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Essential Skills to Become an Ace Java Developer 1

Essential Skills to Become an Ace Java Developer

Being an advanced language, there’s a lot to learn when it comes to Java. The language may seem intimidating at first – just like it is with any new language – but it can easily be picked up in due time and with diligent practice. And like the many languages we speak today which have their origins in older languages, Java too is an off-shoot of an older programming language called Oak, which was later called Green before being renamed as Java – inspired from the Java coffee in Indonesia. 

Interesting Java facts aside, today’s advanced version of Java is quite popular and can smoothen even the most rugged edges of computer languages. The language in itself can’t be classified as easy or hard, except that it’s simply a logic-based language. But for many beginners, the language may come across as hard or difficult. However, just as it is with most things in life, practice does make perfect.

Java is one of the most high-paying and high-demand skills in the market

Java is undoubtedly one of the most in-demand programming languages out there. According to a 2020 report by Github – one of the largest code repositories in the world, Java was ranked among the top three most widely used programming languages, with Javascript leading the way, followed by Python. Today, Java is used by several large companies like Twitter & Netflix along with many other big companies that use the language to build everything from desktop apps to backend systems. 

There is no doubt that Java programming is one of the highest paying jobs in the market right now, and is in great demand. In fact, job portal, Indeed, has the most job postings for Java skills as compared to any other computer language, with over 36,000 listings for programmers with exceptional Java programming skills. 

Not just that, for several years now, universities have upped their computer science curriculum which has given rise to some of the best Java developers around the globe. With such a deep talent pool, and with the skills of a Java developer being in such high demand, advanced Java skills can set you apart from the pool of average Java developers out there – skills that could make or break your job search.

Here are a few must-have Java developer skills that will make you a rockstar Java developer this 2020.

Core Java Developer Skills

When it comes to developing any application using Java programming language, it is important to have in-depth knowledge of Java. With advanced Java developer skills in such high demand, having a steady handle on object and/ or string class is an added skill that many tech employers look for.

Apart from string class, other core Java skills like object-oriented programming, design patterns, serialisation, and interfacing are considered to be hot Java developer skills in 2020. Object-oriented programming, or OOP, helps bind the data and functions together and ultimately improves the stability of the code and also enhances safety.

In simple words, having these key Java developer skills will ensure that any program written by a developer works efficiently, along with the smart use of operators – being that Java is itself an amalgamation of several arithmetic symbols.

Front-end & Back-end Java development skills

Aside from having an in-depth understanding of core Java, many may find that they’re more inclined to the front-end side of Java coding, while others may prefer the back-end part of it. The good news here is that they both go in tandem and are equally in high demand.

Key Front-end Java development skills

If you do a quick run-through of present job listings on front-end developers, you will find that most job descriptions have several things in common. This clearly means that there is a common skill set that employers are looking for when it comes to hiring a front-end Java developer. 

Some of these skills are –


While going through any listing, these are two key languages that many recruiters expect you to be fluent in. While HTML helps you create webpage skeletons, CSS helps you control the layout and present what you just created with HTML, in a seamless and creative manner. So if you think being skilled in one of these languages is enough, you might end up missing out on opportunities because at the end of the day recruiters do end up hiring engineers that are equally skilled at both.  


Though CSS has gone through several iterations and enhancements and can handle highly interactive webpages, knowing JavaScript will always remain an added plus. In many cases having a basic and functional webpage works, but for those times when you need more of your webpage to be responsive and interactive (like for game sites, scrolling features, or audios and videos), JavaScript is the way to go.  

Responsive Design Skills 

You may have great coding skills, but that could limit you in many ways if you don’t understand the key principles of responsive design and how to bring them to effect in your product. Having a responsive design makes a product minimally viable, so if this isn’t a skill you’ve honed, chances are recruiters would be looking elsewhere.

CSS Pre-processing

Using CSS preprocessors like Sass, Stylus or LESS, you can write code more effectively in the preprocessor’s language, which can be quite a pain with the old CSS. This preprocessor helps you convert your code to CSS to ensure it works seamlessly on your website. Having just an understanding of CSS is great, but it can also limit you in many ways, especially when it comes to defining variables functions or other arithmetic operations. So having in-depth knowledge in CSS pre-processing is a much-needed added boon and shows that you’re a flexible developer.

