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Software development has become a vital part of almost every business of any size in recent years. We had previously discussed the benefits of such innovative technologies as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for the Finance, Banking, Retail, Manufacturing, and Food industries, but today we will take a different path. Instead of highlighting another type of groundbreaking technology that is already changing the game and has even more potential in the future, we will look at the programming language that had been in the arsenal of software developers for decades and is currently used by nearly 8 million engineers worldwide. We will review the benefits of the programming language itself, provide a detailed description of how software engineers code in it, and offer you some tips and information on salaries if you are interested in hiring them. You will learn the pros and cons of forming an in-house team and hiring outsource Java development specialists. Building an efficient remote team is especially important during the Coronavirus pandemic, so you will definitely understand the basics of hiring the right experts after reading this article. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

“Truth can only be found in one place: the code.”
― Robert C. Martin

Introduction: Who is a Java Developer?

For over 25 years Java has been one of the most popular and long-lasting technologies in the world, currently being the second most popular programming language after Python, according to this research. It is definitely one of the favorite pieces of technology among experts, currently sharing the top spots with HTML, CSS, Python, SQL, and JavaScript, with the latest release dating September 15, 2020.

Why this language is so beloved among programmers? What should programmers coding in this language know? How programming in Java can benefit your business? We will answer all of those questions in detail in our article!

First appearing on May 23, 1995, Java is an object-oriented and class-based programming language that was created to have as few dependencies in implementation as possible. The language was built for the “Write Once, Run Anywhere” (WORA) approach, meaning that the code should run on any platform supporting Java without any recompilation. This programming language is widely implemented for web, desktop, mobile, big data, government, and enterprise applications.

This language was at the forefront of early mobile game development and has many other accomplishments. Java made a huge impact on the industry by providing the following changes:

  • It influenced the wider adoption of object-oriented programming that has become common today;
  • Applets, web programs that provided interactive elements, were introduced in Java. These applets definitely paved the way for JavaScript, Flash, and HTML5;
  • Test-driven development had become a common practice in approaches to software development. Java’s major contribution was the launch of JUnit in 2000.

Now, let’s find out what programmers coding in this language are responsible for and what levels exist to define them.

The responsibilities of a Java Developer

Java Developers are the masterminds behind IT solutions. They design and build software products from the ground up, recommending innovative solutions for improving user experience and the way entire organizations operate.

A Java Developer’s role and responsibilities might differ in organizations depending on the level of ownership, but typically they include activities related to building and improving software applications for the business. Java Developers might work on a specific programming task or be part of a full-scale software development life cycle depending on the situation. The programmers are responsible for:

  • Designing, developing and maintaining Java application phases, code, and software.
  • Conducting the analysis of software, testing, and debugging. That includes providing recommendations on the improvement of existing processes.
  • Creating stipulations out of requirements and finding issues related and not related to production.

 

There are probably as many opinions on how to classify the programmers as programmers themselves, but hopefully, this description will be fair enough:

Roles and responsibilities of Java Developer

A Junior Java Developer’s role and responsibilities

Entry-level experts can’t work independently without constant guidance. A specialist at this level has little-to-no knowledge of the business domain. Junior Developers can find some basics of the programming language and the set of tools challenging. Thus, they can’t take on much responsibility. Consequently, having too many Junior Programmers without proper supervision can become a problem. Anyone at the beginner’s stage could be considered “junior”.

A Medium Java Developer’s role and responsibilities

A regular or mid-level expert must have a certain amount of coding experience. At this level, a specialist is expected to work independently and deliver results for most tasks without much outside help. If any problems occur, the medium-level programmer must know what exactly they need and whom to ask for the solution.

A Senior Java Developer’s role and responsibilities

Programmers at this level have even more experience and must be able to not only complete set tasks, but also design solutions. They may lack an overall vision of architecture, so their designs must be approved beforehand. They are able to mentor and even lead junior-level programmers.

Top 5 real-world applications: Why does your business need Java Developers?

We got clear about the history, popularity, and the roles and responsibilities of Java Developers, now let’s figure out the practical value of this programming language for businesses and organizations.

The best for building Android apps

In 2020, Java is still the most popular programming language for Android applications, making its software engineers Android developers. In 2019, Google started to rely on Kotlin as the main language for Android; however, the usage of Java still prevails.

