If you are pondering whether Pluralsight is good at teaching Java programming language or not, then you've come to the right place to get a quick and honest answer about Pluralsight (link to Pluralsight review) and Java.
Is Pluralsight good for learning Java?
Pluralsight is an exhaustive source of quality information and is more than enough for Java beginners, satisfactory for intermediate level Java developers and good knowledge refresher for senior Java developers.
Pluralsight is more than enough for Java beginners
I'd like to give you some actual numbers of how many Java courses you can find on the Pluralsight. So if I search for ‘java' in the search box, I can see 220 courses found as of the time of writing this article. Unfortunately, I can't tell you exactly how many hours of learning material this is, but it's more than enough for you to get started with Java programming and beyond.
Not all courses will be relevant to you as a beginner, but if you're one of those who can cope with the new information lightning-fast, you won't be running out of the learning material, because you will also need to practice and write the code as you progress in watching the courses, and that takes time.
As a beginner Java developer, you should know the foundations of Java, such as how Java applications are compiled and executed, variables, collections and other data structures, conditional statements, operators, classes, methods, object-oriented concepts, interfaces, how to output application execution results to the console, and other foundational things.
Can Pluralsight help you to become a Java developer
If you are thinking that you will become a Java developer after watching some Java courses on Pluralsight – that's not quite the case. There are lots of great Java courses on the platform that will teach you everything about Java. However, that's just a theoretical part. Pluralsight has hands-on projects where you will build real-world applications on your local computer, and when finished, the project will be checked by Pluralsight.
What basic Java skills do you need
It's not possible to define a single skillset you need to learn if you want to get the Java development job. However, you can quickly find out the most common skillset that every Java developer should possess.
Let's take a look at some real job ad examples, taken from the job portals. These will never lie. They can look daunting in the beginning, or might look extensive, but the thing is that you don't have to be a master of every skill listed in the ads.
By listing these job ads in this blog post, I wanted to see if all the required skills can be learned on the Pluralsight.
Requirements for Job #1
- Solid understanding of OOP concepts
- Expertise in design and development of J2EE components and API's
- Knowledge on MVC frameworks, JDBC, JSP, Servlets, SQL, HTML and CSS
- Experience with Java language
- Knowledge on Frameworks spring boot/Hibernate
- Practical knowledge of algorithms and data structures
From the requirements for job #1, we can see that this position will be for a Java web developer. In this job, you will be required to understand the OOP principles, algorithms, and data structures. There is also the JDBC mentioned, which is the database connectivity related stuff.
Because it's a web development position, you are expected to be familiar with the MVC pattern, API, JSP/Servlets, HTML, and CSS. Nothing fancy here.
Spring Boot/Hibernate can take a while to learn, but you don't have to be an expert in these. You will become one eventually.
You need to know the best practices that are often used in companies – J2EE and related technologies are your friends. That makes sense because you are looking for a job in a company, right?
Is Pluralsight useful for mid-level Java developers
First of all, what makes a mid-level Java developer a mid-level? Although there is no exact definition for that, however, a mid-level developer can be described as a more experienced developer.
It means that a mid-level developer will know Java programming language syntax quite well and won't ask basic questions like, which loop is better, or should I use the ‘Switch' or ‘If' statement.
A mid-level Java developer will also be proficient with technologies like Spring Boot, Maven, Ant, REST APIs, Hibernate, and others.
Let's have a look at the real job ad and its requirements.
Requirements for Job #2
- Proven expertise in Java, Spring Boot, J2EE, JSP
- Proficiency with Core Java programming, JSP/Servlets, multi-threading, J2EE design patterns and object oriented design
- Experience with Service Oriented Architecture, Spring MVC, Ant, Maven, Hibernate, Web Services (Soap, REST)
- Must have ability to analyze requirements and formulate design
- Knowledge of Java coding best practices and performance improvements
- Database application development
You will also need to be familiar with design patterns and architecture types, such as MVC and SOA.
As a successful candidate, you will know Spring, Maven, Ant, Hibernate, and you will also have some ‘soft' skills, like the knowledge of Java coding best practices, the ability to analyze requirements and formulate design concepts.
Again, I went onto Pluralsight and checked course coverage versus the requirements for the candidates. I have checked not only the existence of the courses, but I also had course quality and topic coverage in mind.
Can a seasoned Java developer have any benefit of using Pluralsight
It was easy enough to prove the benefit of Pluralsight to beginner and mid-level Java developers. Now, how about seasoned developers? Is there any benefit of using Pluralsight for these developers?
If I would say Yes, I may look biased. I will tell you this. I am a senior developer, and I am still using Pluralsight. Of course, not for learning loops or Ifs, but because of the following reasons:
- Great way to follow-up with every new version of Java
- Great way to learn other Java-related technologies
- Great way to learn non-Java-related technologies
- Great way to keep up with the cutting-edge technologies
- Even seasoned developers can re-watch Java fundamentals course from scratch from time to time
Ok, any other benefit? Everything mentioned above can be easily done on the Internet without using Pluralsight.
That's true, but…
On the other hand, listening and watching nice demos along the way is a better way of keeping up with the technologies. It is also much faster than reading.
Last but not least, you will get updated by other skilled developers. Probably even more experienced than yourself.
I have to admit that you won't find lots of Java courses with an Advanced label. At the time of writing this article, I could only find 4 courses
But that's fine.
You usually achieve the status of an Advanced (or senior) developer when you can make deep insights about the architecture, ask important questions, and mentor less experienced people. Also, when you highly contribute to the projects you are involved in, etc. It's all about your soft skills.
Check your Java knowledge using the Role IQ
If you want to check your Java expertise level, you can always do that using Role IQ. Role IQ is a test-like system that will evaluate and score your knowledge. No matter what your current seniority level is, I'm sure you will stumble on some questions. There are lots of questions prepared, so they usually won't repeat.
If you've completed the Skill IQ with the highest possible score, then hats off you're the best. Pluralsight is too bad for you, request for a refund.
At the time of writing this article, Pluralsight had 6 learning paths:
- Java. This one is all about Java basics, anything you could think of. This would be an entry point to a Java programming world for any beginner.
- Design patterns in Java. Once you have familiarized yourself with Java foundations, it's time to get familiar with some design patterns. I must admit that there are not all of them, but the main ones.
- Java Coding Practices. It's all about writing maintainable code. It's sad, but this thing is skipped by many developers. It's selfish to think that you are writing a maintainable Java code without even looking at these courses.
- Java EE Foundations. This is where the most interesting Java courses are. Get prepared for a job.
- Java Unit Testing. Software is not reliable without unit tests. When you are a beginner, you might think that unit tests are just a waste of time. You never were so wrong.
- Java Tooling. Want it or not, you'll need Java tooling. There are plenty of them, but you should get familiar with the main ones, like Maven and/or Gradle.
The learning paths are usually beginner-focused. It will be enough to get your first Java development position though – if you will put a reasonable amount of practice along with these courses. More experienced Java developers will be able to choose from the rest of the around 200 courses.