What does Java exactly do? You know it is a programming language, right? What sort of programs are written in Java? Why do people learn the Java programming language? Like these, and many more questions you may have about Java and we are going to provide the answers on this page.
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What is Java programming?
The simple answer is, when you write code in Java, you are indulging in Java programming. Since it is an Internet-friendly language, Java is extensively used for Internet programming, mobile app development, multitier gaming as well as online business application development.
Why was Java developed?
Before Java, it was mostly C and C++ in which programmers and developers worked. C++ is quite cryptic. It is difficult to understand. At Sun Microsystems they were developing lots of intelligent appliances back then and they needed a simple programming language to write system-level programs that could be easily embedded on microchips.
Interestingly, Java was originally designed for interactive TV. But then, it proved to be too advanced for the cable television industry, at least at that time. So, instead of writing code for media devices such as set-top boxes for the televisions, programmers soon discovered, to their great excitement, that it was the perfect language for Internet programming.
Consequently, if you can remember one of the first GUI browsers for the Internet, Netscape, was shipped with Java pre-installed and in fact, many of its components were written in Java. Programming and software development were catching on. Computers were becoming mainstream.
Although in the early nineties it was mostly the businesses and enterprises that used computers, a programming language was needed so that cross-platform applications could be written. What does that mean?
Although C++ is a very capable language, one of its major problems is that it needs a compiler. It is very architecture-specific. For example, if you have written a C++ program for a Windows environment, it is not going to run in a UNIX environment or Mac OS environment.
With Java programming, they intended to change that. Hold on to this thought, we will come back to it. Another reason was, a simpler language was needed. The original Java programming had just 50-51 indigenous functions or words.
The rest of the capabilities came from thousands of libraries and add-on files that were later created. It was a more human-like language. It was easier to learn. It was easier to program. It was easier to switch from other languages to Java.
Different companies were working in the field of intelligent devices (programmable televisions, washing machines, and air conditioners) and programmers were needed who could write machine-level code without having to learn the complexity of C and C++.
Java was a big step in that direction. James Gosling is credited with the creation of the Java programming language. There are different anecdotes on why the language was named Java. Originally the language was called Oak.
Some say that the word oak represents strength and integrity, and some say that when James Gosling was working on the language, he used to sit by the window of his room and just a few meters away from the window, there was a massive oak tree.
The original name was inspired by the oak tree. Later, it was discovered that the name was already trademarked by a company called Oak Technologies. Since lots of discussions took place on cups of coffee in the cafeteria of the company, the name Java came up and got stuck with the programming language.
Some famous applications in Java
Java is one of the top 3 programming languages in the world, in the league of C++ and Python. So, naturally, almost every major known application has its Java version, even the famous Minecraft game.
In fact, the Minecraft game was originally written in Java but then later, it was adapted to other platforms including Windows and video game consoles. One of the most famous applications that have a big chunk of Java in it is of course Android, the mobile OS installed on billions of devices.
Having said that, the Android operating system has been mostly written in C. Nonetheless, programmers who want to develop mobile apps must have a fair knowledge of the Java programming language.
Java became a natural favorite among programmers because it runs inside a virtual machine. You don’t need to compile your Java programs for individual machines. By the time mobile apps became popular, hundreds of thousands of programmers knew Java and instead of learning a new language, they preferred to program in the language they already knew.
Another reason why it is easier to write, or at least, it was easier to write mobile apps in Java programming language because many mobile phones came with Java ME. Java is also a low-level language as, remember, initially it was developed for machine-level programming.
So, what are some famous software applications and mobile apps that have been majorly written in Java? Here is a list:
- Google Docs and other Google applications
- Google Earth
- Acrobat Reader
- Major parts of Twitter
- Wikipedia search
- NetBeans and the Eclipse IDE
- IntelliJ IDEA
These are some general used applications that are accessible to the public. Most of the enterprise-level software applications are written in Java. 90% of enterprise computers in the world have Java installed on them one way or another.
Why is Java so popular?
This is a loaded question. You can ask such a question in any language. Why is PHP so popular? After all, most of the platforms that can be downloaded, uploaded to your server, and then installed, are written in PHP, for example, WordPress and many mainstream shopping cart applications.
Java is one of the oldest languages, so it certainly got the initial traction. The adoption rate was quite high. People who wanted the power of C++ but didn’t like the language due to its cryptic syntax quickly started using Java.
It was also friendlier for machine-level language. But what was its main, distinctive strength?
Java is machine independent.
What does that mean?
When you write programs in a language like C or C++, the compiler creates only a natively executable code for that particular machine. For example, if you are working on Windows, in C or C++ you can create programs only for Windows (unless you have a specific program that generates code for Mac OS or Linux).
The point is, for different machines you need to write different code. Java’s tagline is “write once, run anywhere”. The Java compiler produces bytecode. The Java Virtual machine (JVM) is installed on individual machines and it mainly resides in the RAM of any operating system.