Software products

The resume of this programming language is impressive, including software products like Hadoop, Apache, Storm, Gmail, Atlassian, and many more. The potential for creating more great products is limitless because Java is very convenient for remote development, easy to run on different platforms, and can be combined with other programming languages. It is important to acknowledge that you can combine Java with other languages like Kotlin, Scala, and Groovy. The concept of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) allows the developer to get benefits from multiple programming languages, leveraging various tech stacks for the best results.

Point-of-Sale (POS) systems

This programming language is great for building software for Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals in the Retail industry. The software for terminals is usually running on Android, and Java is one of the top programming languages in which to code in this OS. Additionally, thanks to the Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA) concept (that will be described later) it is easy to scale the system of terminals.

Programs in the Finance industry

Java is also made a name for itself in the Finance industry, being the leading language for building high-quality websites with reliable functionality. It is popular both from the server and client sides.

Big Data programs

If you are looking to leverage Big Data, keep in mind that Kafka, Scala, and Spark use JVM. Since it has been used for such a long time, you will have access to a plethora of debuggers, libraries, and monitoring tools that have withstood the test of time.

The advantages of software development with Java for programmers

Object-oriented programming (OOP)

With object-oriented programming (OOP), your data could become an object and a relationship between multiple objects can be created. For businesses, this approach reduces time and resources because you can easily reuse objects in different software products, the objects are accessible, and making programs is more organized. Additionally, the maintenance is quite simple along with the possibility to update legacy code. On the contrary, there is procedural programming and here is the difference:

How OOP works

Simple syntax

This is a high-level language that is similar to human language and relatively easy to interpret, which makes the development process less sophisticated and complex. Java was built on the ideas of C++ but is much simpler, allowing experts to learn faster so they can reach the planned results. It is not as basic as Python, but any developer can learn fast and progress through expert levels — there are plenty of courses and learning materials available.

Automatic Memory Management (AMM)

Java has automated memory management (AMM), which takes over the allocation and deallocation of memory. The garbage collector finds and removes the objects that are useless to the program, which saves the CPU work and helps with optimization.

Multi-threading

Java allows multi-threading; this means running multiple units of processing at the same time, which also optimizes CPU usage.

Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA)

As mentioned earlier, this means that you could create a program on Linux, for example, and leverage cross-platforming by running it on any platform that supports Java Virtual Machine.

Features that protect against common security threats

All programs out of the box run inside a JVM (Java Virtual Machine), which is an engine that provides a runtime environment and is the first security mechanism of Java. Additionally, this programming language doesn’t have pointers — objects that store the memory address of another value that could lead to unauthorized memory access. Java also has a security manager — a policy that allows specifying access rules for each application.

A large community of developers

One of the reasons that this language is still so popular is due to the fact that new versions with additional features are getting released regularly. The developers in online communities and hundreds of Java-related courses have decades of experience. A massive amount of people are using it and plan to use it in the future. There is a large number of open-source libraries available that could be used to simplify the development process, especially saving time. It is relatively easier to build POCs for startups on Java, compared to other programming languages.

Standard for enterprises

Since the 1990s, enterprise apps have been one of the main focuses of Java programming. The number of well-tested libraries is astonishing. Those libraries are the building blocks for the fundamental functions of any organization. The relatively cheap maintenance is another reason why organizations have preferred Java for so long.

Rapid evolution

Since 2017, Java has received new stable releases twice a year; as of September 2020, the current version is SE 15. Previously Oracle Corporation released new versions of Java once every four or five years, but now they introduce new versions regularly. The growing popularity of the programming language became obvious and to stand out among competitors and bring more value, Java needed these frequent updates with modern features.

Outsourcing vs. In-House: What is best for software development?

The best choice for your business depends on your goals and priorities. In this quick overview, we would like to focus on the strongest sides of both approaches to find out what best fits your case. With a clear budget, deadline, and project scope, it will be relatively easier to make a decision, considering the following information.

An in-house team is the best choice if face-to-face meetings are really important for your project. With the team in your actual office, you can receive quick feedback, control, and coordinate your experts as much as needed. You can forget about language barriers or cultural differences — ease of communication and the ability to change direction are the main advantages here.

