Is Java knowledge essential to a Backend Developer?

Hi there! Since I’m interested in Backend development and I saw that there are a lot of job offers for Java Developers where I live (Berlin). Is it just a case? In particular I noticed that it is used a lot with big data and data science. But Node.js seems to be scalable as well… Would you recommend to learn Java?

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Nope! No language is really essential to being a Backend Developer! Yes Java is a fairly popular language, but unless you want to program android apps if you don’t want to learn java there is really no need! Node.js is an excellent option and gaining a lot of popularity currently.

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@twmilli is right. NodeJS is gaining a lot of popularity. However, at least here at Spain, there are roughly a couple of positions that wants NodeJS for backend per month. The biggest companies (which are the ones that demands more developers) ask a lot for J2EE and PHP. Again I say that this is the situation at Spain. The best you can do is to look for jobs on your country and see which are the requirements.


learn java, most companies want you to know one higher level language outside of javascript like java, C++, C, objective C, etc. It allows you to learn any language with ease, don’t train to be just a web developer, train to be a good programmer. Nodejs may have skyrocketed to fame, but JAVA IS NOT going anywhere anytime soon. It is the most used programming language in the world, used on over 4 billion devices.


I already know Python (very well), some Node.js and I work with PHP, Perl and ColdFusion (and well, Javascript for some Front End stuff). I look forward to learn C++ and/or C (or eventually C#) because I’m interested in game development as well. I’m also curious about Go. So I’m not just focusing on web development, but I’ve a general interest in software development.
I know that Java is the most used language in the world, but many people describe it as a “monolithic” language and this made me feel like not learning it at the moment, as there are other languages that I find more attractive…

Agree :laughing:. The so called Gorilla / Banana Problem described by Eric Elliot which extends to all OOP languages. However I think Java is the most evident:

The problem with object-oriented languages is they’ve got all this implicit environment that they carry around with them. You wanted a banana, but what you got was a gorilla holding the banana and the entire jungle.

Eric Elliott talk

Yet, Java is a very important language that it’s going to stay for very long. It’s very monolithic, indeed, but it’s very reliable for big applications because the restrictions it imposes to the developers. A friend of mine told me that the best thing about Java is its error logs. Thus, and because it’s very worldwide spread in all companies, stills a good choice for web careers.

Nevertheless I agree with @alodavi and I’m more fond of more dynamic languages (Python, PHP, JS …).

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Essential no, but if you can learn Java, why not?

The syntax is very similar to C, C++, C# and Javascript in general, so if you know one of these, it will be a lot easier to understand the basics of the language.

Of course, if you want a job in Java, you have to know a little more than the basics of the language, primarily the use of frameworks and application servers, but this can be trained/learned too.

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