The demand for Java skills isn’t slowing down. In fact, as was pointed out in our last consultant focused blog post, “The Most In-Demand Programming Languages,” Java is one of the most highly demanded computer programming languages among employers. So, here is what you need to know about the programming language, how to get a job in it, and how to keep your Java skills up-to-date.
As stated in our previous blog post, Java is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language which contains several factors that make it ideal for web-based development. The language, which was developed by Sun Microsystems in the early 90s, can be run on virtually any platform (Windows, Mac OS, UNIX, etc.). As one of the most popular programming languages in use, it is intended to let application developers “write once, run anywhere” (WORA), meaning that compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation. In today’s marketplace, Java is primarily used to develop enterprise-level applications for video games and mobile apps and is the core foundation for developing Android apps. Those in the field can expect to make anywhere from $74,000 to $130,000 per year.
The Role of a Java Developer
Java developers create dynamic computer applications and websites using the Java programming language. Java developers may be involved in all stages of application development, from conception and design to testing, production, and any ongoing maintenance. Other responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Designing, implementing and maintaining Java application phases
- Conducting software analysis, programming, testing and debugging
- Identifying production and non-production application issues
- Developing, testing, implementing and maintaining application software
- Recommending changes to improve established Java application processes
- Developing technical designs for application development
How to Get a Job as a Java Developer
When looking to become a Java Developer, a professional certification in Java is always recommended. A good place to start would be with the Oracle Certified Java certifications which are offered at the Associate, Professional (OCP), Master (OCM), and Expert (OCE) levels. But besides that, most employers will require applicants to have a degree from an accredited institution in computer science, information systems, mathematics, or any other closely related field. However, there does seem to be a growing sentiment that possessing a computer science degree should no longer be a prerequisite for a career in technology.
Besides those degrees and certifications, though, Java developers will require a base knowledge in software development as well as the following skills: Java based web services; relational databases, SQL and ORM; J2EE framework; object-oriented analysis and design; JSP; EJB (Enterprise Java Beans); XML, X query, XSL; and test-driven development.
How to Keep Your Java Skills Up-to-Date
Beyond picking up additional certifications and getting re-certified, there are a number of ways to keep your Java skills up-to-date. Some of which include:
- Coding Games – Believe it or not, there are actually games designed to help you learn how to code and refine your skills. One such game is CodinGame. This is a challenge-based training platform for programmers where you can improve your coding skills with fun exercises. Over 25 computer programming languages are supported including, of course, Java.
- Online Tutorials – By enlisting in online tutorial classes, you can keep your skills up-to-date while also staying on top of technology trends. One such site is Coursera, an online learning platform that offers courses, specializations, and also degrees from top universities like Yale, Michigan, Stanford, and leading companies like Google and IBM. Others sites include edX and Codecademy.
- Meetup and local user’s groups – Become involved in your local tech community by joining Meetup. Meetup is a website that provides membership software, allowing its users to schedule events using a common platform – such as Java. Meet local computer programmers and then share ideas, advice and experiences with others to improve your skills.
- Open-source projects – When programs are written by software companies for money, they typically keep the source code secret. Open source projects, on the other hand, release the source code to the public so that anyone can study it, see how it works, and change and redistribute it if they want to. Such projects can be found at SourceForge, GitHub, and Open Hub.
- Hackathons – Hackathons are events, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming. Going to hackathons is pretty useful when it comes to figuring out what other developers are working on, what tech they are using, and what resources they are following.
As an IT staffing firm, we’re always on the lookout for Java Developers and Programmers. So please keep an eye on our IT Job Search page for the latest Java roles we are looking to fill, and then send us your resume!