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How to hire an entry-level Java developer in 2022 - the complete guide

April 21, 2022

Did you know that 90% of Fortune 500 Companies use Java as their main programming language? When it comes to job opportunities Java is the #2 globally, which means headhunters and recruiters are always ready to hire a Java developer. 

Here are more interesting facts about Java: 

  1. Java is the #1 programming language for microservices
  2. 35.35% of the programmers use Java in 2021
  3. There are 45 billion Java virtual machines globally
Most popular technologies in 2021
Most popular technologies in 2021

According to the 2021 Stackoverflow survey, Java is currently the 5th most popular programming language in the world. It is still the #1 language for DevOps, AI, VR, Big Data, Analytics, Cloud Data Storage, Mobile, Chatbots, Robotic Medicine, and many other applications. 

A recent survey conducted among developers stated that Java was mostly used to develop websites (39%), utilities-related software (26%), and system software (19%). However, despite being one of the most popular programming languages with many developers with a host of experience, the entry-level Java developer remains one of the most difficult jobs to fill. 

This article will provide you with some hot recruitment tips you may use to find and hire your next Entry-Level Java Developer effectively for scaling up your projects quickly. 

4 job areas of an entry-level Java developer

Entry-level Java development includes four main areas of software development: Mobile, Back-End, Front-End, Full-Stack. Java Mobile Developer tests, debugs and improves apps for clients by working closely with product and design teams. Java Backend Engineer is responsible for creating and maintaining the core backend processes like application logic, databases, data, and application integration. The job of a Java Frontend Programmer is to build and architect systems and interfaces, implementing visual elements that users see and interact with. While, the role of a Java Full-Stack Developer is to create interfaces, application code, and databases by working closely with the backend and frontend engineers.

Types of Java developers

Each company has its organizational structure and depending on that, a Java programmer can be a part of a small project team or a large IT team. Based on the skillset, stack, and years of experience, Java-related careers generally fall into four different levels: 

  • Entry-level Java developers
  • Junior Java developers
  • Mid-level Java developers
  • Senior Java developers
  • Lead (Architects)

The responsibilities may differ from one level to another. Thus, an entry-level Java engineer may be required to work on a program architecture and put maximum effort into its development, maintenance, and optimization.

Entry-level Java developer job description

Entry-level Java developers have a variety of duties and responsibilities. Here is what a typical job description for an entry-level Java engineer should include: 

  • Develop, maintain and test java applications;
  • Document and report problems and share user feedback;
  • Conduct tests to troubleshoot applications and fix bugs;
  • Assist technical team in creating documentation and user guides;
  • Collaborate with senior Java developers to finish code; 
  • Design and conduct unit testing and code testing to improve application performance;
  • Design web interfaces for applications to maximize usability and user experience;
  • Stay on top of current trends and advancements in your field.

Skills & qualifications to look for an entry-level Java developer role

Whether it’s working for a distributed application, a Java-based web application, or a Java UI project, an entry-level Java programmer can perform a variety of tasks, from basic data exchange to testing the usability of the products.

Whether you look to hire fresh talent in Java, it is crucial to test candidates on their expertise in the language. The ideal candidate should be good at writing readable and clean Java code. Candidates who fit the bill should know how to develop and improve software programs through savvy programming and testing. In addition, they must be familiar with the Java ecosystems, data types, threads, Servlets, Servlet (methods & parameters), and have a clear understanding of object-oriented programming. Roadmap to entry-level Java development role

Generally speaking, an entry-level Java developer typically falls in the experience range of 0 to 2 years. Java freshers often grow their skills on the job, but they should have a strong set of computer science knowledge and technical skills to work from. The minimum job requirements include:

Many companies hire entry-level Java developers to work on less complicated Java projects with the option to advance as they gain experience. 

How much does it cost to hire an entry-level Java developer?

The next important step in hiring an entry-level Java developer is to define the approximate recruitment costs. The table below provides the average annual salary of a Java developer across five continents, based on location and seniority level.

World map with salaries number for Java developers
Worldwide annual salaries of Java developers by region

Moreover, based on Indeed research, the average Java programmer salary in the US is $96,143, ranging from $81,377 to $108,416 per year, depending on the candidate’s qualification level, educational background, and experience. 

