Browsing IT jobs makes it very clear almost at once – Java is one of the most popular programming languages. Inspired by bright perspectives of challenging enterprise-level international projects, beginner learners rush for educational resources.
Needless to say, not all of those who learn Java will make it for a simple reason that beginner learners’ mistakes are so common even with Java. And sometimes those have nothing to do with the Java itself but rather with the approach to the learning process.
In this article, I will go over the mistakes and offer you working solutions. Don’t let minor hurdles stop you from great success! Just add a little persistence.
Simple Things That Make You Stumble
The first one is trying to grasp everything at once. You take a 300-page book and eagerly read the first 100 pages. And then another 50… And then you feel exhausted, hate everything and just can’t bring yourself to take another page tomorrow. Just don’t do that to yourself. Take it one step at a time and be ready for a long journey.
Another “hero-like” approach is sticking to complex tasks and ignoring simple ones. It’s way more productive to complete a dozen of easy ones and actually learn something than to take a difficult one and not to move anywhere in the end. Again, “step by step” will take you further.
Fear is a great enemy of every self-learner. You don’t ask questions lest anyone makes fun of you. Or you don’t experiment in resolving tasks because you are scared of mistakes. Of course, there are a lot of trolls on forums. But still, if you can identify your problem and ask for help, there will be a couple of sane people who would actually help you. Ignore all the rest.
Another stumbling block for a beginner Java learner is lack of practice. You just read things endlessly, but do next to nothing. That also won’t lead you anywhere. Your future possible job as a Java developer is actually coding. So how can you become a professional if you don’t practice Java? And don’t forget to allocate time for debugging. We learn from mistakes so ignoring errors in your code is not an option.
After several attempts to overcome the Java challenge you might feel like “this is it, I’m done”. Difficulties on the way and tiredness are a strong pretext to quit. This is one of those common mistakes that restrain the whole humanity from any success. Not only in learning Java.
So, what can be done about it? Here are some practical ideas for that.
How to Avoid Mistakes and Become a Great Java Dev
Problem 1#: too much theory
Solution: Practice. A good combination of both gives the best outcome. Search for courses that provide practical tasks along with explanations. Here are a couple of examples.
- CodeGym is an interactive practice-oriented Java course. You can learn writing code and get real experience with the language. The course is divided into 40 levels and is fun to listen to. About 1,200 tasks covering all the important aspect and a virtual teacher that gives personal recommendations will definitely lead you to the desired proficiency level.
- CodinGame is a training platform for programmers where you can improve your coding skills with fun exercises. Choose Java, resolve the tasks, join the community and enjoy the process.
- Codewars is another game-like project that allows you to learn by playing. Enter the community, resolve tasks, earn ranks and get support from the co-warriors.
And a small tip. Code by hand also. First, it will sharpen your attention to what works or not. You can’t check if the written code is right if only done halfway. Thus, you put much more effort into your learning. And mechanical hands memory is a good partner of yours. By the way, at job interviews, some companies offer to write a piece of code on a sheet of paper. So, you will be double ready for the challenge.
Problem 2#: fear to ask questions
Solution: It’s normal to ask for help. Everyone started somewhere. There are plenty of various communities for Java learners. Guess what they all are discussing there? Exactly what you need to know – how Java works and how to resolve challenges. So why not check out what is already available?
Reddit can be a great source of tips for a beginner Java learner. Besides news, memes and other types of media, there are forums like Learn Java, Javahelp, and Java where you can ask questions and get the information you need to proceed.
Stack Overflow is another cool resource for Java starters. This is a worldwide developers community where you can find virtually everything about coding. Here is a subdivision on Java. But you might want to browse more of it.
Problem #3: lack of consistency
Solution: constantly refresh your knowledge. Some well-structured online resources might help.
- Tutorials point contains explanations of all Java concepts from basic to advanced level.
- GeeksforGeeks offers a detailed description of everything a Java geek needs to know. There’s a clearly arranged table on contents where you can choose what topic you would like to refresh.
- Coderanch is another powerful and funny tool for gaining additional knowledge of Java. A friendly place for programming greenhorns, they call it. The forums are divided into subtopics, so it’s quite easy to find what you need.
Problem #4: writing code just for the sake of writing
Solution: think about the purpose of the code first. It’s not just about typing another line. It’s about resolving a real issue with a programming tool. So, elaborate on a simple algorithm that would lead you to a solution. And start coding when you have a notion of what to do and why.
Problem #5: I just can’t resolve this. Should I quit?
Solution: Take regular breaks. No, you won’t make it in one day. Remember the 300-page challenge we talked about? Here it’s the same. Your brain needs pauses to digest the new information and shape a skill. And one more thing. When you encounter a difficult task or debug something, and it still wouldn’t work, take a break and come back to this later. A refreshed mind finds solutions better than an exhausted one.
So, now you see that the obstacles are not that scary. Every Senior Java Developer was a beginner learner once. And there is a solution to every problem. You don’t have to read every written word about programming on Java. You don’t have to restrain yourself from asking questions and seeking help. You don’t have to quit. Persistence, regular practice, and knowledge refreshment will finally land you a Java developer job.