What is Java and Why You Should Learn It?

There are more than 250 programming languages in use today. Coding is a highly scalable and profitable skill today. According to Indeed.com’s job postings in 2019, Java was the most in-demand programming language in the USA, with about 69,000 jobs in a single year.

You must have heard a lot about Java in the context of basic computer programming or boot camps. Web developers who use programming languages like Java focus more on the back-end and functionality of software applications and ensure that it works well, rather than focusing on the look and feel of the website. That is taken care of by developers working with JavaScript.If you want to code, Java is a great place to start.

It is very simple and developers of varying skill levels can easily learn how to use it.

What is Java?

Before 1991, C++ was the leading back-end programming language for business application development. But it was a very complicated language and was platform-dependent. In 1991, James Gosling and his team at Sun Microsystems launched Java to simplify the app building process for businesses and developers. Java was designed to be an object-oriented, interpreted programming language that supports multi-threading programming too.

Now that you know what Java is, you should know some of its main features and benefits.

1. Simple:

One of the reasons why Java is more popular than C++ is its simplicity. It removes complexities like pointers and operator overloading that are found in C++ and other programming languages.

2. Portable:

Java does not compile the way C++ does. C++ compiles the program into machine code that is designed to run on a specific chipset. Java is platform-independent, which means code written for one platform can easily be ported and used on another platform.

3. Object-oriented:

Java, specifically its JVM component, considers everything to be an ‘object’ that has some inherent state and behaviour. All operations on Java are performed using these objects.

4. Secure:

After compilation, all the code on Java is converted into bytecode which humans cannot read. Java does not use an explicit pointer and additionally runs its programs inside the sandbox. This prevents any malicious activities from unauthorised sources. This allows users to create virus-free applications and systems that cannot be tampered with.

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5. Dynamic:

Java can adapt to an evolving environment. It supports dynamic memory allocation which reduces memory wastage and improves the performance of the application.

6. Distributed:

Using Remote Method Invocation (RMI), one Java program can invoke the method of another program across a network and get the output. Using this feature, Java helps to create distributed applications.

7. Robust:

Java has a strong memory management system. It checks the code during compile and runtime, which helps developers and applications to eliminate errors.

8. High performance:

Java uses bytecode, which can easily be translated into native machine code. It enables high performance with the help of JIT (Just-in-time) compilers.

9. Interpreted:

Java code is compiled into a platform-independent form known as bytecodes, which can easily be interpreted by a runtime environment.

10. Multi-threaded:

Java supports multiple execution threads which include a set of synchronisation primitives. Multi-threading extends the concept of multitasking to applications where a developer can subdivide specific operations into individual threads. Each thread can then run parallelly.

Components of Java:

1. Java Virtual Machine (JVM)

JVM is an engine that creates a runtime environment to enable the execution of the bytecode. It is where the Java bytecode is converted into machine language. It follows three notations:

  • Specification: This is a document that explains the implementation of the JVM, provided by Sun and other companies.
  • Implementation: This is a program that meets the requirements of the specifications of the JVM.
  • Runtime Instance: Whenever you write a command on the prompt and run the class, a runtime instance is created within the JVM.

2. Java Runtime Environment (JRE)

JRE or Java Runtime Environment is a software layer that runs over a computer’s operating system and implements the JVM. It also provides the class libraries and other resources needed by a Java program to run. It is the runtime environment within which bytecode can be executed. In short, it is a tangible implementation of the Java Virtual Machine. Once the code is compiled into bytecode, the bytecode gets interpreted on to different machines. JVM is responsible for the allocation of memory space.

3. Java Development Kit (JDK)

New developers tend to confuse JDK and JRE. The defining difference between them is that JRE consists of the tools required to develop a Java-based software, whereas JDK is a package of tools used to run Java code. JDK is necessary for compilation, documentation and packaging of Java programs. JRE is completely included within JDK and contains development tools for programmers. Besides the Java Runtime Environment, JDK also includes an interpreter or loader, a compiler (javac), an archiver (jar) and a documentation generator, along with many other tools needed for development. JDK is provided free of cost and consists of all Java development tools and JRE.

Additional Read: 10 Reasons You Should Learn R, Python, and Hadoop

What is Java Used For?

Oracle estimates that over 3 billion devices around the world run Java, which is more than any other programming language. Java powers Android, the most widely used mobile operating system in use today. It is used in IoT devices and API’s, in high-frequency financial trading platforms and even in the Curiosity Rover on Mars. Java also plays a key role in web development and framework design for programs.

Here are some of the top industries where Java plays an instrumental role in their functioning:

  • Banking
  • Retail outlets
  • Restaurants
  • IT industry
  • Android application development
  • Financial services
  • Big data
  • IoT devices
  • Science and Research communities

Should You Learn Java?

Java has uses and utility in industries across the world. Thus the job and growth opportunities for Java are only going to increase. You can start any time you like, learn at your own pace and grab opportunities that await. Enroll in a training program today and boost your career growth with a Java training program.

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Armin Vans
Michael Warne is a tech blogger and IT Certification Trainer at Koenig Solutions. She has an experience of 5 years in the industry, and has worked for top-notch IT companies. She is an IT career consultant for students who pursue various types of IT certifications.



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