There are numerous programming languages that programmers and developers can use today from C language, C++ to Python etc. Java may be a language that is considered versatile due to its ability to be utilized in designing customized apps that are fast and lightweight. Programming languages are designed to shape out a developer’s future, they are used to make different apps, wonderful websites, and several software products you see around you.
Consider the big giants like Amazon, Google, and the rest other major industry players are using Java in a mature manner. Becoming expert Java developers puts individuals in the front line within the industry. Moreover, many companies are trying to find developers proficient in Java. Let’s talk about some popularity of java before coming to ‘how to become a good Java Developer?’ and related facts.
Why is Java So Popular?
Java is one of the most popular programming languages used in the world of software development. Its versatility, ease of use, and platform independence make it a popular choice for developers throughout industries. Becoming a good Java developer takes time, effort, and dedication, but with the right approach, anyone can master this programming language.
In 2019, TIOBE(The Importance of Being Earnest) a programming community Index, ranked Java as the top programming language, sending a press release to developers, programmers, and app or website owners that they have to consider Java as a mainstream language. Java is utilized by many large as well as small companies.
How to Become a Good Java Developer?
Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the world, with over 9 million developers and a large number of applications across different industries. As the Java skill is trending among the techies in the industry, becoming a good Java developer is a journey that requires discipline, commitment, and dedication to learning. In this section, we will explore some key steps that you can take on ‘How to become a good Java developer. Additionally, you may go through the effective practices on ‘How To Become a Good Programmer?‘.
1. Learn and be expert in the fundamentals: Core Java
The first step in becoming a good Java developer is to learn the fundamentals of the language. This includes understanding the syntax, data types, control structures, and object-oriented programming (OOP) concepts. Furthermore, make sure that you grasp basic concepts like operators, arrays, loops, String, Collections, Exceptions, Threads etc. Moreover, have an understanding of general-purpose APIs like java.math, java.oi, java.lang etc.
Oracle community is releasing new versions of JDK at the interval of every six months. Every Java developer should have a clear understanding of at least Java 8 and its features.
A good resource to start with very basic is the Oracle’s own Java learning platform and further you may go through Oracle documentation, Sometimes, beginners or even experienced professionals find the oracle documentation either lengthy or tough to understand. In that case, you can also start by going through popular blogs having good content, or reading a good Java book or taking an online/offline courses. Some popular Java books for beginners include “Head First Java” by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates and “Java: A Beginner’s Guide” by Herbert Schildt.
Eventually, concepts are same in every place. First, you have to find out the reliability of the resource and then continue where you can understand the concepts easily.
2. Continue Practicing hands on
The best way to learn Java programming is by writing code. You can start by solving simple programming problems, such as calculating the sum of two numbers, printing a message on the console, or implementing a simple calculator. As you progress, you can work on more complex problems and applications. Practice not only helps you improve your coding skills but also helps you identify and fix errors quickly.
In theory, you will be ready to provide an answer about Java, however, when it involves implementing or demonstrating it at Java language, it becomes a bit tough. Once you practice more, it helps you understand the limitations of the language also.
After doing an ample amount of hands on, if you feel that you are ready to do assignments in Core Java, you can learn to improve your quality of code that should follow the standard guidelines and also improve the performance of the application. You may go through a separate article on ‘Java Coding Best Practices and Standards‘ for the same.
3. Learn Basics of Database
At a minimum, a Java developer should understand the following concepts related to databases:
1) Relational databases: Java developers should understand the basic principles of relational databases, including tables, rows, columns, keys, and relationships.
2) NoSQL Databases: As a Java developer, you should have a good understanding of NoSQL databases and how they differ from traditional relational (SQL) databases. This will help you make decisions about when to use NoSQL databases, and which type of NoSQL database is best suited to a particular use case. Particularly, you should have knowledge of NoSQL database types, data modeling techniques, APIs and libraries, performance and scalability.
