When I was searching online for common questions that students have when learning Java for the first time, I came up with nothing. All I could find were articles related to interview questions for Java programmers. Let me state this clearly: This is not an FAQ for Java interview questions. Rather, this is a list of questions that students have when they’re learning Java as their first language. Now that I made that clear, let’s begin.
Common Questions For Beginner Java Students
• Is Java Hard To Learn For A Beginner?
• What Can I Create Using Java?
• How Is Java Different From Other Languages?
• Buzzwords – What Are The Features Of Java?
• How Does Java Work? A Concise Guide
• Why Is Java So Popular After 25 Years?
• Why Is Java Important? HINT: It ain’t the lambdas!
As I stated earlier, when I went to look for questions that new Java students would commonly ask, I came up with nothing. At least not right away. I thought of a few myself because I too have been a beginner. Also, after a bit of digging on Quora, Reddit, and simply asking around, I formulated a list and answered it thoroughly. These are the questions (and answers) that you may not even know you have yet.
You can click any of the links above and it will take you to the corresponding article answering the question. However, if you want to get a quick answer to all of them, just keep reading. I’m going to include a concise response to each of these questions below. The headline above each of these concise responses also links to the more expanded version, for your convenience.
This is somewhat hard to answer because it’s dependent on a few things: the individual, the learning material, and the method of study. If you were to ask 100 people if Java is difficult to learn, you’d probably get 100 different answers. I went ahead and did that anyway and I got a pretty interesting response.
To be precise, it was a poll of 324 Java programmers and the majority of them said that it’s not hard to learn. However, Gary Revell was the first to comment on the poll and he had something particularly interesting to say. Gary said:
The basics of Java are easy enough to learn; the harder bits to learn depend on your experience and access to people who can help you. Some of OOP is fairly straight forward but then it can get harder with inheritance and polymorphism. Then there are Generics, Collections, Lambdas, Streams etc. There’s a lot to learn to become really proficient but… I think it’s easier than C++ to learn.
Additionally, in my expanded response I discuss the best learning material to use, as well as the best method of study to reduce the learning curve. So definitely give the full article a read when you get a chance.
Because Java is a free and open-source, general-purpose programming language with an enormous class library, there’s not much that you can’t create with Java. Of course, that’s probably not the answer you’re looking for. It wasn’t what I was looking for. I wanted actually examples of real-world projects that use Java today for some purpose.
I came up with 10 examples of large companies that use Java in some capacity but let me tell you, the list does not end there. Aside from the ten major companies, there are thousands upon thousands more that use Java. Google, YouTube, and Amazon make the list. If you want to know the others, you’ll just have to check out the article.
If that’s not reason enough to check out the full article, I have 10 more great reasons. See, I also wanted to know what beginner to intermediate level projects there are that I can personally create or replicate with just a firm grasp of the fundamentals. I did A LOT of digging. I found and assembled a list of 10 projects, with video tutorials, for Java beginners. I’m telling you, it’s a great resource. You absolutely have to check it out if you’re learning Java now for the first time.
To truly answer this, you have to look at Java and compare it to each language individually. Thus, looking at the full article will give you such a perspective. However, in this concise version, allow me to just explain the few features that make Java unique among programming languages.
“The main difference between Java and any other programming language is the unique method in which Java code is executed. Unlike compiled languages such as C++, Java is compiled into bytecode which can run on any device with the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). C++, on the other hand, is compiled directly into machine code and therefore, can only run on the same platform in which it was compiled.“
When Java first came onto the scene in 1995, it was the only platform-independent language, catapulting its popularity. However, since then, it’s not the only language to achieve such capabilities. Ruby, for instance, is another platform-independent programming language and it happens to run alongside Java, complementing it.
Okay, so… what are buzzwords? This is just another word for a feature. ‘Features of Java‘ or ‘Buzzwords of Java‘ mean the same thing. Something to consider though is that these buzzwords are meant as hype for the language. Some are facts while others are… somewhat arguable.
I’ve seen the number of these ‘buzzwords’ vary depending on the source. The sources state anywhere from 7 to 12 buzzwords. To be on the safe side, I included all of them, as well as a contextual description of how they define Java as a feature. I would definitely give this list a look over since many of these terms come up in the industry and some describe very important features of the language.
How do I make a concise guide even more concise? Here goes nothing. Java works a little differently than languages such as C and C++, which are considered compiled languages. Compiled languages are compiled directly from source code (the code you write) to machine code (the code computers can read). Thus, they can only run on the environment in which they were compiled.
Java, on the other hand, is both a compiled and interpreted language. This is because Java is first compiled from source code into bytecode, which can then be further compiled into machine code. The reason for this two-step process is that Java’s bytecode and run on any device with the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), making it a “Write once, run anywhere” language.
In my less concise answer to this question, I also go into greater depths of explaining this process, as well as the object-oriented nature of Java, as well as classes, methods, and variables in Java. Definitely check it out!
At the year of writing this, the year 2020, Java turns 25 years old. It’s also the most popular language in the world at the moment, according to the TIOBE Index. I asked around and I came up with 7 main reasons why Java is so popular to this date.
For one, Java is platform-independent. Again, this means that it can run on virtually any environment, which makes it a very attractive language. This was the main reason why Java was so popular when it was first released. Yet, to this day, it still remains a key factor in its overwhelming popularity.
Java also has a massive class library. Since Java is free and open-source, it’s users can contribute to its class library. Java had a large number of users, to begin with. However, with this large class library, which made it easier for others to create their projects quickly, Java popularity among developers grew even more. Anyway, check out the main article for the rest!
Where would the world be without Java? That is my main premise in proving its importance. Not simply; it’s the most popular and thus, the most important. Rather, I believe Java is critically important to the world and to the tech industry for the simple fact that it’s incredibly useful.
Where is evidence of Java’s usefulness, you ask? Let’s take a look at enterprise applications. If you are unfamiliar with what that is, to put it simply, it’s an application made for businesses to function. Here’s something else you might not know: More than 90% of enterprise applications run on Java.
Not to mention that Java is notorious for powering android applications, although that’s a downward trend. There are more reasons why Java is important from a strictly ‘useful’ standpoint. However, you’re going to have to read the full article for that. Shocker!