When you’re shopping on Amazon, binging sitcoms on Netflix, or playing a game on your phone, you’re enjoying an experience made possible by one of the most powerful programming languages in the world: Java.
Java is one of the key ingredients used to build the applications and tech we interact with every day, like laptops, car navigation systems, and Android apps. It’s an incredibly versatile language, which means it’s a valuable language, and computer programmers and developers who know Java are in high demand across all industries.
Whether you’re just interested in brushing up your coding skills or trying to land your dream job as a programmer, having Java in your toolbelt is a must.
In addition to being fast and secure, Java is adept at handling massive amounts of data. That makes it especially valuable for scientific application, natural language processing, and device programming. Java is free to access, and perhaps its biggest appeal is that it’s a “write once, run anywhere” code. That means an application written in Java can be run on almost every platform there is, including older computers.
Java is a must-know programming language, particularly for backend web developers, but it can also be tricky to learn. Java changes regularly, and while many of its concepts are simple, others are abstract, making them more difficult to learn.
John Mitchell, a Java instructor at Lambda School, said, “Learning programming – learning Java – is hard. It is difficult. If it wasn't, everyone would be doing it. When I first began studying Java, my thoughts were ‘this is hard,’ and ‘this will never catch on.’ Twenty five years later, I am shouting Java's praises from the mountain tops! Yes, you will get frustrated. Yes, you will want to quit. And yes it is hard, but it is the hard that makes it good."
No matter your skill level, there are a plethora of resources online that can help you become a Java pro at zero cost to you. Here are just five.
If you’re just beginning your Java journey and looking to work your way up to pro status, Beginners Book is a great (and vast) resource. Beginners Book offers over 500 free Java tutorials users can explore at their own pace. Each tutorial is listed in order from least difficult to advanced, with subject matter that includes Java Virtual Machine (JVM) basics, OOPs tutorials, exception handling tutorials, collection tutorials, and more.
If you don’t know where to start, want to learn about features you’re unfamiliar with, or you prefer independent learning, Beginners Book is a nice jumping off point that gives you lots to explore.
One of the most popular free Java courses on the net comes from Udemy. Over 1.5 million people have participated in Udemy’s “Java Tutorial for Complete Beginners,” and with a 4.5 star rating and over 92,000 reviews, it’s definitely worth exploring.
Udemy’s beginning Java course consists of 74 on-demand video lectures (just over 16 hours worth of content) that introduce complete beginners to core Java principles and features, such as loops, arrays, linked lists, and more. The course is divided into nine sections that you can work through at your own pace.
If you’re not a beginner, Udemy has a wide selection of intermediate Java and programming courses to choose from, many that are also highly rated.
Coursera, like Udemy, offers options for both beginners and intermediate learners to learn Java. Coursera’s Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals Specialization consists of five courses that teach the basics of programming and software development. Intermediate Java programmers looking to one-up their skills might look into Coursera’s Object-Oriented Programming course. Both courses have been designed by experts in the industry to give students the opportunity to build their own Java projects and portfolios.
Coursera offers a 7-day free trial so prospective students can dip their toes into a class and see if it’s something they’d like to participate in. From that point, students can either pay to take a full, certificated course—a great option for coders looking to build their resumes—or they can audit most of the course material for free without a certificate.
Educative’s “Learn Java From Scratch” course
Educative is an interactive, text-based learning platform that allows users to learn and practice Java basics in a live-code environment from their browsers. Like Coursera, Educative offers a free trial experience, an audited experience, and a certificated experience. Because the course is text-based, however, it offers a quicker and more independent learning experience than other online Java courses. Educative’s course consists of quizzes, challenges, and playgrounds where students can flex what they learn and put it into practice.
If courses and lectures aren’t quite your style, CodeGym has put a unique twist to Java learning: they’ve made it a game. At CodeGym, coders complete quests that center on Java fundamentals, working their way up through different levels and unlocking new material as they complete tasks. Tasks can be as simple as copying code to writing a program, and digital mentors are there to guide students through the process. It’s an unconventional way to learn Java, but also a fun one.
Java is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to becoming a developer—there are so many languages, frameworks, and skill sets to learn! If you’re looking to go beyond Java and take the next steps to become a full-fledged developer, look no further than Lambda School.
Lambda School’s new full-time Enterprise Backend Development course, jointly developed with Amazon, gives coders a deep and immersive education into the fundamental skills every programmer needs to excel at their craft. Industry experts will help you become familiar with skills like backend fundamentals, Java programming, data structures and algorithms, software engineering, and more. You’ll get to work with other talented developers on real-life projects, network with representatives from some of the biggest companies in the world, and you’ll be prepared to land an entry-level software developer job upon graduation.
And don’t worry about paying thousands in upfront tuition: at Lambda School, you’ll pay absolutely nothing until you’re hired in a qualifying position and making $50k or more after you graduate.
Applications for Lambda School’s new backend program open on July 6th. To kickstart your exciting new career as a software developer, register for email updates and be the first to know when we launch.