Java is one of the most prevalent, active and in-demand programming languages in use today. Whether a business hires IT staffing themselves or they use an outside staffing agency, employers who require Java developers are on the hunt for the very best programmers around. Can you count yourself among this group? The following are 25 of the top skills and characteristics that superior Java developers are continually cultivating:
1. Architecturally Minded. High level Java developers are essentially creating structures with code, so they can benefit from the mind and oversight ability of an architect.
2. Can Bring Both a Broad and a Nuanced Approach. The top Java programmers are able to apply Java to large-scale applications, but they can also bring more nuanced approaches related to performance and computation complexity.
3. Is a Puzzle Master. Instead of being stumped or put off by challenges and puzzles, the best Java developers embrace them and enjoy solving them.
4. Database Knowledge. Awareness of SQL intricacies and queries is also essential, ranging from basic CRUD operations to joins, indexing and aggregations.
5. Maximizes Value. Top Java developers are dedicated to getting the most value and punch from each and every line of code.
6. Memory Management and JVM Skills. Top Java pros are also versed in the tricky subjects of runtime and how garbage collection is implemented to avoid memory-related errors. An understanding of memory allocation and how heap fragmentation is affected is useful.
7. Determined. When asked if something is possible, top Java programmers are always determined to find a way.
8. They Can Build a Bridge. The best programmers can patch older systems as they are being replaced by leaning on ideas like runtime resolution and reflection.
9. Organized. Someone prone to a cluttered lifestyle simply cannot succeed as a programmer.
10. Flexible. The top Java developers can apply the latest language features and patterns in existing systems, but can still support older iterations.
11. Ecosystem-Minded. The best Java developers are adept at using, Maven, Spring, Struts, Gradle, JUnit, Ant, Hibernate, Spock, and the other technologies that comprise the Java ecosystem.
12. Have Object Oriented Programming Capacity. The best Java programmers can construct code effectively in an OO way due to experience and skill in the implementation of object oriented design patterns.
13. Can Turn On a Dime. The top developers can leap into any codebase and find their footing quickly.
14. A Team Player. In addition to being a guru at the keyboard, the best Java developers have good people skills, too, and work well as part of a team.
15. An Eye Toward Management. The ability to communicate effectively with management and stakeholders is another key characteristic of a top Java pro.
16. Skill with Concurrency. Top Java programmers also have superior knowledge of multithreading and concurrency with an understanding of Thread and Runnable.
17. Patient Yet Persistent. Some programming challenges can take many tries to solve, so whether you’re hired by a staffing agency or in-house IT staffing, the combination of patience and persistence is essential.
18. Focused on Optimal Solutions. When the best is required, the top Java jocks will learn to bridge to the JNI native layer and digest Javadocs.
19. Has Data Structure Awareness. To be counted among the elite, you should also know the ins and outs of Map, List, Vectors, Matrix and Set.
20. Keeps It Clean. The basics are essential, including the ability to write clean code with no need for refactoring and which allows others to always easily discern and comprehend it.
21. The Ability to Create Algorithms. Algorithms aren’t just for search engines. They allow for filtering and determining what will happen when certain criteria are met, and you should be able to create them. Coding imagination and artistry helps.
22. Have Personal Coding Projects. Another indication of true commitment and mastery is when a programmer codes in their free time. What are your personal programming interests and goals?
23. Don’t Overlook “Small” Things. Little things matter, especially when there are a lot of them and they begin to add up. The best Java programmers know when and how to micro-optimize. Primitive collections, StringBuilder and StringBuffer, when prevalent, deserve appropriate attention.
24. A Bit of a Control Freak (In a Good Way). The best Java developers are also far from complacent; they go beyond being proactive to taking the bull by the horns in every programming scenario.
25. Live and Breathe WORA. The core definition of Java is WORA, or “Write once, run anywhere.” This requires understanding key nuances while following best practices. As much as you develop yourself in the other areas discussed here, don’t lose sight of this core Java principle.
Java is one of the most widely used programming languages, and companies are seeking Java developers who will go the extra mile. Whether they take care of IT staffing themselves or use the services of a professional staffing agency, companies want the best of the best. Are you among this elite group? Strive to cultivate these 25 qualities and characteristics in yourself, and you’ll be able to count yourself among the top Java developers in the world.
ICS has plenty of opportunities open for exceptional Java developers. If you're looking to make your mark on the industry or you are just looking for your next big move, apply to one of our jobs. We'd love to place you some place where you can continue to succeed.