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Thursday, January 5, 2023

10 Tips to Become a Better Java Developer in 2024 [UPDATED]

I often receive emails from my readers about how they can become better Java developers, what things they should learn, and which areas they can work on to become a Rockstar Java developer. After answering them individually over the last few years, I thought to jot down a couple of points, which I think will make you a better Java Programmer and Application developer. But, before going into that, I would like to stress that a better programmer is always a better Java developer, and that's why all the tips I have shared before to improve your programming skill and become a better programmer still hold true. If you haven't read them yet, you can understand them after this article; they will help you to improve your programming and coding skills, which is essential to becoming a better Java developer.

This article is totally focused on the Java development perspective, and I assume you are already good at essential stuff like Coding, Data Structures and Algorithms, and Computer science concepts, like Networking, Protocols, Object-oriented programming, etc.

These tips are equally useful for both Core Java developers, I mean Java guys who write server-side applications but not really involved with web development skills, like JSP, Servlet, and JEE, as well as for Java Web developers whose primary job is to write web applications using Java technology.

These tips are all tried and tested and they include essential skills you need to learn to get success as a Java programmer. Remember, Java is quite vast and it's easy to lose in the ocean of Java libraries, tools, and frameworks. I have only included the most essential skills and tech you need to learn to successfully start your Java career or grow into a senior Java developer in 2024. 

Though, I have left out some web stuff like learning JSF or Servlet 4.0 for another day to keep this list short and simple. Anyway, without any further ado, here are some tips, learning roadmap, and suggestions to become a better Java developer in 2024.

10 Tips to become a better Java Programmer in 2024

Without wasting any more of your time, here is a list of tips, tools, and skills which you can learn in 2024 to become a better Java developer and grow in your career.  Most of the tips involve learning useful tools and frameworks which are essential for becoming a better and all-around Java developer. 

1. Learn Core Java Better (JDK 8 to JDK 18 features)

This is the most important thing for a Java developer right now. Java is continuously updated, and now, with every new version in 6 months, it's a big challenge to keep yourself up-to-date. I have been learning  Java 10 features, and  I know many programmers who have not written a single line of code using Java 8 features like lambdas and Stream API.

Unfortunately, most of them are experienced Java developers with good 7 to 10 years of experience in their belt. I understand that at some point in your career, learning becomes slow, but if you don't act, now, you will be left behind.

Almost all Java development jobs now required Java 8 skills, and if you don't have them, it would be challenging to do well and perform well in your Java interviews.

Now, if you have made your mind to learn Java 8 but worry about where to start with, I suggest you check  The Complete Java Masterclass on Udemy, which will teach you all the basics of Java 8 features and other new features introduced in Java 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and maybe in Java 19 very soon.  And, here are some essential new Java features you can learn in 2024

10 Tips to Become a Better Java Developer

And, if you are interested in a more advanced, hands-on course, then Refactoring Java 8 by Dr. Heinz Kabutz is a good one to join.

2. Learn Spring Framework (Spring Boot)

It's almost imperative nowadays for a Java developer to learn Spring framework as most of the companies prefer to do development using Spring frameworks like Spring MVC, Spring Boot, and Spring Cloud for developing a web application, REST APIs Microservices.

It also promotes best practices like dependency injection and makes your application more testable, which is a crucial requirement for modern-day software.

If you are a new Java developer, then I suggest you to start with this Java and Spring tutorial to learn the basics of this excellent framework, and if you are already familiar with Spring, then you should explore Spring Boot and Spring Cloud for developing next-generation Java application.

If you are looking for some references, then  Spring Framework 6: Beginner to Guru is the best course to start with.

Learn Spring Framework (Spring Boot) to become a better Java developer

3. Learn DevOps tools (Docker and Kubernetes)

For a modern Java developer, knowledge of DevOps is essential. He should be at least familiar with continuous integration and continuous deployment and how Jenkins helps to achieve that.

It becomes even more important for senior Java developers who often is responsible for setting coding best practices and creating environments, building scripts and guidelines.

I also suggest you spend time and learn more about DevOps in general and tools like Docker, Chef, Kubernetes, etc. along with Maven and Jenkins.

If you need some resources, then Learn DevOps: CI/CD with Jenkins using Pipelines and Docker in Udemy is probably the best course to start with. You will not only learn about CI and CD but also about Maven and Jenkins in depth.