Outsourcing a software development team has the edge in scalability and the intellectual capabilities of the talent without any dependency on geography. Partnering with an outsourced firm can give you access to the experts that you actually need for the job. With in-house team experts, you must always have tasks for them — but in this case, you hire people for specific goals in a certain time period. An outsourced team is much cheaper because you skip the recruitment process, training, and even interviews to find the appropriate candidates. Your experts keep their jobs based on performance and not any other commitment. Market delivery is much faster because of the performance-based approach. Most importantly, the pool of available experts is basically limitless, compared to an in-house team.

If you choose to form a team in your office, all the details on hiring the right people are suitable for another set of articles. But in case outsourcing seems like the best option for your goals, we will dig deep into the details on hiring remote Java Developers next!

How much does it cost to hire Java Developers?

Last year, there were nearly 8 million Java developers in the world working with 90% of Fortune 500 companies. Switzerland has the biggest average annual salary for developers of this programming language at $93,925 including taxes, with the United States at $74,190 and Israel at $69,007. PayScale researched salaries depending on the level of expertise, and here is what the top of the list looks like:

LocationJuniorMid-levelSenior
Switzerland$89,618$102,304$119,424
Israel$69,990$80,652$89,005
Denmark$68,906$50,993$58,046
Norway$55,982$63,562$64,219
Germany$53,181$60,159$61,377

So, a Junior Developer’s annual salary is around $63,000 on average. A Mid-Level Developer scale could expect $75,000 on average. Senior-level experts might expect around $122,000 a year.

Hiring a Java Programmer in the United States may cost you around $96,000 a year, taxes included. In Germany, the same expert may cost you around $80,000 and in the United Kingdom, it could average $60,000.

Thus, it makes sense to look for software engineers in Eastern Europe. Ukraine is one of the countries with some of the best Java developers with over 8,000 programmers working on real projects. The interest in this technology is rising and the price for hiring experts from this country could average $30,000 a year! There are over 200,000 software engineers in general in Ukraine, and more than half of them are ready to work 40-60 hours per week. Ukraine is a great choice for hiring Java developers if you are interested in outsourcing your tasks and it fits your business goals.

Here are the average monthly rates of Java programmers in 2021:

Java developers salaries

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How to hire Java developers? A few things you need to consider

The following tips may help you hire a Java developer or an entire team of experts.

Choose The Best Cooperation Model For Outsourced Java Development

If you have technical skills and require experts for specific goals, hiring a freelancer could be the easiest and the most effective option. However, if you have a long-term project with a scope that might change in the future, partnering with a software development company can work out better. One of the most important parts of partnering with another company is choosing a suitable engagement model. Learn more about models like Extended Team, Dedicated Team, and Managed Product to determine how you can benefit. In a nutshell, the right cooperation model can spare you the hassle of hiring experts and managing the development process, letting you focus on the business aspects.

Partner Up With The Right Company For Java Development Outsourcing

If you are considering working with a software development company, make sure to check its track record on outsourcing Java projects. Some case studies on long-lasting projects might be a great indicator that your potential partnership will also deliver outstanding results. A company that outsources Java programming and is good at it will gladly share its proven expertise and opinions on the subject. The knowledge and experience in your specific industry will be a big plus. Please don’t rush in choosing a partner. As we discussed earlier, there are plenty of options, so take your time to find the perfect match!

Be Specific In Your Requirements

Ensure that the recruiting team is not using generic Java Developer job descriptions that don’t say anything about the actual job. Your candidates must have the specific set of technical skills and soft skills required for the job. Highlight the key technologies in your stack and your business domain that may narrow the number of candidates and help you find the right people faster. This programming language is versatile and covers a wide range of areas in web and mobile application development. You, or your technical team, need to understand what JSF, Strut, Grails, Play, Spring, and Maven frameworks are and which ones you require for your outsourced Java project. There is a chance that you will find an expert who does not possess the skills in the required tech stack. After the decision is made on your requirements, make sure that the actual interview includes questions about the development skills, tools, and key strengths (including experience in wire-frames, user experience design, or knowledge of APIs, for example).

