Essential skills to learn Java Developer — Beginners Guide

7 min readAug 26, 2022


Software developers consider Java as a foundational coding language, and they use it to develop web-based applications and software for multiple platforms.

Though Java is a basic programming language, professionals may learn specific skills to become advanced programmers. Along with coding skills, you may need technical abilities and soft skills to work to your full potential.

Between each Java programmer, the choice of technology varies. A recent survey has shown that developers are interested in Architecture, Microservices, DevOps Tools, Junit & Mockito, and Spring Boot.

The other technologies are from the front-end, IDEs, Patterns, APIs, and JVM internals topics. Many developers want to become a full-stack java developer.

What does a Java developer do?

A Java developer takes responsibility for other duties, including designing and testing during the app or software development cycle. They may:

  • work with team members to design, roll out and maintain each of the Java application development phases
  • participate in developing the software architecture
  • transform client requirements into stipulations or guidelines
  • conduct testing, debugging and software analysis
  • understand all issues and risks related to production and roll-out
  • maintain application software
  • work out changes and recommend them to stakeholders
  • be in touch with clients after release to help with any unexpected problems

Core Java skills

Java Programmers require a basic understanding of core concepts like:

  • Object-Oriented Programming: OOP, as it is known, is a programming model that organises software around data and objects instead of logic. This basic Java skill combines objects and enhances the security and stability of a code.
  • Design patterns: These are programs that help find a solution to frequently occurring problems during coding. Java developers need to familiarise themselves with the three categories of design patterns.
  • Abstract classes: Abstraction is used in OOP to simplify coding. Developers use a Java interface for advanced coding.
  • Serialisation: It is a mechanism in Java where one object is represented as a sequence of bytes. The Java process does the serialisation that transports objects between Java virtual machines.

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Java build tools

Java developers use Java build tools to automate source code applications. They can choose from a range of tools that help them complete their projects efficiently. A few examples of Java build tools include Apache, Sonatype, Gradle, Bazel, Nexus and Cmake.

Object-Oriented Programming

Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) includes:

  • Abstraction
  • Encapsulation
  • Polymorphism
  • Inheritance
  • Predefined types
  • User-defined types
  • Operations

After OOP, understanding design principles is very important.

Design Principles

The key design principles which are important for Java developers are:

  1. SOLID Principles
  2. Single Responsibility Principle (SRP)
  3. Open/Closed Principle (OCP)
  4. Liskov Substitution Principle (LSP)
  5. Interface Segregation Principle (ISP)
  6. Dependency Inversion Principle (DIP)
  7. DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself)
  8. KISS (Keep it simple, Stupid!)
  9. YAGNI (You ain’t gonna need it)

After Design, Architectural patterns are a good starting point for the developers.

Java EE components

Java EE (Enterprise Edition) has many components. A Java developer requires a good understanding of how to compose server-side applications using EE components. Some of the important components are Java Beans, Java Server Pages and Servlets.

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Java programmers need to catch up with the trend of building microservices instead of monolithic applications.

Developers need to have an understanding of Docker Container. Docker is used for creating and compiling microservices applications in different environments. Programmer need to know DURS principles which are the basis for Microservices. know about Best Online Java Compilers

DURS principles are:

  • Domain-Driven Design
  • Failure Isolation
  • Continuous Delivery
  • Decentralization
  • DevOps

Microservices Architecture areas are important areas for a developer to learn. The key areas are :

  • Authentication
  • Authorization
  • Data Security
  • Network Security
  • Deployment

Developers need to know the microservices patterns:

  • Secure by Design
  • Dependencies need to be scanned
  • HTTPS needs to be used for securing
  • GraphQL APIs
  • RSocket Endpoints
  • Access and Identity Tokens
  • Handling Sensitive information
  • Delivery pipelines
  • Avoiding Security attacks
  • Docker Rootless Mode
  • Time-Based Security
  • Scan Docker and Kubernetes Configuration
  • Cloud and Cluster specific Security best practices

Microservices best practices are important for the developer to know. They are:

  • Defense in depth pattern.
  • DevSecOps approach
  • Microservices API Design Practices
  • Microservices targeted for user needs.
  • Centralized software for security and monitoring.
  • Automatic security updates t.
  • Distributed tracing
  • Managing Sessions
  • Aggregating application logs

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Spring Boot

Every Java developer needs to know Spring Boot for developing REST services. Spring framework uses the dependency injection principle internally. It is also based on the Model View Controller Pattern.

