As a Java tutor, I faced the problem of choosing the right learning resources for my students since the number of Java courses is literally endless. That explains why many beginners get stuck searching for the best and most effective option.
In this post, I’ve decided to bring together my favorite courses with a perfect balance of practice and theory, so you will know where to learn Java in the most effective way.
Combining practice and theory-oriented resources during your self-learning is important — books and theoretical courses give you a comprehensive introduction to programming, while hands-on challenges allow honing the acquired knowledge into practice right away and better understand how code works.
So, without any further delay, let’s get to the resources overview.
When mastering a new programming language, non-stop training is more than welcomed. Fortunately, the web is full of materials with a hands-on learning approach. They will force you to write lots of code from the very beginning of your journey. The number of online tutorials is vast, but I want to highlight a few websites with perfectly mixed theory and practice. Go consider them.
Pricing — free access to the entry-level, community, help, and game creation sections; $49/mo for Premium and $99/mo for Premium Pro plans. This higher-than-average cost of the course is determined by its complex approach to learning. Other than the theory basis, it allows access to a whole lot of hands-on tasks, the game section, IntelliJ IDEA plugin, assistant, and many other features.
CodeGym is a complex Java course with both theory and practice. It contains four quests that cover Core Java concepts, including syntax, collections, OOP, most common design patterns, and much more. The tasks included in the quests are of added complexity — the students start with level 0 and, upon completing the previous level, get to a higher one.
Generally, the platform offers 1200+ tasks verified by a virtual mentor right after you submit. The instant solution verification helps students enhance their code. If the learners find the exercises challenging, they can reach out to their peers.
Another big plus of a course is that it is quite entertaining, so the students are more likely to finish it. Besides, they can join a friendly community and receive support if needed.
Pricing — free; $9.99/mo to access more tutorials.
Codewars platform has appeared due to the joint effort of community members. It allows both newcomers and specialists with a previous technical background to practice the code challenges. Users call them kata and write them to master different coding techniques.
Codewars kata is ranked by complexity. So, upon completing every next challenge, the specialists earn ranks and honor and access kata of the relevant difficulty. The platform also allows comparing and discussing solutions with other users or asking questions within the community. The newbies can build their own kata and challenge other users, who will solve the kata and give feedback.
At Codewars, you can learn 20 programming languages (12 more are currently in the beta version), yet there is no theory or course structure. Besides, its multilingual nature makes the course less focused on each programming language. Compared to the previous platform, Codewars is less complex, which is naturally reflected in its lower subscription rate.
Pricing — free for noncommercial use.
Cyber-Dojo platform ensures an interactive learning process. It covers about 30 programming languages, including Java. Unlike many other courses, Cyber-Dojo encourages its users to polish up their programming skills primarily rather than finishing the last level of the game at the soonest convenience.
Cyber-Dojo provides beginners with fully described tasks and a visual demonstration of how the end result should look. The users can choose to join a group session or master a preferred language individually. Cyber-Dojo can also benefit more advanced specialists as it allows coding sparring and group competitions.
Pricing — free.
Back in 2009, CodeChef was an educational initiative and, now, it is the world’s biggest platform that votes for constant learning. It runs coding contests and challenges three times a month encouraging programmers from the whole world to demonstrate their coding skills. The specialists who win are rewarded with trophies and other goodies.
In case the novice developers are new to programming or just don’t feel they are ready to compete, they can join training sessions and master different tech topics. There are also tests the beginners can pass to determine their skills level and find the relevant challenges. They are allowed to submit solutions in more than 25 programming languages. The students write and run code in a coding window and score points to get ranked. Sooner or later, the learners will feel ready for competition and participate in it.
In addition to hosting local competitions, the platform also allows institutions, corporates, and other programming communities to conduct their own coding assessments.
Pricing — free for developers.
Coding is proven to be fun with CodinGame. No matter if you are a beginner or skilled programmer, the platform will have you covered. It allows practicing more than 25 programming languages and fosters the creation of a global game. So, if you strive to learn Java, CodinGame is an ideal place for that.
It has a lot to do while you are mastering any of the listed languages. Programming puzzles of increasing complexity, bot programming competitions, prompt coding battles are all at your disposal. Select any of the exercises depending on your skill level and purposes.
Other than providing challenges for all tastes, CodinGame is known for its active community, at which everyone can get help. The platform is also popular among recruiters, so the developers have a chance to be noticed and hired for a project.
Hands-on courses are doubtlessly effective when it comes to practicing a programming language. But you still can’t do without a theoretical base, especially if you’ve just started your programming journey.
No matter if you are preparing for the interview or building your own project, the theoretical foundation is what can give you an upper hand. So, take a closer look at the following courses and select the one that meets your needs.
6. Java In-Depth: Become a Complete Java Engineer!
Pricing — $94.99.
Let’s begin with a theory-based course presented on Udemy. This is a perfect solution for newbies looking for an in-depth Java course that would cover all the important features. You won’t only gain an understanding of Java basics together with JVM internals, but will also develop an EE-based web app under the tutor’s guidance and learn OOP.
The tutors, in their turn, have a deep knowledge of Java and comprehensively explain everything to make sure your learning is hassle-free and interesting. You will end up the course with well-developed code and the prospect of becoming a professional Java programmer and joining a real-world project.
7. Java Fundamentals by Pluralsight
Pricing — $8.82/mo for Annual and $13.26/mo for Premium subscription.
This Java fundamentals course speaks for itself. From the start, you will master Java basics and learn how to set up a Java development environment. So, if you are a complete beginner who wants to dive deep into programming, this Pluralsight course is a way to go.
You will get familiar with language constructs and a control flow, classes, interfaces, error handling, and other major concepts. Right after finishing the course, you will be able to work on different projects relying on Java.
8. Java Certification by Duke University
Pricing — $49/mo.
Consider this specialization by Coursera if you want to build a career in Java. The specialization is offered by Duke University and involves a certificate upon course completion.
The course doesn’t require that you have previous coding background, so you can start it even if you are new to programming.
9. The Complete Java Masterclass
Pricing — $129.99.
This is a popular Udemy course with about 500k users already enrolled. It is suitable for complete beginners and specialists who seek to switch to another programming language. You will learn Java from scratch and acquire all major features of the language, such as variables and data types, conditionals and loops, OOP, Java collections, lambda expressions, multithreading, etc.
In addition to the theoretical base, you will also get access to practical tasks to test and hone the acquired knowledge.
Although the courses bring much value to those mastering Java programming, they can’t still compete with the official documentation in terms of efficiency. Java documentation is way challenging to read, yet it remains the most comprehensive resource. It is like a Bible for Java programmers. So, make sure to read the official documentation to better understand the language you learn.
As you see, there are enough resources to master and practice Java. They allow learning the language from scratch, as well as creating more complex projects and participating in coding sparring. All this makes them perfect for both complete novices and skilled developers. So, don’t waste your time searching for the courses on the web — choose one from the list and start learning Java right away.