Is Java A Good First Language To Learn? Top Reasons To Learn Java

So, is Java a good first language to learn? I am going to cut right to the chase and tell you that Java is indeed a great first programming language to learn. While there are many great programming languages to start your programming career, Java is among the top of the list. There is a reason why most colleges and universities start out by teaching Java and not some other language like JavaScript. Also, yes they are very different languages!

In this article, we are going to break down exactly why Java is a great first language to learn. So without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

1. A Popular, In-Demand Language

The first reason Java is such a great first programming language to learn is that it is popular. According to the PYPL Index in December of 2021, Java was ranked second in popularity in the world. Falling just behind Python at a share of 17.82%. Why is this important?

Well, for two reasons.

I. More Learning Resources

The first reason the popularity of a language is so important is that the language will have more, high-quality learning resources. Especially since the language has been around so long, it’s easy to find a plethora of high-quality videos out there to help you teach yourself.

As a self-taught developer myself, I know how important this is. When you are first learning how to code, literally everything is confusing to you. The last thing you need is a lack of high-quality resources making it harder.

Personally, I really liked watching udemy courses when I first started learning how to code. If you’re brand new to coding and have no idea where to start, I also wrote this article to help you out.

II. More Job Opportunities

Not only does Java being a popular language mean higher quality resources, but it also means there are a lot of job opportunities out there. For a very long time, Java has been considered one of the top programming languages in the world. For that reason, there is a ton of software out there that is still being actively written and maintained in Java.

Java has been around for more than 25 years and has stood the test of time unlike a lot of the newer technologies out today such as Julia, Dart, and TypeScript. For that reason, we know that Java isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and there will likely be a lot of Java programs to maintain and build for years to come.

2. Usable Across CompSci Industries

Write once, run everywhere.

This is the concept that originally made Java what it is today. The ability to write code once and run it on any device that you need to. One of Java’s most desired features at the time. For this, Java has become a generalized programming language that is used in many different fields of computer science.

This is great for a beginner who still hasn’t learned a programming language because there are many different fields you can easily get into. Whether you like web development, mobile development, building desktop applications, game development, and everything in between. You don’t need to decide right now, nor should you! With Java, you can spend time learning the language and fundamental programming concepts and figure out the rest later.

Although to be fair, you can always learn to code in another language after you learn Java as well if needed.

3. Relatively Easy To Learn

Java is also a relatively easy programming language to learn. It is considered a high-level programming language and was created to be fairly simplistic and human-friendly to read.

Many people would say that languages like Python and JavaScript would be easier to learn, but I will explain why Java is better to learn first than those languages.

Java is well-structured, with many built-in methods to help you code faster and easier without the need to understand exactly how everything works on a lower level. This means you can skip over topics such as garbage collection, data structures, or any big intimidating topics that may scare you away from programming all together.

4. Enforces Good Object-Oriented Practices

Finally, Java is a good first programming language to learn because it attempts to enforce good object-oriented practices. This is really important when you are a self-learner teaching yourself how to code.

At the start, Java might seem more complicated than languages like Python and Java because it contains more boilerplate code. However, the fact that it is statically typed means that you are forced to think about the types used in your program. Whereas in Python and JavaScript, you can run into a lot more roadblocks because you don’t fully understand your program while trying to debug it. Not to mention, a lot more of your bugs will be caught in Java due to your type checker.

Not only this, but object-oriented programming is very straightforward in Java. The paradigm is displayed very simply and it is relatively simple to wrap your head around. Compare this with JavaScript for example, which combines functional programming, object-oriented programming, and at times, procedural programming. It makes the language much harder to understand and master. This is a similar problem in Python as well.

Summary: Why Java Is A Good First Language To Learn

So that pretty much wraps it up. Why Java is a good first programming language to learn. First, It is a popular, in-demand language. This means that there are tons of great resources online as well as job opportunities. Second, you can branch out into any area of computer science you want with the language, so you don’t need to worry about immediately learning a second language after learning Java. Finally, it is a relatively easy language to learn and still attempts to uphold the coder to good coding practices and teach a very popular, useful programming paradigm called object-oriented programming.

Grant Darling

Grant is a full-stack / frontend software developer passionate about writing & coding. He has many years experience working in the tech industry both as a freelancer and as an employee.

The Code Bytes is all about providing people with honest information about programming. To learn more about Grant, read his about page!

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