Get Motivated Experts

On the other hand, you need to understand the motivation of potential candidates. You must understand what exactly drives experts to be a part of your company. Is it a good salary or an interesting project? Or maybe it is an opportunity for potential growth? Clearly understanding your employees’ motivations may help you keep them on the team in the most challenging situations.

Your Outsource Java Developers Need To Have A Fine-Tuned Process

Motivation is a good thing and a significant factor for the success of any team. However, the experts you add to your team must understand the product development process. If we’re talking about hiring a dedicated development team, the complete understanding of Agile principles and its practical implementation of Scrum is mandatory for maximal efficiency. Of course, they can use some other process, like Waterfall. But based on our experience, the Agile/Scrum combination is the best for any software development project. Java development outsourcing is not an exception. In case the development team you hire is not adhering to the principles of Agile, you will probably need to spend some time coaching them; otherwise, you may not get the best results due to the chaotic process.

Busting the most common myths about Java Programming

This programming language is outdated

It can’t be further from the truth. Yes, the language had a long run, and many new technologies popped up over the years. However, Java gained a wide range of applications across multiple industries and became the foundation block for several new-age programming languages. With new versions appearing regularly, Java is going to stay on top for a long time.

It is a slow programming language

Well, it was slow, in the early stages, when Java was compared to C++. Now it is considered a high-performing language, leaving delays in the past. The introduction of Java Virtual Machine (JVM) became a real game-changer, turning Java from one of the programming languages into an awesome multifunctional tool. Take Apache Kafka, for example. It is one of the top platforms for high-speed stream processing, and it is running on Java Virtual Machine. Not bad for a “slow” programming language, right? JVM has different implementations. Some aim to improve throughput and lower the latency, like GraalVM, for example.

Although there is some truth to that myth, the programming language by itself is not the problem. The lack of speed may be an outcome of working with poorly written or outdated applications. The coders can create almost any software app using Java that will work, but that does not mean they will perform well. In those cases, the actual code is the problem, not the tool!

It is expensive

This myth comes from the fact that in 2019 Oracle changed the licensing model, and now you have to buy a subscription when using Oracle Java in production. The subscription will give you access to premium support. What if you don’t need it? There is also an option to switch to another version of Java Development Kit from Oracle, called OpenJDK. It is completely free. You can find many other stable and free of charge implementations of JDK that will provide you with the same functionality as Oracle JDK. To sum it up, this myth is not valid. If you don’t need premium support, Java can be a completely free programming language for your project.

It is buggy and lacks security

Like the slowness myth, the actual code can be a reason for the bugginess and security issues. You don’t have to look far to find out proven case studies of Java-based projects with a high-security level. Look at the solutions Banking and Finance industries use, like complex payment processing systems, digital signature implementation, or software for ATMs. Additionally, Java supports things like cryptography, Secure Sockets Layer, authorization, and authentication, to name a few. That means developers have a good set of secure tools for building projects.

Every codebase can run in some bugs, and Java Development Kit is no exception. However, frequent and regular updates fix all critical issues. You need to have the latest version of Java Runtime Environment on your machine. When the application runs from a server and the maintainer uses the old JRE version, you can experience some bugs. The application may be vulnerable to a certain degree. But overall, Java is a very stable and secure programming language and doesn’t deserve the label of being unsafe than other languages.

It is heavy for programmers

Some people consider Java heavier for coders compared to JavaScript, Python, or Ruby. That was true before 2014, but in 2021 it is much easier to get started with the programming language and write the code. The developer can start creating a Spring Boot application in seconds with start.spring.io. All necessary tools are included in the single download.

Our Expertise in Java Development

SPD Group has been offering Java development services to businesses since 2006. Currently, we have over 200 experts proficient in Java as well as other technologies that bring value to organizations. Over 70 of those experts are Oracle-Certified Java Developers, and this number is constantly increasing. The projects they are working on include businesses in the Finance, FinTech, E-Commerce, Biotech, Travelling, and Logistics industries.

While developing and improving a product for a leading financial data provider and SaaS, SPD Group leveraged Java development expertise for scaling both organizational and development processes. This was necessary to move the entire organization from monolith to microservice architecture. Switching to microservices allowed each team to be responsible for a particular component (or service) in the organization, eliminating the drawbacks of having a single code repository.

