Java has been one of the most common programming languages since it was created. It’s estimated that somewhere around 3 billion devices worldwide run on Java. Since its launch, Java has blossomed into one of the top five preferred languages for software developers for many different types of development.
As a programming language, Java is as relevant today as it ever has been, unlike many other programming languages, which have seen their importance and usability diminish as technology has evolved over time. In defiance of this, Java continues to improve and grow stronger with every upgrade that is released. As a result of this, Java has a reputation as a `serious` programming language that won’t simply disappear next year, or when the developers lose interest.
A brief background of Java
Java was developed in the early 90s. It was first designed for the digital cable television industry, and known initially as Green Team. In 1995 the name was changed to Java, based on the island in Indonesia where the coffee that the team used to drink came from.
In the mid to late 90s, Java was considered a cool and interesting programming language, and many programmers really wanted to make the switch to it. Companies found that they could hire good programmers by holding out Java migrations of code bases. Its usage also was pushed hugely by tech giant IBM, who invested heavily in the development of Java’s technology, community, and ecosystem.
As the Age of the Internet took off, so did growth in the use of Java. This is thanks to the core values that Java was built on, and which are still relevant for developers today.
How is Java used?
Java is a very useful programming language for many different purposes. One of the main reasons for this is that Java is a platform independent language. For example, you can create a program on Windows, and then run the same program on Mac and still get the same output.
There are many places where Java is used in the real world – from commercial e-commerce websites to Android apps, from scientific applications to financial applications like electronic trading systems, and from games like Minecraft to desktop applications.
Here are some of the principal uses for Java:
- Android apps – Although there are other ways to make Android apps, most of the applications are written in Java using Google’s Android API.
- Enterprise apps – Java is considered as the default programming language for the majority of enterprises, as it offers flexible integration and independent code
- Desktop apps – These include library management systems, attendance management systems, and billing systems.
- Web apps – Many government, healthcare, insurance, education, and defence departments have their web applications built in Java.
…as well as:
- Cloud computing
- Smart cards
- Computer games
As mentioned earlier, Java is a programming language that’s supported by tech giants. IBM and Google are just two examples of this. They have decided to use Java as a primary programming language of their core technologies. The effect of this has been to aid the development of Java at an accelerated pace as a result of the popularity of these huge companies. Thanks to the large commercial outputs of these companies, Java has been catapulted into the heart of commercial development – and it looks like it is here to stay.
What is it about Java that makes it so popular in commercial development?
Java has certain attributes that have contributed massively to its popularity. These include:
1. Java is user-friendly
Java is regularly the very first programming language that beginners try to learn. The syntax is similar to English, which makes it easy for many people to understand. By starting out with Java, users can do some simple things fairly easily, and the kinds of mistakes that they are likely to make are easily understood and corrected. Java is easier in particular than C or C++, where it’s easy to make mistakes that produce really baffling errors. If you already have a solid grasp of C and C++, it shouldn’t take you too long for you to master Java. What’s more, when you write Java once, you can run it almost anywhere at any time. This is the foundational strength of Java and why many developers program in it.
2. Java has excellent documentation
A key advantage of Java is that it benefits from many open source libraries that can serve as a resourceful reference. Java is very well documented, and you can find a detailed guide that will identify any problems that you might be facing while you’re coding in Java. Open sourced technologies such as Java are generally popular within the market because of their low barriers to entry.
3. Java has a large suite of powerful development tools
One of the main ways that developers can make sure they write rich and bug-free Java code is by benefiting from the many powerful development tools associated with the language. This includes automation tools, editors and debuggers, as well as much more. Each of these tools has been carefully crafted to alleviate different concerns from developers, but there is one common theme that runs through all of them, and this is that they all offer excellent support for coding and development. IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans, Eclipse are four of the most popular Java IDEs (integrated development environment).
4. Java has high levels of security and robustness
As cyber criminals continue to advance and improve their methods, developers need to fortify their software with innovation and advanced security systems. Thankfully, Java’s language and runtime systems have a number of effective security features written into them. For example, Java has eliminated the concept of pointers, so that people can’t access memory. Java is also very robust. Any developer who has previously used C++ or C will understand that Java is a far superior language for building applications due to its structure. It’s strong because it does not let you access its addresses, and also has powerful memory management, and good garbage collection.
5. Java is a multi-threaded programming language
A multi-threaded program contains two or more parts that can run at the same time, and each part can handle different tasks simultaneously. This is useful as it makes optimal use of the available resources, which comes in handy when your computer has multiple CPUs. When developers choose Java as their programming language, they can develop multi-threaded programs. This makes it a perfect programming language for the creation of responsive and interactive applications.
6. Java has a high level of portability
One of the most popular aspects of Java is that it can be written and run across nearly all platforms, making it an extremely flexible and versatile programming language. This is all made possible due to Java’s virtual machine, which allows Java programs to run on any device or operating system. An additional advantage is that Java is available in a number of frameworks, meaning that the developer does not need to spend ages writing code in order to implement a particular function, which shortens the development process and makes it much simpler.
7. Java’s popularity means that there is an abundance of developers
There are hundreds of programming languages out there – some are simple and some are complicated, and some are common and some are rare. Java is one of the few languages that is both simple and common. This means that it is a language for which there are many developers who can use it with ease. For companies looking to recruit developers for a project, choosing the Java technology stack will mean that they open themselves up to many more potential developers. This is preferable to choosing a much more rare programming language, where very few developers would be available – and would probably cost a lot more money!
8. Java has a large online community
The fact that Java has been such an integral part of the software world over the past two and a half decades means that it has a massive online community, where you can easily seek out the answers to questions you may have, get support if you’re stuck, or offer your own valuable experience. Plus, the Java community has been in existence for a much longer time than those concerned with more modern programming languages like Python and Ruby, so debates are more mature, and built on many more years of experience.
Although there are multiple programming languages available for enterprise software development, there are some who are much more accessible than others. Since its inception in the early 90s, Java has been an essential language for developers around the world to learn. It has managed to fend off challenges from more modern programming languages which have tried to steal its popularity. This has been achieved by keeping it simple, secure and versatile, and frequently upgrading itself to make sure that it stays useful and relevant.
Its flexibility and ability to mould itself to different projects mean that it is a common solution for many different types of commercial need. For many developers it’s their preferred language, and will continue to be so for many years to come, given Java’s ability to adapt to changing trends.
If you are looking for a development company which is competent in Java to create seamless and feature-rich services, then get in touch with OmegaLab today.