Thursday, December 24, 2020

10 Things Java Programmers Should Learn in 2021 [UPDATED]

It's 24th December now, and only a few days have left in the year 2020, one of the year which no one will forget the rest of their life. Now, it's time to look back and retrospect what you have achieved in 2020 and what you could have done better, despite all the challenges 2020 has thrown to all of us. This will help you to create your goals for 2020. As a programmer, our biggest challenge is to keep ourselves up-to-date. Technology changes very fast, and you will see a new version of programming language and framework coming to every couple of years. This year has plentiful changes with keeping up-to-date with a new Java version every 6 months, Spring 5, Spring Security 5, and Spring Boot 2; it's probably the busiest year in terms of changes for Java developers.

When I started 2020, I thought Java 13  was new, and before I could finish learning Java 13 thoroughly, Java 14  and Java 15 were already out. All these Java releases since JDK 9 came with a lot of exciting features, like Text Blocks, Records, Modules, String in the switch case, var with local variables, API enhancements, GC improvement, Thread Local handshake, and many more. I am really excited to learn those in 2021.

The same goes with Spring framework and Spring Security, I didn't know all the changes on Spring 4.0 and Spring Security 4.0, my project was still using Spring Security 3.1, and boom we now we have version 5.0 for both Spring and Spring security.

My learning speed has slowed down a little bit in the last couple of years, and I haven't managed to keep myself up-to-date with the latest and greatest like I am yet to master new technologies like Docker and Kubernetes, JavaScript frameworks like Angular and React, most recent changes on unit and integration testing space and new versions of simplified structure, like Spring, Spring Security, and Spring Boot.

So, 2021 will be all about getting myself up-to-date with things that matter most on the technology side like Microservices, improving my toolset chain, and exploring the DevOps and Cloud Computing landscape, particularly on Docker, Kubernetes, and Jenkins with AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.




What Java Programmers should learn in 2021?

Here is my list of things a Java developer should learn in 2021, there is a good chance that you already know most of them but learning them better and doing deep dive doesn't hurt:

1. Docker and Kubernetes

You’ve probably heard the buzz around Docker and Kubernetes and the impact it has on DevOps teams. You may have at first thought, "ahh, yet another new technology I need to learn", but I will say that Docker is not just another technology but it's truly a game-changer.

Along with Kubernetes, It’s one of the most important tools that you can learn and will stay with you throughout your entire career.

Nowadays, Docker and Kubernetes are used by almost every development team, whether it’s a large enterprise or a small startup. It’s safe to say that if you’re entering the workforce now, you’ll most likely brush up against Docker at some point.

In short, whether you are a junior Java developer or an experienced veteran of several years of experience, Having Docker and Kubernetes knowledge is essential for your career progression and job change. If you have already realized the importance of Kubernetes and looking to learn Kubernetes in 2021 then Docker and Kubernetes: The Practical Guide by AcadMind on Udemy is an excellent course to start with.

10 Things Java developer should learn in 2021


If you prefer free resources, like free online courses, then you can also check out this list of free Docker and Kubernetes courses for Java developers to start your journey.



2. Git

Git and Github have been around some time, and while I have used Git in the past with Eclipse, I am yet to become comfortable with Git on the command line.

Why I haven't mastered Git so far? Simply because I didn't need it yet. I have occasionally download projects from Github and run from Eclipse, but I am still a novice with Git.

Since now, most of the companies are migrating their projects from SVN, CVS to Git, its high time to learn and master Git. I have recently purchased the Git Complete: The definitive, step-by-step guide to Git from Udemy on their last 10$ sale, and this would be the first item to complete in 2021. If you are in the same boat and want to learn Git in 2021, do check out that course from Udemy, it's convenient.

Learn git in 2018



3. Unit testing (JUnit and Mockito)

Another area which I want to improve in the coming year. There are a lot of new frameworks and tools available for Java programmers to unit test, and integration tests their application, like Mockito and PowerMock for mocking objects, Robot Framework, and Cucumber for automated integration test and of course the new and shining JUnit 5 library.

There is plenty of stuff to learn on this front. If you can invest some time upgrading your unit testing skill, not only your coding expertise will improve, but also you will become a more professional developer, which every company looks from. To start with, you can check out the JUnit and Mockito Crash Course from Udemy.

Learn JUnit 5 and Mockito in 2018





4. New Java Features from JDK 9 to 15

As I have said in the past, I am still struggling to catch up with six-monthly Java releases and many Java developers too. I have spent some time learning new features of Java 9, 10, 11, and 12 this year, but for me, Java 11 is still a priority until I moved to Java 13, which is an LTS release.

The JDK 9 brings a lot of goodies in terms of modules, Jigsaw, Reactive Streams, Process API, HTTP2 client, JShell, and API improvements like collection factory methods, and I am really looking forward to learning them at the earliest opportunity.

Similarly, JDK 10 brings var to give you a flavor of dynamic typing and some GC improvement. Then you have Text Blocks and String in switch case from JDK 12 and JDK 13.

In the last Udemy 10$ sale, I have purchased a host of courses, and one of them is The Complete Java MasterClass, which is updated for Java 11, and I am looking forward to starting my Java 11 journey with that.

