So, you’ve decided to start learning to program this coming Monday. However, here’s the question: what language to begin with if you have no previous experience in coding. A common dilemma for all novices, isn’t it? Although there are many programming languages suitable for newcomers, I would advise you to start with Java as I find it perfect for an introduction to the coding world. So, let’s find out what are the reasons to learn Java at the forefront.
TIOBE Index has come up with an updated stats on the most popular programming languages for November, and Java takes third place with a reach of 11.68%.
The reason why Java remains popular for many years is that it is constantly being evolved and updated regularly with new features to make the development process hassle-free.
It is commonly used in different industries, including healthcare, finance, retail, gaming, machine learning, reactive programming, marketing, etc. Today, about eight million programmers all over the world use Java language for work. This is why many companies choose this same language for their new projects, knowing that they can easily find a specialist in a pool of Java coders.
Java is often used in big enterprise-grade companies with large teams. These types of companies usually work with big and expensive projects that require a huge number of specialists, many beginners are involved as well. So, novice developers can land a job once they’ve mastered the language basics and expect a decent remuneration.
But let’s figure out what skills they should have to gain such popularity with hiring managers.
Most companies expect applicants to have knowledge of Core Java, as well as experience using the most common technologies, techniques, and tools involved in Java programming.
- Core Java
- Spring and Hibernate
- Unit testing
- SQL and Databases
- Java API for RESTful Web Services
- Design and architecture patterns
- Build automation tools (Maven, Gradle)
Also, the companies expect the candidates to have strong knowledge of the features that appeared in Java 8, including lambdas, as well as Java Stream API, default and static methods in interfaces, etc. In terms of testing, potential employers expect the applicants to be good in JUnit 5 Library, Mockito, and Robot Framework testing tools.
Compared to recent times, today, the number of resources for learning Java online is quite daunting. There are hundreds of websites that make it possible for newcomers to learn Java.
Here’s a list of practical courses to start your journey with.
CodeGym online Java platform has a goal to make the learning process fun and exciting. The course includes over 1200 hands-on tasks forcing the students to write code right after they join the platform. Thanks to an instant code verification, the newcomers may have their tasks checked shortly and understand what to improve. Other than that, the course contains a Game section that allows specialists to build their own versions of popular classics video games.
This is another learning platform that will let you hone your skills by training with your fellow developers on a real-world code challenge called kata. Codewars allows acquiring the necessary knowledge by competing with others and creating your own projects.
Consider one more gamified platform if you want to improve your coding skills rather than finishing the game at their earliest convenience. Cyber-Dojo will also benefit programmers with previous experience, as it is good to use for coding sparring and group competitions.
CodeChef is known for its contests and challenges run on the platform three times a month. Other than mastering and honing your coding skills, and winning the trophies during the contests, you will also be able to join training sessions and discussions that cover binary search, algorithms, and other tech concepts.
If you want to teach everything about Java starting from its fundamentals and taking up more advanced topics, like lambda expressions, generics, or multithreading, this course is a path to follow.
How to learn Java without quitting it halfway? Everything is simple — just apply for a Java programming course for complete beginners by Udemy. It is created using a gradual teaching technique aimed at simplifying the learning process.
Coursera has also launched a Java program that will introduce you to Java fundamentals. Right after completing the course and hands-on project, you will earn a certificate you will be able to share with potential employers.
A supportive community is what makes programming different from other industries. Beginners who’ve just started their path to coding are confident that they won’t be left alone with possible difficulties — experienced developers are ready to give a little jump-start, support, help to solve problems, and distribute the last piece of information. Given the fact that learning to program from scratch is not an easily accomplished task, the understanding that you are not alone helping.
Java has a huge and fast-growing community, in which all its members support each other, regardless of the knowledge base and level of experience. Oodles of Java-related forums, social media groups, and organizations encourage and popularize the active participation of Java coders in community life.
Consider the most visited sources, from which you can get support.
- Reddit channels
A huge number of open-source libraries available to devs from the whole world is something that also makes Java stand out. Many companies, such as Apache and Google together with nonprofit organizations have released public libraries to significantly improve Java development. So, before writing the code, it makes sense for newbies to use Google to search for the needed functionality most likely available and ready to use.
Here are some examples of useful libraries:
Given the huge number of available libraries and other useful sources appearing on a regular basis, many coding experts concur that Java doesn’t lose its popularity and is an ideal language, to begin with. Javin Paul finds it one of the best programming languages as it already exists for two decades and becomes only stronger.
Supporting this idea, John Mueller, an IT specialist, argues that the improvement of Java functionality doesn’t stop — the developers add new features and make the language faster and more flexible. Java is still commonly used in building large applications, which is the type of coding 90% of the Fortune 500 used today. So, Java is not a “former” language and won’t disappear anytime soon.
Remember, when it comes to Java, chances are that there are libraries that, if not solve your problem for you, will simplify it. Use Google!
By this point, you should have no doubts that Java is an ideal option to become your first programming language.
But, the thing is that there is nothing perfect in this world, and learning Java is no exception. Next to all the mentioned benefits, I also need to talk about some challenges the beginners may encounter — to make sure you haven’t got me wrong and now believe that learning Java is child’s play.
It is actually not that way. The number of educational materials is literally endless, which is good for newcomers. But, mastering Java from the very beginning may need extra efforts as it is a middle-aged, mature language with a wealth of information you need to learn to become an experienced specialist. What I want to say is that intense work and regular practice will help you achieve the goal.
Regardless of the possible issues, you may experience when learning Java, it is still worth choosing it as your first language to learn. Java is designed to be relatively beginner-friendly and is known for its massive and supportive community, a bulk of interactive courses, and other sources to make your coding life easier. So, leave your doubts behind and go for it!
First published on JavaRevisited.