Finding Java Hard to Learn? 10 Resources to Make It Easier
Java is one of the most well-known and highly appreciated languages of software development today. It’s a cross-platform programming language used for back-end web technologies, desktop, and native mobile app development. Yet, with so many ways to deploy the language, it can be easy for beginners to feel intimidated by how many features and technologies there are to learn. So what’s the real truth behind Java? Is Java a language hard to learn for beginners? What can we do to make it easier to bring new developers into Java development teams?
Hiring Java developers is something we think about often. There are simply not enough engineers to meet the demands of every company and team building applications using the language today. We’ve written resource guides and articles to help teams recruit engineers, but the long-term solution is for new developers to learn the language and skills necessary for building modern applications.
In this article, we take a close look at whether Java is hard to learn for beginners. Building a detailed rundown of the features and functionality newcomers have to get to grips with when using the language and suggesting some resources that can make Java easy to learn for anyone.
Is Java Hard to Learn?
First developed throughout the early 1990s, Java was built to be a successor to the C programming language that was popular at the time. Having a more easily understood syntax and intuitive programming conventions were key features behind this design—making Java easier to learn and easier to use right from day one.
While many of the language’s extensive features and functionality are intimidating to beginners, programmers soon find them to be intuitive and understandable in day-to-day use after a short time. As an object-oriented language, beginners should invest a little time in understanding the principles and basics behind OOP (object-oriented programming) to gain a grasp on how systems are built from building blocks (objects) of code within the language.
One of the other major sticking points for developers just starting out in Java is the JVM (Java Virtual Machine). The JVM is the key part of the language that physically runs code on physical hardware. Understanding the JVM is key to knowing how Java works and how the language compares against technologies such as Python or C++. The JVM features prominently on our list of skills and tips for being a better Java developer and is a tool worth knowing about at any level of Java development.
The most important thing to know about making Java easy to learn is that it takes a willingness and perseverance to work at building, breaking, and re-building code to effectively learn how to use the language. Here, we’ve compiled a list of resources below to help you do just that in the most effective way possible.
10 Resources that Make Java Easier to Learn
While Java is comparatively easy to learn next to lower-level languages such as C, it’s still going to take time, patience, and persistence for those new to programming.
To make full use of the language, it can help to have easy-access guides and resources to direct you on the technologies and methods you should lean on to speed up your learning. Whether you prefer full-service courses, some quick tutorials, videos, or simply the necessary documentation to work from, we’ve compiled the resources to take you from learning to code in Java to being a fully-fledged Java engineer in just a matter of months.
Within our development teams, we have some of the top Java development companies available to be deployed today and a great many of their engineers, designers, and programmers came through boot camps and courses just like these.
One popular way to get started in the world of Java development is by taking intensive boot camp courses. These accelerated programs take you from day one of learning to program through to constructing advanced applications with real-world use cases.
Typically split over 10-25 weeks, these courses offer an immersive introduction to learning to program with Java and allow students to progress from stage one to fully-qualified junior software engineer in just a few months.
One of the few drawbacks to this approach is that the cost can be prohibitive to many. Java Bootcamp costs can range from $6,000 to $21,000depending on the location, course, and institution offering them.
Whether this intensive time- and money-investment is worth it for you is entirely dependent on your time restraints, requirements, and the level of knowledge you currently have in the field. We also have abundant lower-cost self-guided options that range from free to a few dollars a month that might better suit some engineers’ requirements.
In addition to formal boot camps, there are plenty of structured and unstructured online courses that can guide you to becoming a proficient Java developer. Invariably cheaper than a boot camp, these courses range in price from free up to $1000 with access to professional resources, tutors, and certificates to show the required skills to future employers.
To help you decide which specific courses, skills, and specializations are right for you our expert article on Java developer hiring trends has a comprehensive guide to the most in-demand skills and engineering requirements in the current marketplace.
Udacity (paid, $1000 USD)
Offering a self-titled Nanodegree over 3-months, Udacity’s online course provides access to professional tuition and programs designed to provide developers the chance to learn how to design, build, and test using the Java language. The mentoring, real-world experience, and support offered by tutors can help some learners get to grips with the language faster.
Udemy (paid, $15 USD)
One of the most popular low-cost Java courses to take is offered by the online learning hub Udemy. Offering a core set of Java skills developers will be able to take into many different kinds of Java roles, this is a well-recognized option at a great value.
In comparison to more traditional online courses and resources, CodeGym is a free learning tool designed to teach beginners the syntax and structure of Java programming. Unique to the platform, CodeGym has gamified its lessons and made learning the Java language easy and fun. As a free resource and one that can be easily picked up for fun, this can be a great place to start before picking up a more expensive and formal course.
