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What is Java used for?

Find out the main uses and advantages of Java, which companies use it, and how to learn it quickly.

Java uses

James Gosling created Java as a project called “Oak” in June 1991. Gosling aimed to create a language and virtual machine with a C-like notation but simpler than C. Java 1.0, the first public implementation, was released in 1995. The primary goal behind Java was to create a language that one could “write once, run anywhere.”

In this article, we look at some of the applications of Java and why it is such a popular and versatile programming language. We’ve also compiled some of the best Java courses, as well as some basic Java project ideas.

Java – the basics

Let’s address the basics before we dive into the details of Java. If you’re looking to learn a programming language, this will help you to determine whether Java is the best one to start with.

What is Java?

Sun Microsystems first published Java in 1995 as a programming language and computing platform. It has grown from humble origins to power much of today’s digital world by offering a secure platform on which many services and applications are built. New, innovative goods and digital services still use Java as a platform, showing its versatility and how future-proof it is.

Java is fast, secure, and reliable. Developers use Java to construct applications in laptops, data centres, game consoles, scientific supercomputers, cell phones, and other devices.

Why is Java so popular? The features of Java

Java is the world’s third most popular programming language, after Python and C – according to the TIOBE index, which evaluates programming language popularity. We can attribute the language’s widespread use to several notable features of Java: 

  • Versatility. Java has long been the de-facto programming language for creating Web apps, Android apps, and software development tools such as Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and NetBeans IDE.
  • Development tools. The Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is one of Java’s most intriguing features. The Java IDE is a collection of automation tools, editors, and debuggers.
  • User-friendliness. Java features an English-like grammar, making it ideal for novices. You can learn Java in two stages: core Java first, then advanced Java.
  • Good documentation. Because Java is an open-source programming language, it is completely free. Java is well-documented, which is an important feature of the language. It includes a full guide that will explain any issues you may encounter when coding in Java.
  • A robust API. Although Java only has about fifty keywords, its Application Programming Interface (API) is wide and comprehensive, with various methods that may be used directly in any code.
  • A large community. The community support for Java is one of the drivers behind its popularity. It has the distinction of being the second-largest Stack Overflow community.

Java vs JavaScript – what’s the difference?

Despite both having ‘Java’ in their name, Java and JavaScript are two separate languages. While Java is an object-oriented programming language, JavaScript is an object-oriented scripting language. Java is mainly used for server-side development, while JavaScript focuses more on client-side scripts.  

You can read more about what JavaScript is used for in our full blog post. If you’re interested in learning how to use JavaScript, our course from the University of Michigan can help you get started. 

Why learn Java? 

So, now that we know why Java is so popular, why should you learn how to use it? Aside from the simplicity of usage and versatility, there are several reasons to learn Java:

Java programmers earn big

Over the next decade, software developer jobs are predicted to expand by 22%, with backend developers in particularly great demand due to their specialised skill set. Furthermore, the average base wage for backend developers in the United States is $80,000, which is 54 percent higher than the national median income. 

These figures are encouraging for Java developers, who are among the best-paid programmers in the industry. Java developers now earn an average of $91,465 per year, which is comparable to that of other mainstream language developers.

Java is easy to learn

The programming language was created with new developers in mind, providing a safe environment for them to experiment with the language and make mistakes. Java is a broad and high-level language that focuses on programming rather than complicated details.

Java is a great starting point for other programming languages

After learning Java, it’s relatively easy to learn other coding languages such as C, C#, C++, Python, and more. Java teaches novice coders how to think like a programmer, going through processes using logic and putting ideas to the test.

Java is a widely used and popular programming language

Almost every operating system uses Java, from the web to mobile to desktop. The Java programming language, which is widely used with corporate applications and Android mobile operating systems, is regularly updated to stay up-to-date with industry developments and can support a wide range of languages throughout its platform.

Java isn’t going anywhere

The digital world is constantly changing, and developers are looking for new languages and frameworks to give them an advantage. While being current is crucial, staying on trend can be costly and ineffective when industries shift. As a result, the importance of Java cannot be emphasised, especially as new languages and technologies emerge.

Java is a flexible language

Java is not only widely used in technology, but it is also easily scalable and, most importantly, highly portable, as it must be run on a cross-platform Java Virtual Machine (JVM). This JVM transmits platform-specific instructions to your computer, which means that once a developer produces code, they can port it to another system on almost any computing device.

How long does it take to learn Java?

As we’ve already established, Java is a simple programming language compared to many others. As a result, you can learn the fundamentals in just a few weeks. Many of our short courses, such as our Introducing Java course, take just four weeks and involve only a few hours of learning per week.

