In a world that continues to get digitized, a fast-paced lifestyle further demands more – and quickly, at that. With even the simplest consumer appliances becoming ‘smart’, our current digital technologies are well on their way to improve the way we live, work, study and play. From the toaster in your kitchen to large-scale cloud support services, digitization is in full swing – and it’s here to stay. As a business leader, staying at the top of your customers’ minds is imperative. But increasing digitization has also invited increased competition, as even the smallest players are able to create a presence with the tap of a button.
So how do you stand out? While it’s crucial to be on top of prevailing business trends, taking a deeper look into the potential that certain technologies can bring will also be quite beneficial. Java is one such programming language which, while being a component that is mostly used and focused on by software developers, is what binds entire applications together. As billions of devices depend on Java to function and improve existing outcomes, the programming language offers immense scope with regards to where it can be used, as well as how.
As a business owner, entrepreneur or supervisor, attending to the interest of your organization while also improving sales turnovers is of priority, no doubt. However, gaining some knowledge about one of the world’s leading programming languages will give you the leverage for choosing the right software development team for your business needs, as it will help you to resonate with prospective or existing teams on a much deeper level.
This article focuses on the ins and outs of Java, while also offering some insight into common misconceptions and interesting titbits surrounding this. Outlining the most important aspects of this language is sufficient to give you guidance on how you should be steering your own business, while also staying on par with constantly shifting technology trends.
Java is an object-oriented programming language that is used to create a wide variety of digital applications. In this context, ‘object-oriented’ means that data is considered as ‘objects’, which is then manipulated to create different outcomes. Instead of using functions and logic, object-oriented programming allows for far more outcomes, as there is greater scope to divert from the regular and manipulate data to one’s liking.
Java is also a highly versatile language, since it is statically typed. This means that each variable is pre-determined with the type of data it can hold. For example, whether a variable can hold numbers, letters or a combination of alphanumeric characters is defined well ahead in advance. The opposite of this is dynamically typed, which basically does not require any kind of pre-determination in terms of what a variable can and cannot hold.
On the outside, a dynamically typed programming language may seem more convenient as there is no restriction with regards to what you can and cannot input as data. While a dynamically typed language does have its own advantages, it falls short in terms of organizational capabilities, in comparison to statically typed programming languages. Since variables are pre-determined in statically typed programming languages such as Java, it is easier to detect errors well ahead in advance. In the case of its dynamically typed counterpart, errors may only be detected once a significant portion of the software has been built and run.
The industry of software development in Sri Lanka has long since been a hub for building world-class software for both local and international clientele. As competition gets fiercer and businesses become keen to develop smoothly functioning yet powerful digital applications, ensuring streamlined project delivery with minimal hassle is of top priority. This includes minimizing errors as much as possible. So the utilization of a large-scale, object-based and statically typed programming language such as Java goes a long way in building a sustainable software foundation.
Java was built in 1995 by James Gosling, a Computer Scientist who was working for Sun Microsystems at the time. Sun Microsystems and Oracle later merged in 2009, thereby making Java a proprietary product of Oracle. There were a number of key objectives to be attained, in the mission to create a brand new programming language. Starting off, the team at Sun Microsystems wanted to create a programming language that could be run on consumer appliances in order to turn them into smart devices, aka the Internet-of-Things (IoT). The goal was to also streamline this even further, with a ‘write once, run anywhere’ approach. This would mean that the same piece of code could be run on any device, and as often as needed.
While the team that initially developed Java did so by focusing on making IoT a reality, the programming language instead grew popular for developing websites and other web applications. This is because the World Wide Web was starting to gain popularity during the 90s, and Java proved to be a great fit for web development.
On top of that, the creators also wanted to build a programming language that was better than other preceding languages at the time, such as C and C++. Although Java shares similar syntaxes with C and C++, any drawbacks pertaining to these languages were eliminated to produce an all new language that had all the perks of earlier programming languages, but minus any disadvantages.