3) SQL: Java developers should have a basic understanding of SQL (Structured Query Language) and how to use it to create, modify, and query databases.
4) JDBC: Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) is a Java API for connecting to and interacting with databases. Java developers should understand how to use JDBC to perform basic database operations, such as inserting, updating, and retrieving data.
5) Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) frameworks: ORM frameworks like Hibernate and JPA make it easier to interact with databases using Java objects. Java developers should understand the basic concepts of ORM and how to use these frameworks to map Java objects to database tables.
6) Database design: Although not strictly necessary, a basic understanding of database design principles can be helpful for Java developers. This includes topics like normalization, data modeling, and database schema design.
A Java developer does not need to be an expert in databases, but should have a solid understanding of the basics and be able to work with databases as part of their job. If a project requires more complex database operations or performance optimizations, a database specialist may be placed to work with the Java developer.
In summary, having knowledge of NoSQL databases is becoming progressively important for Java developers as more and more organizations adopt these databases for their scalability and flexibility.
4. Do practice on Jakarta EE/Advanced Java
When you are done with Core Java, move on to Jakarta EE. Recently Java EE (Java Enterprise Edition) has been renamed to Jakarta EE. Some people in the industry also call it ‘Advanced Java’. Learning Jakarta EE allows you to have experience on web development projects, because Jakarta EE includes specifications of additional features like web services and distributed computing. For example, there are technologies like Java Server Pages, Servlet, JDBC, JPA etc., which are suited for web applications.
You will also get to know how to use web server or application server in this part. Moreover, having knowledge of Java EE also helps you to understand modern frameworks such as Spring, Spring Boot etc. easily. Before practicing advanced Java topics, make sure you have set up the development environment for the same.
Set up a development environment for Jakarta EE: To practice Jakarta EE/Advanced Java, you’ll need to set up a development environment that includes an IDE (Integrated Development Environment), such as Eclipse, STS, IntelliJ or NetBeans, and a Jakarta EE server/Web Server, such as Apache Tomcat, JBoss, WebSphere, or GlassFish.
Develop Projects Using JSP, Servlets, JDBC
Benefits of Learning Jakarta EE/Advanced Java before getting into Spring Boot
Learning Jakarta EE before getting into Spring Boot can provide several benefits:
1) Understanding of the Jakarta EE ecosystem: Jakarta EE is a vast ecosystem of technologies and specifications that are used to develop enterprise applications. Learning Jakarta EE first can help you understand the architecture of enterprise applications and the role of different Jakarta EE technologies.
2) Knowledge of Core concepts: Jakarta EE provides a strong foundation for understanding core concepts such as servlets, JSPs, JDBC, and JPA. These concepts are fundamental to building web applications, and Spring Boot builds on top of them.
3) Hands-on experience with enterprise development: Jakarta EE provides a broad range of APIs for enterprise development. Learning Jakarta EE can give you hands-on experience with various technologies and how they are used in enterprise development.
4) Familiarity with application servers: Jakarta EE applications are traditionally deployed on application servers such as Tomcat, JBoss, or WebSphere. Learning Jakarta EE can give you an understanding of how these servers work and how to deploy and manage Jakarta EE applications on them.
5) Better appreciation of Spring Boot: Spring Boot is built on top of Jakarta EE and uses many of its technologies such as servlets, JSPs, JDBC, and JPA. Understanding Jakarta EE can give you a better evaluation of how Spring Boot works and why it is such a powerful tool for enterprise development.
5. Get into frameworks like Spring, Hibernate, Spring Boot
After you’re finished with SE and EE, you should now consider learning Java Frameworks, such as Spring Framework and Hibernate Framework. As a Java developer, Spring, and Hibernate are the most important frameworks including Spring Boot as well. Furthermore, most of the Java development companies develop web apps using the Spring framework, such as Spring MVC, Spring REST, Spring Boot, and Spring Cloud.
