At the end of this article, you would conclude that:
What is Java and Its Key Features?
Java is an object-oriented programming language that is primarily used for creating a variety of applications, including web, mobile, desktop, and enterprise applications. It is composed of a virtual machine platform that enables you to develop compiled programs that are compatible with various platforms.
Java was first released in 1995 by Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle Corporation) and has since become one of the most popular programming languages in use today.
Here are some of the key features of Java:
Platform Independence – Java has a compiler that converts source code into an intermediate bytecode. The bytecode can operate on any platform that has a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installed which makes it platform-independent.
Memory Management – Java has an embedded management system that allows programmers to manage memory with little or no difficulty. The JVM takes care of memory allocation and garbage collection.
Robustness and Security – Java possesses strong built-in security features that make it a reliable programming tool. It comprises automatic memory management, exception handling, and bytecode verification.
In addition, Java effortlessly checks for errors through the Java compiler. The compiler can easily detect errors that remain undetected by other programming languages.
Multithreading – Java supports multithreading, which allows you to execute multiple threads of a program concurrently. It is ideal for developing applications that require high levels of concurrency.
Libraries and Tools – Java provides users with a vast array of libraries and tools that enhance the development of a variety of applications, such as Eclipse, NetBeans, and Apache Maven.
Community Support – Java has a large, functioning, and active community of developers who contribute to the development of Java through open-source projects and forums. This makes it easy to find support and resources when working with Java.
You can easily distinguish between server vs. client-side scripting knowing that client-side scripting executes commands with web browsers and the other executes commands with web servers.
In Java, OOP is an integral part of the language and is used extensively to model complex systems. Java supports the four pillars of OOP: encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, and abstraction.
Encapsulation in Java is achieved using classes and objects. Classes provide templates for objects in the form of attributes (fields) and methods. The fields represent the data, and the methods represent the behavior of the objects.
The image below represents a simple class in Java:
The class represents a person having two fields (name and age) and two methods (getName and getAge). The fields are declared private to ensure encapsulation, and the methods are public to allow access to the fields.
Inheritance is another significant feature of OOP in Java. Inheritance allows a class to inherit the properties and methods of another class. Here is an example:
This class extends the person class and inserts a new field (grade) and a new method (getGrade). The super keyword is used to call the constructor of the parent class.
Polymorphism is the ability of objects of different classes to be treated as if they are the same. In Java, polymorphism is derived using two methods: method overriding and method overloading. Here is an example:
The image shows a parent class (Animal) and a child class (Cat) that overrides the makeSound method and overloads it with a new version that takes an integer argument. The Cat class can now be treated as both an Animal and a Cat object.
Abstraction is done by hiding the complexity of a system and exposing only its basic features. In Java, abstraction is achieved through abstract classes and interfaces. Here is an example:
The example illustrates an interface (Shape) that defines a single method (draw) and two classes (Circle and Square) that implement the interface. The draw is the essential feature that is exposed, and the complexity of the implementation is hidden.
Prototypal inheritance allows objects to inherit properties and methods directly from other objects, rather than through classes. Here is an example:
Java is a statically-typed language, implying that its variables are declared with a specific data type at the time of their creation. This enables the Java compiler to enforce strict type checking at compile time, ensuring that the program is free of type errors before its execution.
Java supports eight primitive data types, including byte, short, int, long, float, char, boolean, and object reference types.
Java is compiled into bytecode, which is a platform-independent intermediate language that can be executed on any platform that has a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The JVM is a software implementation of a computer that executes the Java bytecode, providing a layer of abstraction that isolates the Java code from the underlying operating system and hardware.
Java is primarily used for developing desktop applications, server-side web applications, mobile applications, and embedded systems. Some specific areas of application for Java include:
Enterprise Applications – Java is widely used for developing large-scale enterprise applications, including customer relationship management (CRM) systems, supply chain management systems, and financial applications.
Mobile Applications – Java is used for developing Android mobile applications, which are widely popular.
Desktop Applications – Java is used for developing cross-platform desktop applications that can run on any operating system, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
Game Development – Java is also used for developing games where game servers are used for playing online and interactive multimedia applications.
Embedded Systems – Java is used for developing software for embedded systems, such as set-top boxes, routers, and medical devices.
Java has a vast range of applications and is widely used in enterprise, web, mobile, and embedded systems development. Therefore, there is a broad range of job opportunities available for Java developers, including software engineers, application developers, web developers, and enterprise architects.
Some popular job titles for Java developers include Java Developer, Full Stack Java Developer, Java Software Engineer, and Java Web Developer.
Java developers are among the highest-paid professionals in the software development industry. According to payscale, the average salary for Java developers in the United States is around $79,000 per year, with experienced Java developers earning up to $125,000 per year.
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