At the same time, Switzerland holds the record for Europe’s highest Java developer salary, which reaches $95,093 per year. Israel comes second with $85,793, while Denmark has a top 3 podium finish with $76,077. 

Java developer salary
Java developer salary across experience levels 

Without previous working experience in IT, it’s almost impossible for an entry-level Java engineer to reach the highest salary level. 

However, even a Java coder with less experience can receive good compensation. According to PayScale, most entry-level Java developer salaries range between $37,382-$89,618. The sum varies greatly depending on the country. The highest rate is in Australia and USA, while the most cost-effective regions are Eastern Europe and India.

A certain set of competencies can increase the final payment for the job:

  • Full understanding of Java programming language;
  • A course degree in computer science or related technical field;
  • Experience with Java frameworks, data structures, databases, algorithms, and more.
Java developer salary across Europe

The Java developer salaries depend on the following factors:

Experience

Senior and architect developers earn more as they bring more value to a company and, as a result, more revenue. On the contrary, an entry-level or a junior developer needs more guidance from the team members and, thus, is likely to be less effective. 

Location

Location is the key player in determining the salary of a Java programmer. The US remains one of the most expensive markets for hiring Java developers. Though, if you consider reducing the cost of your project, you should think more about outsourcing talents with the same expertise but at a lower rate, such as Ukraine, Poland, Albania, Serbia, Romania, etc. 

Skills

The skillset of a candidate has a huge impact on the salary. Lack of expertise in Apache Struts, Eclipse Java IDE, J2EE, significantly affects an entry-level Java developer's salary. 

In-house vs freelance vs offshore entry-level Java developers 

From independent recruiters to hiring platforms, companies source and hire entry-level Java talents for both short- and long-term projects.

Usually, there are three main options to hire an entry-level Java programmer for a project:

  • Hire an IN-HOUSE Java developer
  • Engage an OFFSHORE development company
  • Find a remote FREELANCER

The purpose of this post is to help you find the most appropriate employment type for you by analyzing their pros and cons and defining their best context of use. 

There are ins and outs to all three options. Have a quick look at the most essential ones:

In-house developers

An in-house developer is a full-time software engineer who works in your company’s office, benefits from vacation payout, and enjoys coffee in the kitchen. Employing an in-house developer is not such an easy process as it might seem at first glance. Creating and posting job descriptions, screening resumes, interviewing potential candidates, repeated interviews, job offers and onboarding are the main time-consuming steps which can take up to 3 months. And you’re lucky if everything goes smoothly. 

Pros 

  • Face-to-face communication
  • Cultural and language fit
  • Dedication and long-term commitment
  • Complete working process control
  • Alignment with company’s goals
  • In-project expertise
  • Raising and training an employee

Cons

  • Costly recruitment process
  • Time-consuming employment process
  • High overhead costs
  • Limited choice of local entry-level Java developers
  • High competition
  • Staff turnover

Best match

  • If it’s a long-term project
  • When your budget is not strictly limited
  • When you want to have a full employee control
  • When better and more coordinated teamwork is required 

Offshore developers

An offshore developer is a software engineer or a team of engineers lent by a third party company such as a recruitment agency or a hiring platform. This person works 40 hours a week in house or remotely for your organization, officially being an employee of a provider company. Such a practice is beneficial for businesses willing to recruit the right talent and stay within their budget. 

Pros

  • Instant access to entry-level Java developers with relevant expertise
  • Streamlined development process
  • Flexible cooperation models
  • Easy scaling of resources
  • Moderate costs 
  • Fast hiring
  • Remote work
  • Quality of work guarantees 
  • Diverse talent pool not limited by geographical region

Cons

  • Potential communication concerns
  • Possible transparency and security risks
  • Less control over the development process
  • Cultural and social differences
  • The risk of poor business and management processes
  • Different time zones

Best match

  • When your budget is limited
  • When you need a niche professional for specific tasks
  • When you need a specialist for a small task or project

Freelance developers

An entry-level Java freelancer is a self-employed developer that can be found on freelance platforms or by referrals.

