What is a java developer?

Java – basic information

Java is a household name in the world of IT and one of the oldest programming languages as well. For years, it has been at the forefront in industry rankings and statistics. Why is Java so much appreciated by developers, employers and users? What skills do I need to start working as a Java developer ? What is the salary on such a position? Answers for those and many other questions lie ahead.

Java service, as a programming platform, was released and patented in 1995 by the now defunct American company Sun Microsystems. Since then, it has been constantly developed – regularly implemented innovations turn out to be invaluable in everyday use – both private and commercial. According to data from Oracle – the current owner of the proprietary rights to the platform – Java is installed on 51 million virtual machines around the world.
What is the reason for its perpetual popularity? In order to answer this question, it is worth comming back to the roots. Java was designed as a multi-platform environment i.e. compatible with desktop, web and mobile systems. The creators' motto „compile once, run anywhere” seems to be very much in place. Thanks to the multiplatformity and flexibility, a Java developer can easily create a program that will run equally stably and efficiently on Windows, Linux and Android.

What’s more, Java is also implemented in the so-called embedded systems as part of larger electromechanical systems. Typical examples include: magnetic strips in credit and debit cards, menus in Blu-Ray players or even software in phone SIM cards. Java virtual machines are also used by the largest IT and entertainment companies, such as Amazon, Netflix or Google (Gmail service). Even an all-time favourite video game „Minecraft” is based entirely on this architecture.

Java is commonly used to create a back-end, i.e. a part of an application or website that is invisible to the user, located directly on the server. Unlike the front-end, the „visual layer” of the website, the back-end – as the name suggests – is hidden from the average user. In other words, it is the technical base responsible for handling the data processed in the system and for saving and reading them in the database.

It is worth mentioning that Java is considered a relatively friendly environment for novice programmers. It is characterized by an average level of complexity, very close to C ++. The similarities, at least in a basic version of the code, make it easier for users to migrate between the two environments. Java includes a lot of built-in libraries that make everyday work much easier. However, to deal with Java professionally and become a valued Java developer, experience in the industry is absolutely essential. As a programmer, it is necessary to constantly acquire new skills and knowledge about implementing even very complex solutions.

What is a Java developer?

What kind of skills are seen as necessary for a good programmer who creates applications in Java architecture? Does many years of experience translate into higher earnings? It is worth starting with the definition of this profession. Java developer is none other than a specialist in designing applications (web, desktop, mobile), i.e. creating high-quality source code using existing IT practices and solutions. A candidate for this position is usually expected to have professional knowledge and IT education.

An exemplary programmer must be familiar with industry trends and tools, efficiently navigate in the Java and JavaScript environment, and also be able to use the JQuery library. The global market has developed a very clear division into front- and back-end specialists. What are the differences? The former, as already mentioned, deal with the design of both the application interface and the so-called user experience (UI / UX). In other words, they are responsible for the graphics, mainly animations and sliders.

Back-end Java developer is responsible for the correct operation of the code and website. Such a a specialist should usually have much broader IT competences. It is much appriciated to be familiar at least with the basics of PHP, SQL or ASP.NET. In addition, the candidate is expected to be fluent in English and have an extensive knowledge of cybersecurity of information and databases, as well as the ability to create analyzes, statistics and extensive reports. It should be also mentioned that back-end specialists are most often employed in companies from the financial sector where very extensive databases are stored.

The most experienced programmers began their adventure with creating source code when they were teenagers. However, not all of them decided to continue learning programming on IT studies. In the past, learning „on your own” usually translated into lucrative earnings while currently employers are skeptical about self-taught programmers. Major education is therefore one of the most important factors determining employment in this position.

Senior Java Developer - experience, duties, responsibilities, average salary

Depending on the length of employment and experience gained, a programmer may find a job as Junior or Senior Java developer. It is no secret that remuneration is strongly connected to high skills, so a senior programmer working on a contract of employment or providing services under B2B cooperation can count on the most attractive employment conditions.

The ideal profile of a candidate for the above position should combine specialist programming knowledge with highly developed soft and interpersonal skills. Senior Java developer is often responsible for human resource management, leading a multi-person team during the implementation of very complex orders, the execution of which requires not only nerves and patience, but also constant supervision over the proper cooperation of individual colleagues.