New Java Features from JDK 9 to 15


Btw, if you have yet to start with JDK 8 then here is my list of favorite Java 8 tutorials and courses which you can free of cost: 10 best tutorials to learn Java 8.


4. Spring Framework 5+

It's been a couple of years since we had seen many significant upgrades to Spring and Java Ecosystem, and Spring Framework 5.0 is one of them. I have been hearing about some new features like the reactive programming model on Spring 5, adoption of Java 8 and 9, some unit testing improvement, etc. but I have yet to try that.

Anyway, I have already started learning Spring 5.0  by following Spring 5. 0: Beginner to Guru and will keep the momentum going in 2021. If you use Spring, probably it's the best time to learn Spring 5.0.

best course to learn Spring framework for Java programmers

If you like books, you can also check out this list of advanced Spring Books for Java developers from Manning and Packt Publications.



5. DevOps (Jenkins)

This is another area where I am seeing a lot of traction last year as more and more companies are moving into DevOps and adopting continuous integration and deployment.

DevOps is very vast, and you need to learn a lot of tools and principles, and that's what overwhelms many developers, but you don't need to worry. I have shared a DevOps RoadMap, which you can follow to learn and master DevOps, particularly Jenkins at your own speed.

This means if you are an experienced Java programmer with a passion for managing the environment, automation, and improving overall structure, you can become a DevOps Engineer.

If you are looking for some excellent resources, then Jenkins, From Zero to Hero: Become a DevOps Jenkins Master is a great course to start with, particularly for Java developers.

10 Things Java Programmers Should Learn in 2019




5. RESTful Web Service

One more thing I want to keep improving in 2021 is my knowledge about writing REST API and implementing secure and scalable RESTful Web Service in Java using Spring.

This is one skill that is highly desirable in the Java world, and there are not many people who know both Java and REST well. If you are also in the same boat and want to learn how to develop RESTful Web Service using Spring, The REST of Spring MasterClass from Eugen Paraschiv is a good starting point.

learn REST with Spring framework in 2018




6. Spring Security 5.0 (OAuth)

This is the third major upgrade on Spring Eco-System. The 5th version of the popular security framework has several bug fixes and a major OAuth 2 module, which you just can't miss.

This is another priority Item for me in 2021, along with Spring 5.0 framework stuff. Thankfully Eugen has updated his best-selling course Learn with Spring Security to include 5.0 features and added a separate module for OAuth 2.0., probably the best material to learn Spring Security 5.0 at this moment.

learn spring security 5 in 2018



7. Spring Boot 2

The Spring Boot framework also has a new release, Spring Boot 2. If I get sometime after all these goals this year, then I will spend some time learning Spring Boot 2. If you also want to learn Spring Boot 2, you can check out this free Spring boot course from Udemy for a quick start.

what to learn in 2018

If you need more choices, then you can also check this list of top Spring boot courses for Java developers to learn in 2021.



8. Angular 2+ or React JS

These two JavaScript framework has completely changed how you develop web applications. As a Java developer, I have used Servlet, JSP, and jQuery on the client side but haven't yet tried my hand with Angular or React.

In 2021, one of my goals is to learn Angular, and I will be starting my journey with Udemy's Angular -The Complete Guide. If you are in the same boat, then you can also take a look at that course; it's convenient.





9. Android

If you don't know how to write Android Apps in 2021, then you lack something. Mobile is one of the best platforms to reach a large number of people, and Android is probably the most popular platform to write mobile applications.

Even though I know Android basics, I have yet to publish any Android apps, maybe 2021 will change that. For now, I have shortlisted these Android online courses to refresh my knowledge and get to the next level. If you are also in the same boat, then you may find them useful as well.

10 things programmers should learn in 2018



10. Apache Spark and Kafka

One more thing I want to keeping exploring in-depth in 2021 is Big Data and mainly Apache Spark and Apache Kafka framework. I am not sure if I will get time to look at other Big data technologies, but it's seriously good stuff, and Big Data is probably the hottest technology at this moment.

If you also want to learn Big data in 2021, you may want to check my list of shortlisted courses to learn Apache Spark for Java developers from Udemy and Pluralsight.

What Java programmer should learn in 2018


11. Microservices

So, we have already covered 10 things Java developers should learn in 2021 but if you can add one more thing then I would suggest learning Microservice architecture. This is the architecture which goes hand-in-hand with cloud computing because its easier to deploy and scale in cloud and that's why most of the companies are now developing their application using Microservice architecture. 

Since Cloud Native development is the future of Software development it makes sense to learn both Cloud Computing and Microservice architecture and how to develop Microservice in Java. Well, when it comes to Java, you have many options. 

For example, you can choose the tried and tested duo of Spring Boot and Spring Cloud to create Microservices. Alternatively, you can also use frameworks like MicroNaut and platforms like Quarkus for developing high-performance Kubernetes based Java Microservice solutions. 

Whichever framework you choose, the key is to learn MIcroservices in 2021 and if you need some courses and books, I recommend checking Master Microservices with Spring Boot and Spring Cloud course by In28Minutes on Udemy for Java developers. 

