What is a Java Developer?

Aspiring computer gurus looking for an in-demand career path should consider becoming a Java developer. In this case, Java refers to a specialized software programming language from Oracle rather than a steamy cup of coffee. Java developers are highly trained professionals who focus on designing creative applications using this popular programming platform. They play a prominent role in maximizing the use of standard, enterprise, and mobile Java systems in software engineering processes. In today’s digital world, demand for Java developers is high to build everything from Android apps and electronic trading systems to games and online databases. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that hiring will grow much faster-than-average by 17 from 2014 to 2024, thus spawning 186,600 software development jobs. Below is a detailed job profile about Java developers to help determine if this is your ideal profession.

What Java Developers Do

Java developers have the primary responsibility of configuring innovative computer applications or interfaces with JSE and JEE languages. They’ll oversee all software development aspects from soliciting clients and designing prototypes to programming the final product. Java developers also test and continually update their software to ensure smooth functioning on Windows or Mac systems. Typical daily duties can include analyzing user needs, planning application design, coding, addressing security issues, conducting software maintenance, and monitor the project’s budget. Java developers will collaborate with other IT specialists, including computer programmers and web designers. Communicating with the project manager is also important to ensure the Java application offers the desired functionality.

Where Java Developers Work

According to Oracle, 89 percent of U.S. computers run Java. Company servers in most industries are built on Java applications. Therefore, a large percentage of America’s over 1.1 million software developers specialize in this programming language. Java developers are most often employed by computer systems design firms. Another significant percentage works for software publishing companies. There are also opportunities for Java developers to get hired in electronic manufacturing plants, private corporations, technical consulting services, financial institutions, and healthcare organizations. Some even find success with the Oracle Corporation itself. Most Java developers work full-time with weeks beyond the normal 40 hours. Telecommuting could be an option for working from home.

How to Become a Java Developer

Learning how to maximize the capabilities of Java for high-tech software requires significant training. Java developers typically hold at least a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. Majoring in computer science, programming, software development, or another related field is suggested. Whenever possible, take courses directly related to Java. Some employers will prefer hiring Java developers with a Master of Computer Science or Master of Software Engineering degree. Outside the classroom, students should take on internships and co-ops for experience in software companies. Java developers may need to begin as computer programmers or web designers. Pursuing professional certification from Oracle is optional, yet encouraged. Doing so will require passing a 70-question exam.

Related Resource: Embedded Systems Development

Overall, Java developers are the imaginative minds who write user-friendly software that runs on various computer devices. Since its inception in 1995, Java has become a preeminent programming language for commanding apps. In exchange for customizing software with optimal efficiency, Java developers are rewarded an average yearly salary of $102,160. Working as a Java developer also places you on the lucrative promotion pathway to applications director, IT project manager, and computer systems manager.