10 Tips to Become a Better Java Developer in 2020

4. Learn Unit Testing (Junit and Mockito)

If there is one common thing that separates a good Java developer from an average Java developer, then it's the unit testing skill.

A good and professional Java developer almost always writes unit tests for his code, and if he is really a Rockstar developer, you can see that from his code and tests.

Testing has also come a long way now with several tools for unit testing, integration testing, and automation testing available to Java developers.

You can spend the right amount of 2024 to hone your testing skills in Java, but for those who are new to the Java world and unit testing, JUnit is the best library to start with. The recent version of JUnit 5 is both powerful and flexible, and every Java developer should know that.

If you are looking for a good overview of JUnit and unit testing in Java, then JUnit and Mockito Crash Courses a perfect to start with. It's not the most up-to-date as it doesn't cover JUnit 5 but is still pretty useful for beginners.

3. Learn Unit Testing to improve Java Programming Skill

5. Learn APIs and Libraries (Jackson, Log4j)

If you have worked with great Java developers, you might have noticed their overall knowledge of the Java Ecosystem, and APIs form a significant part of it.

Java is the world's most popular and mature programming language, and there are tons of libraries and APIs available for doing almost everything possible.

Of course, you are not expected to know all of them, but you should be familiar with some key APIs like JSON processing APIs like Jackson and Gson, XML processing APIs like JAXB and Xerces, Unit testing libraries like Mockito and JUnit, etc.

If you don't know them, you can learn or at least get an overview of them in 2024. To start with, you can check out my list of 20 Java libraries every Java developer should know, which covers libraries from key areas like parsing, bytecode manipulation, concurrency, collections, etc.

4. Learn APIs and Libraries to become better Java programmer

6. Learn JVM Internals

If you are serious about becoming a Rockstar Java Developer, then you must spend the time to learn JVM internals, like are different parts of JVM, how they work, JIT, JVM options, Garbage collections, and collectors, etc.

If you know JVM well, you can write both robust and high-performance Java applications, and that's what Rockstar Java developers do.

As part of this, you should also learn how to profile your Java application, how to find performance bottlenecks, like which objects are taking most of your memories, and eating CPUs.

For structured learning, I recommend  Understanding the Java Virtual Machine series on Pluralsight. It's a very comprehensive and hands-on course, perfect for curious Java developers.

5. Learn JVM Internals to improve Java Skill

Btw, you would need a Pluralsight membership to get access to this course, which costs around $29 per month or $299 annually (14% discount).

If you don't have Pluralsight membership, I encourage you to get one because it allows you to access their 5000+ online courses on all the latest topics like front-end and back-end development, machine learning, etc. It also includes interactive quizzes, exercises, and the most recent certification material.

It's more like Netflix for Software Developers, and Since learning is an important part of our job, Pluralsight membership is a great way to stay ahead of your competition.

They also provide a 10-day free trial without any commitment, which is a great way to not just access this course for free but also to check the quality of courses before joining Pluralsight.

For those who prefer books, The Definitive Guide to Java Performance by Scott Oaks is a great book to master JVM internals and garbage collection.

6. Learn Design Patterns (GOF Patterns)

If you are writing a Java application from scratch, then most of the time, you are writing object-oriented code, and design patterns are tried and tested solutions of common problems.

By knowing and incorporating them into your code, you make your application more flexible and more comfortable to change in the future.

It also improves overall code quality and documentation because other Java developers are also familiar with design patterns, and they will understand your solution rather quickly.

But, don't just focus on the code part, understand the spirit, and be creative. Use Java 8 features like lambdas and Streams to rewrite patterns, like Strategy patterns.

6. Learn Design Patterns to become better Java developer

If you are looking for some resources to learn design patterns, then this list of design pattern courses is an excellent place to start with.  And, for those who like books, my recommended books on design patterns can be found here.

8. Learn Kotlin (Android)

A couple of years back, I read a book called The Well-Grounded Java Developer, which highlighted the advantage of becoming a Polyglot programmer.

It inspired me to learn Scala, and later, I also tried Groovy because of its increased usage in creating build scripts and unit testing.

That experience has helped me a lot, and that's why I encourage Java developers to learn a new JVM language. I have blogged about it previously on 3 JVM languages Java developers should learn in 2024, but if you are in a hurry, just Learn Kotlin.

