Java Developers Do More Than Brew Up Code

Java developers are some of the hottest developers on the market right now. According to Nick Chlam, recruiting manager for Robert Half Technology, “Java is one of the most popular programming languages, and skilled Java developers are in constant demand.” As a result, there are many job openings available for Java developers.

Like other software developers, Java developers are responsible for writing software such as desktop applications, websites and mobile apps. They also design and create engineering specifications for software programs and applications. Java developers work with quality assurance to develop software test plans and collaborate with hardware engineers to assess and test hardware and software interaction. They also implement specific development methodology and document software specifications.

Java developer salaries increasing in 2014

Robert Half Technology’s 2014 Salary Guide reports that the average starting salary for a Java developer in the United States is expected to increase 7.7 percent this year — ranging from $87,500 to $138,750.* You can use the Robert Half Technology Salary Calculator to find salary information specific to your city.

What it takes to be a Java developer

Qualifications to become a Java developer include:

  • Programming skills in Java/Java Enterprise Edition and a database such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server
  • Typically, a minimum of two to three years of programming experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar field, or a two-year degree and practical experience
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work independently and as part of a development team
  • Detail-oriented and excellent problem-solving and analytical skills

For recent graduates and current students, Chlam has some specific suggestions: “It is important to learn frameworks outside of core Java. The most common frameworks in demand are Spring MVC, Struts, Hibernate and Tapestry. You should also try to stay in touch with online development communities on GitHub or Stack Overflow. This will give your prospective employer the ability to see your work and to perceive you as someone who is passionate about development.” Being able to include these skills on your Java developer resume will significantly improve your visibility in the job market.

Java developers at work

A good Java developer is more than a technical resource working in isolation. In fact, Java developers are expected to work closely with the rest of the organization. Chlam says, “Developers need, now more than ever, excellent communication skills so they can work effectively with users and business executives. Technology runs business, and the two sides need to be in constant communication to ensure everything is running smoothly.” Like many other tech roles, Java developers must keep ahead of the learning curve to increase their value. “Always learn something new. You have to stay in touch with the current trends in development if you want to stay ahead of the job market,” Chlam recommends.

Look to Robert Half Technology's latest Salary Guide for job descriptions and starting compensation trends for a wide range of IT jobs — including Java developer. *Java developer salaries in Canada are expected to increase 7.6 percent in 2014, with starting compensation ranging from $72,750 to $121,500 (Canadian dollars).