What Is Java?

Java is built on C++ for a simple-to-use language

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Java is a computer programming language. It enables programmers to write computer instructions using English-based commands instead of having to write in numeric codes. It’s known as a high-level language because it can be read and written easily by humans. Like English, Java has a set of rules that determine how the instructions are written. These rules are known as its syntax. Once a program has been written, the high-level instructions are translated into numeric codes that computers can understand and execute.

Who Created Java?

In the early nineties, Java was created by a team led by James Gosling for Sun Microsystems. It was originally designed for use on digital mobile devices, such as cellphones. However, when Java 1.0 was released to the public in 1996, its main focus had shifted to use on the internet. It provided interactivity with users by giving developers a way to produce animated webpages. Over the years, it evolved as a successful language for use both on and off the internet. 

Why Choose Java?

Java was designed with a few key principles in mind:

  • Ease of Use: The fundamentals of Java came from a programming language called C++. Although C++ is a powerful language, it is complex in its syntax and inadequate for some of Java's requirements. Java built on and improved the ideas of C++ to provide a programming language that was powerful and simple to use.
  • Reliability: Java needed to reduce the likelihood of fatal errors from programmer mistakes. With this in mind, object-oriented programming was introduced. When data and its manipulation were packaged together in one place, Java’s was robust.
  • Security: As Java was originally targeting mobile devices that would be exchanging data over networks, it was built to include a high level of security. Java is probably the most secure programming language to date.
  • Platform Independence: Programs need to work regardless of the machines it is being executed on. Java was written to be a portable language that doesn't care about the operating system or the hardware of the computer or device it is running on.

    The team at Sun Microsystems was successful in combining these key principles, and Java's popularity can be traced to it being a robust, secure, easy to use, and portable programming language.

    Where Do I Start?

    To start programming in Java, you first need to download and install the Java development kit.

    After you have the JDK installed on your computer, there's nothing to stop you from using a basic tutorial to write your first Java program.