Java dates back to 1991 when it started as a project of James Gosling to create a language that was similar to C but had greater uniformity and simplicity than C/C++. Today, Java marks 24 years of existence and is still considered a relevant and popular programming language. Java projects are widespread, and CTOs and tech recruiters are always looking for Java developers for hire. Why is that so? I’ve created a list of the most important reasons why this programming language still holds the pedestal in the industry. Let’s take a look.
1. Platform Independence
One of the biggest reasons why Java is so loved is its platform independence. A Java program can run on any computer that has a Java Runtime Environment (JRE). Also, most computers are compatible with a JRE – that is, personal computers running on Windows, Macintosh, Unix, or Linux computers. We can add to the list the large mainframe computers as well as mobile phones.
This independence makes Java functional on any device or computer. Hence, some of the biggest organizations in the world are built with Java, including banks, insurance companies, retailers, utilities, and different types of manufacturers. The fact that the code you have written in Java before 15 years will still work on today’s JVMs speaks volumes about the evergreen features of this programming language.
2. Object-Oriented Language
Looking at the core of Java, you will notice that it is object-oriented. This means that the code is sturdy and robust because the Java objects don’t contain any references to data external to themselves. What Java has, are libraries of classes offering utility functions without which a java program can’t work without. Even though Java consists of 50 keywords, there are thousands of classes in the Java APU with tens of thousands of applicable methods in the projects. So, learning Java means learning to work with the Java APIs.
3. Easy Programming & Building Complete Applications
Many IT experts in the industry love Java because programming is very easy and straightforward. Again, when you code in Java, you can run the code anywhere, any time. Moreover, Java is used in cases when complete applications that run on a single computer are needed. With Java, building mobile applications is very easy, thanks to its feature to create complete applications that can be distributed across various operating systems and servers.
Apart from building complete applications, Java is also used to create miniature, dynamic programs that can operate on Web pages or run alongside them. These are called applets, and they are used to display maps, weather, games, and other interactive widgets/tools on the page.
5. Test-Driven Development
Test-Driven Development is a software development process that includes test-first development. This means that the developer will first write a fully automated test case before completing the production code to fulfil that test and refactoring. With Java, the test-driven development stopped being an experimental practice, but the standard process through which software was developed.
6. Fewer Security Risks
It is not true if we say that Java is an entirely secure language since it doesn’t protect from vulnerabilities. However, some of its features can save you from major security flaws. These features include not having pointers – objects that store the memory address of another value that can cause unauthorized memory access. Also, it has a security manager, which is a security policy that is being created for each application where you can specify access rules. Taking these two features into consideration, you can rest assured that Java applications can be run in a “sandbox”, eliminating the risks of possible damage.
Java has multithreading. Let’s take a step back and explain the notion. A thread is the smallest unit of processing. What Java can do is allow you to run multiple threads simultaneously in order to maximize utilization of CPU time. This process is called multithreading.
8. Massive Community
Finally, the Java’s community is massive – there is a statistic that says that about 45% of StackOverflow 2018 respondents use Java. The ecosystem is extensive, and there are thousands of well-tested libraries and frameworks for any use. Plus, Java seems to be one of the most sought after programming language courses as there are more than a thousand courses on Udemy and more than 300 on Coursera.