How to Learn Java

Java programming is probably the most widely known coding language out there, so it’s a great skill to learn if you want to start a career in programming. Here are the top tips for anyone who wants to start learning Java.

What to Know Before Learning Java

As with anything, knowing the basics of Java programming is the place to start. This is something you can start immediately before getting going with coding – studying the basics online is a huge help in kick-starting your Java programming journey. Like many things, it can be a bit overwhelming at the start. If you are a complete beginner, code can look like gibberish, so make sure you understand the principles and purposes of Java before you try coding in it. We have a great Java introduction to help you with this. Bear in mind, though, that everyone starts out at the same point. If you persevere, you can do it! Here’s a good resource for beginners to check out.

Practice Java Coding

To use the old cliché, practice makes perfect. If you don’t study or practice, you won’t become a successful Java programmer. Luckily, you can practice Java programming from home without needing specialist software or facilities, so the best thing to do is get started once you’ve got to grips with the basics. 

How to Practice Java

Set Your Algorithm Carefully

Here’s where you’ll put yourself to the test. In order to be able to set your algorithm, you’ll need to be able to understand the basics of Java. You’ll create and solve a problem for yourself in your early days practising Java – it’s all part of the learning curve. Algorithms come into play when you are telling your computer how to do exactly what it is you want it to do. Try a few practice runs before setting your algorithm for real.

Trace Your Codes on Paper

This is a great tip for complete beginners. Trial and error! Hand tracing code is exactly as it sounds. You write variables from your code onto a sheet of paper and then mentally execute each potential step to understand what the correct solution is and then copy that back into the code on your computer.

Read Sources on Java Programming Regularly

Reading about Java programming, like you’re doing right now, can only benefit you. Of course, most of your sources can be found online. You’ll get really up-to-date, regularly checked sources on some really great websites. Whether you’re a student of Java, a self-taught Java expert or simply Java-mad, online resources will be invaluable to you.

It’d also be a good idea to join some forums (like this one) where you can talk to other Java programmers about any issues that confuse you or simply chat about how much you love Java.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Java?

The answer to this question really depends on how much you want to learn. You can get to grips with the basic principles of Java programming in a matter of weeks, with a few hours of practising a day. If you want to become a fully-fledged, confident Java programmer, expect to spend a couple of hours a day honing your skills for up to a year. As with any skill, there’s always something else to learn!

If you’re interested in software development, you might want to try our free 5 Day Coding Challenge. Simply register in the box below and get coding challenges emailed to your inbox!

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