Children, teens, adults, and even the elderly can all aspire to become a programmer and have relatively similar chances of success. However, younger people have an advantage as they have more time and opportunities for learning. They can start a professional career earlier and have plenty of time for improvement. If you’re a young Java programmer looking to improve, there are a handful of tips and practices you can follow.
As a young programmer, Java is most likely the first programming language you studied. While Java isn’t as easy to learn as Python, it’s still a high-level language, which means it’s beginner-friendly. Java is among the most popular choices when teaching kids to code, but a downside to Java as a first language is its slow start which requires students more time before they can work on their first project. However, this negative is mostly offset by Java’s versatility and value. It’s one of the most desired language skills that lead to a great career.
Being good at anything always boils down to the fundamentals. As long as you have mastered the basics and keep reinforcing them, you will remain competitive in your field. In Java programming, it’s critical to keep studying the essentials before forcing yourself into a new concept that confuses you. The basics of Java that you will always come back to include but are not limited to Basic Syntax, Java Virtual Machine (JVM), and Java Runtime Environment. Whether you want to focus on software development or web design, having a solid foundation is a must.
Keeping your basics sharp is a priority, but staying updated skill- and knowledge-wise is just as important. To stay informed about the latest developments in Java, you can join forums and subscribe to newsletters. Read plenty of documentation and open-source frameworks source code. Doing so will not only keep you up to date but will also help keep you interested in the field.
After reading, make sure you also invest time in applying what you just learned. Practice shouldn’t be exclusive to the basics, trying to apply something you just learned contributes to your constant improvement as a programmer.
Lastly, join discussions. You’ll be studying by yourself most of the time, but having input from your peers is invaluable. Exchanging information with other programmers gives you a different perspective on concepts. Joining tech forums also gives you access to solutions to problems programmers have encountered before, saving you time and helping you progress your project faster.
Working on projects is the best way to improve your programming skills. And if you can earn money while working on projects, it’s all the better. By doing freelance work, you get an opportunity to work on various projects, which exposes you to different problems and allows you to apply what you know. You are able to improve your skills and learn new things via experience, while also getting paid for your efforts. If you can find good freelancing gigs and you have the time to spare, it’s a must-do.
It can’t be stressed enough, but practice is critical in becoming a good programmer, no matter the specialization. You can read as much as you want about programming, but if you don’t practice, it’s all wasted. You can practice on your own, but you can make your practice more efficient and engaging by using online coding platforms.
If you’re the type of person who learns best by doing, CodeGym is perfect for you. CodeGym’s courses give you access to over 1200 hands-on tasks right after you join. You’ll be writing lots of code and have your work checked by a virtual mentor. You can also engage with the CodeGym community to communicate with other students.
Codewars offers a gamified coding experience tailored for helping beginners master programming languages. However, Codewars isn’t for rookies alone, it’s also a great platform for intermediate or advanced programmers as it provides access to challenges called katas, that they can tackle with other programmers. You can create your own kata and ask others to solve them.
If you want quick access to coding problems, Cyber-Dojo is the place for you. The website encourages new programmers to sharpen their skills by constant practice, instead of focusing on finishing the game. You can take on problems alone or join a group.
There are many other great platforms for coding practice such as CodeChef and CodeinGame. Try each platform and stick to whichever suits you best.
You know Java very well, and you’re on your way to mastering it, but once you get there, is there nothing else to achieve? Being a good Java programmer doesn’t just mean being good at Java. Of course, you need to master Java but if you can master one or two other languages, you’ll become an even better programmer overall.
You’ll improve your versatility significantly and you’ll become a better problem solver. You have a better chance of formulating a solution to a problem since you can view it from different perspectives. You can either take up another high-demand programming language such as Python or study Scala, which interoperates with Java and runs on JVM.
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