The salary of Senior Java developer depends on:

  • length of employment,

  • education,

  • company location,

  • company size,

  • form of employment (UoP, UoD, B2B).

Among the many job offers, one can also find those aimed at full-stack Java developers. Who are these people? They are specialists of the highest rank, with many years of specialist experience, combining the knowledge necessary for both front-end and back-end developers. The ideal candidate profile, adequate to the requirements of this position, includes extensive knowledge of Java and SQL architecture, application implementation and testing, as well as creating very complex interfaces The ability to think in business and understand the client’s needs are other features that are invaluable such a specialist.

Java developer and engineer - differences

Java consultant can also count on employment in the programming sector – a typical employee in this position deals with consulting and implementing new ideas and solutions to applications, helping the team of programmers and clients in achieving all previously planned goals. Typical Java consultants hold an engineering or master’s degree and are employed by consulting, medical or large IT companies such as IBM, Microsoft or NTT.

An engineer who specializes in designing operating systems is called a systems software engineer. His/her competences includes the analysis of user needs, budget and company requirements. Based on these criteria, such an engineer designs, develops, implements and tests the program and, if necessary, implements new tools and solutions. It is also the responsibility of the engineer to provide the software with both backward and future compatibility, as well as minimizing the time and costs of project implementation while maximizing the quality of the final product.

Unlike a programming specialist, Java consultant does not need to have source code skills. Nevertheless, he should be familiar with at least basic concepts in the field of IT and know the specifics of programmers' work so that mutual communication runs smoothly at every stage of the project implementation.

The best engineers often find employment in international corporations, therefore a fluent command of English, at least C1 level, is a must. Another equally desirable feature of a candidate are – similar to an experienced programmer – highly developed soft skills, with an emphasis on those interpersonal. The candidate for this position should also demonstrate the ability to work under time pressure.

Java specialists in Poland

According to a report published by HackerRank, Poland ranks third, after China and Russia, when it comes to countries with the best programmers. It is significant that Polish specialists are ahead of the experts from the United States. What’s more, if we look at the ranking of the best Java developers , it turns out that Poles are unrivaled in this field (Java).

Poland’s high position in world rankings is related to several things. Firstly, the level of Polish education, especially higher education, has been very high for years. At technical universities, Polytechnics and Academies educating future engineers, a strong emphasis is placed on science and practical knowledge. Secondly – Polish research centers have extensive technological facilities, using the latest global solutions, which allow them to educate students in the following areas:

  • cybersecurity,
  • AI,
  • robotics and automation,
  • astronautic.

Polish engineers and graduates of IT studies find employment in enterprises related to pharmacy, energy, telecommunications, banking and finance, i.e. in sectors of the greatest importance for the economy. It is worth noting that more and more international software houses are also starting cooperation with Polish programming specialists. Why is that? There are two factors – they are not only highly developed professionals but also can boast about their interpersonal competences. The lack of language barriers as well as efficient communication and logistics are also important.

According to IT community research from 2020, conducted by Bulldogjob – a Polish website with job adds for Java programmers – the largest number of IT specialists live in the Mazowieckie (26%), Małopolskie (14%) and Dolnośląskie (12.6%) voivodships. 41% of them have higher education, while 32% – engineering or bachelor’s degree. Only 14% stopped their education at the secondary level. Warsaw has been the largest IT center for years (25% of all specialists work there), followed by Kraków (13%), and Wrocław (12%) .

Polish programmers learn most often from studies (76% of respondents), blogs and thematic articles (62%) or specialized online courses, such as Kodilla or Bootcamp (52%). When it comes to the popularity of individual programming environments, the most known are: Java, JavaScript and C+. Most job offers are directed towards the back-end Java developers and software engineers operating in this environment. Java is also considered the second most friendly language for learning programming (16%) for beginners after C ++ (25%).

Taking into account the above data, there is no doubt that the Polish IT industry is developing dynamically, opening up a wide range of opportunities for potential employees and creating an attractive earning perspective. This is evidenced not only by world rankings, but also by the 4% increase in the value of this sector every year. The salary of Java-oriented specialists has been the highest for years and there is no indication that this trend will change. Java developers find employment in the most important sectors of the economy and the largest enterprises, gaining numerous successes and recognition on the international arena.