This article is an in-depth look into the world of Java with an emphasis on helping you make an informed decision. Whichever path you choose to take on your journey to learn java coding, a quick read through will inform you of most of the specializations that java has to offer. This will help you choose the path that will best suit your needs and skillset and potentially shave off years otherwise spent in Java wilderness. 

As you set forth on your journey to learn java coding you will soon realize how vast java actually is and how learning it all is a herculean task. However, it isn’t as intimidating as it looks if you have a clear path to your destination. The following article will guide you on your path to learn java.

The very first thing you need to focus on and get good at is the java programming language itself (Core Java). This is because when you learn to code Java well, it lays the foundation for you to then go ahead and code in any related framework or technology you choose later. So, some of the fundamentals covered in any “Learn Java Coding” course will be about topics like basic and advance OOP (Object-Oriented Programming), Generics. Concurrency API, Collection API, etc. 

After you are comfortable with Core Java the next thing to focus on is Java Testing because writing and maintaining test cases is an essential skill in learning java. That is why learning testing frameworks like JUnit and Mockito is essential.

Now that you have a strong foundation you have the luxury of choosing to specialize in any one of the following paths given below

  • Desktop app development: – desktop programming involves building applications that run on desktops machines using JavaFX or SWING technologies. Not a very popular option nowadays for those who learn Java as there aren’t a lot of developers developing applications and the ones who are are just a small minority compared to the other two options. 
  • Android app development: – you can build apps for Android devices using java and become an application developer once you are comfortable with java, there is a vast number of online courses, YouTube tutorials, and forums to guide you on your way.
  • Server-side development: – server-side programming or backend programming means writing applications in java to be deployed and run on the server so it consists of web applications which run java code from the server in an HTML page when you open a URL and the second being API(application programming interface) which is basically a set of rules to help two systems talk to each other for example, when you open an application on your phone it is basically communicating with multiple APIs under the hood to contact the server, almost any business that uses any form of digital technology uses API to communicate with its database for its customer to access.

As you can see that Server-side development is the path that the majority of the developers who learn java gravitate towards. We can now go ahead and see how to learn Java for server sides. In order to learn Java further the know-how of Servlets and JSPs is required to understand how you run java on the server-side because these two are the foundation on which all java web technologies are built hence understanding how servlets work is essential to how java works.

After you have laid the foundation of Servlets and JSPs you can then plan to move onto the next step which is learning the Spring framework. This is the pre-eminent framework on which all Java applications are built because it is very robust and customizable. Then you can move on to Spring MVC which is what you will use to build web apps and APIs using Spring. Then you can learn database connectivity like relational databases which is very common. From there on you can look into Spring Boot and other additional Spring Projects which are part of the Spring framework and for detailed descriptions on Spring and courses offered you can always check their website. 

An alternative route for building enterprise-level software is the JavaEE route which is Java Enterprise Edition. Unlike Spring in which you have the freedom to pick and choose every option for various things, in building a Spring application the JavaEE world is standardized. As it is all assembled and put together for you to utilize using a web application server which is the JavaEE application server. What this means is that you write your code assuming everything you need in your specification is available as long as it’s part of the standards. So, take a look at JavaEE specifications and associated technologies and learn what you need to enhance your skillset.

In addition to this, it is also a good idea to look at what Design Patterns, Git and Build system tools like Maven, Gradle, and CICD (Continuous Integration Continuous Delivery) are and what Micro Services implies. Also, you can try and understand how to create good Microservice.

Now that we have pretty much chalked a path towards a more streamlined approach to learn Java Coding, the final thing is that a big part of mastering any of these above-mentioned topics is to build something with the knowledge gained, like a test project, which is goal-driven, easy, and fun to do and help you test your programming and analytical skills that you have gained. Avoid working on example projects or following how-to videos on projects online because they don’t help you unlock your potential. It will not be very easy in the beginning but as you start writing code it gets easier and easier to gain mastery over these topics.

In conclusion, you can see that by taking a very streamlined approach we were able to navigate a path in Java to best suit your needs and interests and help you get into the Java programming world which is ever-changing and ever-evolving and by keeping yourself attuned to the latest Java updates and practicing your coding skills will be a rewarding experience.