How to Learn Java

Java is an object-oriented coding language. It’s brought notable interactivity to the web. Today, Java is used in cell phones, financial computers, app development and more.

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Java is unique from other coding languages because it allows code to be written once and run anywhere. Other coding languages may need to be translated by a compiler and put into instructions for devices, but Java may be written the same way for various platforms. While some people may confuse Java and JavaScript due to a similar name, they are not related. Though JavaScript was first created as a companion to Java, the two don’t have any modern-day connections. 

Keep reading to find out  how Java is used and tips for how to learn the computer language.

How Is Java Language Used?

Java is the server-side language used for most back-end development projects. It’s also used for numerical computing in big data projects, gaming, and desktop and mobile computing. 

Some of the basic aspects of Java language include variables, operators, expressions, statements and blocks, and control flow statements. 

Software developers enjoy Java for a variety of reasons. First, it’s highly portable, which makes it easy to use it on a variety of platforms and applications. Second, as an object-oriented language, it makes complex problems easier to solve by providing a modular format that’s reusable. This makes testing and troubleshooting easier. Next, its code is reliable, secure and robust because it isn’t prone to errors. Finally, it’s arguably simpler to learn than other languages like C and C++. 

Java works by creating objects using classes defined by attributes (data) and behaviors (methods). These data sets may be replicated. Other features like inheritance help simplify the code. Inheritance works by linking similar but different objects with common attributes and behaviors. This way, common code may be used while notating differences. 

Overall, Java is a useful language for creating code that’s stable across many uses. That’s why it’s the backbone of many back-end website development projects and used in Android app development, game development, desktop applications and more.

What Do I Need to Know Before Learning Java?

For those looking into how to learn Java, some basic coding skills may be helpful. These technological and educational prerequisites may be beneficial:

  1. Download the right technology. To get started coding, download the right software to run various programs. This Oracle site may help you figure out what you need to get started. 
  2. Keep your problem-solving, reasoning and math skills sharp. A solid foundation of problem solving and math helps any aspiring programmer. Consider brushing up on the basic math skills one may need to understand coding and algorithms. 
  3. Learn the basics of an object-oriented language. Besides Java, some other object-oriented languages are Python, Ruby and C. Understanding the basic elements of object-oriented languages, including encapsulation, abstraction, inheritance and polymorphism may make learning Java easier. 
  4. Go to the source. Some Java sources offer resources that may provide an overview of what Java is, how to use text and numbers in Java, arrays, conditions, loops, classes, objects, inheritance and interfaces. Oracle offers a certification in Java foundations and a more advanced certificate in Oracle Java SE 8 Programmer. Certification with Oracle offers aspiring coders recognized acknowledgement of your skills. 
  5. Attend a Bootcamp. Coding bootcamps offer a convenient, affordable way to learn. Some bootcamps give students access to world-renowned teachers and help students interact and share information from anywhere on the globe. Many bootcamps are blended learning environments where you have access to supplemental learning in addition to class time. 
  6. Find the right learning environment for you. Ultimately, how to learn Java involves leaning into your preferred learning style. Whether self-study, a course or tech bootcamp, many options exist for learning Java. Stack Overflow is an online community for aspiring programmers and advanced ones alike. Review forums to learn how others learned Java and what programs they recommend. 

Tips and Strategies for Learning Java

Learning any new skill can be difficult. With a few simple strategies, how to learn Java may become a bit easier. Here are some strategies to help you learn Java: 

  • Code on paper. Writing out your code by hand may help reinforce what you know, rather than relying on the computer to generate code for you. This is a great technique to test yourself and make sure you really understand the language. 
  • Focus on fundamentals. While it may be tempting to chase after advanced concepts, it’s important to master the fundamentals first. Focusing on the fundamentals may even accelerate the learning process; once you understand the basics, you may begin studying advanced concepts.
  • Seek out online resources. Find resources you like in a format you enjoy. Whether it’s a blog, video, forum or free course, finding a source of additional information may help you on the learning journey. 
  • Practice teaching. While it may be hard to find a captive audience of friends to listen to you explain coding, you may find other students with whom you can practice your teaching of basic concepts.
  • Maintain a fast typing speed. Keeping up your typing speed is another core competency when coding because it’s beneficial to type as fast as you think. Being a slow typer may cause confusion or frustration, causing your learning to take longer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you ready to investigate how to learn Java and gain valuable skills related to a popular programming language? This section covers frequently asked questions related to Java. 

If you have additional questions about Java or are interested in other programming languages, explore the best programming language to learn for you

Can I teach myself Java?

While it’s possible to teach yourself coding, it may be quicker to join a class, bootcamp or formal learning program. Before diving into a class or bootcamp, you may consider teaching yourself some Java fundamentals. You may even continue teaching yourself supplemental concepts as you study through a formal program. If you decide to teach yourself Java, be mindful of knowledge gaps; you simply don’t know what you don’t know. Another difficult aspect of self-teaching is making sure your sources are reliable. There’s a number of information sources available so be sure to find credible ones. 

Is it easy to learn Java?

Java is a high-level, beginner-friendly language. High-level languages are written in English and are closer to natural human language, whereas low-level languages are harder to learn and are closer to computer language. Because Java is such a widely used high-level language, many resources exist to help you learn it. If you have any experience with object-oriented languages, it may be easier to learn Java. 

How long will it take to learn Java?

How long it takes you to learn Java depends on multiple factors, such as your previous coding experience, how much time you spend learning Java and how you choose to learn the programming language. If you’re doing self-study, it may take longer than if you learn in a course or bootcamp. However, how much time you devote to your studies—whether you’re teaching yourself or learning through a formal program—may significantly affect how quickly you learn Java.

Last updated: January 2021