So you’re thinking that your child might like to learn Java. Perhaps your child is in a class that uses Java, or you would like to prepare for a future class.
For beginners in 7th grade or older, Java works quite well as a second language following Python.
- It’s relatively simple and easy to code in Java, almost as easy as Python.
- Java is the language used by AP Computer Science A and many college CS classes.
- There are many Java books, websites, forums, and other resources.
- Java is a good choice of language for most programming competitions.
- Many mobile apps are written in Java.
- Incidentally, Java is used for Minecraft modding.
To learn all about my approach to tutoring, see my home page.
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If you’re more interested in Python than Java, see my Python article.
Can even a middle school student learn Java?
I would not recommend it for someone younger than 7th grade, and I recommend learning Python as a first language. A student who has learned Python will find the concepts in Java to be very similar. Java is still one of the most straightforward languages, in which everything has a standard way of being done, so a middle school student who is interested in programming will find it easy. The code is not quite as compact as Python, so it requires more typing, but this should not be a major obstacle.
At the same time, students can do advanced things in Java. That’s why it’s the language of choice for many high school and college CS classes.
Learning Java with me
In one-on-one tutoring, your child and I will use Java to solve computer science problems, starting with challenge problems such as you find at Project Euler. Most challenge problem websites are set up so you submit a “snippet” of code rather than a whole program, which makes Java even simpler to use on these websites.
As we do these challenge problems in Java we’ll be working on concepts in the language like loops and “if” statements, working with text (strings), and so forth.
Learning Java is a good preparation for working in the industry
- Mobile apps (for Android) are written in Java.
- Many data centers and financial institutions use code written in Java.
- In 2022, Java remained in high demand, ranking third among all languages that recruiters look for.
Read my article on what it takes to learn coding.
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