Pros

  • Access to rare knowledge and uncommon areas of expertise
  • Plenty of candidates to choose from
  • Ideal for small projects with a fixed scope of work
  • A vast community of self-employed Java developers
  • Relatively low development costs
  • Temporary skills on demand

Cons

  • Low retention rates
  • Poorer quality and higher risks
  • Potential communication hurdles due to team distribution
  • Weak IP protection
  • Less commitment to the company’s goals and vision
  • No immediate replacement in case of sudden absence from work

Best match

  • If the goal is to minimize the development costs
  • When a development team should be scaled up or down quickly
  • When you need to assign a developer for a long-term project

Where to find entry-level Java developers?

The fastest way to connect with Java talents is to go where thousands of them are looking for work. Here are the most common ways to do it. 

Source from colleges with Java programs

Looking to fill the empty seats for entry-level Java development roles? To source the right talents, visit various top and middle-tier colleges and universities and attend their career fairs. However, especially for Java coding, many entry-level candidates are self-taught through various courses. This means that you should consider more straightforward ways of sourcing your coders. 

Match with an outsourcing tech companies

If you want to spend less time on the search for an entry-level Java developer, it’s better to entrust your Java development projects to professionals so you can concentrate more on other important aspects of your business. There are many cost-efficient services all over the world based on Java development and for almost all types of businesses such as fintech, e-commerce, banking, etc. 

The main two things to consider when looking for outsourcing or outstaffing services is the reputation of the service provider and the credibility of the company. 

Connect with online freelancing platforms 

Most recruiters prefer to work with freelancers for many reasons:

  • Employment-at-will
  • Financial savings on in-house offices
  • Unlimited geography to find the right candidate

If you are one of those recruiters who sort out specialists on their own, you’re more than welcome to hire remote entry-level Java specialists on websites and marketplaces like Toptal, Hired, Fiverr, GitHub Jobs, Stackoverflow, Upwork, Gigster, Dice, The Muse. For example, by sourcing entry-level Java developers via GitHub, you're able to filter them by language, location, recruitment availability. It also allows you to view their past work history. Another source of entry-level Java talent is StackOverflow. On this platform, developers ask and answer technical questions. You can search for your perfect candidate  based on both reputation and score. Cooperating with freelancers on these 100% secure platforms guarantees that your company is protected from frauds.

Attend Hackathons and join Java communities

There are plenty of events out there that an entry-level Java developer may participate in, giving you extra opportunities to meet with potential candidates.  

Here’s a brief list of Java communities:

  • Subreddits for entry-level Java developers
  • JavaWorld for tutorials, tech trends, blog posts and news 
  • Q&A Forums like CodeProject and Coderanch
  • StudyJava.org - a place where Java freshers learn Java programming and discuss with other Java developers
  • Codementor Community for latest Java tutorials written by community members 

Hackathons are popular programming events where software engineers come together to solve the most challenging IT issues. Entry-level Java developers can be easily found during these workshops as they come to absorb new knowledge and skills. Fortunately, there are many sites and platforms such as HackEvents.co or DevPost.com that can help you find the most suitable events. Other popular Java hackathons and conferences are:

Make use of job portals and other similar resources

Networking with people on the same wavelength is crucial for every business owner and tech leader. By visiting websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, SimplyHired, ZipRecruiter, you can choose from thousands of Java freshers to get matched with the best ones. To match with the right talent you need to define the project requirements properly to be able to screen the applicants’ resumes.

Best tactics for a winning recruitment strategy 

The whole hiring process is divided into several stages – from posting job descriptions to sending job offers. Thus, if you’re looking for an entry-level Java engineer for a Java software development project, you’ll need to get maximum value from the time and cost of hiring. Here is what needs to be done:  

Specify the requirements & customize your job description

Start hunting Java freshers by clearly defining what you need to get your project through to the finish line. A concise job description that lists specific tasks, skills, project duration and scope of work is a must-do to attract the right candidates to your organization. Make sure to:

  • Prepare a detailed job description based on your project requirements;
  • Determine the tech skills required for our project;
  • Decide what level of competency is enough for you.