Hibernate framework is known for mapping Java objects to database tables. We also call it Object-relational mapping (ORM) tool. Alternatively, if you are well known with JPA concepts, you don’t need to learn Hibernate additionally.
Spring Boot is the most popular and trending framework these days among developers and the development companies. Some people directly wish to work with Spring Boot, but this approach is not correct for a long term. You should at least have knowledge on Spring Core and JDBC Concepts to work smoothly on Spring Boot. However, Core Java knowledge is must here also. If you like to read, you may access some must know concepts from Spring Core tutorials as well.
If you’re proficient in these frameworks and you have practiced them properly via doing projects, then you will be finding yourself far better working in a Java development company as a developer or programmer.
Benefits of Learning Spring Boot in Job Market
Learning Spring Boot can be highly beneficial in the job market for several reasons:
1) High demand: Spring Boot is widely used in enterprise-level applications and has a high demand in the job market. Many companies use Spring Boot to build their applications, which means that there are plenty of job opportunities for developers with Spring Boot skills.
2) Competitive salaries: Due to the high demand for Spring Boot developers, companies are willing to pay competitive salaries to attract and retain skilled developers. As a result, learning Spring Boot can lead to higher earning prospective.
3) Career growth opportunities: Learning Spring Boot can provide opportunities for career growth and advancement. As you become more skilled in Spring Boot, you can take on more complex projects and responsibilities, leading to promotions and higher-level positions.
4) Widely used in the industry: Spring Boot is widely used in the industry, which means that employers value developers who have experience with Spring Boot. Having Spring Boot on your resume can increase your chances of being selected for job interviews and ultimately landing a job.
5) Evolving technology: Spring Boot is a constantly evolving technology, and developers need to keep up with the latest updates and best practices. Learning Spring Boot can provide continuous learning opportunities, which is essential in the fast-paced technology industry.
Overall, learning Spring Boot can be highly beneficial in the job market, leading to job opportunities, competitive salaries, career growth, and continuous learning.
6. Start developing Projects on Microservices Architecture
As we know that Microservices based applications are in high demand these days, irrespective of the programming languages. They are becoming popular exponentially day by day. Many big companies in the industry are already using this concept and developers are also becoming well-versed in the same. So, if you want to remain at the top position in the profession, you will have to adapt yourself to learn the most popular and trending technologies & concepts accordingly.
Hence, start learning Microservices concepts and apply them in developing small applications. Moreover, developers with the knowledge of Spring Boot with Microservices are on high demand in the market.
Apart from that you may opt to learn some advanced skills.
7. Learn Design Principles & Design Patterns
Design Principles and Design Patterns are two important concepts in Java programming that are used to develop high-quality software that is easy to maintain, scalable, and flexible.
Design Principles are general guidelines or best practices that are used to create software that is maintainable, reusable, and easy to understand. These principles help developers create code that is easy to modify and extend in the future. One of the most popular design principles in Java is SOLID Principles.
Design Patterns are proven solutions to common problems that software developers encounter when creating software. These patterns are tried and tested solutions to recurring design problems that can help developers create code that is more flexible, scalable, and maintainable. Some of the most popular design patterns in Java are 23 GoF (Gang Of Four) Design Patterns.
Learning Design Principles & Design Patterns can provide several benefits for Java developers, including:
1) Improved Code Quality: Design principles and patterns help developers write code that is modular, easy to maintain, and scalable. Following these best practices can lead to improved code quality, reducing the chances of bugs and improving the overall stability of the application.
2) Better Collaboration: Design principles and patterns provide a common vocabulary and set of guidelines for developers, which can promote communication and collaboration among team members. This can lead to a more efficient development process and a higher-quality product.
3) Faster Development: Design patterns provide proven solutions to common problems in software development. By using these patterns, developers can save time and effort in solving these problems, resulting in faster development times.
4) Increased Flexibility: By using design patterns, developers can build applications that are more flexible and adaptable to changing requirements. This can reduce the risk of having to rewrite large portions of code in response to changing needs.
