Java Software Developer Job Description
Java software developers are responsible for integrating Java-based applications into websites, applications, and software. Java is one of the most popular programming languages, and successful java software developers are knowledgeable about the intricacies of the language. This is a skilled position that typically relies more on previous experience than education. Logic and a high level of attention to detail are required for this position. Java software developers usually work for software development companies spread across a variety of different industries. They work in traditional office settings and often follow a regular, 40-hour work week with occasional overtime hours as needed. Java software developers report directly to a lead Java software developer.
Java Software Developer Duties and Responsibilities
Specific job duties for Java software developers vary based on their employer. However, there are several core tasks common to all Java software developers, such as:
Design and Implement Java Applications
The main responsibility of Java software developers is to design and implement applications using the Java programming language. This includes writing efficient code that is testable and well documented.
Test and Debug Software
Java software developers are responsible for testing and debugging all the software and code they develop, along with the software and code their peers develop. This includes documenting any errors they find and fixing them as soon as possible.
Ensure Solutions Meet Specifications
Java software developers often need to work according to specific parameters and plans for the applications they develop. As such, they are responsible for ensuring the applications they develop appropriately meet those specifications.
Maintain and Optimize Systems
Even after they’ve completed a development project, Java software developers are still responsible for maintaining the complete system. This maintenance often includes creating and delivering updates, adding new features, and maintaining user access.
Report to Project Management
Java software developers are responsible for tracking all aspects of the development cycle and reporting to project management on overall progress. This includes reporting on bugs, fixes, and updates.
Java Software Developer Skills and Qualifications
Java software developers are highly technical and logical. Employers look to hire candidates who have real-world experience developing Java-based applications. While this real-world experience may sometimes translate directly into a length of time, employers more commonly consider the quality of the candidate’s portfolio, regardless of how many years they’ve been working as a Java software developer. Employers also consider the following skills and qualifications:
- Software development – Java software developers are intimately familiar with each step of the software development process, from start to finish. They know exactly what their role is each step of the way, even if they’re not directly involved with that step
- Web user interface design – the applications that Java software developers create are usually customer-facing, meaning they need to be easy to use. Java software developers know how to design accessible web user interfaces
- Object-oriented design – Java software developers should be knowledgeable about object-oriented design, which requires them to plan their application based on a system of interacting objects
- Logical thinking – Java software developers are logical in the way they think about and approach software problems. They approach problems with a clear mind to identify solutions quickly and efficiently
- Communication skills – while it may not seem like it, it’s important for Java software developers to communicate well with their team and others on a project. To develop a comprehensive application, they need to be able to communicate needs and problems clearly
Tools of the Trade
Java software developers work with many different tools on a daily basis, including the following:
- Integrated development environments (Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans)
- Unit testing frameworks (JUnit, REST Assured, Spock Framework)
- Software project management tools (Maven, Trello, JIRA)
Java Software Developer Education and Training
Many Java software developers have a bachelor’s degree in a software-related field like computer science, but it isn’t required to get a job. The main source of education for Java software developers comes from real-world practice and developing actual applications. However, having an advanced degree can provide an advantage in many situations depending on initial employer requirements for specific positions.
Once hired, Java software developers often receive on-the-job training that provides more in-depth information about employer-specific projects and tools.
Java Software Developer Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the average median salary for Java software developers as around $100,000 per year. This salary can vary greatly depending on the candidate’s portfolio and experience. Those on the lower end of the range can make as little as $60,000 per year, while those on the higher end of the range can make as much as $160,000 per year. Java software developers are also compensated with extensive benefits packages that include health insurance and vacation time along with performance-based bonuses and salary raises.
As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, the need for Java software developers will also continue to rise. The BLS estimates a much faster-than-usual growth rate of 24 percent over the next 10 years.
Check out some of these helpful resources to learn more about the role of a Java software developer:
Java World – this website is one of the longest-standing websites dedicated to Java software development, and it provides weekly updates. On this website, you can read articles about everything related to Java, including how it relates to data analytics, AI, and other current topics
Developers LinkedIn Group – this LinkedIn group is one of the largest dedicated to software development on the website. With nearly 200,000 members, this group contains a huge assortment of software developers in Java, Android, iOS, and more. Here you can find one-of-a-kind networking opportunities and help
Java: 2018 Simple Beginner’s Guide to Java Programming – this is a comprehensive guide for first-time Java developers that helps you learn methodology, terminology, and how to start writing Java. Note that this book is not for advanced users, and it will not be helpful for them
The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide – this book focuses more on the soft skills necessary to become a successful Java software developer. It covers topics like interviewing skills, how to fill gaps in your resume, and how to build a quality portfolio. This book is a great place to start for someone brand new to the industry
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