Java is one of the most widely used, in-demand programming languages. In fact, the Informations Technology (IT) jobs website Dice says more than 16,000 Java programming positions are open on any given day. It’s used in everything from Android apps and web apps to operating systems and server ecosystems. So if you’re thinking about learning Java, check out the following tips for beginners.
Learn the Reserved Keywords
Newcomers to Java programming should familiarize themselves with the reserved keywords. Java uses 50 reserved keywords, each of which has a predefined meaning. “Break,” for instance, is used to end execution in the current loop body, whereas “int” is used to declare that a variable can hold a 32-bit signed two’s complement integer. Keep in mind that you cannot use any of these keywords for variables, classes or other identifiers (hence the name reserved). For a complete list of Java’s 50 reserved keywords, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Java_keywords.
Steer Clear of Unnecessary Objects
Do you really need to include that object in your Java code? Many beginners make the mistake of using unnecessary objects, which in turn consumes memory. You can avoid unnecessary objects by sticking with static factory methods instead of constructors on immutable classes.
Print on Same Line vs Different Line
It’s important for newcomers to Java programming to understand the difference between system.out.print() and system.out.println(), because these are two commands you’ll be using quite frequently. Print() will terminate the current line, replacing it with a newline character or sequence while printing an end-of-line character. Print(), on the other hand, will print on a different line. Play around with the system.out.print() and system.out.println() to see how Java code works on your compiler.
Being that Java is the brainchild of Oracle, beginners should check out the programming tutorials posted on Oracle.com. Under the “Trails Covering the Basics” section, you can find tons of helpful beginner guides.
Analyze Error Messages
Even the most seasoned Java developers will encounter an error message from time to time. Rather than simply exiting out of these error messages, you should take the time to read and interpret their meaning. A simple Google search will often reveal the meaning of an error message, at which point you can make the necessary changes to fix it.
Practice Makes Perfect!
As with most things in life, the more you practice Java programming, the more proficient you’ll become at it. When you come across new code, test it in your compiler. Even if you have no intention of applying the code for practical use, running it in your compiler will give you a first-hand look at how the code works.