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The 2021 Java Programmer RoadMap

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Hello guys, if you want to become a professional Java developer or want to take your Java skill to next level but not sure which technology, tools, frameworks, and library you can learn then you have come to the right place. I have been sharing a lot of roadmaps like a Web developer RoadMap, DevOps engineer RoadMap, and React.js developer RoadMap.

One of the requests I received from many of my readers was for creating a Java Developer Roadmap. Since Java is my expertise, It wasn’t a problem to create a Java Developer Roadmap, but it took slightly longer for me to create one because of the limited time I get.

Anyway, I am finally ready to share my Java developer RoadMap with you. This Roadmap contains my years of experience and the unobstructed path of how to become a Java expert.

You will find that this Java roadmap answers many burning questions like which technologies a Java developer should learn? What tools make you a better Java developer? And, which framework a Java developer must absolutely learn.

One of the things I tried with this roadmap is that to keep the exposure as short as possible, I have avoided mentioning many alternatives, particularly when it comes to libraries and tools, and stick with industry-standard tools and libraries.

I have kept it simple so that most of the people can follow it and only included the essential stuff, but if there is enough desire, I am thinking to post The Java Developer RoadMap 2.0 to add some advanced things like JVM internals, Profiling, Java 9 Modules, Cloud Native Java, different cloud platforms like AWS, GCP, or Azure, and more advanced tools like Chef for DevOps and much more.

If you are interested, you can find a more exhaustive list of separate blog pots, which I have listed in the further learning section. Anyway, let’s go through this Java Developer RoadMap to understand how to become a Java developer in 2021.

Btw, you by no means need to understand everything on this roadmap to become a rockstar developer. In fact, you don’t even need to take them that seriously if you don’t want to. Instead, use these maps as a starting point to help guide your learning as you go.

7. Design Patterns

There is no doubt that every programmer should know Git and Github as they are the standard in terms of version control and code repository. If you want to learn and master Design Patterns, particularly OOP Design patterns then I suggest you join the Design Patterns in Java course by Dmitri Nestruk on Udemy. This is a great course to learn the modern implementation of classic design patterns in Java.

If you need more resources, you can also check out my earlier articles about the best design patterns books and courses to learn Object-Oriented Design patterns in depth.

The 2021 Java Developer RoadMap

Now, let’s explore this Java developer roadmap together and find out what tools, frameworks, libraries, APIs, tools, and skills you can learn to become a professional Java developer in 2021.

1. Tools

The tools section is divided into different sections. First, your IDE, which is your primary tool and can do almost everything you asked for like compile, run, debug, profile, test, compare files and code, refactoring, and much more.

1.1 IDEs

For Java Developers, there are two main IDES, Eclipse and IntelliJIDEA, you can choose any one of them as I have used Eclipse most in my life but I am currently working in IntelliJIDEA so I love both of them, but most of the Java developer I know they work in IDEA.

I suggest you master IDEA shortcuts, views, and all other features it offers to become a true Java Master and if you need a resource, I think IntelliJ IDEA Tricks to Boost Productivity for Java Devs is a great place to start with.

1.2 Build Tools

The second part is the build tool, which you need to build and deploy your projects like Maven and Gradle. Any one of these would be enough. I have just listed ANT, but that’s for legacy projects. For all new Java projects, prefer Gradle, it's much more concise than Maven.

If you want to learn both Maven and Gradle, there are not many resources available. If you ask me, I recommend Apache Maven: Beginner to Guru by John Thompson on Udemy.

And, if you are keen to learn Gradle, I suggest you check out Gradle for Java Developers by another great UDemy instructor, Bharat Thippireddy.

3.2 Hibernate

The second framework which I recommend every Java developer to learn is the Hibernate, which is based upon JPA (Java Persistence API). To be accurate, Hibernate came before JPA, but because JPA is a standard API to implement the persistence layer in Java, Hibernate implements it.

Now, why should you learn Hibernate? Well, because most of the Java applications you will work with will interact with Database, and it’s excruciating to deal with Database in Java using JDBC and without a proper framework like Hibernate.

It provides some of the essential features like Caching and Transaction out-of-the-box, which means you have more time to focus on your application logic, than implementing caching in your application. This seriously improves the performance of Java application, and so far, my most significant reason to use Hibernate.

Now, when it comes to learning Hibernate there are many great resources available in the market, but the Spring & Hibernate for Beginners course is my preferred one because you can kill two birds from one stone, you can learn both Spring and Hibernate in one class rather than joining separate courses for them.

Btw, if you truly want to master Hibernate or looking for an advanced Hibernate course then Vlad Mihalcea’s High-Performance Java Persistence book and the course is the best resource for anyone.

3.4 Java Microservice Frameworks — MicroProfile, Micronaut, and Quarkus

While learning Spring Boot and Spring Cloud is sufficient for developing Microservices in Java, there is a couple of more advanced frameworks you can explore, like Eclipse's Microprofile, Micronaut, and Quarkus.

3.4.1 Eclipse Microprofile

It’s an initiative that aims to optimize Enterprise Java for Microservice Architecture. It’s driven by Eclipse, one of the leading organizations of Java and the company behind popular Eclipse IDE.

The goal of Eclipse of MicroProfile is to define standard APIs for building microservices and deliver portable applications across multiple MicroProfile runtimes. The current version of Eclipse Microprofile is 3.2, and it’s a useful Java framework to learn in 2021.

3.4.3 Micronaut

This is another Java framework you can learn in 2021. Micronaut is a modern, JVM-based, full-stack framework for building modular, easily testable microservice and serverless applications.

It’s a polyglot framework and allows you to create an application using Java, Kotlin, or Groovy. Some of the key talking points of Micronaut are reduced startup time, blazing-fast throughput, and minimal memory footprint.

If you want to learn more about MicroNaut, you can also check out Learn Micronaut — cloud-native microservices with Java course on Udemy. There are not many courses but this one and MicroNaut documentation are sufficient to start developing applications with MicroNaut.

7. Desktop and Frontend

Java offers great APIs like Swing and Java FX for developing GUI clients. Swing was really popular a couple of years back but C# has now taken lead but Java FX is another popular Java API for developing GUI applications in Java.

If you want to develop a GUI application like NetBeans, one of the famous Java editors which are also written in Java then you can learn Java FX in 2021. I wouldn’t advise learning Swing unless you are working for a bank that is paying you thousands of dollars per month maintaining their Swing-based trading GUI.

If you want to learn Java FX in 2021 and need a resource then you can also check out the Java FX Concepts Bootcamp 2021 course on Udemy.

You can also build and deploy Java FX applications on Raspberry PI, one of the small but powerful computers. If you are interested in that, Frank Delporte has a great course Use Java and Java FX on a Raspberry PI for beginners. You can take a look at that course to start with.

That’s all about the 2021 Java Developer Roadmap. This is an excellent resource to learn Java in 2021 and become a better Java developer. I have kept it simple so that most people can follow it and only included the important stuff.

Java is vast and still, there are a couple of areas which I haven’t touched like messaging but if there is enough desire, I am thinking to post The Java Developer RoadMap 2.0 to add some advanced things like JVM internals, Profiling, Modules, Cloud Native Java, Containers, Messaging, JNI, and much more.

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All the best for your Java Development Journey !!

P. S. — If you are a complete beginner in Java and looking for a free online course to learn Java online then you can also check out Java Tutorial for Complete Beginners(FREE) course on Udemy. It’s completely free and more than 1.2 million people have joined this course to learn Java online.