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9 must learn decks to stay up to date with Java

Here are some tips for making the most of Java.

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Given the language’s enormous popularity, it’s no wonder so many organizations are clamoring to find a top-notch Java development company to facilitate their next project. After all, Java is ranked fifth in popularity according to Stack Overflow’s 2019 Developer Survey. It’s the driving force behind many Android and server-side applications, as well as trading applications used in finance.

If you are going to the Java outsourcing direction, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. That means if you’re a developer yourself, you need to stay ahead of the curve by keeping yourself up to date with the language and the trends and practices surrounding it. So, how do you do that? Here are some tips for making the most of Java.

Tap into the community

Java was first released in 1996. Since then, it has garnered a wide following and extensive community. Java developers have plenty of resources at their disposal. If you have a question, need some advice, are looking for ideas, or just want to connect with other programmers using the language, try resources like:

  • Social media
  • Blogs and websites
  • Forums and community sites, such as Reddit and GitHub

To further develop your skills, you should also check out courses and webinars. Some cities offer in-person community events and conferences for developers that you could attend to meet Java experts that could help you even more.

Learn libraries

Java libraries allow you to reuse pieces of code and can be a huge time-saver for Java development services. It’s enormously helpful to become familiar and comfortable with popular libraries, such as JUnit, Apache Commons, Spring Boot, SLF4J, and Google Guava. JUnit, for instance, facilitates unit testing, a crucial process in development. Keep in mind that these libraries are all open-source, meaning they’re free to use.

Learn frameworks

Java developers should also familiarize themselves with frameworks to better streamline their projects. Like libraries, frameworks offer prewritten code, but they also enable you to integrate your own code to customize it. Some popular Java frameworks include Spring, GWT, Hibernate, Grails, Dropwizard, and Blade. GWT, for example, stands for Google Web Toolkit and enables developers to produce client-side JavaScript applications via Java.

Google Web Toolkit, or GWT Web Toolkit, is an open-source set of tools that allows web developers to create and maintain complex JavaScript front-end applications in Java.

Bolster your skills

Whether you work for a Java development company or are a freelancer, chances are you have a strong technical skillset. But that doesn’t mean the learning is over. Java developers must continue to refresh their knowledge by reading the latest news and information, taking courses, and more.

In addition to technical skills, you should also improve and foster your soft skills. This will help make you more marketable to Java development services and prospective clients. For example, you’ll need strong communication skills to discuss and carry out projects, as well as critical thinking to work through issues and problems.

You’ll also need to collaborate with others and engage in teamwork. It’s difficult to teach someone these skills — you simply must pay attention to your own behaviors, practice, and learn from your mistakes.

Know the terms

This may seem basic, but it bears acknowledging: in order to land a job with a Java development company or secure clients, you must know the terminology. We’ve discussed libraries and frameworks, and you should also know terms such as object, abstraction, and others. If you’re not familiar with basic Java lingo, it’s best to consult books and articles aimed at beginning Java developers.

Pick up other languages

Even if you work for Java development services, you must have other tools in your arsenal. You may need to turn to additional languages to fully execute projects. Learning new programming languages will also make you a more marketable professional, given the range of projects you’ll be able to handle. You’ll also be able to work with more platforms and increase your coding range.

Consider Scala, among others, to get started. Scala has emerged as an alternative to Java. Some qualities include the ability to write shorter lines of code than in Java, making it more comprehensible and reusable, and more advanced functional programming features.

Get the latest version

Java has been around for several decades. Given the ever-changing technological landscape, Oracle is frequently releasing updates to the language, each offering fixes, and new capabilities. Staying up to date with Java means taking advantage of these releases so your program has maximal functionality.

For example, with Java 12, Oracle introduced the Shenandoah, an enhanced garbage collector that reduces pause times while memory is being freed up. The new feature allows more garbage collection to take place while the Java program is running, resulting in fewer pauses that could be obvious to the user.

Practice — and then practice some more

All skills require practice, and programming languages are no different. Java developers must flex their programming muscles regularly — not just through paid work. The cliche “practice makes perfect” is in our vernacular for a reason: you can’t become proficient in or excel at something unless you put in the time and effort.

Of course, as we’ve discussed, you can’t just practice the skills you already have. You should also engage with the community, read up on terminology and trends, learn important tools, and have the latest technology and programs at your disposal. Not only will you be well-equipped to carry out the tasks your Java development company asks of you, but you’ll also be a more competitive candidate for future work in a pool of qualified Java developers.

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