Learning software development doesn’t seem much fun – you need to learn theoretical concepts, spend multiple hours in the code editor solving practice problems, face errors and look where you went wrong.
When it comes to languages that are as robust and versatile as Java, developers are often confused about where to start and which learning approach to adopt. The good news is, mastering a new programming language doesn’t have to be boring and exhausting.
[ Related: Best coding games for kids]
Rather than stockpiling on manuals and reading official guides, you can learn and practice both basic and advanced Java concepts by playing online games. After reading this post, you will find out what coding-centered RPG and other game alternatives you can use to enjoy every minute of the Java-learning curve.
Why You Should Learn Java
Being new to software development, you might wonder: ‘Why should I start with Java?’. The thing is, the language is among the pioneers – that’s why it’s a good starting point for developers. Java’s architecture has been repurposed by multiple other technologies – thus, being familiar with the main concepts of the language will speed up Python or Ruby much easier.
Other than that, Java is one of the most versatile languages out there. The team’s motto ‘Write once, run everywhere’ precisely describes the essence of the language. Nowadays, development teams still use Java as a go-to Android development language, the backbone of desktop and web software, to support servers and embedded systems. Throughout your development career, you will get dozens of chances to apply Java skills – be sure that nothing you learn will be a waste of time.
Why Gamification Is The Best Approach to Learning Coding
The next logical question a lot of entry-level programmers ask is ‘Are games efficient enough to give me a full coding education?’. If you are curious about this, too, I see where you are coming from.
Indeed, as kids, we go to school, spend hours studying and listening to teachers to get the basic skills of math, science, or humanities. Shouldn’t students approach coding education similarly?
In my experience, motivation is the chief evil among beginning coders. Most don’t see a link between the problems they solve in the editor and their real-world applications. As such, the completion rate for plain software development courses is quite low – most people stumble on technicalities, get confused, and never come back to the learning platform.
[ Related: Best websites to help students learn coding]
Games are a missing link that helps keep programming students engaged. By competing against other players, reaching new levels, and using coding to complete in-game tasks, entry-level programmers have higher material retention, enjoy the process more, and learn faster, than traditional approach advocates.
Last but not least, a lot of coding is math – and math is not something most people like. When it comes to games, we are trained to like them since childhood. Give me a choice between an hour of Minecraft and an algebra class, I will choose the game anytime.
By blending the two, students can fight biases and fears acquired during secondary school. They learn how to code without feeling overwhelmed by the high number of technical terms and calculations. As such, they make impressive progress and have confidence until the end of their training.
Top 6 Games to Learn Java
To help you enjoy every minute of learning the basics and the nuances of such an eloquent and versatile language as Java is, I collected a list of engaging online games that make it easier to learn Java online. With those, hours of active training will fly by and you won’t get worn out by the end of the study session.
CodeGym is one of the most well-designed Java-learning platforms out there. It explains the basics of the language to people with little-to-no technical knowledge. The lore is creative and engaging.
Set in the year 3018, you will follow the journey of a robot called Amigo who crashed on a distant planet and needs help returning home. To set his spaceship free from obstacles, the protagonist needs to teach other planet residents Java programming.
The platform offers over 500 hours of classes in four aspects of Java programming:
Java Core;Java Collections;Java Syntax;Java Multithreading.
Codingame is an engaging multiplayer game where developers from all over the world compete with each other by solving timed quizzes and building applications. Codingame helps programming students keep their learning drive, as they get to face their peers in engaging, graphic coding battles. By the interface, Codingame looks like a state-of-art RPG application.
Other than offering a robust learning curriculum for 25 most common programming languages (Java included), Codingame allows developers to connect with tech companies and be recruited by the end of the learning curve.
3. Code Combat
Code Combat is a 2D combat game that will throw you back into the spirit of 90s gaming. Throughout the lore, coding students move and act for different characters – to fight an enemy, finish a building, or move across the map, you will have to solve practice problems.
As your Java programming proficiency grows, new levels are unlocked, and the number of practice problems you know how to solve growth on a daily basis.
Code Combat teaches kids, college students and adults the basics of application, game, and web development. The platform explains concepts like algorithms, loops, and functions without overwhelming Java learners with calculations and tech terminology.
CodeMonkey is widely used among school computer science teachers. It’s considered an easy way to engage students in code and make programming more relatable by allowing kids to use code to help a monkey collect treasures.
The platform is built in line with the school curriculum – this makes CodeMonkey easy to integrate into the education process.
According to the game’s official statistics, over 10 million students are currently using it. The development team claims a high retention rate, with over 50 million levels completed so far. CodeMonkey is quite accoladed as well – the platform won The 2018 Editect Breakthrough Award, 2020 Editech Review, and many other prizes.
All over the world, coding is used to empower vehicles, robots, and other devices. However, most programming students still treat solving practice problems as an abstract activity, with no real-world applications.
That’s where Robocode comes to rescue. This coding game allows entry-level development students to guide robots through a battle and face other players. To move a robot around or use it for fighting, Java learners will have to enter commands in a built-in editor.
CodeWizardsHQ offers fun and engaging online coding classes for kids and teens ages 8-18. CodeWizardsHQ “computer classes for kids are designed with hands-on learning projects that they truly enjoy! As kids master each programming skill, they advance to the next level. Every coding class builds on the one before it, meaning that students graduate with a vast mastery of coding skills and a portfolio full of cool, working web pages and apps.”
Programming is not only an empowering and financially lucrative skill but a fun one to get as well. Past are the times when you had to drool in coding manuals to get the gist of programming languages – now, engaging games will add fun to the learning curve.
With the 6 games described above, Java learners will enjoy every second of the process of mastering the language. Other than that, you will get practical skills, improve problem-solving abilities, and increase stress resistance competing with other developers. Take your time to try these games out and find the one that appeals to you the most.