Where to Learn Java from Scratch and How to Do This Right
Have you decided to learn Java? It's a wise decision and a good moment to start because, according to the survey, Java is one of the major five coding languages worldwide. That said, there are plenty of resources, websites, and books from which you can learn this beginner-friendly language. Choose the one you feel will be convenient for you, and start your coding journey.
However, if you're reading this, you're vexed about which source to use and how to learn Java quickly, effortlessly, and effectively. No worries, we've got your back by providing the best ways to learn Java.
Resources to Learn Java From Scratch
There is no shortage of valuable online education platforms online. If you enter 'online courses to learn Java' on the google search bar, you will get tons of results; and that's where the problem lies.
How are you meant to choose which ones are appropriate for you or offer you the knowledge you require when there are so many options? So, here is the list of the most popular and trusted resources.
If you are desperately searching for a platform that is fully dedicated to delivering valuable Java tutorials along with a multitude of practice assignments, then your only destination is CodeGym.
To master any programming language, you must first be proficient in its core concepts. Also, you must practice a lot, which is the CodeGym goal. As a beginner, you can learn Java from scratch at CodeGym, and continue with complex concepts in an easy and fun way thanks to the platform's gamified approach like gaining badges indicating your skill level.
Platforms: Online, Android app, desktop IntelliJ IDEA plugin
Pricing: Free Android app, paid online subscription ($49-$99 per month) + free zero level, games section, and content section. It's worth mentioning that CodeGym unlike other platforms is entirely dedicated to Java only, so you won't spend a cent on unnecessary stuff.
Treehouse offers students top-tier education through countless interactive videos. Upon finishing a session, students complete tasks or assignments to test their proficiency in the subject.
By completing the tasks, not only do you get to enhance your coding skills, but you will also get badges that reflect your skill level. These badges will be of great help while job hunting. Along with practice, you'll have access to their constantly updated library, new technology, and breaking news.
Platforms: Desktop, iOS, Android
Pricing: 7 days free trial, $25-$199 per month
If you are searching for sites that offer quality education from silicon valley companies, you should try Udacity.
Udacity, a MOOC provider similar to Coursera and edX, offers university-level professional Java classes taught by qualified and experienced programmers from renowned companies like Google, IBM, Facebook, etc.
From easy-to-understand classes to challenging quizzes, you get access to all from Udacity.
Platforms: Online, Desktop, iOS, Android
Pricing: Udacity offers both free and premium versions of every course, but only the premium version provides a certificate. The paid version can cost up to $1500, and it can be paid in whole or in monthly installments.
If you are looking for a book that will help you learn Java, then you should check out the following books.
Though learning Java via internet resources is perfectly adequate, you may also seek further assistance from books that provide very comprehensive definitions. Here are some of our favorite programming books.
Head First Java
Authors: Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates
If you are tired of looking at monotonous passages and codes, why not try reading Head First Java providing you with fun knowledge through diagrams, graphs, and exciting quizzes. It will give you a solid understanding of Java core concepts with real-world examples.
Java: A Beginner's Guide
Authors: Herbert Schildt
Audience: Students and novice programmers
You might have already gotten a gist of what this book provides from the title itself. Java: A beginners' guide is perhaps one of the books that give a comprehensive definition of programming features, including the latest versions.
Not only beginners, but experienced developers who want to keep track of the up-to-date features will also find this book advantageous.
Thinking in Java
Authors: Bruce Eckel
Audience: Beginner to Advanced
Thinking in Java gives users a wealth of material in simple terms and examples. You can start enhancing your coding skills with many working programs by trying them out.
Beginners and experienced learners who want to get to grips with Java features and notions would benefit from these books.
Along with books, you can use blogs as a resource of information and help from other developers. It's an opportunity to discover real cases and find support in your learnings. A good example is this Java blog where you can find the latest news and intricacies of the coding language.
Plan Creation and Segmentation
Whenever you plan to master something, you must always start with a good plan.
As thrilling as it is to begin something new, procrastination will always intervene and cause you to lose sight of your objective. This happens to everyone, including the most dedicated.
So, here's how to build a decent plan:
- Make a list of your objectives.
- Set deadlines to ensure that you do the work on time.
- Make a monthly, weekly, and daily schedule for your work.
You'll thank yourself later for making a plan in the first place.
Learning Core Java to Kickstart Your Progress
Java is a beginner-friendly language. All of its concepts are not complicated to grasp and apply. So beginners have a good chance of moving to more sophisticated Java stuff quickly.
However, most tend to overlook the core concepts and their advantages. From job interviews to software development, core Java plays an important role; thus, knowing the following ideas is necessary if you want to succeed in Java.
