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Career Options for Java Developers to Aim in 2022

Java is extensively used in all most all the programming fields, from android applications and web server tools to enterprise software. Java, in a way, has formed the backbone of the internet revolution.

Some of Java's salient features that make it the most loved language among programmers are:

  1. Simple
  2. Object-Oriented
  3. Secure
  4. Fast
  5. Dynamic
  6. Multi-threading
  7. Robust
  8. Portable
  9. Architecture-neutral

It is clear from the points mentioned above that java career opportunities are not fading anytime soon. Java has been set to stay the first choice for most applications due to its strong community, enterprise support, and growing popularity. Hence, it is both wise and lucrative to look for a career in Java as a software developer.

Before deciding on any career option, getting familiar with the current market trend and demands is important. The section will help you to select the best choice from the vast number of Java career opportunities.

  1. Get familiar with the skills required to stand out as a Java developer.
  2. Gain a better understanding of the different roles available as career opportunity.
  3. Estimate the expected salary by having a career in Java.

Understanding the required skillset

The first and foremost task in choosing the right career path is to have an in-depth knowledge of what is expected from you, i.e., the required skill set.

It is important to get familiar with at least the basic concepts of Java Programming language, such as:

  1. Syntax and semantics of Core Java
  2. Object-Oriented Programming (OOPs) concepts
  3. Working of Java

The best way to master your Java skills is by participating in online programming events or creating a small personal project. There are many certified programs available on the Internet to get certified for Java skills. Most choose the programs that Oracle provides to get certified. If you are looking to gain adequate knowledge to increase your chances of getting your next job, check out our full Java Tutorial.

Further, some of the skills expected from a Java developer are as follows:

  1. Understanding and debugging codes written in Java language.
  2. Deployment of software technique to in-house or remote servers.
  3. Deep understanding and experience of working on Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
  4. Integrating Java program with existing web and enterprise applications.

But, with Java being the primary language in many fields, every Java career opportunity requires a different skill set.

Soft Skills:

A developer needs more than just technical skills to be work-ready in today's work environment. Proficiency in soft skills is also a must nowadays. This helps them perform better at interviews and increases their efficiency at work. While hiring new developers, most of the companies also consider soft skills. These include:

  1. Good communication skills and great understanding with the client
  2. Punctual behaviour
  3. Delivering before deadlines
  4. Teamwork

Apart from the skills mentioned above, the developer should also keep up with the current trends. Most companies now build applications and services with features and implementation of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.

Let's have a look at different fields where Java is extensively used.

A. Mobile App Development

Many popular mobile applications, such as Spotify, Twitter, are developed using Java. It has been the go-to language for years. Although it might not be used in IOS development, it is beneficial when working with android studio.

Android studio: It is the official IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for the android operating system designed specifically for Android development. It gives you a development environment and access to android development tools such as SDK tools. It supports all the programming languages of Intellij, such as Java, Kotlin, C++, Go, etc.

Emulator: It is the most important and beneficial tool to test and debug mobile applications during development. It simulates a mobile environment on the PC. Other than the emulator provided by Android Studio, there are many other popular choices like vMac, NoxPlayer, Dolphin, etc.

User Interface (UI) design: It is essentially important in start-ups that do not have a professional UI designer in the team. The UI design must be user-friendly, attractive and handy.

Apart from these skills, there are many more such as getting APIs, handling and parsing XML, etc., but these should get you started.

B. Web Development

Java has mostly been used as the backend of a web application or on the server-side applications. A web developer is expected to know the basics of HTML, CSS, and APIs. But, to build a Java web application, you must get used to a few dynamic resources and tools that Java provides, such as:

  1. Servlets: It is a Java class used to handle HTTP requests.
  2. JavaServer Pages: For writing Java code with HTML for fast production.
  3. Jars: For the aggregation of files and metadata into one file.

Apache Tomcat is the most famous implementation of Java Servlets and JavaServer Pages, which has been a common choice to run applications on a server.

C. Desktop GUI Application

Java has become a handy tool for Desktop Application Development since the Swing toolkit is gaining popularity. For this field, one has to get skilled at making widgets with the tools like Swing GUI toolkit developed by JavaFX and Oracle. Both of them use AWT (Abstract Window Toolkit), available in the Java Development Kit (JDK), to build cross-platform applications.

To build Desktop Applications, you could also use SWT (Standard Widget Toolkit), a programming library developed by IBM. These days developers use SWT with Eclipse RCP to build Desktop GUI Applications.

D. Enterprise application

Enterprise applications are used to organize and model business processes for organizations. And the core tool used in developing enterprise software using Java is Java EE or Java Platform, Enterprise Edition. The need for enterprise software increases as new companies adopts the DevOps culture to increase efficiency.

E. Games

Many legendary games like Revenge of the Titans and Spiral Knights are developed in Java. Minecraft's original version is also written in Java, a very well-known game all over the globe.

Java has excellent career opportunities in the rising gaming environment. Java helps build a cross-platform version of the game without extra development costs and hence, is an excellent choice for building games. When it comes to building 2D games on Android, Java is the foremost choice.

And for this, familiarity with the physics involved in game development and building multi-threaded applications using Java is necessary. Getting to know how the new versions of JVM help improve garbage collection comes in real handy. Java persists despite the rising popularity of game engines like Unity and Unreal.

F. Scientific Applications

A developer's first choice is Java for building applications designed to carry out several mathematical operations and scientific calculations. Java's fast computing and processing speed make it the developer's first choice. MATLAB, a commonly used computing environment's UI, is also written in Java.

