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Java, a name that is much too common among the programming community. Everyone who has ever heard about programming knows that Java is among the leading options that a programmer or web developer can choose among. The robust, simple, and secure programing language is favored by a wide array of IT professionals.
Features of Java
Ranging from being fully object-oriented to providing support for a multitude of platforms, Java has several desirable qualities that a programmer or web developer seeks in a programming language. Here are some most important ones:
- High Performance – The Java compiler is designed for performance. Java code is compiled into bytecode and then optimized by the Java compiler. Post that, it is fed to the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) that executes the three main stages before it’s converted to machine level code.
- Inspired by C and C++ – C and C++ are legacy languages, which means they are the ancestors of the modern programming languages like Java and Python. Amazingly, C and C++ are 2 of the oldest surviving programming languages. Java is very similar to C and C++, save some features such as pointers and multiple inheritances. Therefore, having an understanding of C and C++ is useful in learning Java.
- Multi-threaded – Multithreading capabilities come built right into the Java language. This means it is possible to build highly interactive and responsive apps with a number of concurrent threads of activity.
- Platform Independence – Java has a philosophy called WORA, which is a fancy way of conveying Writing Once, Run Anywhere. Java code is compiled into an intermediate format, called bytecode, which is to be executed in the JVM (Java Virtual Machine). Any system that runs a JVM is able to execute the Java code.
- Truly Object-Oriented – Build up on C++ which is semi object-oriented, Java extends the functionality to become a fully object-oriented programming language. Some of the most important features that make it an object-oriented puritan are:
- Robust – Java guides the programmer to adopt important programming habits required for the creation of highly reliable applications. Unlike C and C++, Java relies on a simple memory management model reinforced by automatic garbage collection feature.
- Secure – Safety features are built into the language and runtime systems. These include runtime checking and static type-checking at compile time. With such features in place, it becomes a daunting task to invade a Java application from the outside.
- Simple – Ease of reading and writing makes any language simple. This holds true for Java as it has a less ambiguous syntax terminology. Anyone can start right off with Java with an understanding of the basic underlying principles of programming.
- Others – Other than the aforementioned features, here are some other great options for choosing Java over other programming languages:
- A multitude of open source libraries
- Backed by Oracle and high-level support from tech giants like Google and IBM
- Big and mature community support
- Several readily available frameworks for rapidly building reliable apps
- There are a galore of IDEs and tools to help make Java development simpler
Why is Java so popular?
The biggest reason that contributes to the immense popularity enjoyed by Java is, most probably, the platform independence or multiplatform support. Java programs are able to execute on different machines as long as there is a JRE (Java Runtime Environment) in place. Be it mobile phones, PCs running Linux, macOS, or Windows, and even large mainframe computers, JRE is compatible with all of them.
Java has been around for over two decades, and it has been enjoying the sunshine of fame. Therefore, it is obvious that several big names have built a solid foundation using Java. Even after spending so much time, there are no signs of slowing down as the high-level, object-oriented programming language is climbing the ladder of popularity.
Java is an evolving language, like real languages, and thus it has the unique ability to combine innovation with stability. Any code that was written way back during the humble beginnings of Java will still run on today’s faster and better JVMs. Additionally, the code will gain from:
- Latest profiling
- Memory management
- Native code translating
As the objects are free from references to external data, Java code boasts robustness. Though the programming language is simple, it is powerful enough to allow spawning a wide array of libraries and classes.
Java API – The Most Important Aspect of Learning Java
Java API is the default class library. Java API is just so much important that a major challenge of learning Java is to master the same. Even though Java in itself consists of only 50 keywords, Java API boasts thousands of classes with each of them having tens of hundreds of methods that can be readily deployed in programs.
What’s best about Java classes is that you don’t need to be fluent in all of them. Rather, specific tasks require working on a mere number of selected Java classes. That means that all classes are specified and used for a multitude of tasks.
Where is Java Being Used?
For several years, Java has been the language of choice of naïve and experienced programmers, alike. Some of the most important uses of Java are:
- Creating Android Applications – Though there is a variety of JVM-usage and packaging methods for the distribution of Android apps, the code written is basically Java. Even the latest Android-app maker Kotlin programming language is inspired by Java. Google’s Android API is used predominantly for making apps for the Android platform.
- Designing Web Applications – Another popular use of Java is for designing web applications. In addition to private organizations like Google, government facilities, healthcare institutions, educational bodies, and even defense departments rely on Java for building important web applications.
- Scientific Applications – Java is also used for making scientific applications a reality. It is preferred over C++, which is also used for the same purpose because it flaunts better high-level concurrency tools in addition to being maintainable, portable, and safe.
- Software Tools – Java is a big part of the software industry. It has been used to fuel open-source and commercial projects alike. Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and NetBeans IDE are some of the best IDEs to create Java applications and even they are developed using Java.
Whether you’re looking forward to a career in game development or develop immaculate web applications, Java is worth the effort. The programming language is able to adapt to a wide set of environments, thus allowing for remarkable capabilities and opportunities.
Learning Java allows you to better understand the underlying concepts of programming as well as enable you to have a jumpstart in learning other popular, Java-inspired programming languages.
For a web developer, there are several programming languages and frameworks to toy with. Therefore, the more the merrier. Having an understanding of several web technologies and programming languages will ensure you stay relevant in the rapidly-evolving field of IT and make a good living in the age of information.