Java Web Developer Job Description

Java web developers write, test, and debug back-end code that supports websites and web applications. This role requires a high level of technical expertise and familiarity with both the Java programming language and related technologies, such as relational databases and servers. Java developers work closely with front-end developers to determine a project’s specifications and scope and translate this information into functional, reliable, and scalable code.

Java web developers are also highly involved with testing, debugging, and deploying server-side code and technology. Most work on the principle of continuous integration to ensure that their code remains stable and usable even as the scale increases.


Java Web Developer Duties and Responsibilities

Java web developers’ duties depend on their work environment, but most share several core responsibilities:

Build Server-side Logic and Architecture

In general, Java web developers design and code server-side elements of a website or application, including the logic and architecture that support user-facing activities. Java developers work with other web programmers to determine functional needs and how to deliver a high level of reliability and speed to the end user.

Ensure Cohesion between Front-end and Back-end Elements

Throughout the web development lifecycle, Java web developers also work closely with front-end developers to ensure that user-facing and server-side elements work together seamlessly to deliver the site or application to end-users. This requires that Java web developers also possess some familiarity with user-facing web elements such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript to provide support to these elements.

Optimize Server-side Code Speed

Java web developers also constantly try to improve the speed of delivery and data handling by improving their back-end code. This part of the job requires the developer to keep up with developments in the coding language, along with extensions and improvements that provide greater responsiveness and flexibility to speed up common requests and frequently-repeated blocks of code.

Implement Data and Information Security

Java web developers ensure that their data and that of their users are secure at all times by integrating the latest data and information security protocols into their code. In many cases, this includes performing periodic audits and updates of security protocols to prevent intrusion or data loss and to ensure that information submitted by users is correctly handled and encrypted while they use the site or application.

Manage Back-end Data Storage and Handling

Another major duty of the Java web developer is designing data handling, storage, and processing logic on the website’s back end. This requires extensive familiarity with data structure, along with some experience with relational database systems such as SQL. The Java web developer also needs to have an excellent grasp on how the server handles data requests and often needs to write code to ensure that queries occur in the proper order.

Maintain Code Libraries and Documentation

Finally, Java web developers support future development efforts and cross-functionality by maintaining code libraries and detailed documentation. These code libraries can help save time and effort while programming future versions or similar websites or applications since they can provide a solution or a starting point for another developer on the project. Documentation also helps with this, particularly since Java is an open-source language.


Java Web Developer Skills and Qualifications

Java web developers program server-side environments and elements for websites and applications. Most workers in this role have at least a bachelor’s degree and the following skills:

  • Programming – excellent programming skills are a necessity in this role; Java developers should be able to write clean, responsive, and scalable code to make websites and applications function
  • Database – Java web developers rely on their familiarity with relational databases, so experience with data management and organization is helpful
  • Troubleshooting – debugging websites is also important in this role, so Java web developers should have effective troubleshooting skills and be able to track down bugs through close examination and testing
  • Team coordination – Java web developers need to work with teams of programmers, so effective collaboration and coordination are vital, especially to ensure that back-end and front-end elements work together seamlessly
  • Problem-solving – Java developers often need to find answers and solutions to coding issues and software problems
  • Communication – effective written and verbal communication are necessary, both to interact with team members and to prepare usable documentation throughout the development cycle


Tools of the Trade

Java web developers tend to work in office settings and should be familiar with standard office equipment and programs in addition to the following:

  • Integrated development environments (JDeveloper, Eclipse)
  • Testing software (FindBugs, Cobertura)


Java Web Developer Education and Training

Java web developers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree, often in computer science, engineering, or a similar field. More importantly, Java web developers need to have a strong foundation in programming principles and solutions. There are many opportunities for on-the-job training in this role, especially as Java web developers frequently need to seek out answers to software and coding issues and examine documentation and community resources to solve code problems.


Java Web Developer Salary and Outlook

Java web developer salaries can vary depending on the region and organization. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that software developers for applications, including Java web developers, earned a median annual salary of $107,790 as of May 2017. The lowest-paid software developers earned less than $59,870 per year, while the highest-paid 10 percent of workers in this role earned more than $160,100.

Employment in this field is expected to grow at a much faster-than-average rate between 2016 and 2026, with the BLS projecting 24 percent employment growth.


Helpful Resources

There are many resources available for learning about Java web developer careers and programming using this language, including the following:

Codecademy: Learn Java – Get started with Java with Codecademy’s free lessons, which introduce the basics of the language and object-oriented programming through hands-on exercises.

Guide to Web Development with Java: Understanding Website Creation – Read this book by Tim Downey to learn about writing code and using Java to build robust and responsive websites.

“10 Reasons Why You Should Learn Java Programming Language” – This blog post explains why Java is the best choice for programmers who want to build careers and utilize powerful development tools.

Professional Java for Web Applications – This guidebook by Nicholas S. Williams focuses on web applications, with a focus on building server-side environments using Java.


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