Know Java’s Strengths
Java is one of many programming languages in the IT industry. You might even know a few of these languages already, or may have heard of them – ASP, C, PHP are just a few examples. So, with all of these examples, why should you go with Java?
I’m not here to say that Java is the best or worst language. What I’d like to mention is that Java has its place, and you need to know it’s strengths. Java is a good language for large systems, and ones that need the performance and scalability that Java provides. It is probably not the best language choice for smaller projects or smaller websites – it’s possible but it’s not where Java’s strengths lie.
Download The Necessary Tools
To begin learning Java you’ll need to download the tools and software to develop with. You’ll need two things – the Java Development Kit (JDK) and a development environment (also known as an IDE, which stands for Integrated Development Environment). Some IDEs that are quite popular are NetBeans and Eclipse.
These are both available from the Java website. Once you’ve downloaded and installed them, it’s time to start learning the language.
Learn The Java Language
To become a Java developer you need to learn how to program in Java. If you already know some of it, that’s great – it’ll make this part easier. If not, you can learn how to program in Java from several sources:
– Courses at university or college. A lot of colleges or universities offer short courses and some may include Java development. This has the advantage of being in a group environment and having a teacher, rather than self-learning from a book or website.
– Web-based tutorials. Many websites offer tutorials on how to develop in Java, from beginner concepts to advanced topics. Do a Google search to find some that work for you.
– Textbooks – Buying a textbook is a good way to learn the language, as it also contains beginner and advanced concepts. Many of them have exercises and examples which are helpful.
Start Your Own Java Project
Once you’ve got the basics handled, you can start your own project to help advance your Java skills. This can be whatever you like. The aim is to practice and develop your Java skills, so you’re more knowledgeable about the Java development language and how to use the IDE. You’ll get practical experience on debugging, developing your own code, and sticking to best practices. These things should have been learnt from your tutorial or other learning methods, but putting them into use is a good way to enhance these skills.
Take The Next Step
Once you’re confident in your Java development abilities, it’s time to take the next step – getting that Java development job. This is probably the hardest part of the process. Many companies have different experience requirements, which can include certifications, degrees and professional experience.
If you’re just learning the language and have no professional experience, you should be looking for entry-level Java positions. These kind of positions may need some kind of certification or demonstration of your abilities. This is where your side project comes in – if you’ve built applications or web sites using Java then it can be used on your resume to help your chances.