Version Control 

While you may have created something great, it would be quite unfortunate if something goes wrong along the way and you’ve to start all over again. Having version control as a skill, will help you track and control all the changes to your source code to ensure the least damage to the original code.

Testing & Debugging 

Just as the name suggests, testing and debugging helps you check the functionality of even the smallest bit of code that is responsible for the many functions on your app or website. It is a huge part of frontend development and helps you get rid of bugs that stand in the way of it being a viable code. There are several applications and programs that have been designed to help you test and speed up the overall testing process.

Key Back-end Java development skills

If you’re a beginner, it’s best to first try your hand with front-end skills before you venture into back-end development skills. However, for the seasoned and more advanced Java developers, there are must-have skills when it comes to back-end development which could make you an irreplaceable addition to teams anywhere.


Python is the most widely used today and a skill that recruiters everywhere are actively on the look-out for when it comes to tech hiring. Though it isn’t specific to the back-end, it is used as a server scripting language. So if you’re looking to add server backend skills to your portfolio, Python is the way to go.


The SQL standard of coding has been designed to communicate and manage the endless repository of databases that Java developers have to deal with on a day to day basis. It is no wonder then that knowledge on SQL is an absolute must-have for any backend developer. The biggest names like Microsoft and Oracle make use of SQL for all their database management so now you know why it remains on our list of one of the most essential skills for a Java developer. 

Ruby on Rails

If you think Python is a hard nut to crack, Ruby has made it extremely simple for any developer enthusiast. Though the language isn’t empowered enough to work web applications by itself, its pre-written templates of code for backend scripting has made Ruby a favourite among many wannabe backend developers.


One of the most widely used backend development languages, PHP has the ability to make the code script of your blog or website appear automatically on your site’s front page. It can also change your site’s display to add content as and when needed and based on the behaviour of the user. 

Experience-based Java Development skills

Aside from the technical skills that make a skilled Java developer, there are several other experience-based skills that employers are constantly on the lookout for.

According to David Evans, the CTO of Uncorked Studios, there are several key skills that make rockstar Java developers. Among the many nuanced and advanced Java developer skills, experience-based skills like critical thinking and problem-solving are traits that recruiters look for. Evans believes that though many developers may initially dismiss a possibility, they ultimately, by hook or crook, always end up finding a solution. And they spend hours sweating the minutiae until they get the most value per line of code. According to him, great developers aren’t the ones who give up easily, they are unafraid to depend on ideas like reflection and runtime resolution to patch aged systems, even while they’re in the process of being replaced.

Talented Java developers are versatile and can change from being great at the inside-out of the language to swiftly adapting to the ever-changing world of performance – be it memory overhead, computation complexity, or even speed. With a forward-thinking attitude, they’re ever-willing to adopt modern patterns and language features to existing systems without ceasing to support them.

Soft skills

Soft skills? Feels a bit weird finding that among your technical must-haves, doesn’t it? However, it is a key skill that recruiters look for when it comes to both front and backend Java developers. Soft skills are just as important in tech as they are in any other functionality. Skills like your approachability and helpfulness, your empathy toward clients and your team, effective communication both within teams as well as with clients, teamwork, open-mindedness with people and toward problem-solving, accountability and responsibility are among the most important Java developer skills required in 2020.

Here are some of the best learning resources for Java developers

Today, Java is a priceless skill to hone, and the best part is that the internet has some of the best resources to learn Java right from the basics to a more advanced level of programming.

This SQL tutorial from Codeacademy will help you pick the basics of SQL coding, and is absolutely free of cost.

This frontend development tutorial from Plural Sight has a 10 day free trial including step-by-step lessons on how to become a skilled frontend developer.

This free course on computer programming from Khan Academy will teach you everything right from basics to advanced Java developer technical skills. 

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Dikshant Patodia

Dikshant Patodia

A Front-end Engineer who is skilled in JavaScript and ReactJS. Loves to develop and design web applications. Always learning new technologies and following new trends in coding. Big fan of supercell games and an avid lucid dreamer.

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