Why Should You Learn Java?

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Why Should You Learn Java?

This article makes the argument that Java is a good language for beginners to learn based on its community, IDE, resources availability, and more.

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I often receive questions like, "What is the first programming language to learn? "Is Java a good programming language to start with?"  and, "Is Java a good first programming language for beginners, or should I start with Java or Python?"

Well, the answer to all these questions is that Java is one of the most popular programming languages, and there are a lot of reasons to learn Java, from job opportunities to leveraging community support. 

But, in the context of beginning programming or choosing Java as the first language, my most significant reason is that it's simpler to learn

People may argue that Python is even simpler and doesn't even require you to compile it but I personally found Java much easier to read and understand. 

The last generation of programmers started learning to program using languages like BASIC and then grew up learning C and C++ with Java as their second or third programming language.

One reason for this could be that C and C++ were more prevalent in those days than Java; the other most popular curriculum was designed to teach C and C++, and there was no Python those days, at least not in our college.

You may also enjoy: Introduction to the Java Programming Language

Often we don't make a choice, and we learn as part of the programming curriculum at school and colleges. In my time, C was the first programming language in our engineering college, and then we learned C++, VB, VC++, and finally Java.

To me, Java more straightforward and easy to learn, but I still remember saying it was more complicated than C++ because I had to type  System.out.println() instead of simpler cout to print something on the screen, but that was just a momentary feeling.

When I started writing and maintaining bigger programs, I found Java much more readable, and you can think about what code is doing. Debugging and finding a problem was also much easier in Java than compared to C++ or C.

Reasons to learn Java
Reasons to learn Java

Is Java a Good Programming Langauge to Start With?

Here are my couple of reasons why I think Java is the right programming language to start learning to code.

It's Simpler

Java is simpler. The syntax is much more readable than C, C++, or any other language.

Uses OOP

Java is good to learn Object-Oriented Programming, but not so good for a procedural one. Object-Oriented Programming is a useful skill because it handles the complexity of a real-world application quite well. It's easier to think in terms of class and objects.

Rich API

Java has a rich API, and you can do a lot more with Java including graphics, sound, and most likely writing small games like Tic Tac Toe or Tetris.

You can do that with other languages, but you often need to download and install different modules and library, which is a tough job for a starter. When you install Java, most of these feature comes as part of the installation only.

Community Support

Java has strong community support, no matter what kind of questions or issues you have, Java forums and a lot of other communities are there to help you out.

This is really the single biggest reason I suggest beginners learn to code using Java because when you are starting to learn to program, you will face many different kinds of issues to understand for both programming fundamentals and Java.

Because there are millions of Java developers around and a big community is there to support, you will most likely find answers quickly without getting frustrated and disappointed.

It's Forgiving

Java is a strongly typed language, which catches many newbie mistakes. Also valid, to a lesser extent, for static typing. This is another reason I suggest beginners learn Java first then Python because Python is a dynamic typing language, so you don't need to define types, which make learning confusing a bit.

Garbage Collection

Java comes with an in-built garbage collection, which is a big plus for a complete beginner. Dealing with memory management is a big thing at the start of learning programming.

These are some of the reasons why I think beginners should learn Java first than any other language. I may be biased because I am a Java programmer, but I also know Python, and I have also done professional programming in C and C++.  From that experience, I can say that Java is undoubtedly one of the best programming languages for beginners.

If you have already made up your mind to learn Java, then you can join The Complete Java Masterclass to start your journey into the beautiful world of Java. This is one of the best courses to learn Java for beginners. It's comprehensive but at the same time hands-on and suitable for beginners.

Is Java Good Enough for A Successful Programming Career?

It's not. As a programmer, you must know a lot of things, like data structures, algorithms, memory management, object-oriented programming, scripting, etc., and a different language teaches you a different thing.

Once you are comfortable with Java, you can move to other useful programming languages like Scala or  JavaScript, or also go towards scripting languages, like Python, which doesn't need to be compiled.

To be successful in a programming career, you need to keep learning and evolving, that's the biggest challenge of this field. If you happen to love programming and learn new technologies and languages, then this is the right field for you.

Another important thing for a successful programmer is to develop debugging skills, which is a reasoning based skill. If you want to become a better Java developer, you can also see my recent post about 10 tips to become a better Java developer in 2020.

If you are good with reasoning and can make a conclusion based upon limited available information, then it will be easy for you to troubleshoot issues and find problems.

Having a good knowledge of IDE like Eclipse, Netbeans, or IntelliJIDEA will also help you with your coding and debugging journey, Java is blessed with a really excellent tool.

That's all on this folks. In my opinion, Java is definitely an excellent language to start programming with, because it's simpler than many others and focuses truly on programming rather than managing systems, like memory management. In short, you can definitely choose Java as your first programming language and once you are comfortable, try to learn a couple of more, e.g. JavaScript or Python.

Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like this article, then please share it with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions or feedback, then please drop a note. If you like books, you can also check out this list of must-read Java programming books to learn Java in depth.

Further Reading

Java Garbage Collection

Five Languages to Learn as a Java Programmer

java ,programming ,coding ,software developent ,career ,beginning java ,learning programming ,new language

Published at DZone with permission of Javin Paul , DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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