas of interest within Java, we suggest learning the Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) and libraries that work best for your programming needs.
An IDE is essentially a workplace for coding, debugging, and running programs. It consolidates the different aspects of writing a computer program into a single application. This makes it much easier to manage your project as a whole. Not to mention, most IDEs come with amazing features like syntax highlighting and code completion that helps make coding faster and more efficient.
Examples of beginner-friendly IDEs you can look into are:
- Eclipse (one of the most popular IDEs, so you’ll have no shortage of support and resources)
- Apache NetBeans (for those working with the Oracle ecosystem)
- IntelliJ IDEA (for those interested in hybrid application development)
- BlueJ (for beginners)
Libraries, on the other hand, are essentially a collection of pre-written code that you can use to add certain functionality to your program without having to write it yourself from scratch. This can save you a lot of time and effort, especially when working on larger projects.
There are many different types of libraries available for Java. Some common ones include:
- ReactJS (for front-end development needs)
- Anime.js (for easy animations)
- Parsley (if you need to validate forms)
Getting comfortable using IDEs and libraries is a great way to prepare for real-world development projects. Not only will it make your life as a programmer much easier, but it will also make you more attractive to potential employers.
Consider Coding Bootcamps
While learning Java completely on your own is an option, it may not be the most effective one. Coding bootcamps can help you learn Java faster while also providing much-needed structure and support.
If you’re new to coding, a bootcamp (live or online) can give you the foundations you need to feel confident coding in Java. Bootcamps provide an immersive, fast-paced environment that is geared towards helping you learn coding languages like Java in a short amount of time
More than that, however, you get real-world experience and guidance from experienced instructors—as well as networking opportunities and a community of other learners to help support you.
Get Involved in the Community
Even the most gifted programmer will find that they learn new tricks and techniques by working with others who have more experience.
As one of the oldest and most popular programming languages, Java has a large vibrant community of developers who are always happy to help newbies get started. Actively engaging with this community helps you not only to learn Java but also to get a better understanding of how the language is used in the real world.
There are plenty of ways to get involved in the Java community. There are online forums, such as Stack Overflow, where you can ask questions and get answers from experienced developers. You can also join local Java user groups, which are typically free to join and open to anyone with an interest in the language.
As you become more adept at using Java, you could also look into attending Java conferences. These events bring together some of the best and brightest minds in the Java community—a great opportunity to learn from and network with the pros.
Learning Java isn’t hard, even as a beginner. But if you dive right in without any guidance, things can get tough pretty quickly.
Avoid potential issues by narrowing your areas of interest within Java, familiarizing yourself with IDEs and libraries, and engaging with the vibrant Java community. Coding bootcamps could also be a great option for those who need a bit more structure in their learning. With a bit of focus and effort, you’ll be coding in Java like a pro in no time!