A great number of beginners in the field of Java face the same questions – “How can I enhance my Java skills?” and “How do I become a better problem solver in Java?” Without a doubt, you can read all possible theoretical materials; however, when you encounter the other real-world problem, the range of barriers appear here and there. Even Java experts with excellent theoretical knowledge find it hard to apply various concepts in the process of coding. Sometimes it happens that skillful Java coders find it hard to handle the problems, such as recursion use, binary search tree, and so on. They simply lack adequate knowledge and understanding of the concepts or fail to code enough.
If Java is your passion, but your knowledge has obvious gaps, then make sure to code as much as you can. Java coding is a combination of a range of skills. It means it’s impossible to learn it in a day or two. Instead, you will gain the desired skills with experience and time. In this article, we will take a look at how you can boost your programming skills and become a better Java problem solver.
Of course, being a great programmer is easier said than done. Besides, there is a huge difference between a poorly written code and the one produced by a pro. But how can you tell which code is good? Until you have seen it and know the key characteristics of good code, you can’t see the difference. In other words, make sure you read enough theoretical materials on the issue. As a rule, the authors of the books turn out to be experienced Java programmers themselves. They have many years of professional experience in the field and are ready to share it with the beginners. For instance, the book called “Effective Java,” written by Joshua Bloch, offers some good recommendations that both the coders with advanced skills and the beginners may use in their work. Wherever you find some good books for Java programmers, ensure to grab them all. After all, it is always nice to learn from the experience of someone who has been in your shoes. Besides, you can boost your Java skills in one of two ways. You either learn from someone else’s experience or experience it all yourself.
Get a Better Understanding of Object Oriented Principles
To boost your Java programming skills, you need to have a solid understanding of Design Patterns, Object Oriented principles, and algorithms. When it comes to OO principles, every Java developer has to be proficient in their concepts. It is important to have a strong understanding of the key basics by relating them to real-life situations. Here are the questions the coder has to ask herself:
- What is an object in the niche of Java?
- How is this object related to real-world situations?
- What is inheritance?
- What stands behind the term “relating to…”?
- What is the use of an interface? How can a Java developer apply it to real-life situations?
In case of every other concept, it is important to ask yourself – What is it? How can I use it? Why is it important to use it? Once you provide the answers to the questions, you will get a better knowledge of Object Oriented principles.
People can’t become professional Java problem solvers just by reading some blog posts. Theoretical concepts are useful, and you have to know them. However, you will find out more about potential Java limitations, or code more efficiently only when you practice.
So, to solve Java problems professionally, you have to write a lot of code. In case you’re just at the beginning of your programming journey, ensure to begin with writing programs that deal with simple issues like the Pascal triangle or palindrome. Once you master this technique, you can move on to the next level. It means you will be able to handle more complex problems, such as a node-based binary tree, and so on.
On the internet, you may find a lot of coding contests. So why not just try and participate in some to boost your skills? If you’re on the lookout for a web platform to practice Java coding, make sure to check Coding Ground.
Consult a Fellow Java Fan
Reading and getting into theoretical materials is nothing without talking. Approaching your friend who is also into Java and discussing a program is the right way to find better solutions to any issue. As you talk, your mind involves more. Besides, when you listen to someone else and find them facing the same problem, knowing you’re not alone with your issues helps to calm down. You will see that they miss some requirements, encounter the same gaps and bugs, as well as look for the same solutions.
When it comes to the field of Java, most programmers usually don’t let anyone else enter the world that they have built with their computers. That is why things like sharing, discussing, and debating will help you all immensely.
Do not just isolate yourself with your laptop. Instead, chat, listen and understand what your colleagues have to say. Who knows, maybe you will get some useful tips that will help you become better in Java.
Master Unit Testing
If there’s something that may separate a professional Java programmer from the one with average knowledge, it is definitely unit testing expertise. A skillful and proficient Java programmer, in most cases, provides unit tests for her codes. And in case she is a real pro in the field, you can easily tell that from her tests and codes.
Testing has become an integral part of the everyday routine of every good Java developer. There are many different tools that can be used not only for unit testing but automation and integration testing as well. Without a doubt, you can spend many hours or days enhancing your Java testing skills. However, if you are new to the world of Java, programming, and unit testing, we recommend starting with JUnit library. The source is both flexible and powerful. Make sure you get to know everything about its latest version!
Devote More Time to Java Problem
Before you begin to code, make sure to spend more time in order to understand and comprehend the problem, as well as decide on potential solutions. Thus, the rest of the process will become easier. The very moment you decide to do so, less time will be required to come with any issue on your way.
Comment on Blogs and Forums
It is the other opportunity that you can use in order to improve your Java problem-solving skills. By participating in online communities, you will see that you’re the one to benefit from sharing knowledge. Taking into account the fact that Java is a vast and huge field, you will most likely lose 90% of your knowledge if you don’t use it for more than four months. Participating in online debates, answering the queries of the other programmers, and commenting on the blog posts is a great way to reload your skills and fix your misconception.
When you decide to put what you know in front of others, you’re not only lending a helping hand to programmers in need but also test your knowledge. In other words, you will get someone benefiting from your skills and get your errors fixed.
While on the subject of communicating with the other Java programmers, it is also important to mention that by understanding others’ Java problems you get to learn more. It’s like you get an outside perspective on the issues in different contexts, investigate them, and come up with possible solutions. Browse these places regularly to provide Java programming help.
Learn the Basic APIs
Even if you’re the king of the theoretical materials on Java, it is important to master the basic APIs and language constructs. When it comes to Java, make sure that you have immense experience with the basic APIs, such as collections, JDBC, java.lang.*, generics, and so on. In case you work on building web apps, it doesn’t matter what framework is in use – you have to know all of the concepts related to JSPs and servlets.
Update Your Knowledge on Java
In the field of Java, new technologies keep evolving here and there. By the time you get your hands on your problem, the tools that should be used may become out-of-date and some brand-new frameworks may be designed with a bunch of options. So make sure to keep yourself updated about the newest techs.
Have Popular Code Utilities and Snippets at Hand
As you progress with your Java programming practices, you will be required to copy-paste the same fragments of codes over and over again. Make sure to have them all at hand! Things like ReflectionUtils, StringUtils, JDBC configuration, and log4.properties should be kept right by your computer to help you whenever you need it.
Without a doubt, keeping commonly used items won’t turn you into a Java pro. However, imagine your friend or colleague approaching you for help with some programming problem, and you just use ReflectionUtil that you have at hand. Voila! The right solutions are found in a flash!
Every Java developer can become a better programmer, but not every developer actually succeeds. In addition to the natural talent of problem-solving, it is important to work hard and never stop learning. The more you train the better you become. Keep calm and Java on!