Learning to Program in Java. How Long Does it Take?

Editorial Team

Learning to Program in Java

If you ever search for ‘beginner-friendly programming languages’ on Google, Java will be one of the top results. At the same time, it is known for being a complex language to master. Isn’t it confusing? Java is a paradox.

It is challenging to learn Java all at once, like any programming language. Still, once you do, you will have limitless possibilities at your disposal, which is why newbies are usually advised to learn Java.

You can start learning Java right away. But how long does it take to accomplish a job-ready level? Well, that’s what this article is for.

What Does “Mastering Java” Mean?

Let’s say you finished a Java course and received a certificate as proof. Does that mean you’ve mastered the language? Probably not. If we assess programmers’ competence solely based on their ability to complete courses and acquire credentials, technology would not have evolved as far as it has.

Mastering Java means the developer should be proficient in

  • Identifying and resolving fundamental programming issues.
  • Developing fully functional code without having to resort to features or technologies.
  • Detecting and correcting flaws.
  • Understanding how to write code that meets your expectations.

How can you achieve these goals by learning core Java?

The term “core Java” refers to the fundamental Java notions that every developer should be familiar with. Since there are various fields Java is used in, you can learn the specific concepts of that field after mastering core Java. 

It can take anywhere from 6 months to decades to become adept in Java. You may be bewildered, but programming is a constantly evolving field, with new concepts and technologies emerging every now and then. This is why to become a Java developer, one needs a handful of dedication and eagerness to learn for a lifetime.

8 Ways to Learn Java

Mastering Java calls for a well-defined learning strategy. Let’s take a look at how to make it prolific and beneficial.

1.   Make and Segment Your Plan

Create and segment your strategy. You must design a flawless, logical approach to excel in Java to prevent procrastinating in the midst.

It’s exciting to learn something new. Your fingers will be itching to click when you stick to a  proper course. However, the thrill will fade away if the activity isn’t well-planned.

Make sure to set deadlines and define weekly and monthly goals when writing down your schedule. Setting deadlines is highly recommended. This will facilitate you to devote proper time to all the concepts.

2.   Learn Core Java

The understanding of fundamental ideas is essential in Java. As we mentioned, the most basic edition of Java is referred to as Core Java. Its features are as follows:

●     Syntax. To learn a language, you first need to understand its alphabet. Instead of alphabets, we study syntax in programming languages, which is comprised of

  • Classes, variables, and methods
  • Primitive data types
  • Strings
  • Basic operators
  • Basic constructions: loops, branches

In syntax, data types and basic operators are usually easy to learn. Beginners may find the ideas of loops and classes challenging to grasp. However, you must thoroughly comprehend them since you will employ classes and loops in the more advanced levels.

●     OOP. Java is also referred to as an object-oriented programming language. If you hear OOP for the first time, you may think of it as a complex topic to conquer. Well, you are not that far away, OOP is quite tricky to understand, but when you get to grips with it, that’s where the fun begins.

Most programmers consider OOP to be a convenient programming approach because it allows them to develop efficient programs without repeatedly rewriting code blocks.

The main subtopics of OOP are:

  • Class Inheritance
  • Interface Implementation
  • Data Abstraction
  • Encapsulation of Data
  • Class Implementation
  • Polymorphism
  • Virtual Methods

●     Collections. If you derive from a technical background, you must be familiar with data structures and their importance in programming. For non-techies, data structures are a collection of complex data types that programmers use to organize data and improve its performance.

Data structures are referred to as collections in Java. The following are some of the collections you should be aware of:

  • List
  • Set
  • Map
  • Queue
  • Deque
  • HashSet, HashMap, HashTable
  • TreeSet, TreeMap
  • ArrayList
  • LinkedList

Learning data structures is relatively easy, but knowing when and where to implement them is challenging.

●     Streams. A stream in Java is a collection of data that represents either an input source or an output destination. In Java programming, these are extremely important and difficult concepts to master. On the other hand, beginners are unlikely to require or use streams in their projects. The streams that you should be aware of include:

  • Byte streams
  • Character streams
  • Standard streams

●     Multithreading and Synchronization. Now we’ve arrived at the most complicated and challenging chapter: multithreading. It is a Java feature that allows different parts of a program to run simultaneously to maximize CPU efficiency.

You may get acquainted with all of the above-mentioned Java concepts in detail while exploring the CodeGym course. The balance between theory and practical parts is genuinely guaranteed by gamified approach and non-boring storytelling. One may study in his own path, always being supported by the community of tech-savvy programmers and mentoring experts, which is a huge plus for a newbie in that career niche. Moreover, if you learn to code on CodeGym it motivates you to look for creative solutions during fulfilling course tasks (even Android snake game can be done originally despite its ease), cause the surrounding provides ideas. Working with the most popular Java IDEs, for instance, IntelliJ IDEA, allows you to understand all the benefits of the modern software development environment as well.

