What makes Java popular?

Welcome! Java is a very interesting programming language, it is very popular and has been used for several applications since it was developed by James Gosling in 1995 at Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle.

In this post, I will share with you the facts that I have been learning about Java to understand what makes it different from other programming languages. I decided to learn Java because of its popularity and importance in software development and web development. I think that learning Java in addition to other programming languages will allow you to understand computer science and software development in a deeper way, you will understand how Java implements object-oriented programming and several other elements.

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In my opinion, learning Java is fundamental for becoming a software developer and understanding the big picture of this field, you can become a software developer without knowing Java but knowing about the language will allow you to learn easier, and faster new technologies. Java covers several concepts such as the OOP paradigm, automatic garbage collection, access modifiers, data structures, algorithms, distributed computing, and much more.

  • Java is popular
  • There are jobs for Java developers
  • Java has been everywhere
  • Java is used in real-world apps
  • Java has remained powerful
  • There are lots of Java tools for solving different problems and necessities
  • Java community is big and passionate
  • Java is still being updated
  • Many things more…

Java is a programming language, designed to be concurrent, class-based, and object-oriented, as well as a computing platform. Java is high-level and designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible.

The slogan to illustrate the cross-platform benefits of Java by Sun Microsystems was ”Write once, run anywhere”.

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A high-level programming language is a programming language that abstracts details of a computer. That is a programming language that enables a programmer to write programs that are more or less independent of a particular type of computer, they are closer to human languages and further from machine languages. In contrast, low-level languages are closer to machine language such as assembly language, these languages are closer to the hardware.

The main advantage of high-level over low-level languages is that they are easier to read, write, and maintain. Ultimately, high-level languages must be translated into machine language by a compiler or interpreter.

Specifically, Java is compiled. Before execution, Java code needs to be compiled into bytecode, which is a special machine language native to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and executed by it. The JVM interprets and then executes this code at runtime.

The javac command-line tool compiles Java source code into Java class files containing platform-neutral bytecode. The compiled class files (bytecode) can be executed by the JVM.

The JVM is composed of five subsystems:

  • ClassLoader
  • JVM memory
  • Execution engine
  • Native method interface and
  • Native method library

Computers and applications are expected to do more than one thing at a time. Software that can manage multiple tasks at a time is called concurrent software. Concurrency is also the ability of different units of a program to be executed out of order, or at the same time. This can significantly improve the execution speed of a program. Java supports this.

In concurrent programming, there are two basic units of execution: processes and threads. In Java, concurrent programming is more concerned with threads, however, processes are also important.

Class-based programming is a style of OOP, where the inheritance mechanism (One child class can inherit behavior and properties from a parent class) occurs via defining classes of objects.

OOP (as we all know) is a programming paradigm based on the concept of objects and classes, where classes can be seen as blueprints for objects and objects as instances of classes. Objects then can have data in the form of properties and code in the form of functionalities.

When we say that Java is designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible, it means that Java modules are designed to have low interdependence. This is translated into a sign of having a well-structured system, and a good design, that is a system with high readability and maintainability.

Languages that are designed to suit a specific purpose are called domain-specific languages.

In contrast, we have general-purpose programming languages to suit a wide range of domains.

Some of the domains where Java is used are:

  • Web-based applications
  • Enterprise applications
  • Scientific applications
  • Gaming applications
  • Mobile applications
  • Desktop GUI applications
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  • Scalability
  • Cross-platform
  • Memory-management
  • Multi-threading

As we saw, Java is everywhere, it touches every software development field and is used by popular platforms that you might often use. So if you are wondering if you should learn Java as a developer, the answer is yes.

Thank you for reading, see you in the next post!

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Eduardo Ahumada

Engineer looking to help and contribute. Learning about Software development and Computer Science.