Java has a great infrastructure for developing microservice architecture. In this particular case, we implemented microservices into the financial data provider’s ecosystem by using frameworks such as Spring and gRPC. As a result, this financial data provider now has multiple sub-teams that are working on different business goals separately, and the team from SPD Group continues to split micro monoliths into smaller parts for better overall performance.

Among the technical highlights:

  •  In the microservices growth process, Java’s support and integration of Open API contracts dramatically simplified communication between them.
  • Using Java allowed the implementation of a heavy-load search system with the ability to find information by hundreds of criteria among a dozen data sources with a response time of up to 100 milliseconds. This search system included the ability to sort, filter, and analyze this information.
  • A mini version of the file-based key-value storage optimized for project-specific read-write operations was easily implemented using Java.

For this as well as other projects, we had teams in different countries. Thanks to using Java these collaborations were very efficient, with all key decisions made quickly and consistently.

Summary

Who is a Java Developer?

This is an expert proficient in the Java programming language who is able to design, develop, and maintain software applications. Entry-level experts can’t work without supervision, but senior-level specialists can design entire solutions for projects; that’s why the required knowledge and tech skills are different according to expertise level.

What is the difference between the most common type of developers?

You can find the following terms being used in the wrong context sometimes or lacking a precise definition. Here are some of the most popular misconceptions about this programming language and the developers working with it, so if you are still having trouble distinguishing them this will hopefully clear things up for you.

Java Developer vs. Web Developer – a Web Developer is an expert who does coding for a website or builds a web application; they can use any programming language for that purpose. A Java Developer focuses on one language and can use it for other purposes, not just web applications or websites. A Java Developer can be a Web Developer, but not every Web Developer is proficient in Java.

Java Developer vs. Android Developer – most Android applications are built using Java; however, Android developers can use Kotlin for the task. In fact, Kotlin with its rising popularity among experts and organizations holds second place to Java in Android development. So while there are reasons for these terms to be synonymous, they are definitely not the same.

Who is a Java Full-Stack Developer?

A Full-Stack Developer can work with any layer of the web development stack, including the front end, the back end, and databases. Usually, this type of developer specializes in one or more layers. A Full-stack Java Developer specializes in a full stack of tools and frameworks that work with Java. The list of required technologies includes Core Java, HTML, CSS, JS, SQL, NoSQL, ReactJS, VueJS, JSP, Spring, JUnit, Selenium, and Git.

Why should I use Java for my business?

Because this programming language is a standard for enterprises, has regular updates, is supported by a large community, and is great for remote development.

How can I effectively hire Java Programmers who can bring value to my organization?

It depends on the situation. Sometimes you can hire on-site experts, while other times it is better to look for remote specialists. Partnering with a software development company will not only give you access to software development, but also can help you avoid increased managerial responsibilities.

Conclusion

Despite its age, Java is currently experiencing a rise in popularity and has limitless potential for the future. In 2020, the number of Java Developers increased by 20% compared to 2019 and there are many good reasons for that. Developers are learning this technology because new versions are being released regularly with all the features necessary for modern development tasks. There are some drawbacks to this technology, but all of them can be solved.

Probably, the main advantage of Java for enterprises is that this programming language allows for efficient collaboration among remote teams; that’s why businesses should consider hiring Java Programmers for development tasks in the current situation. Nobody knows when things will return to normal after the current global pandemic, so there is a high expectation that more businesses will switch to remote work in the near future. Your business can benefit from collaborating with development teams from other countries. Consider SPD Group as a trusted software development partner that can help to bring your vision to life!

Further Reading

  1. Java Developer Roles and Responsibilities – https://www.bmc.com/blogs/java-developer-roles-and-responsibilities/
  2. Where to Hire Offshore Java Developers: a Comprehensive How-To Guide – https://youteam.io/blog/hire-java-developers-comprehensive-guide/
  3. 10 Free Java Programing Books for beginners – https://www.java67.com/2013/11/10-free-java-programing-books-download-PDF-HTML.html
  4. Java Introduction – https://www.w3schools.com/java/java_intro.asp

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Roman Chuprina Technical journalist at SPD Group, covering AI/ML, IoT, and Blockchain topics with articles and interviews. March 31, 2021
Yaroslav Brahinets Team Leader at SPD Group and Oracle Certified Java Developer March 31, 2021