How to Improve Your Java Skills? [A Beginner’s Guide]
Java was developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems in the early 90s. In the late 90s, when the web became popular, the use of Java spread due to the need for a simple language to create webpages. Today, Java continues to enjoy its reputation as a versatile and dependable coding language, for simplistic to sophisticated computer application development. Platform-independent, Java is a rare language that has its own self-contained virtual machine.
Java has a very intuitive and user-friendly syntax and can address a lot of problems not easily solved by C++. Plus, numerous Java libraries help you to adopt Java to any situation.
Why Do You Need to Improve your Java Skills?
Here are some of the most pressing reasons:
It is completely platform-independent. The application you design can run on Linux, Windows, or macOS if Java is installed. This reduces the time needed to create and launch an app.
Java offers a rich library with plenty of code already written. Thus, using Java means you can literally use pre-coded and proven-effective code modules and build something sophisticated with less effort.
As a concurrent language, it allows for multi-threading. This reduces the stress on the hardware.
Java is not only a language but also a platform. In this way, it is similar to an operating system. The Java platform sits atop the native OS and enables the Java-based programs to work via a virtual machine. Most of the internet uses the Java Enterprise Edition platform, while smart devices use Java Micro Edition.
What to Learn in Java?
There are three parts to the Java ecosystem.
JDK or Java Development Kit is used to write the code. The code is executed using the JRE or Java Runtime Environment. The code itself gets run through the JVM or Java Virtual Machine.
Before understanding the nature of Java Virtual Machine, it is crucial to remember what programming consists of. There are three essential stages – writing, compiling, and execution.
The code is written by you, the programmer. The Java compiler, which is a part of the JDK, would generate what is known as Java byte code from the program. In the final stage, the byte code is executed by the native OS.
Thus the primary function of Java Virtual Machine is to use the byte code for the desired objective. Though the JVM would vary depending on the nature of the native OS, e.g., Linux, Windows, the code and execution would remain the same.
The Java Development Kit is the software environment and includes tools such as JRE and debugger. The JRE or Java Runtime Environment is an essential part of Java. It is to be noted that the use of Java requires only this component. A programmer, however, needs to understand all three.
Remember Java is an OOP language, and that makes it possible to create flexible code. There are numerous APIs for database connectivity, XML, networking, and a host of open-source libraries like Google Guava and Jackson.
Besides, you could also use frameworks like Maven that help you follow the best practices that have been developed by other experienced programmers. Of course, you need to be part of different online communities like Programming Praxis and Stack Overflow, where you would be guided by those who have decade long experience in using Java.
How to Learn Java? [Top Tips]
Your career in programming cannot begin in earnest until you get comfortable with Java. But as with everything, there are some techniques you can adopt to learn it better.
Top Ways to Improve Java Skills [How to Learn Java]
Understand the basics
Practice a lot
Build your algorithm skills
Read about Java
Recognize its reliability
1. Understand the basics
Begin by understanding the basics and grasping the fundamentals. At the very beginning, you would be confused since it is a language and a platform in one. This makes a structured course indispensable for anyone looking to master the language.
2. Practice a lot
To practice, you will need the JDK and Eclipse IDE. Once they are installed on your laptop, start with smaller projects. Since a huge number of Java projects have already placed their source code online, you would be able to gauge your fallacies and rectify them.
3. Build your algorithm skills
Algorithm building can thoroughly test the skill of a Java software developer. The syntaxes and semantics are, after all, mere tools for you to construct codes that solve real problems. A course that exposes you to basic algorithms and enables you to experiment with them and build something more complex, hence, can be vital for your growth.
4. Read about Java
You’ll find hundreds of e-books and tutorials available on the net, which teach the intricacies of Java. Get hold of a few and start to read. All the accumulated experience would help you get past learning barriers quickly.
5. Recognize its reliability
Like C, Java is considered as an almost perfect programming language because it is immensely robust. It has been developed in such a way that any error you have written can be found quickly. Also, Java allows multi-threading. More than one part of the program can be run by the CPU. This implementation has to be learned through programming too.
What are the Drawbacks of Learning Java?
Java is a highly complex language. Simple to code in, but with many moving parts. If you are a beginner, expect to face frustration at every turn, but with the knowledge that it’s part of the learning curve. Even though Java takes more lines of code, compared to Python, to accomplish the same task. But given that Java is still the most used language and is used by about 70% of programmers shows that it is here to stay.
How to Test your Java Skills?
Because of Java’s complexity, you need to keep on testing yourself to find out where you need to work more. Online tests help a lot, as long as the questions aren’t the run of the mill, and accompanied with detailed explanations. Appy Pie has put together the most comprehensive set of questions that test your skills at a beginner, intermediate, and advanced range. Take the test and find out how good you are compared to your peers.