There are also options available if you want to do more in-depth learning. Our Software Development with Python and Java ExpertTrack takes 21 weeks to finish and requires four hours of study per week.

What is Java used for?

Java fluency is undoubtedly a popular and in-demand skill. But what is the purpose of Java programming? We’ve previously touched on some Java use cases; we’ve elaborated on these and other Java examples further below. Java can be used for many things:

Video games

When it comes to game development, programming languages such as C# and C++ are employed by game engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine. Java, on the other hand, is a great choice if you want to study graphics and game development from the ground up. There are numerous frameworks and libraries available, such as LibGDX and OpenGL.

Web-based programmes

Java is a well-known server-side programming language that is often used for constructing web applications. Spring, Struts, Hibernate, Apache Hadoop, and JSF are among of the most popular Java frameworks for constructing Web applications. Java is also used by famous websites such as LinkedIn, AliExpress, Amazon, and many others.

Big data

Aside from Python, which is used in Big Data, there are many other popular programming languages. Even so, when it comes to Big Data Technology, most programmers prefer Java. The reason for this is that most famous Big Data tools, such as Hadoop and Deeplearning4j, use Java and its community support is excellent when it comes to Big Data Technology.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Developers often regard Java as the best language for IoT device development. There are several factors behind this: primarily, it is a programming language that is platform agnostic. As a result, you only have to create your code once, and it will operate on a variety of devices, reducing your overall workload.

It’s also the best choice for IoT because of its adaptability and mobility, as it’s used for web development, Android development, desktop app development, and a variety of other things. Compared to other programming languages, integrating multiple technologies is easier with Java. For these reasons, is employed in automotive navigation systems, various medical gadgets, and embedded electronics.

Android apps

Java is the official programming language for Android development, with Java accounting for 46.2 percent of all Android applications. It’s used by Android Studio, which is the official IDE for developing Android apps. So, if you are familiar with the Java programming language, Android development will be considerably easier for you.

Desktop applications

Java is also well-known for creating graphical user interfaces for desktop applications. There are numerous Java Frameworks available, making GUI Application Development a breeze. Swing, AWT, JavaFX, Griffon, and many others are among them. So, if you’re planning to create a desktop application, Java is a great option for you.

Companies that use Java

There are many companies such as Pinterest, Google, Airbnb, Instagram, Spotify, Uber and Netflix that use Java in their tech stack. Below, we have listed some companies and their projects, which will help you to decide which programming language will best fit your next project.

Netflix and Google Android

Netflix is one of the best-known and largest entertainment companies in the United States, offering movies and television series via streaming media. The majority of Netflix’s applications use Java. Google’s Android and Android TV applications are almost entirely written in Java, with a little C++ thrown in for good measure.

NASA Word Wind

NASA developed their Word Wind using Java, creating a fully 3D virtual globe that displays geographic data. It creates 3D models of the planets using photos and aerial photography from the NASA spacecraft.

It is a Java-based open-source proprietary software that runs on all operating systems. The project utilises OpenGL API to create 2D and 3D images that interact with the graphics processor unit. It also displays data in real-time using the GPS plugin – such as clouds, hurricanes, earthquakes, and more. With this software, we may search for locations using geographical names, define visible layers and viewing angles, and much more.

Minecraft

Minecraft is a well-known computer game created using Java. Java 1.8 is included in the Minecraft Java edition, and Minecraft uses it by default.

Spotify

Spotify, the popular audio streaming service, makes use of Java to power its web application, to log and stabilise and to transfer data. Spotify’s Android app is written in Java.

Java projects for beginners

So, if you’ve ever wondered what to do with Java or who uses it, we’ve provided you with plenty of examples. But what if you’re just getting started with Java and eventually want to work as a Java developer?

Below, we’ve listed a few Java project ideas for beginners. These will help you learn more about the programming language and put your skills to the test:

  • Brick Breaker Game
  • Currency Converter
  • ATM Interface
  • Smart City Project
  • Number Guessing Game
  • Airline Reservation System
  • Web Server Management System
  • Data Visualization Software 

Each of them can challenge you and help you hone the abilities you’ve gained once you’ve mastered the basics of Java.

Final thoughts

This concludes our examination of the applications of Java programming. As you can see, this popular language has a wide range of applications, as well as a large support network and a diverse set of libraries.

There are numerous reasons why you should begin learning Java. It’s a future-proof and in-demand skill that’s needed in a variety of fields. Furthermore, we provide a wide range of Java courses to help you grasp the fundamentals or build more specialised abilities.

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