Becoming a programmer is exciting, but it can also be confusing. With so many programming languages out there, how do you decide which to start with? What will the language do? What can you build with it? In this article, we look at the Java programming language and help you decide if it's right for you.
We'll start by looking at why Java could be a good choice. Then we'll explore what Java is used for. And finally, we'll show you how to get started learning to code with Java.
Why is Java a good programming language?
There are many reasons why you might choose Java as your first programming language:
- Java has been around for decades, and it's a core programming language in many enterprises, so it's likely not going anywhere.
- Java is a very flexible and versatile language that lives up to its goal of being a general-purpose language.
- Java is used widely in many enterprises and industries, so the job prospects for a Java developer are very promising. There are more Java jobs available than there are Java developers to do the work.
- Java has a large, supportive community numbering in the millions. This means you'll always find the help you need to learn Java programming concepts.
- Java was based on more complex programming languages like C and C++ but was designed to be simpler and friendlier. As a result, it's an excellent language for beginners and has the power of a lower-level language.
- Java developers make good money. The average annual salary for a Java developer is around $91,000.
What is Java used for?
There are many benefits to choosing Java as a programming language. One of the most important ones is that it was designed to be a general-purpose programming language, so you can use it to build all types of applications. Here are some things you can do with Java:
Mobile app development
The Android operating system is based on Java, and Android has around 73% of the market share on mobile devices. As a result, every business that wants a mobile presence needs an Android app. So, Java is an important technology to know if you want to develop mobile apps.
Java is also used in game development. Every Android game is written in Java, but it was also used to create Minecraft — one of the most popular video games of all time. Java is also platform-independent, meaning a game created with Java can run on any operating system that supports it.
If you work in big data, you'll likely need to know Java. Every business generates tons of data that they can use to gather insights about the state of their business and predict future events. Many of the tools Data Scientists use to generate these insights are written in Java.
Apache Hadoop is designed for processing large data sets. Apache Kafka was created to deal with large amounts of streaming data. Elasticsearch is a search engine that can ingest and analyze data. All of these tools are Java-based.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence
Machine learning went from being a theory to reality relatively quickly. Now, businesses use machine learning to predict a user's intent, chat with customers, interpret text and speech, and more. Java is a leading language in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Java libraries like Deep Learning for Java (DL4J) and Apache Spark's MLib make creating and using machine learning models much easier.
Java is also popular for back-end web development. Java is used to develop web applications that live both on the Internet and intranets to manage all of a business's internal infrastructure. It's also the perfect language for decentralized, cloud-based applications. Because Java can integrate with big data applications, it's a preferred language for enterprise web-based development.
Open source development
Java is an open-source language, and learning Java is a great way to get involved in the open-source community. Many of Java's most popular libraries owe their existence to open-source developers. By contributing, you could be part of something big.
Exploring outer space
One of Java's mottos is "Java is everywhere." And nothing proves this more than NASA's use of it.
NASA used Java to develop the World Wind Software Development Kit that allows you to create interactive visualizations of a 3D version of the earth to monitor weather patterns, visualize cities and terrains, and more. Java also controlled the Mars Rover.
Can I learn Java on my own?
You can definitely learn Java on your own. Many professional developers got their start doing just that. Businesses looking for developers just want to know you can write good Java code, not how you learned to do it.
But there is a difference between learning Java on your own and learning Java without guidance. Without a plan of study, you could jump from Java tutorial to Java tutorial and miss significant parts of what you should be learning. Our Learn Java course will give you the assistance you need to go from programming beginner to Java developer while learning at your own pace.
Getting started with Java
Java is a really popular language that's in demand in many types of industries. You can build all kinds of applications with it, and you can learn to program with Java on your own.After learning the fundamentals of programming and Java's syntax in our introductory course, take your Java skills to the next level with courses like Build Basic Android Apps with Java and Create REST APIs with Spring and Java.