If you are considering a career in software development, you will need to know at least one programming language. For this reason, many aspiring developers are inquiring on what is java and we’re here to answer just that.

Deciding on which one can be hard because every programmer has a favorite. The reality is the best programming language is the one best suited for the task at hand.

That being said, Java is an excellent choice for beginners. But what is Java anyway? It is designed to be a write-once-run-anywhere (WORA) language.

What is Java?

Java is an object-oriented, concurrent language.  It is an all-purpose language that is class-based and runs on any platform and with as few dependencies as possible.  The run time code operates in the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) as compiled code.

History Behind The Language

James Gosling of Sun Microsystems, along with his team, developed the first version in 1991.  It was designed to run a variety of computer processors that controlled home appliances.

In 1994, Gosling realized that the language would be ideal for web browsers. That connection has stayed with Java as it is often considered the language of the web.

According to legend, Java was originally called Oak until it was discovered that a programming language already existed with that name.

Traditionally, the developers of a language name it, so Gosling and his team were forced to find another name.

After hours of brainstorming, the group went out for coffee — and Java was born.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is used to develop client-side scripts that run in browsers. Its primary use is for validation and interactivity.

You may have heard about JavaScript and thought it was somehow related.  It’s not. The only thing they really have in common is Java, and that was done purposefully by Netscape in the 1990s.  JavaScript was originally named LiveScript.

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Because Java was becoming a popular programming language, Netscape chose JavaScript to increase its acceptance.

JavaScript is a text-based language that does not require compiling. The two languages require different plug-ins to operate.

JavaScript is an object-oriented scripting language, while Java is an object-oriented programming language. Both have their uses in the web development world.

If you are interested in both client- and server-side development, then both languages would be of use in your career.  Most programmers recommend taking Java first.

Why Learn Java?

If you’ve heard that it’s old school; that it is going away as a programming language, it’s not.

According to the TIOBE‘s January 2020 programming language index, Java is the top programming language, followed by C and Python.

The top two languages have been around for 20 and 50 years, respectively. The age of a language doesn’t make it obsolete.

It’s Not Just For Web

From the beginning, it has been associated with the web.  It has become the go-to language for server-side development projects.

Recently, it has become the primary language for developing Android apps. It executes faster with fewer bugs, and it is backwards compatible with early versions.

Backward compatibility is critical for business applications. Without it, programs would have to be rewritten after a new release and the most current is version 8.

Easy to Learn

Not everyone would agree that Java is easy to learn, but it is.  Why? It’s simple.

It doesn’t require high-level math, and it is logic-based, which makes it easier to follow. The language reads like English, and it minimizes the use of special characters. Additionally, when it is compiled, it is easier to locate errors.

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Since it has been around as a computer programming language for 20 years , there is a wealth of information to help you understand it.  There are lots of Java libraries and a stable framework.

There are even code samples to guide you through specific implementations.  Java programmers represent a powerful online community that can help answer questions.

Programmers Are Needed

Java programmers are still needed for server-side development.  They are also in demand for creating mobile applications under the Andriod operating system.

The median salary for a web programmer was $84,280, but the annual salary can range from $82,000 to $100,000.  The difference in pay depends on whether you are in software development or programming.

What Do Java Programmers Do?

Java computer programmers write and test code that lets applications function correctly.  Programmers may test applications and programs to ensure they work as designed.

If not, computer programmers locate the errors and correct them.  Programmers typically do the following:

  • Write programs
  • Update existing software applications
  • Enhance existing programs
  • Test programs for errors
  • Correct coding errors
  • Create and test code in an IDE
  • Use code libraries to simplify the writing

In some areas, the work of programmers overlaps with those of software developers.  When that happens, programmers may take on the responsibilities of developers, such as program design, model creation, documentation, writing and debugging code.

Who Uses Java?

Despite what you read, many companies, especially those in the financial sector, use the language including:

  • Capital One
  • JP Morgan
  • Microsoft
  • Intel

Plus, there are numerous software development companies that specialize in Java development.  Your career choices are not limited if you’re a programmer of this type.

A Passion for Change

If you’re ready to begin a career as a Java developer, there’s no better time than now.  The demand for Android-based mobile apps continues to grow.

Server-side projects for the web aren’t going away.  Plus, large corporations such as Microsoft or JP Morgan have large code databases that must be supported.

If your passion is computers and you’re ready to change, we are available!

We will pair with you with a partner program and help with a full curriculum powered by Woz U.

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