At the heart of every great Java application is a great Java developer. With the skills and training to create robust and high-quality applications, Java developers are in high demand.
Whether you're a beginner looking to enter this field or an experienced pro that’s thinking of switching to Java, there are certain Java developer skills that you'll need to succeed.
Are Java Developers in Demand?
The market for Java developers is constantly growing as new technologies emerge and businesses continue to rely on technology to advance their reach.
This is ideal for Java developers with a wide range of skills, such as object-oriented programming, database design, code optimization, and the ability to work independently or as part of a team.
If you want to build a career in Java development, now is an excellent time to learn the necessary skills and techniques.
What Makes a Great Java Developer?
There is no correct version of a great Java developer, as each individual brings their own unique strengths and abilities.
However, some essential qualities to succeed include strong technical skills, excellent communication, teamwork, attention to detail, and a willingness to adapt via continuous learning.
You can also develop your skills by taking classes, attending workshops and conferences, and working on personal projects outside your job’s regular duties.
The benefits of this career are numerous, from the satisfaction of building something worthwhile to the financial rewards that come from being in high demand.
New to Java, but not sure where to start or what to learn? Check out these Java tutorials
Basic Java Developer Skills
1. JDBC and SQL
As a Java developer, you should aim for a solid understanding of Structured Query Language (SQL) and the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API. With these skills, you'll be able to interact with databases, execute queries, and retrieve data for use in your applications.
SQL and JDBC skills are some of the hottest among Java developers as they allow you to store, organize, and manipulate data in powerful ways via databases.
These skills can also be helpful for developing programs that let users access database data or troubleshooting database issues. You can also use these skills to improve application performance and reliability.
2. Use the Latest Java Version
Java versions frequently change, so Java developers need to stay up to date with the latest versions and releases.
Staying current with the latest Java versions shows that you are invested in your craft and take pride in your work. You can also take advantage of the latest features and bug fixes.
However, updating your development environment and building tools with each new release can be time-consuming and expensive. You may also find some dependencies are incompatible with the latest version, which can cause headaches.
In our experience, we’ve found it best to stay current with major Java releases (e.g., Java 8, 9, 10, etc.) and update to the latest minor release after each major release cycle (e.g., 8u162).
This lets you take advantage of new features and bug fixes without compatibility issues. Of course, this is just a general guideline; your mileage may vary depending on your needs.
3. Core Skills (Object-Oriented Programming, Data Structures & Algorithms)
As a Java developer, it's essential to have a strong understanding of core programming concepts like object-oriented programming, data structures, and algorithms.
By mastering these concepts, you'll be able to write robust applications with advanced features, work effectively in agile teams, and stay up-to-date with the latest development trends and best practices.
4. Java Frameworks & Libraries
Java frameworks and libraries are essential for Java developers because they make it easier to build complex applications with various features.
Whether you're working on web applications, mobile apps, or desktop software, there's likely a library or framework that can streamline the development process and improve your code quality.
These common frameworks can help you build robust applications more quickly.
- Spring: Build web applications and services. Provides several powerful tools, including dependency injection and model-view-controller (MVC) architecture
- Hibernate: Manage data in relational databases
- Spring Boot: Builds on Spring and can be used to create microservices, RESTful APIs, and production-ready applications
- Struts: Simplifies the process of creating web applications, user interfaces, web services, and managing web content
Intermediate Java Developer Skills
JavaFX is a popular platform for creating rich, interactive web applications that work flawlessly across different devices and platforms.
Whether you're developing for mobile devices, desktop computers, or the web, knowing JavaFX is a Java skill that will ensure your applications are engaging, intuitive, and user-friendly.
JavaFX skills are primarily used in a web development or software design role, but learning how to use this platform will likely help you in many areas of Java development.
6. Agile Methodologies
As a Java developer, it's essential to work effectively in an Agile work environment, whether via Scrum, Kanban, or another Agile approach.
Usually, you’ll pick these skills up during your time as a developer, as the specifics can vary based on your company’s preferred Agile methodology.
But generally, working in an Agile team means being skilled at gathering requirements, prioritizing tasks, collaborating with others, writing clean code efficiently, testing your code thoroughly, and working iteratively with stakeholders to ensure the end product meets their needs.
7. Popular Java Development Tools
It’s essential to be proficient in some of the most popular Java development tools.