The JVM already understands the architecture of the platform it is running on. It is a JVM that converts the bytecode into the native machine code. This makes the Java programming platform independent.
Hence, if someone asks “what does Java do?” one of the most appropriate answers is that it enables you to write code that can execute on multiple machines. When you do programming in Java you don’t have to write separate code for separate operating system environments.
This saves your development and maintenance cost, and this is one of the primary reasons why many enterprise-level applications are written in Java. The programming language saves millions of dollars for big corporations.
As written above, one of the reasons why Java is so widespread is because it got the initial advantage. When it was introduced, it was easier to program in Java so it quickly caught on. Since then, thousands of applications in some of the biggest organizations in the world have been written using Java.
Many banks, retail businesses, insurance companies, mega services companies, logistics companies, telecommunications companies, and manufacturers have used Java for their bigger applications.
So, if you want to work in these organizations you need to know Java. For example, if the entire system in a bank has been written in Java and you are applying as a programmer, it is but natural that you must know how to program in Java quite well.
As a result, most of the programming courses have Java as one of their main languages. Programmers worldwide vouch for its efficiency and timelessness. The Java code never goes out of fashion.
The code that was written 15 years ago still runs quite well on the latest machines because the Java Virtual machine installed on those computers and devices is automatically updated. So, all the advantages coming from the up-to-date machines are automatically leveraged by Java programs, no matter when those programs were written.
Another reason why Java is so widely used is that it is a perfect server-side language. Most of the back-end development projects for web apps are written in Java. Big data projects and background modules for many Android applications are written in Java.
Java is also free, well, more or less. It costs nothing to build advanced applications in Java. You can simply download any of the freely available Java development kits and start creating software applications, web apps, and mobile apps using the programming language.
This is unlike other programming languages like C++ for which you need to purchase a license before you can write commercial programs. Talking of Android, Java is still favorite among Android app developers even when many other languages and platforms are available to develop mobile apps.
For example, an increasing number of app developers are using Kotlin to build mobile applications. Java was publicly launched in 1995 and then it was declared open source. Later, around 2008, Java was procured by Oracle.
In 2015 Oracle declared that Java has both free and paid versions.
Should you learn Java programming?
Want to improve your job prospects as a programmer? Then you certainly should. What does Java do for you as a programmer? It is not necessary that you need to know Java to be a successful programmer, but if you know Java, you are at an advantage.
It is one of the most widely used languages so once you have learned Java, and if you are proficient in it (that is, you’re employable) you can get a job in any major industry. As is written above, most of the big organizations have gotten their enterprise applications written in Java.
They constantly need Java programmers to upgrade their applications, add new features and work on bugs and tweaks. In all these renowned organizations, Java programmers are constantly needed.
Even in the government sector, especially healthcare, education, insurance, and even defense, Java has been extensively used. Hence, if you want to become a government employee, then it can work to your great advantage if you learn Java.
Most of the programmers pick it up as their language preference when they are just starting out with programming because it is reasonably easy to learn. It has an English-like syntax. By itself, it has just 51 commands or keywords and the rest of its abilities come from thousands of libraries that you can find on the Internet.
Want to make a career in mobile app development? Although there are many other programming languages and mobile app development tools and toolkits that are non-Java, Google’s Android API is built using Java.
So, if you want to derive maximum benefit from the Android app development environment, which is predominantly in Java, it is better that you are well acquainted with the programming language.
What about web applications? Do you know that Google’s Gmail has been written mostly in Java? From search, Google is rapidly moving to the SaaS-based applications and most of its online applications are built using Java and Python.
There are innumerable software development tools available in Java, for example, Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and NetBeans IDE. Some are free, some are commercial. OpenJDK, for example, is a free and open-source Java development kit that you can straightaway download and start working in.
In fact, you can write a great Java application by simply using Notepad++. Then, of course, there is a huge community of Java developers. Java programmers from all over the world are constantly uploading Java libraries and code files that you can download and start using without any obligation.
Many programmers are known to build full-fledged applications by simply downloading these Java code files and libraries and then combining them to create applications. The longevity of the Java programming language is another reason why you should learn Java.
If you want to know what does Java does for your career, it gives you a failsafe career option. Since many organizations are running applications that are developed in Java and it would be unimaginably expensive to get these applications re-written in any other programming language, and since Java can be easily upgraded with strong backing from companies like Oracle and Google, they will go on using Java.
This means, for many decades you can work as a Java programmer in multinational companies and organizations as well as government departments. Of course, since it is platform-independent, you’re not just confined to writing Windows-based programs.
Since Java programs can be run on multiple machines, once you have created a software application or an app, it can be sold and promoted for multiple environments, improving your career prospects in the process.
Many programmers say that once you have learned Java you can learn pretty much every language.
Major Java programming features
Now we come to the meat of the Java programming language. What makes it so powerful? Why hundreds of thousands of programmers all over the world vouch for it? After all, there are newer, much more and well-adapted programming languages that have been built after Java with many more features and much friendlier syntax.
