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As a junior Java® developer, you will contribute work to software engineering projects that are being developed in the Java® programming language. This should give you both practice applying the basic principles of Java® to make real-life software, and the chance to learn the craft of programming from experienced developers. In order to become a junior Java® developer, you typically need to demonstrate that you have learned the basics of the language, and that you are capable of creatively applying this knowledge to create new software.
You can generally learn the basics of Java® by completing a formal computer science program at the graduate or undergraduate level, or by teaching yourself through the variety of resources that are available in print and online. Pursuing a computer science degree will normally give you a structured series of classes in which to learn the Java® language, as well as the software engineering and mathematical concepts to help you program more effectively. You can also teach yourself Java® via books about it, free online tutorials, and forums that let you ask technical questions of programmers.
After you learn the basics of Java®, you should take steps to make your programming abilities stand out on your application to become a junior Java® developer. You may do this by completing internships and undertaking personal programming projects. It is generally easier for computer science students to find unpaid programming internships, and they are often able to complete personal programming projects for class credit. Contributing source code to open source projects, regardless of whether you are a computer science student or a self-taught programmer, is another way to bolster your resume and programming credentials. Competition can be tough to become a junior Java® developer, but if your resume impresses a company's human resources department, they will call you in for an interview.
A job interview to become a junior Java® developer is usually part interview and part audition. Companies generally expect junior developers to have a basic competency in the mechanics of programming, and to learn how to become skilled programmers from a combination of on-the-job experience and guidance from senior developers. To this end, the interview for a junior Java® developer position will likely not only examine your academic knowledge of the language's mechanics, but also how well you can apply those concepts to produce novel solutions to a variety of programming problems.
Employers will generally take your ability to problem-solve as a reflection of your aptitude for growth as a developer. This can be a major factor in deciding whether or not to hire you as a junior developer. Previous experience working on Java® projects, and not just doing homework for programming classes, can both help you get to this last step in the hiring process and give you the practical experience to successfully answer any programming questions.
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