5) Better Understanding of Frameworks: Many Java frameworks, such as Spring and Hibernate, use design patterns extensively. By learning design patterns, developers can gain a better understanding of these frameworks and use them more effectively.
6) Higher Earning Potential: Java developers with knowledge of design principles and patterns are in high demand in the job market. They can expect higher salaries and may have access to multiple job opportunities.
8. Learn DevOps Practices & Tools
Learning Java and its frameworks are not sufficient to become a successful Java Developer. You should also learn popular methodology of developing and delivering an application like DevOps. Many development companies are shifting to DevOps and adapting the use of continuous integration as deployment. There are lots of tools and principles to learn in DevOps.
The word ‘DevOps’ is a combination of software development and IT operations. It has become an essential aspect of modern software development. It is a set of practices and tools that help organizations automate their software development processes and improve coordination between development and operations teams. Here are some of the benefits of learning DevOps:
1) Improved Coordination
One of the primary benefits of DevOps is improved coordination between development and operations teams. DevOps breaks down the coordination gap between the two teams and leads to better outcomes and faster delivery of the software.
2) Faster Time to Market
DevOps helps organizations deliver software faster and more reliable. By automating the software development process, organizations can reduce the time and effort required to test and deploy the software. This, in turn, leads to faster time to sell, allowing organizations to respond to changing market demands more quickly.
3) Better Quality Software
DevOps also helps improve the quality of software. By automating testing and deployment, organizations can ensure that software is tested thoroughly and deployed systematically. This reduces the risk of errors and defects in the software, leading to better quality and higher customer satisfaction.
4) Improved Efficiency
DevOps also improves the efficiency of software development processes. By automating repetitive tasks, such as testing and deployment, organizations can reduce the time and effort required for these tasks. This, in turn, allows developers to focus on more value-added activities, such as innovation and improving the user experience.
5) Increased Agility
DevOps also helps organizations become more agile. It also offers organizations to implement new features and functionalities more quickly, allowing them to stay ahead of the competition.
6) Better Career Opportunities
Finally, learning DevOps can lead to better career opportunities. With the increasing adoption of DevOps in the organizations, there is a growing demand for professionals with DevOps skills. Learning DevOps can help you become a more valuable resource to your organization and can open up new career opportunities.
Tools Used in DevOps Practice
DevOps is based on various tools to automate and streamline software development. Here are some commonly used tools in DevOps with concise descriptions:
1) Version Control Tools: Git and SVN are tools used to track changes made to the source code of software projects. They allow developers to work on different versions of code simultaneously, merge changes and manage conflicts efficiently.
2) Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) Tools: Jenkins, CircleCI, GitLab CI/CD, and Travis CI are examples of tools used to automate the build, test, and deployment of software projects. They help teams to test code changes quickly and frequently, catch bugs early in the development process, and deploy new code to production promptly.
3) Configuration Management Tools: Ansible, Chef, and Puppet are examples of tools used to manage infrastructure as code. They enable teams to automate the provisioning and configuration of servers, networks, and other IT resources, ensuring consistency and reliability across different environments.
4) Containerization Tools: Docker and Kubernetes are tools used to package and deploy applications in a lightweight, portable, and scalable way. They allow teams to isolate applications and their dependencies, deploy them rapidly, and scale them up and down as required.
5) Monitoring Tools: Nagios, Prometheus, and Grafana are tools used to monitor the performance and availability of software applications and IT infrastructure. They allow teams to detect and diagnose issues quickly, ensure uptime, and optimize performance.
6) Collaboration Tools: Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Asana are examples of tools that are used to speed up communication and collaboration among team members. They allow teams to share information, coordinate work, and track progress, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
7) Testing Tools: Selenium and JMeter are tools used to automate the testing of software applications. They allow teams to test applications at scale, ensure that they meet quality standards, and catch bugs early in the development process.