- Eclipse IDE: Write, debug, and test code
- Maven: Manage dependencies with large projects
- Git: Version control software to track your code changes
- Jenkins: Continuous integration software that automates testing and deployment processes
Applying for Java Developer positions? Get prepared with these
Advanced Java Developer Skills
8. Multithreading & Concurrency
Multithreading involves executing multiple threads simultaneously. Concurrency is the ability to run multiple processes simultaneously, sequentially or in parallel, but always with non-zero progress.
Suppose you want to learn Java developer required skills. In that case, these are essential as they allow you to create applications that perform multiple tasks simultaneously, which is key for handling large amounts of data or processing heavy workloads.
9. Design Patterns
Design patterns are reusable solutions for common software development problems.
As a Java developer, familiarity with these design patterns can help you identify issues and select the right solution. Some common design patterns include Singleton, Observer, and Factory methods.
10. Advanced Java
Advanced Java concepts like concurrency, network programming, distributed computing, and data storage are essential for developing highly scalable software that can meet the needs of businesses and organizations.
With these in-demand Java skills, you’ll also be able to grab the best jobs as you build a successful career as a Java developer.
11. Apache Tomcat & Jetty Web Servers
Experience with popular web servers like Apache Tomcat and Jetty will definitely help you become a successful Java developer.
These tools allow you to quickly and easily deploy Java web applications without having to rely on third-party services or software. They also provide a management interface for your web application.
12. Big Data Concepts & Technologies
As the amount of data that we produce continues to grow exponentially, businesses are increasingly relying on Big Data technologies.
A solid understanding of Big Data concepts and its popular technologies will allow you to work effectively with large quantities of data and use it to create innovative applications and products.
- Apache Hadoop: Open-source framework for distributed storage and processing of Big Data
- Apache Spark: Open-source framework to quickly process Big Data workloads
- Kafka: Open-source distributed event-streaming framework for real-time Big Data
13. Unit Testing
A popular methodology for unit testing is Test-Driven Development (TDD). This process requires you to write automated tests before any production code, and then you will follow a Red/Green/Refactor cycle.
TDD requires developers to start with a failing test and then just enough code to make the test pass. Developers then incrementally improve, refactor, and add code while checking for test failures and edge cases along the way.
14. Jakarta EE (Formerly Java Enterprise Edition)
Jakarta EE, formerly Java Enterprise Edition, is a Java-based framework ideal for creating APIs to communicate between applications, making it well-suited to cloud-based microservices, containers, and orchestration.
In its previous form, Java EE was primarily used to create scalable web applications at an enterprise scale, which is still possible for organizations deeply entrenched in the Java EE framework.
- Jakarta Servlets: Server-side handling of HTTP requests and responses
- Jakarta Faces: Reusable components to build web application user interfaces
- Jakarta RESTful Web Services: API to create web services using REST architecture
15. Linux OS & Windows Server Environments
Linux (Unix-based) operating systems and Windows Server environments are the primary platforms on which many applications run.
A solid understanding of various OS aspects will help you manage your projects and ensure your code is compatible across different systems.
- File systems: Knowledge of file system configuration, data organization and storage, permissions management, and networked file systems
- Networking: Remote connection & machine via various protocols like SSH, SFTP, FTP, TCP/IP, setting up firewalls, encrypting sensitive data for network transfer
- Command line & shell scripting: Automate tasks, perform system maintenance, troubleshoot system issues
Java Developer Skills Summary: Basic to Advanced
Java Developer Skill
JBDC & SQL
Store, organize, and manipulate data into databases that interact with applications
Object-oriented Programming (OOP)
Organize data into reusable classes which are blueprints for ‘objects’
Data Structures & Algorithms
Develop appropriate solutions for well-known coding problems and implement suitable data structures
Frameworks & Libraries
Speed up app development with pre-built code that’s optimized for a purpose
Develop rich web apps and desktop applications that can run on multiple platforms
Gather requirements, prioritize tasks, and collaborate with others to write and test clean code
Eclipse IDE for coding, Git for version control, Maven for dependencies, Jenkins for CI
Multithreading & Concurrency
Create applications that perform multiple tasks at the same time
Identify common coding problems and apply common patterns (Singleton, Observer, Factory)
Apache Tomcat & Jetty Web Servers
Quickly deploy web applications without relying on third-party services or software
Big Data Concepts & Technology
Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark, and Apache Kafka for processing big data (distributed and real-time)
Write automated tests (fail first) before any code. Apply Red/Green/Refactor cycle
Create APIs for cloud-based microservices & containers, or create web applications
Linux OS & Windows Server
Manage file systems, networking, and implement shell scripting
Which Jobs Can I Apply for With Java Skills?