It's a great language from JetBrains, the company behind IntelliJ IDEA, and also the official language for Android development as announced by Google in 2017.

It will not only improve your productivity but also help you to go into the Android development area. If you are looking to learn Kotlin in 2024 and looking for some useful resources, then here is a list of Kotlin courses to start with.

8. Learn Kotlin

9. Learn Microservices (Spring Cloud, MicroNaut)

Architecture is constantly changing, and many companies are moving from monolithic applications to microservices.

It's high time for Java developers to learn Microservice architecture and how to create Microservices in Java to take advantage of this recent wave.

Fortunately, the Spring framework provides Spring Cloud and Spring Boot, which greatly simplify microservice development in Java.

If you are looking for a course, then Master Microservices with Spring Boot and Spring Cloud is a good one to start with.

tips to become a better Java developer - 9. Learn Microservices

And, if you prefer books, then I suggest you check the Cloud Native Java by Josh Long, which provides a comprehensive guide for developing Java applications for the cloud.

10. Learn Your IDE Better (Eclipse or IDEA)

One of the most important traits of better Java developers is that they are perfect on their tools. They not only know more tools than the average developers, but they also know their tools well.

Since IDEs like Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJ IDEA are the most critical tool for a Java programmer, it makes sense to spend some time learning better.

You can learn about some plugins which make your task easy or some keyboard shortcuts, which help you to navigate better.

Java tips 10 - Learn Your IDE Better

Even some small tips help a long way because you use them a lot more than you think. If you are serious about taking your IDE skills to the next level and using Eclipse, then I suggest you check Eclipse Debugging Techniques And Tricks on Udemy, a perfect course to improve your knowledge of Eclipse.

That's all about some of my tips to become a better Java developer in 2024. I know it's challenging to follow all these tips, and I am not asking to do that; it's simply not practical. You can focus on more important first, like Learning new Java features between Java 8 and Java 17 and Learning Spring Framework if you haven't known them yet, but if you are good at those, then you can pick other topics, like unit testing, JVM internals, and DevOps.

To start with, you need to pick one, like Java 8, and commit to that before moving to the next tip.  If you are looking for some low-hanging fruits, then learning your IDE better is the right choice. You already know your IDE, and spending some time to learn it better will make you a more productive and better Java developer in a quick time.

Other Articles You May Like to Explore

All the best, and don't forget to share your tips, which you think have made you a better Java developer. If you have any suggestions or feedback, then you are most welcome; we all learn from each other.

P. S. - If you are new to the Java world and looking for some free online training courses to hone your core Java skills then I also suggest you check out my favorite free courses to learn Java in depth. In this article, you will find many free Java courses from Udemy, Pluralsight, Coursera, and other online portals. 


Unknown said...


djxak said...

The better way to sort strings by length using new Java8 features is:
`Arrays.sort(testStrings, Comparator.comparing(String::length));`

Clean and clear. Also it's easy to reverse comparison order just adding `.reversed()` at the end. It's much more readable then substraction, where you each time wonder: will this sort ascending or descending etc.

Unknown said...

Great article. I really needed this. Thank you.

Shravan Ray said...

Great sharing...

Anonymous said...

Why should a java developer should learn springboot and kotlin to become a better developer, unless those are part of his/her job? Makes no sense.

Billy Baldisser said...

Instead of java 8, I would suggest to learn java 9.

Billy Baldisser said...

Agree with you

Anonymous said...

The Master Jenkins CI For DevOps and Developers on Udemy is no longer available. Please suggest a different course

javin paul said...

Hello @Anonymous, thanks for heads-up, that's sad but you can also check "Learn DevOps: CI/CD with Jenkins using Pipelines and Docker" course and if you need more choices, check my list of best DevOps courses.

Asish Chalcha said...

just awesome Javin. Great article thanks for sharing...

LoganXNT said...

What a great article.
You saved my days. I am losing the way to become a better Java developer. Will do step by step...
Thank you for your sharing.
Btw, Should I need to go for AWS solution architecture certificated?

Java Interview Questions said...

Wonderful tips to be followed by java developer.

raghu said...

It's a great Roadmap for Java Developer. I will share to ......

ramyasri said...

it's a great tips for java developer

Daniel trigger said...


Anita said...


Vaidik said...

This article is very helpful but I want you to write another article which contains more information
Thanks to write this informative article

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