- Syntax - The syntax is similar to the ABCs. For the code to run, it must be inputted precisely according to syntax, just like any other programming language.
- OOP - Mastery of the Java OOP concept will not only help you land a Java developer job, but it will also help you write more efficient and less complex programs. Polymorphism, encapsulation, inheritance, and abstraction are all OOP concepts that a Java programmer should be familiar with.
- Collections - Collections and data structures will aid developers in the long run by assisting in the organization and manipulation of data. Collections include concepts like lists, queues, trees, and maps.
- Streams - Streams are unique features of Java letting you read and write data. Though they are not that necessary to learn, understanding byte, character, and standard streams is beneficial.
- Multithreading and Synchronization - Multithreading is one of the advanced levels of Java programming that allows the concurrent execution of two or more portions of a program, referred to as threads, to maximize CPU utilization. It is a valuable feature that is of great help to a developer when writing complex codes.
Concepts That Can Help with Java Projects
If you plan to become a good Java developer, you should be familiar with almost every concept, ranging from fundamentals to advanced.
Though a solid foundation in programming principles is the most significant and sought-after skill, companies also seek applicants familiar with the tools that aid in Java programming instruments.
Since Java is such a popular language, there are many versatile tools available online in both free and premium editions. Here is a list of the popular ones:
Jenkins is an open-source automation tool for automating non-human components of the software development process, such as software development, testing, and deployment. It also provides a rich set of plugins and is simple to set up on any platform.
As a renowned tool known for its CI/CD features, Jenkins will release the final code after all tests turn out to be successful.
Docker and Kubernetes
Include 'Docker and Kubernetes' in the area of your talent if you want to spark the interest of your desired firm swiftly. Almost every organization prefers this tool because it is very convenient and recognized for its faster and easier configuration features.
Git is a popular version control software that helps track changes in the source code. This Free and open-source distributed version control system allows multiple developers to work together on a project. It is one of the essential tools you should master.
Selenium is yet another popular open-source testing framework that lets programmers perform tests without the need to know testing languages. It offers APIs and integrations with different test frameworks in addition to testing tools.
Java EE, also known as advanced Java, is the most advanced version of the Java programming language. Developers may easily design web applications, software tools, and various other applications using Java EE.
Java 16 Development Kit (JDK 16) Features
The Java Development Kit (JDK) is a development and testing environment for Java applications.
The newly released version comes with many surprises such as productivity tools and features like concurrent thread-stack garbage collection, support for the C++ 14 language, an "elastic metaspace" capability to return unneeded class metadata memory to the OS more quickly, and other new APIs and tooling.
Finding the Right Community
The smoother the code runs, the more unpredictable it may become when it comes to programming. Of course, nobody likes making mistakes, yet they are inherent in programming. Some errors will be easy to resolve, but some will cause a headache for you.
But, hey, that's what communities are there for. Since the chances of the errors you face are likely to have been encountered by someone already, you will find the solution posted on the ever-active community of Java.
Here are some communities which are pretty popular in the IT industry:
- GitHub - GitHub is a hosting website favored by experienced developers and recommended to every beginner as a part of their programming language. It allows developers to work on a project together and hosts their projects through its Git-based version control.
- Stack Overflow - Stack Overflow is a developer-focused community platform for developers to ask questions and share information. With such an extensive database of Java developers, you can find answers to practically any question on this site.
- Reddit - Reddit is a unique social media application that programmers are fond of. With numerous subreddits, beginners will also get not only queries and solutions but the latest news and fun humor memes related to programming.
Practicing Coding Every Day
Programming is a skill that gets enhanced not only by learning but through practicing in the first place. In your learning plan, make sure to dedicate 20% of your time to learning and the rest 80% to practically trying out the concepts you learned.
Also, make it a habit to practice coding every day since consistency is pivotal in mastering programming languages.
- Write your code.
- If you face errors, try debugging them on your own.
- After getting more comfortable in learning, try working on small projects.
By the end of the day, you'll be pleased with the remarkable improvement you've achieved by coding religiously.
Monitoring Your Progress
As essential as it is to develop a good plan, it is also necessary to track your progress.
- Start your day with a vision or a goal.
- Note the deadlines and commit yourself to complete the tasks within the established timeframe.
- Note down your progress.
- Compare your accomplishments to your initial strategy.
The rewards of consistent dedication and continuous effort will astound you in the end.
The road to becoming a successful, highly-skilled Java developer is not easy, but undoubtedly exciting. Make it a habit to learn and apply your knowledge through coding regularly. We hope that this essay has cleared up any confusion you may have had about Java and its principles.