Tips To Be A Better Java Developer
In 2021, Java remains one of the most popular programming languages in the world, with an incredibly big community. In fact, it’s listed as one of the ten most popular programming languages for students to learn today. The secret to its popularity is the constant evolution of the language and its adaptation to market demands and technological advancement.
If you’re a Java developer, you should always be looking to develop your skills and be prepared to work with the latest trends such as machine learning, reactive programming, mobile development, and many more.
Let’s take a look at the best tips for Java developers to improve their skills - and once you’re done, get in touch to find out how you can get involved in our community!
Java Developers Should Understand Java Virtual Machine
It’s not obligatory to understand how Java Virtual Machine (JVM) works in order to code in Java. However, if a developer dedicates some time and effort to understanding JVM and its basic components and processes, it will become much easier to solve complex issues in the future. In addition, understanding JVM will help developers better appreciate Java and significantly improve their skills.
A good place for any Java developer to start is to learn the following skills:
- The JVM components or subsystems: ClassLoader Subsystem, Runtime Data Area, Execution Engine
- JIT (which is part of JVM)
- JVM options (standard, non-standard, and advanced)
- Reading the GC logs
- Garbage Collection basics
It’s also beneficial for developers to learn about JVM performance optimisation in order to quickly identify any issues and bottlenecks, and create high-performing applications in an easier and faster manner.
Know the Basics
There are certain things that every Java developer should be familiar with. They are the basics of Java development and most employers require solid knowledge of these tools before hiring.
Learn Java 8 by Heart
Java 8 was released in 2014 but many developers are still not very familiar with its main features such as Stream API or lambda expressions. Considering the fact that most vacancies for Java developer positions now require a good knowledge of Java 8, developers need to learn it sooner rather than later to avoid being left behind. Once this has been mastered, developers can move on studying the key features of Java 9 and later Java versions too.
Learn Spring and Spring Boot
Spring Framework is the most popular framework used by Java developers so it’s imperative they have an excellent knowledge of it. In addition to Spring, developers should also look to master Spring Boot (which is a Spring iteration) and learn Spring MVC and Spring Cloud.
Good knowledge of Spring enables developers to build flexible and robust applications and it means they can work with micro-services which are among the hottest trends in modern development. To stay up to date, check out our article about the microservice trends in Java development.
Know the Most Popular Apis and Libraries
APIs and libraries help developers to create applications in a faster manner, so as a developer, you’ll want to learn the most popular. . Here are the tools that every Java developer should know:
- NoSQL databases
- APIs: OpenJDK, Android, Oracle, IS2T
The great thing about these tools is that they all come with detailed documentation and aspiring Java developers can reach out to the Java community for support. Find out more about the different tech stacks we work with here in the Pangea universe and consider getting to grips with some of the most popular ones.
If you are curious as to which skills are being sought after more in today’s marketplace, check out our article about the top Java development skills in demand right now.
Constantly Practice Coding
Practice makes perfect and this is 100% true for software development. The best Java developers spend no less than two hours per day on coding and solving various challenging tasks. A developer can create a small project of his own or take part in a coding challenge in order to stay motivated and constantly dedicate a certain amount of time to the act of coding.
Even though some senior Java developers start taking interest in managerial tasks such as team supervision, communication with the client, and tutoring, it’s important to remember that only constant practice will ensure they become better Java developers.
Get Acquainted With DevOps
DevOps is a set of practices that aims to unite the operation and development departments, increase the transparency of processes between the two and optimise the workflow.
DevOps supports Agile methodology and includes such practices as Infrastructure as Code, design of microservices instead of monoliths, continuous delivery and integration, and automated testing.
Even though DevOps does not directly impact a developer’s skills with Java, it is still useful to learn the above mentioned practices in order to optimise the working process.
Don’t Forget About Testing
Unit testing is one of the obligatory practices that still remains overlooked by many developers. Some people believe that testing knowledge isn’t necessary to be a good developer but that’s simply not true. Unit testing involves testing individual code units and therefore enables developers to pinpoint any possible issues.
If a developer hasn’t yet performed any testing, they should start with JUnit 5 Library as it’s the most popular testing tool in the Java community. Alternatively, Mockito and PowerMock are also used for unit testing.
In addition to unit testing, it’s useful for developers to learn other testing methods too, including integration testing, system testing and acceptance testing. By learning these methods and being able to apply them, a developer gets a 360-degree view of an application and can more easily identify issues and successfully resolve them.
Bonus Tip: Learn Other Languages
Nowadays, more and more developers are starting to adopt the practice of becoming a polyglot developer. That means they learn other programming languages in a related area. For Java developers, that would include Kotlin, Scala, and Groovy.
Such an approach offers many benefits. First, it greatly increases one’s employability as it indicates that a developer is flexible, open to new approaches, and is a good learner.
Second, it offers a variety of tools and practices to use which also expands the number of potential projects to work on. And finally, it helps developers become more open-minded and explore new things, which contributes to better motivation and satisfaction from work.
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