Of course, as mentioned above, one of the primary reasons why Java is so widely used is that in the initial days, it was adopted by major organizations and now, they have no choice but to continue using the language. But that’s beside the point.
Listed below are some features that make Java so powerful.
Java programming is object-oriented
What does that mean? C++ became powerful because compared to the conventional C programming language, C++ is object-oriented. There are 2 primary conventions of programming: procedural programming and object-oriented programming.
In procedural programming, you write functions and methods to perform operations on the data. In object-oriented programming, you create objects that encapsulate both data and methods that manipulate the data.
Since both the methods and the data are contained within their designated objects, the code is faster and easier to execute. There is a clear structure for the programs. This sort of programming gives your Java code the “Don’t Repeat Yourself” capabilities – once an object or a class is coded, it can be used by any programmer without bothering with what’s inside that object or class.
You can create reusable applications with less code and shorter development time. Talking about classes and objects, what’s the difference between a class and an object? We will take a real-world example.
Car is a class. From this class, different objects can be derived such as Honda, Tesla, Mercedes, and Toyota. They all have the basic features of a car such as a steering wheel, combustion engine, an aerodynamically efficient body, and seats to carry the driver and the passengers (aside from any other common features).
Hence, once a class is built, it is easier to declare objects out of that class. All the features contained within the class are inherited by the object so it automatically has all the capabilities of the class.
This is the basic strength of object-oriented programming.
Java is machine–independent
This we have already discussed. So, what does Java do? It can run on any machine.
Java has advanced garbage collection
Another thing that makes Java popular, but in many cases, also unpopular. What is garbage collection? As a program runs, it creates many variables, memory locations, and data points and they occupy space in your computer or mobile phone.
In other programming languages, you need to write dedicated garbage collection code that takes care of these memory locations once the program finds out that they are not being used.
They need to be freed up so that they become available to other programs and applications. Java automatically releases the variables and the memory allocations if it feels that they are no longer needed by the program.
In other languages, you write separate code for it, but in Java, garbage collection is inbuilt.
Java can be multithreaded
This is what makes it ideal for web applications. Multithreaded means a single application can be divided into multiple applications and then these applications can be saved on servers on multiple occasions.
Then, these modules or applications can be accessed by the parent application as and when needed. How is being multithreaded beneficial? Suppose there are some resource-hungry modules that can be deployed on cheaper servers.
These modules can be expensive to run but they are rarely used by the users so, it doesn’t make sense to store them on expensive servers that need to bear lots of traffic on an ongoing basis.
This way you can optimize resource allocation. What are the popular Java programming tools and environments? Being a popular and widely used language there are many tools and environments that you can use to write and develop Java-based programs.
Some of the famous Java programming tools and development kits include Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans, and OpenJDK. Aside from these, the GIT platform is extensively being used these days for managing and version controlling large-scale Java projects.
If you want to develop web apps using Java you can use AngularJS and Spring MVC. As already written above, you can write some serious Java code using a regular text editor.
Some quick pros and cons of Java programming
Some of the advantages of using Java programming include:
- Object-oriented programming.
- Extensive Java documentation.
- Large online communities continuously posting Java code.
- State-of-the-art Java development kit.
- Machine independence, which means once you have written a Java program for one machine, it can run on any machine equipped with the Java runtime environment.
- Automatic garbage collection, and hence, no need to write extra code for this essential requirement.
- It is a high-level language with simple syntax and a mild learning curve.
- There are great career prospects because most of the large organizations use software applications built with Java.
- It has established a standard for enterprise computing.
- There are very few security risks.
- It can run in a distributed environment.
Some of the disadvantages of using Java include:
- It can go overboard when garbage collecting and may end up allocating more than necessary resources to garbage collection.
- It may lead to poor machine performance sometimes because an extra layer in the form of a virtual machine is needed to run all Java programs.
- It is often difficult to render a native look for Java programs as it has its own GUI.
- Although compares to other languages its code is simple but sometimes it can be verbose and bloated.
Why get Java programming homework help from professional services like DoMyProgrammingHomework.io?
The more you program, the more proficient you get, then, why get homework help for Java programming from a professional service? When you get homework help from a service like DoMyProgrammingHomework.io it doesn’t mean you are shrugging away from the responsibility of doing programming yourself.
You do it because you want to focus on other pressing needs and you also want to better understand how Java programming is done. On your own, you may need to spend hours figuring out how to complete your homework.
On the other hand, if you can get it done from an online homework service and then carefully go through the completed assignment, you will be able to understand how a Java program is written.
What does Java do? Does it make it easier to program? In many ways, it does. Does it boost your career prospects? You have read above, it definitely does. Does it help write advanced applications?
It definitely does. Java is an all-encompassing programming language. From writing a simple desktop calculator to coding space exploration applications, it can handle all.