While it is erroneous to state that Java is a better software language when compared to others, such as Python, PHP, C++, or C#, each has its own attributes and it’s really all about requirements. For instance, a program in PHP requires a smaller number of statements than in Java — saving memory and making it easier to debug. At the same time, however, Java executes the code much faster.
Another classic comparison is between C++ and Java. (For the ones who do not know, Java is derived from C++.) While C++ executes code faster than Java, the latter has an automatic garbage collection process which saves a lot of memory.
Regardless of your requirements, it’s the widespread use of Java as a software language or as a platform that makes it so dominating and popular. Trained Java developers are in demand across the IT realm and related industries.
Its adulation in the IT world can be measured by the number of applications in which it is used — mobile apps, web browsers, computer software, and in a number of embedded devices as well. This widespread use is a strong argument in favor of earning a Java development certification — that and the fact that the market is wide open for coders well versed with Java technology.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 30 percent job growth in software development between 2010 and 2020. The average salary for Java developers is north of $90,000 U.S.
What exactly does a Java developer do? Do they just write codes in Java? Or as many believe, do they just use the existing software code and make improvisations to it and customize it as per requirement, using a wide range of online resources that are currently available.
To help us better answer this question, we need to first understand why it is that those who use Java are called developers and not software engineers or programmers.
A developer profile is a super-set of a programmer and a software engineer profile. A programmer, or an engineer, has the ability to write software code or a single program, whereas a developer possesses the ability to design and implement software solutions. In software engineering terminology, a developer covers the entire software-development-life-cycle (SDLC) of a code. This exhibits the ability of software developers to drive projects.
Java developers work for companies across a wide variety of industries. Surprisingly, the ubiquitous U.S. coffee-chain Starbucks is one company that frequently hires software engineers with Java skills. Gaming is another industry that frequently hires Java developers. While they work at all levels of organizations, one of their basic tasks is writing class files. They will also be found at all stages of the engineering process including soliciting, designing, and configuring.
In the Indian IT market, where most of the software projects are predominantly outsourced from foreign companies, developers play a huge role in acquiring projects. Indian companies generally prefer tenured resources for such roles, and as such, developers are regularly paid extra compared to the engineers and programmers.
For any techies reading this article, a Java developer constructs various types of codes such as a Java applet, which runs on client machines when an applet enabled website is accessed; web page servlets; GUI applications; java scripts; and Jar files, which are basically a consolidated version of many java files clubbed into one file and computer applications, etc.
Low cost, a strong work ethic, and notable IT skills are some of the attributes that make Indian Java developers attractive hires. Prominent Indian IT companies like Infosys, TCS, Wipro, HCL and Cognizant regularly hire Java developers and invest a substantial amount in their training and development. Foreign multinational companies with India operations likewise hire a significant number of Java developers. Conversely, there are also many excellent opportunities overseas as well.
A typical Java developer in India comes from an engineering or computer administration background. It’s often a bachelor’s degree in Information technology (IT) or computer science or even a bachelor’s degree in computer administration, popularly known as BCA.
Besides a formal IT degree, many companies prefer employees who are certified in Java technology when hiring Java developers. Some are even making it mandatory for employees to have earned at least a couple of associate-level Java certifications. It is a significant advantage for companies to showcase a skilled and certified workforce to potential clients in order to more easily acquire software projects.
So which particular Java certifications do Indian IT companies look for? The answer to this question is slightly convoluted because Oracle Corporation offers Java certification in three different categories:
Java SE: Java standard edition is the legacy version used on workstations.
Java ME: Java Micro edition targets small environments such as Mobile applications.
Java EE: Java enterprise edition is for large sized environments and contains aspects such as web development.
It is difficult to say which Java certification is most desirable because organizations have different requirements and genres of projects. Certain certifications will be more in demand for different projects and at different times. For example, a mobile application development company may entertain a Java SE certified professional, but always prefer someone with certification in Java ME. The reason may be as simple as Java SE is the standard and legacy version of Java and most aspirants go for the SE certification.
Oracle also maintains various certification tracks. The certification levels range from associate to professional and finally the master level. Most employees go for the associate level, but a significant number also crack the professional level. The ones who clear these certifications receive the following certificates depending on the level achieved:
- Oracle Certified Associate Java SE Programmer
- Oracle Certified Professional Java SE Programmer
Having a software certification is becoming more of a requirement these days in the competitive IT market, and especially amongst Indian companies seeking overseas projects. Having a certified workforce boosts an organization’s credentials and many of India’s software companies are now emphasizing employee certification.
A number of companies are even providing boot camps and training programs on company time as well as reimbursing the complete costs of certification. In return they are better able to solicit projects which yield profits. It really is all about the business after all!