9. Learn Repository System Tools like Git
A Repository System is an essential tool for managing code in software development. It helps ensure code quality, collaboration, reliability, and offers a platform for managing the entire software development lifecycle. There are various tools available for repository systems, such as Git, Subversion (SVN), Mercurial, Perforce, Apache Subversion Edge, etc. Git is the most popular among Java developers. Learning repository systems can offer several benefits:
1) Version Control: Repository system tool allows you to keep track of changes made to your code over time. You can easily revert to an earlier version of your code if necessary or compare changes made between different versions.
2) Collaboration: Repository system tool makes it easier for teams to collaborate on the same codebase by allowing multiple people to work on the same project at the same time. Changes made by different team members can be easily merged and conflicts can be resolved quickly.
3) Deployment: A repository system tool can integrate with the deployment tools, allowing for automated testing and deployment of code changes.
4) Backup and Recovery: By using the Repository system tool to store your code in a remote repository, you can protect against accidental deletion, hardware failure, or other disasters. You can easily recover your code from the remote repository in case of any such events.
5) Experimentation: With Repository system tool, you can easily create branches to test out new features or ideas without affecting the main codebase. You can merge these branches back into the main codebase once you are satisfied with the changes.
Repository Tools like Git
There are several tools and platforms that can be used in conjunction with Git for repository management, collaboration, and deployment. Here are some popular ones:
1) GitHub: A web-based platform that provides hosting for Git repositories and offers several collaboration features such as pull requests, code reviews, and issue tracking.
2) GitLab: An open-source platform that provides hosting for Git repositories along with features such as continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, issue tracking, and project management.
3) Bitbucket: A web-based platform that provides hosting for Git repositories along with features such as pull requests, code reviews, and issue tracking. It is often used in conjunction with other Atlassian tools such as Jira and Confluence.
4) Azure DevOps: A cloud-based platform that provides hosting for Git repositories along with features such as CI/CD pipelines, testing, and project management.
5) SourceTree: A graphical user interface (GUI) tool that provides a visual representation of Git repositories and makes it easier to perform Git operations.
6) TortoiseGit: A Windows-based GUI tool that integrates with Windows Explorer and provides a convenient way to perform Git operations.
7) GitKraken: A cross-platform GUI tool that provides a visual representation of Git repositories and offers several collaboration and productivity features.
10. Join Java Forums, Blogs and Discussion Groups
You should try Joining Java forums, blogs, and discussion groups that can provide several benefits as a Java developer, such as:
1) Knowledge Sharing: Java forums, blogs, and discussion groups provide a platform for developers to share their knowledge and expertise with others. By participating in these communities, developers can learn from others and contribute their own knowledge to help others.
2) Networking: Joining Java forums, blogs, and discussion groups can help developers build a network of professional contacts in the industry. This network can provide opportunities for collaboration, career growth, and job opportunities.
3) Keeping updated with industry trends: Programming languages and tools grow rapidly, and keeping updated with the latest trends can be essential for the developers. Joining blogs and forums can help learners to stay up to date with the latest developments in their field.
4) Problem Solving: Java forums, blogs, and discussion groups are a great resource for troubleshooting and problem-solving. Developers can post their questions and receive answers and advice from other experienced developers.
5) Learning Opportunities: Java forums, blogs, and discussion groups provide a number of learning opportunities. Developers can learn about new technologies, programming languages, and best practices. They can also participate in code reviews and learn from others’ code.
6) Career Development: Participating in Java communities can help developers develop their skills and knowledge, which can lead to career development opportunities. It can also help them stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the industry.
7) Personal Branding: Participating in Java forums, blogs, and discussion groups can help developers establish themselves as experts in the industry. By contributing their knowledge and expertise, they can build a personal brand and increase their visibility in the respective community.
In conclusion, by following these steps, you can become a good Java developer. Remember to have patience and persistence in your learning, as it takes time to become proficient in any skill. With dedication, practice, and continuous learning, you can achieve success as a Java developer and contribute to the constantly growing world of technology.