1. Java Developer
What does a Java developer do? Well, you'll be responsible for writing and testing code that meets the requirements of the project you're working on. You may also be required to liaise with other teams to ensure that the code integrates appropriately with the rest of the system.
Average salary: $80,000 - $125,000
2. Software Engineer
A software engineer is similar to a Java developer in that they are responsible for writing and testing code. However, software engineers usually have a more well-rounded skill set beyond coding. For instance, they may be involved in the design and architecture of the software system.
Average salary: $84,000 - $135,000
3. DevOps Engineer
If you're interested in working with code but want to move away from coding, then a role as a DevOps engineer could be a good fit for you.
DevOps engineers are responsible for ensuring that code runs smoothly and efficiently once deployed. This includes monitoring code performance and identifying potential issues that could arise.
Average salary: $105,000 - $170,000
4. QA Engineer
QA engineers ensure that the code meets all the necessary quality standards before it is deployed, including running tests and writing test plans. QA engineers must have strong attention to detail and excellent problem-solving skills to succeed.
Average salary: $66,000 - $103,000
5. Technical Writer
Not everyone with java developer skills wants to be a coder. If you prefer to work with words instead, consider becoming a technical writer.
As a technical writer, you'll be responsible for creating documentation that explains how code works and how to use it properly. This job requires excellent communication skills and a deep understanding of technical concepts.
Average salary: $53,000 - $86,000
Top Java Jobs You Can Apply For Today
Did you know that Hackr.io has a job board where you can apply for hundreds of tech positions available all over the world?
Here’s a sample of some jobs currently available (at the time of writing). Don’t see a position for you?
Check out the full Hackr.io Job Board
Java Developer, Cognize Tech Solution, Roseland NJ
This Java Developer role at Cognize Tech Solution in New Jersey could be the perfect fit for you if you’re an enthusiastic creator, keen to learn and take on stretch assignments and passionate about mastering new technologies.
Find out more about this role here.
Java Developer, Visvak Solutions, Irving TX
Visvak Solutions is hiring a Java Developer to be responsible for implementing changes, owning assigned tasks, and being proactive in communication and on-time task completion.
This full-time role is ideal for someone with eight years of experience in Java (including JDK 8 and above), Spring Boot and microservices; who also has six years of experience in designing micro services or working as part of a design team. Familiarity with code analysis tools such as SonorQube, Jacoco Code coverage, Veracode, Twist lock and so on are a must, as well as experience working with unit testing and mocking frameworks such as JUnit, Mockito, Power mock etc, and hands-on exposure to Splunk and other production monitoring tools.
See a full list of requirements and further details on this job now.
Lead Software Engineer - Fullstack Java, Lowe's, Charlotte NC
In this Lead Software Engineer - Fullstack Java role, you’ll resolve complex problems spanning multiple applications to drive improvements across portfolios and lead projects with significant business implications, participate in planning and priority estimates, and advise software engineers.
You’ll need a Bachelor's degree in computer science, CIS, or a related field –– or equivalent work experience in a related field. Seven plus years of experience in software development or a related field is also necessary and you’ll need six years of experience in database technologies too.
Get more details on this role here.
As technology evolves and businesses rely more heavily on technology, the Java developer demand is greater than ever, whether in Big Data, game development, Android app development, or DevOps, to name a few.
Java Programming Masterclass updated to Java 17
So, if you're an aspiring developer or an experienced pro in another language looking to switch, specific Java developer skills are essential to your success.
This article has outlined a range of skills required for a Java developer, from basic knowledge of SQL to advanced development with Jakarta EE. Whatever your goals, investing the time to learn these essential skills in 2023 is the best way to land yourself a lucrative role as a Java developer.
New to coding or looking to add Java to your skillset? Check out the Java Masterclass
Looking for your Java dream job? Check out the
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Should a Junior Java Developer Know?
A junior Java developer should have a strong foundation in programming fundamentals, including advanced concepts like classes and objects. They should also be comfortable working effectively in a team, communicating clearly with other devs, and prioritizing tasks to meet deadlines.
2. Does Java Have a Future?
Yes! There is no doubt that Java has a bright future. With popularity among developers, a wide variety of tools and resources, and a robust ecosystem for software development, it continues to be one of the most in-demand programming languages in 2023.
3. Who Is a Good Java Developer?
There is no "right" type of person who makes a good Java developer. Typically, a successful java developer has strong technical skills, the ability to work well in teams, excellent communication and collaboration skills, and an aptitude for learning new concepts quickly. Any additional experience with other programming languages can also be a great advantage.