What Is Java?

Data scientists use the Java language to import, clean, visualize and identify patterns and trends in data. You’ll need to learn it—or an equivalent programming language—before enrolling in a data science program and embarking on your career.

Java Meaning

So, what is Java? Well, it’s been around since 1995, at which time, data professionals considered it a revolutionary programming language for improving interactivity on the internet. Today, Java is still one of the most-used programming languages in the world, and data scientists rely on it to perform all kinds of processes. 

Java is an object-orientated and network-centric language you can use across multiple platforms, such as computers, mobile devices and gaming consoles. Its primary use is to code software, applications and server-side technologies. 

Some quick facts about Java:

  • It’s based on the C and C++ programming languages.
  • Some people confuse Java with JavaScript, but these are two different languages. You can use the latter to create dynamic pages for websites. 
  • To complicate things further, you can use Java as a standalone software platform, and develop and run programs in the JavaScript language. 

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How Does Java Work?

Java compiles source code into bytecode. Then, the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), part of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), compiles bytecode into machine code—code that only a computer can understand. Because you can deploy Java across multiple platforms, this language is known as “write once, run anywhere.”

What makes Java unique is its ability to run in different environments after being compiled, thanks to JVM. With other languages, you need to transfer source code to another environment and then compile it.

The above is a pretty basic definition of how Java works, and there’s a lot more to it than this. However, you can see how simple Java is compared to other languages you might be familiar with. That’s why today’s data scientists still use it.

Because Java is an object-oriented language, everything you code links to a class of objects, and writing Java code will make each class behave differently. When learning Java, you’ll come across the terms “methods,” which define specific class behaviors, and “variables,” which define specific class properties. 

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Benefits of Java

Here are some advantages of Java:

Powerful API

Included in its developer environment, Java’s API can manage complicated data structures, network protocols and algorithms with ease. 

Easy to Learn

Java is one of the easiest languages to learn because it uses English-like syntax. It won’t take you long to write and debug this language!

Free to Download

You don’t have to pay for the basic version of the Java platform because it’s free to download and use. 

Platform Independent

The Java language is “platform independent,” meaning you can use it across various environments. 

Large Community

Java has a large community of developers still working on and improving its capabilities. You’ll also find numerous online resources about learning Java in a data science context. 

Drawbacks of Java

Here are some disadvantages of Java:

  • Java is an older language and can be slow at times. It consumes more memory than other languages, like C. 
  • While Java lets you store data, it doesn’t back up this information. 
  • Since 2019, a commercial license is needed to use all the features in the Java software platform.

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Look at the programs we offer to help you achieve your dreams.

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