Java developer should learn Microservice


And, if you love books, you can check out these best Spring & Microservice books for Java developers.  My personal favorite is Microservice in Action by Manning publication. 



That's all about what Java programmers should learn in 2021? As I said, Technology changes at a rapid speed and the biggest challenge for programmers are to keep themselves up-to-date. Apart from this list, there is plenty of other stuff that you can look-up in the new year like learning a new programming language like Kotlin, but for me, I will be more than happy if I can achieve these goals in 2021.

I wish you guys Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2021.

Other Java Articles you may like to explore:

P. S. - If you are looking for some gift ideas for your programmer friend this holiday season, then you can check out my list of 10 best gifts for programmers and tech geeks.

P. P.S - I had published the same article on the same day for the last 2 years, and now I am updating it so that it makes more sense in 2021. 

27 comments :

Unknown said...

Hello Javin. I have total 7.5 Yrs of Experience. Relevant experience in Core Java is less. Now I am looking for a change. I have mostly worked in support in Java and some language specific to my current comapny.
So Can I now start learning Java Script Frameworks like Angular etc. Will they help me at tis much experience level?

Anonymous said...

Nice article.

javin paul said...

@Unknown, yes, they will help you with your experience. There is a great demand for full stack developers and given you already know Java which is used in back-end, knowing Angular JS and React JS will increase your value a lot. Go for it in 2018.

Anonymous said...

Hi Javin,
I have been following your blogs for a quite while. And they are really nice. This article is good too and it's nice know your technical resolutions for 2018. Me too, sort of, in the same boat. So, I wanted to ask you a question. How would you plan these learings?? Sequential or Concurrent (tech jargon, just for a change). Do you follow any pattern for this .. like spending specific time in a day etc.. Of course i know that it's subjectice, but your answer may help those who stuck on the planning phase :-)
Thanks,
Jai

javin paul said...

Hello Anonymous, I am single threaded when it comes to learning :-) so I do things one by one. I generally learn things based upon need e.g. if I am working in a Spring security project then I would take that as opportunity to learn Spring security 5. If I have spare time then I go and pick a technology.

All the best for your goals in 2018.

Javin

Vijay Kandala said...

Hi Javin, I am planned to learn machine learning but some people say full stack developer has lot more scope than machine learning ? Which is future I am literally confused about the learning, give some suggestion..

javin paul said...

Hello Vijay, Machine learning and Robotics are great but yes they don't have as many opportunity as a full stack web developer, you can learn machine learning side way, while keeping your focus on full stack web development.

Shriniket Deshmukh said...

Hello Sir,
I want to know more about career opportunities as java developer.
Please guide me on that,if possible could you please share your email id or hangout or any other source , so that I can connect you.

Anonymous said...

hi i have one year of experience in php can switch in java i know java and its framework very well

javin paul said...

Hello Anonymous, yes, you can. Just learn Core Java and Spring and you will be in good shape. You can check out these free Java courses and free Spring coursesfor further reading as well:


Dirk Dierickx said...

check out JHipster for writing spring boot + angular/react apps.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jevin,
Hi
I have been working on data warehousing, Informatica and Oracle SQL PLSQL for 6 years now.... is it possible to change technology completely and go to Java track?

javin paul said...

Yes, Anonymous, completely possible. A better ways is to learn Java and get certified though by passing Oracle's Java certification.

TabrizGuliyev said...

Thank you for this nice article.

Unknown said...

Great post, Paul, I am also following same rule to learn.

javin paul said...

Thank you Manoj. All the best

Anonymous said...

Great Post Javin!

javin paul said...

Thank you Anonymous

Unknown said...

Great article, will surely be on the same boat with you. Have a years of experience and would like to expand my knowledge and have more input in what matters the most in my dev team.

lurebu said...

No Offense, I think if you really want to learn all 10 techs ( includes all sub-techs ) , eventually you would just end up with scratching the surface of each, not getting deeper to the fundamental at all. take 2 ( listed by you ) for example. devops. if you want to be expertise in this, you would need a huge mount of time for running, debugging and building those softwares/platforms/stacks and better understand what's going on under them, 2. take big data for another example, you may only can understand those concepts or software but not getting better/deeper by just setup an environment. you need tons of time to digest what's going on under. so I would suggest you to cut your list in half if you want to go deeper for each. or enlarge your list bigger to take in more techs if you really just need to grasp the basic of each. hope this won't be too late to catch you up in 2019

Anonymous said...

Great Post @Javin

Unknown said...

Thank you Javin, am a avid follower of javarevisited, Keep up the good work!!!
your blog has helped me a lot.


Anonymous said...

yes, they will help you a lot

Satya Rai said...

You'll probably end up with a burnout if you plan to learn this whole list. Don't do it. Focus on one or two.

javin paul said...

Hello Sayta, oh yes, don't try to learn everything in one go. most likely you are already familiar with most of things, just try to get better at them and if you want a priority, I suggest cloud and containers to start with.

Rahul said...

Happy New year and super article to guide developers

javin paul said...

Thx Rahul, glad you find this guide useful.

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