On several levels, Java is different than other programming languages. For potential developers, these differences provide several unique challenges. To meet these challenges, a niche employment market has arisen to provide skilled programmers who understand the Java development kit. In particular, the cross-platform capabilities of the language have created a demand for a class of programmers who can write with a large base of end users in mind.

Sun Microsystem’s flagship programming environment has long be associated with embedded web software. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a need for regular applications as well. In fact, there is graphical user interface toolkit called Swing that tries to emulate several different operating systems. Java is said to be the “write once and run anywhere” development architecture, so this sort of cross-platform technology is particularly important. Individuals who want to find a job in the world of Java might be able to carve out their own niche in Swing development.

Other firms might want to hire based on knowledge of the Abstract Window Toolkit. This is an alternative to Swing, and tries to emulate the operating system that is currently being run. This is a marked difference from Swing GUI architecture, since an application written in Swing will generally look the same regardless of the type of operating system it’s being run on. Since it preserves the look and feel of the type of system software being used, some developers prefer to use this method. Of course, potential job applicants who have experience working with both of these two toolkits will have a leg up on the competition.

With the rapid growth of mobile devices, Java ME is on the rise. This is a version of the platform for use in embedded devices. Programmers with experience in working with this system might have an edge, because it’s such a standard system for these kinds of architectures. However, some developers are starting to consider the system to be old news. Nevertheless, even these firms might want to hire developers with experience in Java as well as another system. As people turn towards Google Android or Windows Phone 7 as their marketing platform, they will surely still want to be able to sell products to the worldwide users of over 2 billion Java Me devices-

We live in a digital era where the role that Java (and others) play is increasing and becoming more and more important.

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