|Enrollment Open for New Java Developer Nanodegree|
|Written by Nikos Vaggalis|
|Wednesday, 31 July 2019|
Java? I hear you say. Does this old horse stand a chance in the era of cool programming languages? The short answer is yes and Udacity is just launching a Nanodegree to help devs get up to speed with it.
Old but timeless, is the answer. Java has always been the favorite - enterprises talked and still talk Java. Look no further than the Fortune 500 list of companies reliance on it. Yes, Blue Chips love it.
The reasons are plenty. The one that enterprises value most is backwards compatibility, being notoriously allergic to radical updates and upgrades. Systems that worked 20 years ago, written in Java 5, should be able to compile and run under version 8. Stability is what matters.
Of course, keeping up with the past carries its own bag of drawbacks since the new designs can't become optimized. For example, compare Java's generic types with C# post modern ones. Java chose to not upgrade its implementation of generics in order to avoid breaking old code, but that decision meant that they would indefinitely remain constrained by their underlying Type erasure.
That, of course, doesn't mean that Java is not getting upgraded with modern goodies. See version 8 for example which, amongst the groundbreaking features it brought, it also modernized the language with functional programming capabilities, through lambda expressions and friends.
Under a more frequent release cycle than it used to, already jumping from version 9 to 12 in just two years time, the language looks set to be refreshed with the latest developments. And, while that's too many releases in such a short time, syntax-wise the language remains the same; you can still write Java 8 in Java 12. For the counter example and its associated detriments, consider Python 3 breaking syntax level compatibility with Python 2.
Modernization does not stop at the language and API level. Support for Java is built into the newest tools too. So aside from the venerable Eclipse and Netbeans, you can also write Java in Android Studio, Intellij IDEA and lately in Visual Studio Code.
Of course, the debate on whether Java is still free, caused a lot of commotion. We detailed that in "Is Java Still Free?", but to sum it up, yes, Java is still free through its OpenJDK incarnations.
What prompted me to write about Java was Udacity's announcement of its newest offering, the Java Developer Nanodegree. I immediately saw it as a first class opportunity to sharpen my Java skills in order to better secure, or even expand, my job prospects. According to Dice's latest Tech salary report, Java developers still earn around $105K on average in the US; more or less, the same holds true all around the world.
The promise of the Nanodegree is to :
Equip students with the unique skills
A graduate of this program will be able to:
This knowledge is going to be solidified through practical experience by taking part in a number of modern projects:
With an estimated length of 4 months, commencing on August 13, I consider it as a sprint, an injection of Java skills sandwiched in between the busy developer's time.
And because you are indeed busy, I Programmer is determined to cover the degree's ins and outs, as we did in covering the Android Developer's Nanodegree Insider's Guide series. Enrollment has started and closes on August 13. Stay tuned.
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|Last Updated ( Sunday, 23 August 2020 )|