To build a complete scientific application in Java, use Java with the CUDA toolkit to support GPU computing (an important feature to carry out huge amounts of scientific computations). The Rootbeer GPU compiler should help you with that.

Java Career Opportunities

1. Junior Java Developer

It is the starting position for a software engineer. The engineer is responsible for writing, analysing, testing, and debugging the code in this position. They are generally a part of a team with leaders and mentors to whom they have to report.

As this is the developer's first job, they must focus on getting familiar with all the industry practices and standards at this stage. One must also focus on developing new skills to get better at their craft and thus make it easier for them to have a better position in the same company or switch to a better company. It is one of the good Java career opportunities.

2. Senior Java Developer

The complete charge of a project is what generally a senior developer is responsible for. In addition, they report to the company's executive officers and managers and write some code. They are also accountable for mentoring the developers that are new to the company or the project they are working on. It is seen as the standard job position for a developer.

3. Architect

The responsibility of a Java architect is to design and develop the application's layout. They classify the different logic layers, which further helps separate concerns among the team members working on the project.

The expectation from the architect is to develop the best technologies that are well-matched for the software to be built and ensure their compatibility with each other.

These job postings are generally posted by top companies that don't need a Java programmer who can do several things but just a programmer skilled in a particular area to optimize and enhance an existing product.

Apart from these, field-specific job postings require the programmer to be effective in a particular set of things. These include jobs like:

1. Java Web Developer

A Java web developer is usually at backend position, and the responsibilities include deployment and maintenance of the server-side code. It is very helpful if you know the basics of cloud computing as cloud-based systems are growing fast in the industry.

2. Android Developer

It is the most common job posting available and is also a required position in several start-ups. The developer's responsibility includes adding features to the android applications or building one.

Since almost every company and service now has a mobile app, the market for these jobs is likely to persist in the future.

3. Java EE Developer

The responsibility that is given to the Java EE developer is of building and maintaining the enterprise applications. Big companies usually post these jobs, and they look for a developer with some industry experience.

4. DevOps Engineer

DevOps Engineer is one more opportunity for an experienced developer. There's no formal career path to becoming a DevOps Engineer.

An experienced Java programmer passionate about managing the environment, automation, and improving overall structure can become a DevOps Engineer. These are either developers interested in network operations and deployments or system admins who have a passion for coding and scripting and move into the development side where they can improve the planning of test and deployment.

5. Solution Architect

The responsibility of a Solution Architect is to design applications or services for an organization. They typically are a part of a solution development team. They often work with an enterprise architect for the strategic direction and must have a balanced mix of business and technical skills. The job is to translate requirements created by functional analysts into the architecture and explain it through architecture and design artefacts.

A good understanding of fundamentals like Data Structure and Algorithms and System Design and Design patterns is a must to be a competent Solution Architect. As a Solution Architect, you should also be aware of different programming languages and technology stacks like Java, .NET, and other Web stacks.

6. Scrum Master

The scrum master is accountable for establishing the Scrum. A scrum is a lightweight framework that helps the developing team to generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems. The responsibility of Scrum Master is to run Scrum meetings daily and solve any blocker that comes on the way. It requires prominent skills like project management subject matter and some coordination abilities.

Scrum Master is a relatively new career option compared to Project Manager and Business Analyst, but it is becoming increasingly popular among companies that follow Agile methodologies for development. Having a good amount of experience with your project and your business area comes in handy for becoming a Scrum Master.

7. Analyst

The job of an analyst involves designing or modifying business systems or IT systems. For understanding the problems and needs of business stakeholders and subject matter experts, the analyst interacts with them, gathers documents and analyses business needs and requirements.

8. Full-stack Java Developer

If you're interested in working on web applications, you may consider a position as a full-stack Java developer. Full-stack Java developers often lead web development teams that design new websites and update existing ones. Developers may create web-based applications for a company or work with many businesses as a consultant. As consultants, they may provide advice and complete tasks for businesses using their various skills related to web-based programming. You must have the following skill to become a full-stack developer:

  • In-depth understanding of how to design front-end frameworks.
  • Must have testing ability
  • Friendly with microservices and implement them in an application.
  • One must familiar with various tools. It increases efficiency and work with a variety of web technologies. DevOps tools like Docker, Ansible and AWS help developers create applications quickly by helping them plan, test and monitor their code.
  • One must have extensive knowledge of libraries and understand how to create APIs within the code they write.

9. Freelancing

Various freelance websites present on the Internet like LinkedIn have made Freelancing easy and made networking with clients very fast using different online platforms. Freelancing can also work as a part-time Java career opportunity. It helps you in getting experience & add it to the CV as well.

But freelance isn't that easy and comes with its challenges such as:

  1. Less pay at the start
  2. High competition
  3. Irregular frequency of work
  4. Demanding clients

Freelance work for Java developers can generally be categorized into two types, centred at two different kinds of freelancers.

Coding Jobs: These are the gigs where you are required to work on a project or develop a new feature. These jobs are a very good start for your career. Fortunately, these jobs are mostly remote. You can freelance as a Java web developer or a Java app developer.

Consulting Developers: Those who have some years of experience in the industry usually get hired as developers. These jobs are generally posted by companies working on a short deadline targeting the launch or enhancement of a product or feature. These jobs are generally on-site work, and freelancers are part of the projects team. The contract ends at the end of the project.

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