Learning Java: How to, How Long, and How Hard

19 Feb 2021

Java is arguably one of the most used programming languages in the world. Globally, there are 45 billion active Java machines along with 25 billion cloud JVMs according to Java Stats by Oracle.

There are millions of Java developers with excellent levels of expertise but this number is still not enough to fulfill market demands. So, where exactly Java is used? It is almost everywhere from:

In order to fill this gap in different domains, we need more Java developers but how can someone become such a developer? Is it an easy and straightforward journey? Do you need any formal programming education? Well, keep reading because all these questions will be answered.

Before we rush into our main questions, let’s first discuss the difficulty levels of the Java language.

Is It Hard to Learn?

The difficulty level of this programming language varies from person to person. Experienced programmers easily grasp most of the Java concepts while beginners may find it hard to understand advanced ones.

In general, Java has a medium difficulty level where some ideas such as variables and functions are easy to comprehend while more advanced concepts including polymorphism, objects, and bringing inheritance are a bit more difficult.

If we compare Java’s syntax with other languages, it can be difficult but it is still understandable to a large extent. If you simply want to print something, you have to write the following code with a string included:

Java – System.out.println(“Hello World!”);

Your learning source also matters a lot. It is mandatory to master the basics of any programming language before moving to advanced concepts but many tutors do not follow this path. If you want to learn Java in an easy way then explore these quality courses to eliminate the difficulty.

How Long Does It Take to Learn?

There is a fine line between learning and mastering a programming language, whether it is Java, C++ or Python. There is a different estimated time frame for every person who is seeking to learn Java. Moreover, you can evaluate it by asking yourself these questions:

  • Do you have any prior experience with programming?
  • How many hours can you dedicate to Java learning?
  • What is the level of your logical thinking?

If you already have experience with other programming languages, chances are that you will grasp most of the Java concepts easily. Moreover, if you are dedicating 3-4 hours to Java on a daily basis then it will take you around 6-8 months to learn the language.

Logical thinkers tend to learn programming concepts easily because it is all about understanding and using correct logics to derive desired outputs.

The basic Java concepts are learnable in around 6 months for a complete beginner while it may take more than 2 years to master the programming language with consistency and focus.

8 Steps to Learn Java

best way to learn Java (infographics)

Learning Java becomes easy when you use a step-by-step approach. All these steps require consistency and dedication to bring true results. You can tweak or improve these steps based on your own learning capabilities to achieve maximum results.

So, here is a 8-step approach to learning Java language fast:

Step 1: Choose your Medium

The foremost task is to decide a medium through which you will be learning Java. Do you want free resources or do you have some cash to spend on the best Java courses? Both ways work perfectly fine for most people but your personal preference also matters.

If you want to utilize the Youtube platform for your learnings then here are our best channel recommendations to learn Java swiftly:

All of these Youtube channels are enough for you to clear your Java basics but if you want to establish a career using this programming language then you have to take it a step further by joining advanced courses.

Moreover, it is highly recommended that you learn directly from a Java guru. Find a Java master in your area and make them your mentor to extract experience from the mistakes they made during their journey. It is certainly the fastest way to learn anything.

Step 2: Install Java and Eclipse IDE

You can start your learning by simply using the Java SDK but it is not recommended for a beginner. To make the journey more enjoyable, you need an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to make programming easier and not so boring.

Eclipse is by far one of the most popular and best IDEs for Java learners and it’s also absolutely free. It makes the learning more effective and fast due a range of IDE features.

If you want to install Java SDK, simply follow these steps:

  1. Visit Java Download Page
  2. Find and click “Download JDK”

Once you have Java SDK, you can follow these steps for Eclipse:

  1. Visit Eclipse Download Page
  2. Find and download “Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers”
  3. Extract the downloaded file into a folder to create a shortcut

Step 3: Learn Fundamentals First

You can never become a Java expert if your understanding of basic concepts are weak. The language fundamentals teach you about core Java that establishes the base for advanced concepts that you will use later in programming.

There are a few object-oriented programming concepts, such as abstraction, polymorphism, inheritance and containment, that you need to have a strong grip on.

You also have to study Java Virtual Machine and its working mechanism. It is also mandatory to learn java.lang classes including:

  • String
  • Math
  • System
  • java.io

At this stage, you need more research to clear out all questions that may arise in your mind. If you are unable to these answers, then go on any of these Java forums and post your question:

Step 4: Read Programming Books

If you are an avid reader then this is going to be the most fun part of your learning. On the other hand, you can ignore this step if book reading is not your thing.

Just like courses, books also fall into different categories. Some of them cover the basics while others teach you advanced Java programming. Here are some book options to consider:

All these books are written by credible authors who have a deep understanding and knowledge of Java. They are true Java veterans and all their experience is presented in these books to help you avoid various mistakes and proceed as a soaring developer.

Step 5: Create Simple Applications

Programming is such a versatile field that you can create millions of applications and programs with the power of your imagination and programming skills.

Use different fundamental concepts that you might have learned from courses, books or any other sources. Try to compile all of them in the form of a single application with a definitive purpose.

Do not hesitate to make mistakes at this stage and use your imagination to try out various things. If you feel stuck at some stage, search for solutions on Google or ask someone on the above listed Java forums.

Step 6: Move on to Advanced Java

Once you have a strong grip on the fundamentals and you have successfully created a few simple applications using all of those basic concepts then it is the right time to move on to advanced level.

If you were previously enrolled in a beginner course, look for an advanced one and spend your time there. Learning without practice is ineffective, hence you should apply everything you learn from these courses to get hands-on experience that will support you in a successful career.

Step 7: Practice on Projects

At this stage, we assume that you have had hands-on experience and grasp basic and advanced Java concepts. Now, you have to practice those skills by solving real problems on real-life projects.

You can find and bid on potential projects on freelancing platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork. Provide your services independently and keep improving your Java skills.

This is the stage where your expertise is tested. Completing these projects will help you in creating a portfolio along with the income to boost your confidence.

Step 8: Establish Your Career

This is where you will taste the fruits of your previous dedication and hardwork. You are ready to apply for jobs with big organizations and you are more likely to be chosen because of your Java portfolio. Design a good resume and tell about your past experiences with relevant programming fields.

Keep updating your Java knowledge and explore new IDEs and frameworks to work on. Socialize in Java communities and help other people grow because it will ultimately make you a better programmer.

To Wrap It Up

A roadmap is necessary for effective Java learning and this article molds you, step-by-step, into a better programmer using a tried and true approach. Best of all, you can utilize provided resources to start right now with zero programming knowledge.

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