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Learn Java

A Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning Java

First developed in 1991, Java remains extremely popular and widely used today. It is both an object-oriented programming language and a software platform. Developers value Java because it is portable across platforms and adaptable to various contexts. Businesses appreciate Java developers because of the versatility of their skills. Java is the standard for enterprise computing, employed by 90% of Fortune 500 companies. Several key technologies of today, such as the Android mobile operating platform, run on Java. Learning Java can help one become qualified for several careers, including Web Developer, Data Scientist, and User Experience Designer.

Java is both an object-oriented programming language and a software platform. Developers value Java because it is portable across platforms and adaptable to a wide range of contexts. If you’ve always wanted to learn Java but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn Java, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use Java. 

What is Java?

Java is both an object-oriented programming language and a software platform in itself. Its creators designed it as a “write once, run anywhere” tool. It is portable, scalable, and adaptable. An app created in Java can function across multiple platforms and over distributed networks. This flexibility makes the Java language widely useful and Java coders highly desirable to employers. Professions that use Java include Web Developer, Mobile App Developer, User Experience Designer, Data Scientist, Game Designer, and Laboratory Scientist.

Java’s modular nature allows developers to take existing pieces of code that are useful to them and then combine those modules in a new context for a new purpose. Also, programs in Java do not need to be compiled because the virtual Java Runtime Environment tool interprets the code and translates it for the computer you are using. Java’s portable and adaptable nature allows it to serve a wide range of use cases. For this reason, it has become the chosen tool of key players in the technology space: for example, the Android operating system is based on Java code. In addition to being critical for mobile app development, Java is also a crucial skill for Web Developers. It is also used for data science, game design, user experience design, and scientific applications. Many employers are eager to hire Java coders because the language is highly flexible, with many possible use cases and adaptations to new contexts.

Read more aboutwhat Java is and why you should learn it. 

What Can You Do with Java?

Knowing Java means you can code across multiple operating systems and hardware architectures without modifying your programs for a new environment. Because it is an object-oriented programming language, Java allows you to create modular units of code that you can reuse in any Java program, even across platforms and environments. You can quickly adapt code created for one use case to apply in another, as Java is highly flexible and adaptable for novel contexts. So as exciting new technologies arise, your knowledge of Java will remain relevant and desirable to employers.

Using Java also speeds up the development cycle. This is due to its unique interpretation process, which allows developers to sidestep much of the routine testing and debugging necessary when coding in other programming languages. You can use the Java Runtime Environment to keep your applications robust with its automatic memory management. The JRE also supports robust graphic interfaces through multithreading. Another advantage is that its built-in virus and tamper protection keeps your code secure.

With Java, you can build mobile applications for the Android platform and, in some cases, for iOs. If you’re into big data, you can use Java to analyze large datasets with open-source tools like Hadoop and Spark. Java’s “write once, run anywhere” functionality makes it perfect for writing cloud-based applications and powering data collection within them. Though machine learning is typically associated with Python, libraries such as Deep Learning for Java and MLib make it easy to take advantage of Java’s speed and security by providing a stable environment for deep learning or machine learning processes. Another great application for Java is programming smart household devices. Java is also useful for game design, both mobile and desktop. 

Careers that Use Java

As you consider learning Java, you’re probably curious about what professions it would help you become qualified for. Since Java is portable across many platforms and use cases, it’s a desirable skill in a variety of careers.

Professions that use Java include:

  • Software Developer/Web Developer: Java is a crucial skill for Software Developers due to its versatility. Businesses find employees who can code in Java highly desirable because they can have the same developers work on a wide range of projects. Programmers can use Java for everything from back end web development to writing code for hardware controller boards like the Arduino. The outlook for job growth for software developers is strong, 25% higher than the current average.
  • Data Scientist: Java is useful for data science because of the free frameworks and libraries available. The Hadoop framework allows Data Scientists to work across networks or clusters of computers when analyzing data. Java’s open-source libraries include several that facilitate deep learning processes.
  • Mobile App Developer: Given that the Android mobile operating platform runs on Java, knowing how to code in this language is crucial for many Mobile App Developers. They use Java to build native apps and as a flexible tool to create modular sections of code that can be run both on desktop and mobile.
  • Game Designer: Java allows game designers to build cross-platform games cheaply and efficiently. Naturally, Java is a key tool for designers who develop their games as mobile apps, including mobile-only games and those created for both desktop and mobile. But the designers of purely desktop games sometimes use Java as well, especially if they want their games to run fast. However, console game designers typically do not use Java because the Virtual Machine that makes Java code work is not installed on most video game consoles. 
  • User Experience (UX) Designer: While UX Designers are quite different from developers, they sometimes use coding to create basic prototypes of the apps or websites they design. Knowing how to code in Java allows a UX Designer to work across multiple platforms, which is helpful in the extremely varied projects that can come up in user experience design.

Laboratory Scientist: Most scientists who create custom programs for laboratory analysis do so in Java. It is currently the industry standard in the sciences. 

Why Learn Java?

Java’s portability makes those who learn it highly versatile coders. Once you know Java, you can code across platforms and environments without learning a new language. After you create a module of code in Java, you can use it over and over whenever you want to, without having to rewrite it for a new context. Business owners often choose Java, not only due to its flexibility but also because it is relatively easy to learn, especially for those with previous coding experience. So, once you navigate that learning curve, you’ll have many employment options to choose from. Java is useful in many careers, from web development to data science to game design. It is particularly important for those who want to develop mobile apps because it is the base language for the Android mobile operating system.

From the coder’s perspective, working in Java is efficient because the Java Runtime Environment interprets the code for the computer your app is running on, saving you several steps that would be necessary when using other programming languages. The JRE also has built-in protections to make your code more secure. Java’s cross-platform flexibility makes it highly adaptable to new use cases, so if you want to work on exciting new technologies, your Java skills will likely apply there. 

Read more about why you should learn Java.

How to Learn Java

Live classes in Java, whether in-person or live online, allow students to ask questions as they come up and receive immediate feedback from instructors. Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me tool can show you several options for live instruction. If you prefer to study on-site, the tool lets you see in-person Java classes in your area. Noble also has a list of live online Java courses you can take from anywhere. 

Some students prefer a self-paced, asynchronous course that fits better into their busy lives. If that’s you, take a look at these options for on-demand Java courses. They include classes at varying skill levels that cover various topics related to Java. The lessons are typically in video format, with some requiring a subscription to a particular school’s platform.

To learn more about Java for free, take a look at Noble’s video playlist on web design and development. If you prefer reading over watching videos, check out this hub of Java articles, tutorials, and resources. For a broader view of the process you’re seeking to begin, you can read this Noble article on learning to code. You may also want to look at Noble’s comprehensive list of available Java classes.

Read the full guide on how to learn Java

Free Introductory Java Course Online 

If you’re not ready to take on an entire course yet, you can still discover the world of Java through the many free online resources available. Udemy offers a free introductory course for absolute beginners. They also have free tutorials on specialized topics, like integrating Java with MySQL, that you might want to check out later in your Java studies. The free Introduction to Java course on Coursera will take you through the operators and syntax you’ll need to write simple Java code. Udacity and freeCodeCamp each offer several free Java courses, including beginner programs. Free courses are a good option for students to learn the basics of Java, but if you want to delve deeper, you’ll likely benefit from making a financial investment in your studies.

Read about morefree Java videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

Java is free to download, as are many of its frameworks and libraries. It is also easy to learn, especially if you have previous coding experience. And even if you don’t know any other programming languages, Java is reasonably beginner-friendly. While its lengthy syntax sometimes causes confusion, familiarizing yourself with basic concepts ahead of time can ease the learning process. It’s also important to get assistance from others who have more experience with the language. Finding a mentor will make it easier for you to navigate Java’s challenges. Java also has a large, supportive international community. Your fellow Java coders and the tools they’ve built, such as the many free frameworks and libraries available, can help your learning experience go more smoothly. Especially if you’re pursuing a self-paced course, Java discussion forums will be an essential resource for you.