Learn Java Online (Free)
For developers that prefer a more traditional textbook-style approach to learning, there are abundant resources available to help out. Sites such as Learn Java online are one example that provides everything you need to know to use the language productively. Starting students off with the basics, it’s a resource that includes everything necessary to move on to advanced language topics and begin using it to build fully-fledged software systems.
If a guided course or formal introduction isn’t quite to your tastes then there’s plenty of online documentation and language resources available to help you pick up and learn the language at your own pace. While newcomers might find it hard to learn the language this way, it’s an excellent resource for those with some experience in programming who are looking to broaden their skill set.
Oracle’s Java Documentation
Java was first developed and released by Sun Microsystems in 1995 and later acquired by software giant Oracle in 2010. Today, Oracle still maintains and updates the language, offering some outstanding tutorials and guides to support developers learning the language for the first time, or those brushing up on their skills before joining a Java team.
W3 Schools' resources are some of the best on the web when it comes to learning any language or technical topic. The site’s Java resources are no exception, with guides to teach everything from basic syntax to classes and architecture.
If you prefer to learn visually rather than through textbooks or tutorials then you can readily use online video resources to find classes and guides on how to build software from some excellent tutors. YouTube channel programming Knowledge has over one and a half million subscribers and regularly teaches people how to code in Python, Java, and c in addition to using technologies such as Linux and OpenCV.
Java Community Guidance
Whatever resources you lean on to introduce yourself to learning Java, there’s a strong backing of an abundant and resourceful online community to support your learning.
One of the best community resources is GitHub, a consistently growing repository of knowledge and code available for you to learn from. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of the language, you can learn exceptional amounts just by taking a look at open-source Java repositories and learning from their structure, syntax, and tools.
Undoubtedly the web’s best problem-solving community, Stack Overflow is a vast and knowledgeable community that you can lean on to ask questions, troubleshoot code, and learn new techniques to improve your knowledge and experience at a rapid rate of progress.
Is Java Easy to Learn?
The truth behind whether or not Java is hard to learn is more about the learner and the resources rather than the language itself. Choosing a style of study that fits how you learn, the time you have to study, and the time you have to put into the technology will make Java easy to learn and even easier to study for the right people.
Q1. Is Java Harder to learn than C++?
Java is much easier to learn than C++. For beginners, in particular, Java has a more friendly syntax, fewer memory management requirements for developers, and fewer language features than C++.
In programming terminology, C++ is known as a lower-level language when compared to Java. Lower-level languages work ‘close to the metal’ in managing how memory is allocated, how the software interacts with the computer’s hardware, and how the resources of the program itself are structured and allocated. Higher-level languages, such as Java, have a more automated approach to managing memory, interacting with the physical hardware through a simpler and more clearly defined interface instead.
In contrast, C++ is capable of greater efficiency and doing more with limited resources than Java, but these abilities come at the cost of increased developer input and a much steeper learning curve for new developers.
Q2. Is Java harder than Python?
Java is a harder language to learn than Python. One of the most distinctive features of Python is its exceptionally friendly and accessible syntax designed to be efficient with a developer’s time. Amongst the key reasons that Python has been the 4th most popular language for several years in a row is its accessibility and ease of use.
As a trade-off for this ease of use Python gives up some performance advantages, portability, and multi-threaded capabilities. When compared to Java, these can be significant and costly trade-offs to make as the language is built specifically to excel in these areas in addition to providing extensive libraries and application security to its developers.
Java development is often best suited to large, complex, and performance-critical systems for this very reason. Python, in contrast, is a great language to have in your toolbox for building rapid prototypes, small and simple tools, and getting work done at a rapid pace.
Q3. How fast can I learn Java?
You can learn to write Java in just a few weeks using freely available online tools and resources. Just 1-2 hours per day can have a large impact on a developer’s skills and abilities spread over weeks and months. Now, you don’t even need to install the tools, libraries, or Java development kit to get started—there are freely available online development environments such as online Java to let you start almost instantly.
The progression, from learning how to write a basic Java program to build complex software and systems is something that takes a bit more time—though it can be done using free resources and guides online. Starting with 1-2 hours a day, you can build up to writing non-trivial programs in just a few weeks. Within 3-4 months many will be capable of creating useful pieces of software from simple mobile applications to desktop applications and web servers. From there, additional skills are simply increasing mastery over your knowledge of the language and building an ever more valuable skill set in its use.
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