Java Development: Brewing Code and a Career

By Phill Powell

Java is used on billions of devices, cellphones, ATMs, check-outs and more.

You’ve seen the logo: curved lines create the image of a steaming cup of coffee. For millions, this icon has nothing to do with coffee, but is however the Starbucks of computer programming.

This is the logo for Java™—a programming language that has become universally used since it was designed by James Gosling in 1995 and launched by Oracle Corporation, its developer.

Java is a developer’s dream. According to Oracle, more than 3 billion devices run Java. Learning a programming language like Java can be a smart career move for anyone interested in a career in computer science.

What Is Java?
Described as a “general-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented computer programming language,” Java was designed to be as “friendly” as possible. The intention was to let app developers “write once,” for code that could, “run anywhere”—meaning that Java code written for one platform does not need to be recompiled when the same code is used on another platform.

Java applications are compiled in bytecode, and can run on any Java-based machine, no matter what architecture that particular computer uses. Because of this flexibility, Java has become a household word—with more than 10 million users.

What Makes Java so Popular?
Java’s been around for nearly 20 years and thanks to its ease of use, Java’s now an important part of modern living. Here are just some of the applications that rely upon Java:

  • ATMs: Every time you use an automated teller machine to do your banking you’re using Java, Java providing the software portability that such technology requires.
  • “Rewards” Programs: Making a Best Buy purchase and using your “Rewards Zone” card to rack up purchase point? Java makes it happen, by reading your ID tag and cross-checking it against your purchasing history.
  • Minecraft: Mojang’s massively popular online game is also a sandbox construction game. Both parts were written in Java.
  • Android: When Google was designing the Android OS, Java was selected as a major component. Java technology powers more than 4.5 billion devices around the world.
    Learn Java
    The same things that make Java attractive to software developers—its ease of use and incredible portability—make it a smart and easy subject for kids and teens to start mastering. With a solid footing in Java, an aspiring software developer can go places, and start making their own cool games or apps.

    Digital Media Academy teaches kids and teens the fundamentals of Java programming—and helps them discover future career opportunities.

    And Java makes a great stepping stone, too. Learning Java is like mastering a language that lots of other languages are based on. After exploring Java, a developer can more easily get the hang of other programming languages.

    Digital Media Academy’s Java courses are designed for both kids, (with the Adventures in Programming camp), and teens (with Introduction to Programming with Java camp). Teens discover the concepts of programming and basic Java. Then master more programming languages, like C++ or Objective-C. Is gaming more your speed? Java for App and Game Development camp raises your Java skills even more, while giving you a taste of today’s hottest game & game-maker (Minecraft) and most popular mobile OS (Android).

    Turning Java into Jobs
    As of 2008, according to the Department of Labor, there were approximately 427,000 computer programmers working in America. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected that between 2010 and 2020, employment of computer programmers will rise 12 percent and add about 44,000 more jobs in the field. Top earning spots for programmers include San Jose, California; Rochester, Minnesota; and Durham, N.C.

    Java can definitely lead to a profitable and rewarding career. In 2010, the BLS reported that the median annual earning of computer programmers was $72,630. These numbers showed the best-paid 10 percent making approximately $115,610, with the least-paid 10 percent still earning $41,710.