When you’re learning a new language there are words that sound similar that you don’t want to confuse. In French, ‘connard’ and ‘canard’ sound very similar to the untrained ear. The latter means duck. The other is unprintable in a respectable blog when translated to English!
But usually, it’s words in the same language that sound similar – not the names of the languages themselves. But the world of programming languages is unusual, as you’re finding out.
If you’re too young to remember – congratulations, by the way – the internet was substantially less interactive than it is today. If you’re picturing a lot of painfully static pages, that’s not far from a representative picture of what browsing was like back then.
Java, on the other hand, is the highly successful uncle who sensibly drives a sensible Volvo to his sensible corporate office.
But if you’re thinking that means Java isn’t used by some very exciting organisations, you’d be dead wrong.
Uber was built with Java. Twitter’s interface? Also Java. Minecraft? Java. Java can do a lot of different things. So, while AirBnB uses Java in its backend development – as does Spotify, by the way – one of the most popular video games of the last decade is also running on Java.
- Java is an object-oriented programming language. More on that later. On the other hand, JS is technically a scripting language. That means it’s used to automate the ‘execution’ (or, doing) of tasks so that the code follows a script, if you like!
- Java runs programs in a ‘virtual machine.’ You can think of a virtual machine as a piece of software pretending to be a computer inside an actual computer. That’s why Java-built programs are so portable. The virtual machines they can run in are always compatible with them, and you can move the virtual machines to new places. Of course, Java’s flexibility also lets it run in a browser, like JS.
Next up, that info on object-oriented programming (or OOP) we promised earlier.
What is object-oriented programming? (OOP)
Object-oriented programming (or OOP) is an approach to programming found in many popular programming languages. OOP is distinctive for focusing on ‘objects’ instead of functions or logic.
To simplify, in OOP developers focus on the things that are being manipulated rather than the process of manipulation itself.
OOP is good for large or complex programs because placing the focus on the object allows for a more intuitive development process with greater clarity of responsibilities. As you might expect, this plus the modularity contributes greatly to the popularity of OOP programming languages like Java among organisations with large, complex datasets or needs.
What is Java used for?
Short answer; a lot. While Java is most popular for backend development projects on the server-side, it’s frequently used in a range of other areas, including:
- Big data management and analysis
- Mobile app development, especially for Android
- Desktop development projects
- Game development
With such versatility, it’s no accident that even after more than a quarter of a century, Java is still the third most popular programming language around.
Ready to learn more?
Let’s say you want to learn about programming and software development. There’s a lot to discover. Even if you’re learning to code, it’s not enough to complete some courses in the most common programming languages.
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Hello! I'm the head of content at Develocraft. I'm also a startup guy (no joke)! I've worked with a lot of them and learned so much. I'm here to help you by sharing that knowledge. I'm always open to collaborations. Find me on LinkedIn.