Learn Java online – Benefits, required skill set and 8 popular courses
If you’re wondering whether you should start learning Java and how to go about it, you’ve come to the right place. Java is a high-level programming language that affords you several flexibilities, while maintaining very few implementation dependencies.
Of course, considering it’s one of the most used programming languages in the world, there’s a healthy dose of competition among Java developers. You’ll need the right Java (online) courses and proper training if you want to pull ahead of the crowd and begin eking out a name for yourself as a Java developer. Jump down to courses.
Benefits of Java Programming Language
Java can be used to carry out several different tasks, ranging from a program for a standard inventory system for a shop, to complex ticketing systems for large industries such as trains, airlines, and buses.
What makes it most convenient though, is its write once, run anywhere capability that makes it easy to run Java on any platform without the need for recompilation.
- Java is easy to learn and easy to use, making it an excellent language even if you’re just venturing out into the world of programming.
- Java is extremely mobile and can be run on almost any platform as long as a Java Virtual Machine is installed.
- You can use Java with a host of development tools such as Eclipse SDK and NetBeans, depending on your personal preference for feature-set.
- Although Java is a constantly updating and evolving technology, it is stable and mature enough to offer predictable results.
Required Skill Set to Become a Java Developer
General – If you want to cut it as a Java developer, it is understood that you require an aptitude for programming and computers. Looking under the hood, you’ll want to be familiar and quite comfortable with the concepts of Objects, Abstract Classes, Constructors, File IO, Access Specifiers, Exceptions, Java Keywords, Java Virtual Machine, Multithreading, and Synchronization.
UI/UX – Aside from the aforementioned scary terms, an understanding of UI/UX development, markup languages, and database knowledge would be a huge help to developing your skill set.
Soft Skills – Computer skills aside, a Java developer would be expected to possess certain soft skills and other abilities to help round out the package. You’ll often find yourself working as part of a team of developers or on someone else’s base code, which makes it a must to have good people skills as well as experience with navigating code that isn’t yours.
Resilience – If you can’t play well with others and collaborate on projects, it’ll make it difficult to last in this industry. Furthermore, you need to be able to work under the pressure of tight deadlines and display excellent problem-solving skills. A logical and analytical mindset is a necessity in this industry, and Java developers are no exception.
The World of Java
The Java language project was established in 1991. Although Java was initially meant to work with interactive television, it was too advanced for the digital cable industry at the time.
Moreover, it underwent a couple of name changes (Oak, then Green) before finally being given its familiar name. It was first released to the public as Java 1.0 in 1995, and it didn’t take long for major browsers began to offer updates with native Java compatibility.
Java was created with these five primary goals in mind,
- It must be “simple, object-oriented, and familiar.”
- It must be “robust and secure.”
- It must be “architecture-neutral and portable.”
- It must execute with “high performance.”
- It must be “interpreted, threaded, and dynamic.”
Java bytecode – One of Java’s best features is the ease of running it on different platforms. Java code is compiled into something called Java bytecode. Even though Java bytecode is essentially similar to machine code, it is not locked to any particular architecture. Java applications can be run in a Java Runtime or Environment, or almost any web browser if you’re trying to run a Java applet.
Java Class Libraries (JCL) – Another feature to get familiar with, are Java Class Libraries (JCL). This is a set of dynamically loadable libraries that can be called by an application during runtime. Given Java’s portability, it makes it tricky to rely on platform-specific libraries, meaning these libraries are contained within the Java Platform itself.
JCL Usability – Like any other standard code libraries, the JCL provides programmers with a set of tools that can make tasks easier and cut down on code. It also equips them with an abstract interface to tasks that would typically require substantial interaction with the hardware and operating system. Not all platforms are capable of providing the features a Java application relies on or aims to provide, in such cases these features can be emulated or circumvented via the JCL.
Getting Started with Java
You’re now familiar with a few basic concepts about Java. You have gained some knowledge of its past, its uses, and the sort of skill set you’ll need to make it in the development industry.
If you’re experienced with other programming languages, it should be easy enough for you to pick up Java on your own. Even the more advanced concepts tend to be relatively straightforward, if you have a general understanding of programming.
If you have the time and budget, a classroom course in an established university would be ideal. Alternatively, trying one of the Java online courses below can get you on track with Java, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or trying to tackle one of the more advanced concepts.
8 Popular Java Online Courses
1. Java Basics by Treehouse
This Java online course would be particularly beneficial for absolute beginners. It consists of three modules, which take you through the very basics of what you need to know. Though the course doesn’t really touch upon any advanced concepts, it’s as good a starting point as any for newcomers (view website).
2. Advanced Java Programming by InfiniteSkills
Once you have a handle on the basics, you’ll want to look at courses like this one by InfiniteSkills. It takes you through advanced concepts such as data structures, sorting techniques, exception handling, and multithreading. You’ll also get a deeper understanding of Java’s libraries and development environment.
3. Programming in Java by WiBitNet
Learning doesn’t always have to be serious, and that’s illustrated wonderfully by this online course for Java. It is an excellent option for beginners as the course is pretty light-hearted and takes a fun approach to teaching you Java. Although it may be a bit distracting for some, for others this might be the best way to learn and remember something new (view website)
4. Udemy Java Online Courses
Udemy offers quite a wide range of online courses on Java that touch upon beginner-level topics as well as many of the advanced ones. The Java Tutorial for Complete Beginners is exactly what it sounds like – it’s an exhaustive 16-hour course that will ensure you learn and strengthen your Java knowledge.
5. Introduction to Programming with Java by EdX
If you’re the sort of person that prefers live courses and being able to interact with your teacher then this Java course by EdX may be just what you need. This beginner-level course will help you establish a good base. Just make sure to clear your schedule to make it for your classes (view website).
6. Stackoverflow – Java
Once you’re somewhat versed with the basics of Java you’re bound to run into problems here and there. Stackoverflow (view website) is a community where other developers share their conundrums, while more experienced developers attempt to answer the posted queries. If you don’t find your issue with a simple search, you are free to ask help with a post of your own. You will always need this asset, even when you’re more experienced and comfortable with code.
So you’ve been learning Java, but you aren’t sure just how well you stack up? Programmingbydoing (view website) might be able to help out there. It features a host of articles with discussions on the most problematic topics in Java. Going over these will not only help broaden your own ability, but it may also help you ascertain your progress.
Although Javacodegeeks (view website) may not be the best learning environment for a beginner, it is an essential online resource for those who are comfortable with the basics. The website hosts a vast number of documents, books, and tutorials that cover a variety of Java topics. Though there are resources that are beneficial to beginners, the incredible volume on offer may overwhelm you if you aren’t ready.
Learn Java – Online Courses: Wrap-Up
Now you have more than a few options to begin your journey in Java programming. Similar to any other language, the hours you put into practice will go a long way to determining how successful you end up becoming. It is easy enough to learn on your own, though tutorials could give you an edge, speeding up the process.
Even then, programming is an ever-evolving field, and even the most experienced of coders will routinely refresh themselves with not only updates to a language but also the basics. Make sure that you build a strong foundation from the start, concentrating on the fundamentals of both Java and programming languages in general. This will help you achieve success in the field of Java development.
What are the best Java online courses in your opinion? Feel free to add them in the comments below.
Reading: What is Java?
Image: Commons Wikimedia (Cguevara94)