The fact that Java is a programming language which is familiar to 12 million developers around the world is proof of just how ubiquitous it is. Java is known to run on billions of devices – from consumer to commercial, and from web applications to IoT. On an infrastructure level, Java powers web servers and database applications, including middleware. As an AWS partner, most of the services we provide are also run on Java, which includes but isn’t limited to containerized applications and microservices architecture.
As companies move from on-premise data centres to cloud-based environments, Java possesses the capability to accommodate all the variants of cloud computing – public, private as well as hybrid. When it comes to database management, Java also dominates the space of big data and analytics, enabling robust data processing, visualization and insights. Hadoop, the world’s largest big data platform is built on Java, providing massive compute power to store, process and retrieve large amounts of data across multiple networks.
From an IoT perspective, Java is viable for devices that are designed for both consumer and commercial use. Be they in the household or in industries such as manufacturing, healthcare or logistics, IoT devices that capture a wide variety of data from sensors benefit from the functionalities that are facilitated by Java.
From an alternate perspective, Java is a programming language that is best suited to enterprise-grade applications. In other words, it can support in the building of large and complex applications. While it can accommodate smaller, bite-sized projects, it may be too clunky for such a purpose. So depending on how intricate your project is, your software development team can decide which programming language they should ideally be using, to get the job done.
When James Gosling was building the language, he named it OAK – after an Oak tree outside his office window.
Owing to its high level of versatility, Java is extensively used across every facet of the current digital landscape. As a result, the demand for Java programmers is the highest, compared to that of other programming languages.
Since Java is based off of C, it is a good programming language for aspiring programmers to start with. Forming a good foundation for beginners, skills learned from Java can be used to develop an array of applications, but can also be transferred over to learning other programming languages.
One of the most popular games in the world was also created by the most popular programming language in the world. Minecraft was later bought by Microsoft, who then changed its programming language to C++.
The island of Java in Indonesia is known to be the birthplace of coffee. The Java programming language was also therefore named based on Javanese coffee, but it bears no symbolic significance of any kind. Unlike other terms in computer science or technology which are often abbreviated, Java isn’t an abbreviation of any kind. However, it has been informally given the abbreviation ‘Just Another Vague Synonym’, to indicate that there really isn’t any significance in the etymology of its name.
Featuring a red nose and gloved right hand, the otherwise visually abstract Duke has become well adored ever since its creation back for Java’s first demo. Duke was designed by Joe Palrang, the team’s graphic artist – who later went on to work for leading animated movies such as Shrek. Duke was initially meant for a home entertainment controller called Star7, but has now gone on to be featured at JavaOne, which is an annual conference organized for developers each year.
As a business, it is essential to stay at the top of your customers’ minds and win their trust, what with competition aggressive out there. Business leaders are in constant pressure to deliver and stand out in the interest of being unique. In the wake of keeping your business on par, it is easy for a lot of other things to slip between the cracks. Staying on top of the latest technology trends is one such item, including having the understanding of existing yet well-established technologies. The Java programming language is one such example, and having fundamental knowledge of how this has come to be as versatile and viable as it is today is something that can help business leaders and supervisors alike resonate to their software development teams much better. In turn, this can enable smarter sourcing of the right software development teams, including the ongoing maintenance of existing applications.
An object-oriented programming language that is based off of the syntax pertaining to C, Java has become one of the most widely used programming languages today. Its structure makes it ideal for building large-scale enterprise applications, with leading corporate tech giants such as Amazon and Google also depending on it to build and scale their own product/service offerings. Java’s statically typed structure naturally makes it less prone to errors, since variables are defined with the type of data that is acceptable (numbers, alphabets, alphanumeric etc.) well beforehand.
What was initially developed in the 90s to serve what we refer to as the Internet-of-Things (IoT) today, Java gained popularity for the purpose of developing websites and web applications instead. Nonetheless, the programming language is still widely used, with almost every digital device and application now heavily relying on it.