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Best Java Resources For Beginners

Every day the world of Java programming is flooded with beginners who want to learn the Java language. The benefits of knowing Java are almost endless. 

Given that Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the world, you will certainly not end up with poorly paid work!

Why Java?

Java is the core of many business applications. Learning Java is much more than just expanding your knowledge base; it can give you that much-needed boost in your career.

Java is an excellent option for novice professionals because it is a skill that is in high demand (three billion devices run Java!), which means you could have more job opportunities. According to the available data, 90% of the Fortune 500 companies use Java to create applications and internal systems. That is a financially viable career option when the average Java developer earns up to $102,514 a year.

Long story short, let's dig into some of the best resources out there:

The Best Resources

Online Courses

CodeGym is ideal for those looking for how to learn Java without programming experience:

  • CodeGym works like a video game; when you solve a problem correctly, you get "dark matter" (to open the next tutorial or level).
  • You play an anthropomorphic robot named Amigo, and you go through the course after each level, collecting and spending dark matter.
  • The course or game is based on the stories, which include space travel, extraterrestrial life, and robots.
  • The course consists of 40 levels (4 quests with ten levels), each of which includes about 15-30 coding tasks, 10-20 Java-lectures, as well as motivating articles that will help you to continue the work.

Codecademy offers free courses on Java programming language for beginners and experienced programmers alike. Codecademy provides opportunities to work and implement knowledge by providing various projects, such as the creation of a calculator and other applications.

Java Revisited offers a slightly different approach to learning Java. There are tons of practical tutorials that you can access to practice coding.

Codewars is another online platform that offers tons of practice. Codewars allows you to hone in on your language skills by teaching kata. Each kata has a rank, and each kata is a challenge for other programmers. When you solve more complex tasks, you can get more sophisticated tasks to improve your coding skills.

Books

Here is my top list of books to learn Java:

  • Head First Java – the first book about Java that I read, almost nine years ago. It's a great book, definitely worth reading. The best part here is the simplicity and how easily it relates to the concept of Java programming to real life.
  • Java: A Beginner's Guide (Sixth Edition).
  • Java: The Complete Reference (Ninth Edition). The book contains everything you need to become a master of the Java programming language, however, I don't think this is the best book for beginners.
  • Core Java Volume I — Fundamentals (9th Edition). That is a reference book containing a detailed description of the various features of Core Java. I like it more than The Complete Reference for several reasons: 
  •   It is not from Oracle (duh), 
  •   it is easy to read, 
  •   and it has less than 1000 pages (bummer).

Practice aka Pet Projects

A pet project is a small side project that does not depend on your actual work. 

You can use it to practice the skills you want to improve as a software developer, such as a new programming language, new design templates, or any other technology and workflows.

The most effective project for novice Java users is to find an existing open source project, preferably the one that you are currently using and enjoying, and try to add code something on top of it.

Blog

There are hundreds of blogs about Java all around the world. However, there are several places where you can find high-quality blog posts. Here are some of the most popular Java blogs that are out there:

Oracle Blogs | The Java Source - This is the official blog of Oracle itself. The Oracle blog is a platform where you can get the latest updates and information about Java SE and Java OpenJDK. Among the many categories, JavaIoT covers articles on the most recent Java technologies for small devices as well as security in payments, IoT, etc.

Javaworld - this is one of the leading Java blogs, which contains comprehensive resources on this programming language. This includes training resources, glossaries, the latest news, as well as reviews on tools and applications, and much more. You can even use this blog to find out the latest news about Java as a career option. JAVAWORLD is owned by IDC (International Data Group), a leading media technology company.

Coderanch.com - undoubtedly, this is the most popular and mandatory forum for Java programmers. These forums are handy for community interaction as well as preparation for Java certification.

Javarevisited - on this blog, you can find detailed learning materials on Java, including basic programming, frameworks, design templates, APIs, architectural styles, interview questions, and whatnot. For each of these topics, you can find detailed content, including explanations, samples, as well as frequently asked questions. The blog was created by Javin Paul, a passionate Java programmer, and technology blogger. 

Podcasts

Then, there are some podcasts for software developers. 

Of course, they don't allow you to put theory into practice right away. However, the podcasts are incredibly useful because they inform you about everything that happens with regards to the field. They will also help you to develop a broader view of the ever-evolving field of IT in general.

The best choice for beginners would probably be How to Program with Java Podcast. Here you will learn the basics and the most useful tips directly from the industry experts. This podcast will give you a step by step guide on how to use Java to create your applications.

The Java Pub House podcast tells you how to program in Java; not a typical system.out.println ("Hello, world"), but rather real problems such as setting up O/R, creating threads, getting specific components on the screen, or tips and tricks for troubleshooting in general.

Forums

Being one of the most popular programming languages, Java has naturally developed a vast community. 

There are many blogs, sites, and forums that can help you with the smallest details of Java programming. Even if you are not looking for advice, go hang out and try to help other people, because either way, it will also help you to improve your knowledge. 

That is very helpful to correct any misconceptions that you may have, as many Java gurus thoroughly analyze your messages. 

Here are some of them:

StackOverFlow – the undisputed leader of any forum that solves problems. It is useful not only to the Java developer but also to other developers such as JavaScript, C, C++, and others. StackOverFlow uses tags to organize content, and if you place your request, you must put it in the right tag. Java is one of the most popular tags in StackOverFlow and has almost 773596 messages to date. 

I bet your question has already been asked and answered. So make sure that you did the search. 

After StackOverFlow, Coderanch is the next most popular Java forum and is aimed more towards Java beginners. 

Oracle Java Forum is the official Java forum run by Oracle. This community site also has many categories, ranging from New to Java, JDBC, Swing, Java FX, Java Card, Java Mobile, to Java TV. 

To sum it up on the best resources to learn Java

Now that you are better equipped with strategies and methods to help you learn Java correctly, you are on the road to success. 

Generally, the keys to learning Java are practice and consistency. And of course, another key to Java is having fun!

Author’s bio Dmitrii B. is the CEO and founder of GRIN tech (full service & white-label agency).