Before learning Java, you should have basic computer skills. It’s also important to identify what you want to do with Java by researching the professions that use it. This will help you understand the best way to pursue your studies. In addition, you may want to investigate other possible languages to study for your purposes. That way, you’ll make an informed decision, which will help you be fully committed and motivated if you choose to study Java.

Read more about how difficult it is to learn Java

How Does Learning Java Compare to Other Languages?

As you consider whether you want to learn Java, you may wonder how it compares to other programming languages you might study instead. The languages most comparable to Java are Python, JavaScript, and R.

Like Java,Python is an object-oriented programming language. Java and Python are organized around “objects,” units of code that programmers can reuse and combine in a modular fashion to serve different purposes. While Python is highly sought after for coding in data science, Data Scientists also code in Java because of useful frameworks like Hadoop and the many open-source Java libraries that facilitate deep learning. Some instructors consider Python easier to learn than Java because the language is more intuitively readable for human beings on a first encounter.

It is important not to confuse Java with JavaScript, as they are completely separate languages, but it is still worthwhile to compare them. JavaScript allows developers to add interactive components to websites and apps. This language is used for front end web development, while Java is used on the back end. Both JavaScript and Java are highly desirable skills for full stack web developers. While Java is fairly beginner-friendly, JavaScript is a complex language to understand if you’re unfamiliar with HTML and CSS.

Like Python, R is particularly useful in data science, though it is not nearly as popular today as Python is. R’s creators designed it specifically for data analysis.This language is known for being difficult to learn because of its unusual syntax.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Java

You may wonder how to choose the right way to study Java that will fit your situation and needs. The most important thing to consider is what you aim to use the skill for. You’ll also want to consider your level of experience, what you are willing to invest in this learning process, and whether you prefer an in-person, live online, or on-demand Java course.

If you’re a beginner who’s not looking to spend any money yet, you can use free introductory classes to get a high-level overview of the field. Udemy and Coursera both offer free introductory Java courses. While this method can be suitable for beginners, free classes typically do not offer the opportunity to work directly with an instructor, which can be vital when starting out in a field.

Beginner or not, if you want to develop a solid working knowledge of Java, a bootcamp may be right for you. The in-depth study a Java bootcamp offers can help you close this gap in your skills, which could help you advance in your current role or find a new one. Noble Desktop’s Java bootcamp prepares students for the Java SE 11 Programmer 1 Exam, an important credential for job seekers. In Noble’s small classes, students work closely with expert instructors who can answer their questions, offer clarification, and give feedback directly.

There are several options for high school or college students who want to learn Java, including taking courses with Noble through its partner school, NextGen Bootcamp. Beginners can attend NextGen’s summer Java program in-person or live online. NextGen’s expert instructors work directly with students in this project-based training environment.

Learn Java with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop offers several options for studying Java. Its small class sizes and expert instructors make for an ideal learning environment. And if you want to enhance your knowledge further, you can always retake the class—for free. With both in-person and live online options available, you can learn Java in whichever way best fits your needs.

Noble’s Java bootcamp is a great way to learn Java quickly and well. You can do the bootcamp either in-person or live online. This program teaches practical Java skills and the computer science principles that form the foundation of Java’s effectiveness. The course covers object-oriented programming, recursion, and data structures. You’ll also discover the secrets of the interpretation process that streamlines the creation of a new program in Java. By the end of the course, you’ll be ready to pass the Java SE 11 Programmer 1 Exam, helping you qualify for entry-level coding positions. In addition to the bootcamp, some of Noble’s other coding classes also include instruction in Java.

High school and college students can take summer Java classes through NextGen Bootcamp, Noble’s partner school. For those who can attend an in-person program in New York City, NextGen offers a Java programming summer camp. This 50-hour course culminates in each student creating a final project in Java, which they can include in their portfolio when applying for computer science programs. The camp also gives students a head start preparing for their AP Computer Science exam. Students who can’t make it to NYC have another option: NextGen’s live online summer Java program. Though different in the delivery method, this course offers the same content, final project, and exam preparation as the in-person course. 

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