3. Learn Stuff That Can Help With the Java Project

Programming isn’t only about writing lines of code, troubleshooting issues, building, and running programs. To write a code, you’ll need to be familiar with a variety of handy tools that can aid in the development of the software or applications you’re working on.

The following is a collection of widely used Java tools:

●     Jenkins

Jenkins is a well-known Java development tool. It assists in the management of software development processes such as compiling projects, performing unit tests, integration tests, producing documentation, and uploading artifacts to both local and remote repositories.

●     Docker and Kubernetes

Docker is an open-source platform for automating application deployment in the cloud and physical servers. It enables developers and system administrators to create, deploy, and run distributed applications on laptops, data centers, virtual machines, and the cloud.

In Java, new tools arrive every now and then. If you are looking for a helpful thing that will help you throughout your career, there is no better choice than Kubernetes. Kubernetes provides a hybrid cloud environment in which code can execute on any system, including cloud environments like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.

●     Git

Git is another essential tool for Java programmers that is very simple to learn. It’s a distributed version control system that’s free and open-source, and it’s designed to manage everything from small to substantial projects with speed and efficiency.

●     Selenium

Selenium provides test frameworks and tools for testing web applications. It also has automation functionalities for web applications. The following are the essential Selenium elements:

  • IDE (integrated development environment).
  • Remote Control/Selenium 1.0
  • Web Controller/Selenium 2.0/3.0
  • Selenium GRID

●     RESTful Web Service

The REST API is widely regarded as the standard protocol for web APIs. REST is a highly sought-after expert in the Java world, especially since few people are fluent in both Java and REST.

●     Angular or Responsive JS

ReactJS is a Java programming tool mainly used to create interactive user interfaces for mobile and online applications. Angular is its framework.

If you’re interested in web development or mobile app development, knowing how to use both technologies will be quite beneficial.

●     Apache Spark and Kafka

For activities like basic I/O, scheduling, and dispatching, Spark provides an application interface. It gives a stream processing platform that is open-source as well. Spark streaming could use Kafka as a messaging and integration platform.

Apache Spark’s key characteristics are real-time stream processing, integration, advanced analysis, multilingual compatibility, and efficiency.

The key features of Apache Kafka include maximum performance, reliability, robustness, data conversion, and replication.

●     Java 16 Development Kit (JDK 16) Features

The Java Development Kit (JDK) is the full-featured Java SDK. It includes the JRE and the compiler and valuable tools such as Javadoc and JDB.  It is capable of creating and compiling programs. The features of the latest JDK version are:

  • warnings for value-based classes proposal
  • sealed classes
  • Foreign linker API
  • Moving ZGC (Z Garbage Collector)
  • An elastic metaspace capability
  • C++ 14 language features are enabled.
  • A vector API in the early stages of development
  • Providing records classes
  • A foreign-memory access API

4. Practice Coding Every Day

No matter how long you binge-watch coding videos, you will not master the programming language without practicing building projects. Programming is a lot more like exercising. The more you practice, the better it gets. While learning to code, you should balance your efforts and assign 75-80% of your time to programming, and another 20% to reading theory.

In programming, consistency is crucial. Schedule your day and set up a time to work on your project while learning. Experiment with different applications and debug the code on your own when you encounter errors.

5. Explore Informative Blogs

A lot of useful information can be found in various online resources that can come in handy in the learning process, no matter whether you look up an unclear issue or try to recollect a forgotten topic. Choose your perfect blog for Java developers by the approach and the information it suggests. Sometimes Java structure, variables, syntax etc are much easier to grasp in a text form, so this option is a win-win. Good theory basis helps to structure your knowledge and develop working flawless code.

6. Find the Right Community

 Java has a thriving, fun community. Participating in communities like GitHub, StackOverflow, and Reddit will benefit you in any programming or other concept-related questions.

7. Monitor Your Progress

You should not only devise a plan to study Java, but make sure that you are following that plan and accomplishing your daily, weekly, or monthly goals. Monitoring your progress will light a sense of satisfaction and increase motivation to code harder.

8. Remember to Reward Yourself for Achievements

Last but not least, remember to reward yourself. It might be for any successful step you take. Have you met your daily goal? Reward yourself with ice cream. Treat yourself to a shopping spree or a mouthwatering meal if you nail a weekly plan. Regularly rewarding yourself will nurture your inner child and make you eager to complete more tasks.

Estimated Time to Learn Java

Confident professional multiethnic coders discussing programming language: hipster young man pointing at screen and explaining programming algorithm

To completely master Java, it takes roughly about 6-12 months for beginners. Java can be nailed by aspirants with prior programming experience within 2-3 weeks. The overall duration varies per individual.

Rather than focusing on the span, you can focus on learning the concepts since you will lose track of time and master programming earlier than you thought.


Mastering Java could take anywhere from two weeks to a year, depending on your prior experience. But anyway, learning is a never-ending saga. After you’ve beaten the fundamentals of Java, practice every day. Don’t be hesitant to seek assistance from more experienced Java programmers.