Sun Microsystems first released Java in 1996. At first, they intended to implement Java into televisions to enable interactivity, but these plans fell through. Instead, Java found its niche in server-side programming — the invisible background workings of applications.
Java is a statically typed programming language with rigid syntax around declaring variables. With Java, you have to specify the types of values you’ll be saving to a specific variable. Once you declare a variable as a particular type of data (like a String), it must remain such for its entire lifetime.
Java is also class-based. Classes serve as reusable templates to produce objects. Objects are data structures used to store information. When programming in Java, you’ll use classes and objects to model real-life situations in code.
As you can see, Java requires a lot of code, even for something as simple as printing out “Here’s a bag of Cheese curls.” First, we write the class declaration, illustrated by the first line of code in the example above. Within the class declaration, we create the main method, which is a method that automatically gets called when the code runs. Lastly, we specify what we want to happen.
Because of its capacity for stability and data handling, Java is used for:
- Large-scale projects by big enterprises within the financial, trade, and automotive industries
- Android app development
- Back-end development
- Scientific computing
- Hardware and Internet of Things (e.g., Raspberry Pi, Sonos speakers, and Smart Refrigerators)
Java takes a while to learn, but its demand, versatility, and earning power speak to its value. You’ll also find that there’s a satisfaction that comes with building a big project from the ground up — especially when it’s your code that makes it all run smoothly.