Software developers today utilize hundreds of programming languages, but none are as widely used, versatile, or transferrable as Java. Thanks to Java’s many benefits and capabilities, this beginner-friendly programming language has remained in high demand across industries, including small businesses and fortune 500 companies, for over a quarter century.
Still, you may wonder, with hundreds of useful programming languages out there, why learn Java? Today we will explore why Java is foundational for backend developers and how it can advance your career in tech.
Java Developers are some of the most in-demand tech professionals in the industry. They work with Java to design and build innovative applications and websites. These developers specialize and dedicate their time to learning and implementing Java, a server-side language for most backend development projects.
Whether Java is a hobby, passion, or pathway to level up your career, here are our top 7 reasons to learn Java Programming.
From web to mobile to desktop, Java is found in virtually all operating systems. Used commonly along with business applications and Android mobile operating systems, the Java programming language is constantly updated to keep up with industry trends and can support many languages across its platform.
Although languages such as Python, HTML/CSS, and SQL have risen in popularity over the last few years, Java has been widely used by large IT corporations like Google, Amazon, LinkedIn, Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter for decades thanks to its usability and versatility. According to recent data collected on Java users, the largest industries to use Java include Computer Software and Information Technology, with 69% of all companies using Java being small (<$50 million per year), 8% being medium ($50 million to $1000 million per year), and 16% being large (>$1000 million per year). This means small businesses especially rely on the accessibility and simplicity of this core programming language.
Java was designed to be beginner-friendly, creating a safe environment for new developers to play with the language and make mistakes. While it is simple to use, Java is a diverse and high-level language, allowing users to focus on programming rather than more complex machine details. In fact, Java’s advanced memory management tools take care of memory allocation, reallocation, and deallocation automatically through a software tool called the Garbage Collector. Additionally, Java has English-like syntax with minimum magic characters, making it easy to read and learn Java programs.
For any aspiring programmer, the benefits of learning Java are foundational to learning subsequent coding languages such as C, C#, C++, Python and others. This is because Java teaches new coders how to think like a programmer, working through processes with logic and testing out ideas. It’s no wonder, then, that Java is often the most common coding language taught in many Computer Science programs.
Not only is Java universally used in tech, but it is easily scalable and most importantly, highly portable, as it must be executed through a cross-platform compatible Java Virtual Machine (JVM). This JVM sends appropriate platform specific instructions to your computer, meaning if a developer writes code once it can easily be transferred to another system on practically any computing device. Java also enables developers to create software on modern application pillars which are secure, robust, and scalable, making Java a versatile choice for computers, applications, gaming consoles, and more. It’s no wonder Java is well known as the “write once, run anywhere” programming language.
Need help? The Java community has you covered. Java has active forums, open-source libraries, and Java user groups for every skill level. Thanks to its long-standing popularity, most Java problems have already been solved, with any question imaginable asked, tested, answered, and posted online in one of the many programmer communities. Java’s staying power also means it’s easy to connect with other passionate and knowledgeable Java programmers via social media, meetups, subreddits, and other online support and networking communities.
Just take the popular code sharing site GitHub, which contains almost 2 million Java projects and counting. This site alone contains active discussion boards on issues and common topics related to Java use. It’s easy to see how coding beginners, seasoned professionals, and everyone in between can easily build confidence and access resources thanks to the wealth of Java community support.
Software developer roles are expected to grow by 22% over the next decade, with backend developers in high demand thanks to their specialized skill set. Further, the nationwide average base salary for backend developers sits at $80,000 – 54% more than the median income in the United States. These statistics bode well for Java Developers, who are some of the highest paid programmers in the industry. In fact, Java Developers today make an average of $91,465 per year, with salaries remaining competitive with other common language developers.
The tech landscape is ever changing, with developers looking to learn the hottest new languages and frameworks to give them an edge. While staying current is important, it can also be costly and ultimately unfruitful when industry trends change. Thus, with new languages and technologies coming and going, the importance of Java cannot be overstated. Once programmers learn the Java basics, they can use their skills to specialize in web development, game development, app development and more, not to mention pivot their skills to more easily learn other languages. One thing’s for sure – thanks to its mature tools and libraries, stellar reputation, and entrenchment in the tech industry, Java will remain foundational for the next quarter century and beyond.
Ready to take the next step and learn Java yourself? Lambda School is launching an immersive new Backend Web Development Program, jointly developed with Amazon. This structured, accessible, and affordable course will help developers learn crucial backend programming skills, including software engineering, data structures and algorithms, and other core backend skills including a focus on Java programming.
This 9-month, full-time program will include 1,300 hours of hands-on coding experience and will teach the practical skills required at companies like Amazon, without needing a 4-year CS degree. In addition, Lambda School’s industry experts will prepare students to network, get out of their comfort zones, and create outstanding portfolios aligned with industry standards to ready graduates for the job market.
Ready to start your Java training? Learn more about Lambda School’s rigorous new Backend Development Program and how it can prepare you with the programming skills you need to level up your career.