Learning a new language isn’t easy. Think back to high school. The foreign language requirement was never fun. Most students usually thought to themselves or voiced out loud, “Why do we even have to take this?”
Learning the definitions, syntax, and grammatical rules of a language that you hadn’t grown up speaking was often a pain.
Now you’ve moved past high school and possibly through college. You’ve decided that you want to become a software engineer. Guess what? You’re once again going to have to learn a “foreign” language. There’s good news this time — this language may take some time and effort to learn, but in the end, it’s going to be much easier.
It’s time to learn Java.
How To Master Java – The Basics
Most people hear the term “computer programming” and associate it with work that requires a refined education and developed technological skills. The truth is that learning how to master Java isn’t difficult. A novice can learn the basics within a couple of weeks.
It’s a language that’s very functional for beginners and has basic features and syntax. A few months of diligent effort is usually enough to become a career coder. The bottom line is, however, that if the goal is to get into more advanced coding, it’s essential to learn the basics first and how to get better at coding Java.
Some of the rudimentary elements to learn are as follows:
1. Learn Foundational Topics
- Class and Objects: One of the important elements to learn is that Java’s programming is “object-oriented.” Java organizes objects into “classes” and “superclasses.” This enables Java’s “reusability,” in that a programmer doesn’t need to re-define the same variables and functions.
- Java Variables: There are three types of variables — local, instance, and static. Each is a container that holds a value while Java executes the program. Java assigns each variable a data type, either primitive or non-primitive.
- Bytecode: Java Compiler (javc) compiles code into bytecode. This is an intermediate-level language that’s part of the Java platform. It is separate and apart from the machine on which the program runs.
- Path and Classpath: Java requires these “environment” variables to compile and run the program using the command (CMD) prompt.
2. Read Open-Source Frameworks Source Code
These code “frameworks” are structures of pre-written code that are free to everyone. A user can attach open-source coding to their code to solve problems. It’s not entirely unlike Java’s object-oriented and reusability features. People use open-source coding for many different applications.
3. Learn the Different Types of Java
One of the general ways to learn how to get better at Java is to learn the different types. There are four:
- Java Card: The most widely-used programming in SIM cards for mobile phones and in ATM cards
- Java Standard Edition (SE): The core of the Java programming language
- Java Micro Edition (ME): Language designed for devices such as Blu-ray players, mobile devices, mobile phones, and the Internet-of-Things (IoT).
- Java Platform, Enterprise Edition: an extension of SE; provides an environment for developing and running Enterprise software
Advanced Java Tips
There are different routes to becoming a Java programmer. One can earn a computer science degree through a college or university, work through the infinite number of online tutorials, sign up for an online coding boot camp, or learn some skills by playing online coding games.
If the goal is to learn how to master Java and acquire elite skills, however, there are activities to which a person should dedicate time:
4. Join Forums and Newsletters
As a person moves on to more advanced coding skills, it’s important to connect with others in the coding community to learn how to get better at Java. The Java community is global, friendly, and dynamic. A person can ask any questions or seek a solution to a problem. Popular sites for Java coders are Java Ranch, Reddit, Stackoverflow, and CodeGym.
5. Practice Java Online
One can improve their skills with extensive practice online. A person can find coding challenges on any or all of the following sites:
- Codechef: Created to help programmers make it big, Codechef is a competitive programming community that deals with algorithms, computer programming, and programming contests.
- CodingBat Java: Any developer can visit this free site to learn to work through live Java coding problems.
- CodeCademy: A site that provides a user with a series of courses and lessons about items such as variables, object-oriented programming, web development, and data science
Resources for How to Get Better at Java
Use this list of resources to get better at coding Java and start your coding career strong.
- Core Java, Volume 1: Provides a deep and practical understanding of the Java language
- Java The Complete Reference: An excellent reference for anyone interested in coding in Java; very clear examples and concrete explanations that are easy to understand
- Java Code Geeks: Daily news written by domain experts, articles, tutorials, reviews, announcements, code snippets, and open source projects
- Java World: Lots of useful tips on writing Java with useful tutorials and reference papers
- The Java Source: Insider news from Oracle’s Java team
- Java Platform: Videos from the Java community and Oracle about OpenJDK and the Java ecosystem
- vJug: Live-streams conferences, webinars, user group meetings, and interviews with some of the most famous Java experts
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