Spring Boot is based on the Spring framework. It is used for developing web applications using agile and rapid prototyping methods. Spring Boot has the following features:

  • Project Support
  • Starter Project Wizard
  • Spring Initializr,
  • CLI
  • Annotations
  • Dependency Mgmt
  • Starters
  • Actuator
  • JPA
  • JDBC
  • Transaction Mgmt
  • ORM

Spring boot applications can be used using STS IDE and Spring Initializr.

Spring Boot framework has multiple related frameworks in Spring. Those frameworks are listed below:

  • Spring Data
  • Spring Batch
  • Spring Security
  • Spring Social
  • Spring Integration

Spring Boot has support for deploying web applications as jar files. Web applications can be deployed on Tomcat, Jetty, and Embedded HTTP Servers. Spring Boot provides starter POMs for maven build. It also has features related to providing metrics, health checks, and externalized configuration.

CLI tool is provided in the framework for creating and executing the web application. Spring Boot framework has multiple plugins. It helps in cutting down the project cost, development time, and improves efficiency and quality.

JVM Internals

To be a Java Programmer, it is important to have knowledge of JVM internals which are:

  • JIT
  • JVM Options
  • Garbage Collection
  • Collector
  • Performance Bottlenecks
  • CPU & RAM Connection
  • Race Conditions
  • Garbage Collectors
  • Concurrency Handling
  • Execution Model

You can learn the concepts of Java byte code and how JVM helps in executing the same code in different operating systems using JVM.

IDE Eclipse or IntelliJ

It is very important for a programmer to know IDEs like Eclipse and IntelliJ. IntelliJ and Eclipse are the integrated development environment tools.

IntelliJ Idea has an integrated development environment with different features for faster and efficient coding. Eclipse has a workspace and extensible framework for plugins to customize the development environment.


React framework was created by Facebook. Developers can create web and mobile apps UI using React. It is a popular framework. It helps in developing reusable presentation layer components. It is based on Node.js for Web applications.

React Native helps create native apps. Data binding in React is easy by using the boilerplate which supports one-way reactive data flow.

React supports virtual DOM, client, and server-side components, component & data patterns, JavaScript syntax extension (JSX), components, inline templating, unidirectional data flow, and Flux-React.

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Angular Framework can be used to develop web applications. It was created by the Google Angular team. AngularJS is the first version of Angular.

The other versions use Angular as the prefix. It helps in creating a single page application that has fluid, reactive, and fast native experience in web application. The page has a menu, buttons, page blocks, and user events.

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Angular has support for multiple platforms. It can be used for creating desktop, native, and progressive web applications. It gives higher performance, and support for programming languages listed below:

  • Node.js
  • .Net
  • PHP
  • Struts
  • Spring

Web applications are developed using HTML and CSS. It has features such as code splitting, template syntax, CLI, testing, animation support, accessibility, and code generation.

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Final & Important skills must have

Time management

A Java developer works under deadlines and a well-defined time frame for every phase of the application development cycle. They assess how much time is required to fulfil each phase from the start of the development process.

They ensure that they complete all required phases on time, as per the client’s requirements.

Communication skills

Java technical constantly communicate with their team members. They talk to clients and other stakeholders. They prepare manuals and documentation during various stages of a project. Hence, strong written and verbal communication skills are key for a Java developer.

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