Java Developer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Java Developer, or Java Full Stack Developer, is a computer programmer and developer who specializes in the Java coding language. Their main duties include designing java applications and programs, testing Java software and applying fixes to any technical issues to various Java programs.

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Java Developer duties and responsibilities

The general duties and responsibilities for a Java Developer include writing code in Java for applications, understanding what users need from the final product, creating design documentation for the application, debugging and fixing code and testing the software that they’ve designed. Java Developers should be able to:

  • Design and implement Java applications that fulfill employer requirements
  • Create well-written code that runs efficiently and optimally
  • Communicate with end-users to determine their needs
  • Test completed software and debug as necessary
  • Examine existing code and recommend patches, design overhauls or fixes for broken code

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What does a Java Developer do?

Java Developers typically work in a company’s IT department building and adding updates to Java-based programs and applications. They typically analyze user requirements to properly implement various design updates and fixes according to users’ needs. Java Developers also collaborate closely with clients or leadership teams to determine the application objectives, business goals and functionality needs to help them properly build a strong Java-based application. 

They also apply any changes or updates needed to the application systems and will debug or resolve any potential technical problems that appear. Java Developers will regularly monitor and test the application systems to recommend changes to the current infrastructure.

Java Developer skills and qualifications

Java is over 20 years old, which means there is a range of qualified people available to work on the code. You have to decide if you need someone with extensive experience or someone who has been coding for only a few years. The following is a sampling of Java Developer skills and qualifications:

  • Knowledge of Java build tools
  • Experience with Java EE components
  • Experience with Java Web frameworks
  • Experience using Java testing tools for finished code
  • Knowledge of the use of Java application containers
  • Ability to communicate effectively with management or clients
  • Ability to analyze the code while it is under construction
  • Excellent problem-solving skills

Java Developer salary expectations

The average annual salary for a Java Developer is $103,390. Someone with extensive experience in Java development and a proven track record of creating solid code is going to command a higher salary than someone who has only recently graduated from college. An experienced Java Developer will have on-the-job experience, training and ongoing education to further their skill set. A relatively fresh graduate can deliver perfect code, but they may not have developed their intuition and instincts for solving problems under pressure.

Java Developer education and training requirements

Java Developers can have a wide range of education and work experience in coding. Most Java Developers have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer engineering or computer science. Some have also earned a certificate from Oracle, the creator of Java. People develop their Java programming skills through various methods, and many can demonstrate their skills by creating quality code along with providing the requisite documentation. Some of the common educational paths and training opportunities for a Java Developer include:

  • Oracle Certified Associate
  • Java SE 7 Programmer
  • Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmers
  • Bachelors in Computer Science
  • Oracle Certified Expert Java EE 6

Java Developer experience requirements

The core experience requirements for a Java Developer include experience with user interface design, statistical analysis and database structures. They should have experience working with a company where they have demonstrated the ability to write well-designed code that withstands testing and runs efficiently, as well as the ability to troubleshoot and debug code before it is released.

Job description samples for similar positions

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Frequently asked questions about Java Developers


Do Java Developers have different responsibilities in different industries?

Java Developers may work in a variety of industries, performing similar tasks of designing Java-based applications for different organizations. Most of them work for businesses in the IT department, creating programs for the employees to use or for the company to sell to other businesses. 

Some work in an IT agency setting, building various programs for clients and regularly applying updates and enhancements to them. Others work in the finance and insurance industries, building systems for employees to regularly use to improve their business’ efficiency and productivity levels. 


Who do Java Developers report to?

The person Java Developers report to often depends on the size and type of organization they work in. Those who work in an IT agency setting may report to a Senior Java Developer who oversees the entire team of Java Developers and reports on their performance and customer satisfaction metrics. 

If they work in a larger office setting, they may report to the IT manager within their department and will ask them any questions they have about the project or for any advice on complex development challenges. Some Java Developers work in smaller offices, where they report directly to the leadership team to determine the company’s organizational goals to help them create an effective application system. 


What makes a good Java Developer?

A good Java Developer should have extensive experience and knowledge in software development and working with web applications. They should have strong problem solving and critical thinking abilities to help them locate potential issues with the application programs and provide logical and quick solutions. Good Java Developers also have basic design and user-experience knowledge to build visually-appealing applications that are simple and comprehensive for users to understand and navigate. 


What's the difference between a Java Developer and a Full Stack Developer?

While they both share similar responsibilities of designing and updating applications and software systems, Full Stack and Java Developers both have key differences in their roles. Java Developers are computer programmers who specialize in building applications using primarily Java coding. 

Full Stack Developers are proficient in multiple coding languages and use both front and back end coding to design different websites and applications. They often work primarily on designing and implementing websites and may collaborate closely with graphic designers and web developers to create efficient, user-friendly sites that meet the client’s needs and preferences.

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