Advertise your vacancy

You’re all set to post your vacant position on different job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn or Crunchboard and Java community platforms. Don’t promise the moon to get your entry-level Java engineers hooked. Instead be realistic and authentic. Plus, make as many announcements that a job is available as possible, to increase the chances of finding the right fit. 

Make the right decision

After you’re done with job posting and advertising, your next step is to study each of the resumes you’ve received in your email. Your task is to decide what entry-level Java candidate is more suitable for your project. Read carefully each point - education, certification, experience, skills and underline those points that are unclear and need to be discussed in detail. 

Conduct one-on-one interviews

Is anyone shortlisted in your mind? Conducting one-on-one interviews with selected candidates allows you to identify their hard and soft skills and understand what kind of person the candidate is. During an interview, it’s crucial to evaluate the candidate. How to do it? Ask technical and insightful questions and put the applicant’s skills to the test. Ask them to write a little code or a simple program. Identify their soft skills by suggesting some possible situations they may face while working on the project and ask them what they’ll do. This will help you find out how communicative and cooperative your prospects might be, to see how they can align with your project. Keep in mind that the quality is paramount here. 

Additionally, it’s worth noting that If you’d like to skip the screening and interviewing processes of the potential candidates, you should consider ordering outsourcing services and trust it to the company’s recruiters.

Weigh up the pros and cons of all the candidates

Whether it’s important to stick to timeframes, don’t rush to hire the first prospect who impresses you. Take your time and ensure you find the right candidate based on the selection criteria. Come back to the job description and look through it again. Consult other recruiters in the field, if you have troubles judging the candidate’s abilities on your own. And, most importantly, don’t forget to keep your hiring budget in line. Know the average annual salary and hourly pay rates of entry-level Java developers and be ready to pay accordingly. 

Top 13 entry-level interview questions

Recruiters avoid hiring entry-level Java developers for two reasons: they don’t have time to teach them and they are afraid that freshers will screw things up. Although they are still not experts in the field, entry-level Java developers can bring a great set of skills and knowledge to your team. 

But how to screen the right candidate? 

Make sure you’re well-prepared for the interview. Here are some useful tips to consider when preparing your interview questions:

  • Don’t ask ‘’yes/no’’ questions as they imply short answers and you won’t be able to learn more about the applicant’s experience;
  • Make sure not to ask leading questions. Instead of asking: “How do you feel about working individually on the project?” ask “What are your working habits?”
  • Ask technical questions to find out if the candidate is equipped with basic Java programming knowledge

Here is a list of top 13 interview questions and answers for an entry-level Java talent: 

Q1: What is an Array?

A1: The collection of similar data types is known as Array. 

Q2: Is it possible to declare an Array without Array size?

A2: No, it’s not. If you try to do so, then you will get a compile-time error. 

Q3: What’s an abstraction in Java?

A3: Abstraction means hiding the detailed information from the user. It can be achieved by interfaces and abstract classes.

Q4: What is JVM? 

A4: Java Virtual Machines are called JVM. JVM compiles and interprets the Java code. It  manages objects in heap memory and garbage collection mechanisms efficiently. 

Q5: How are JDK, JRE, JVM different?

A5: JDK (Java Development Kit) it’s a set of development tools in Java language: Java compiler, standard libraries of Java classes, different utilities, etc. JRE (Java Runtime Environment) it’s an environment to run Java programs. JVM (Java Virtual Machine) it’s a Java programming code interpreter.

Q6: What is a Java ClassLoader?

A6: The Java Classloader loads classes on demand into the JVM. Classes are loaded from the local file system, a remote file system, or even from the web.

Q7: What are the various access specifiers for Java classes?

A7: Access specifiers are the keywords used before a class name that defines the access scope. There are four types of access specifiers:

Private: When a variable is declared as private, it can be accessed only from the same class to which they belong.

Public: Methods and variables that have public access can be accessed by all the other classes in the project.

Protected: A variable can be accessed within the same package classes and subclasses of any other packages.

Default: Methods and variables can be accessed only from the same package and not from outside of its native package.

Q8: What is the difference between Error and Exception?

A8: Error is generated by the environment at runtime. It can be checked or unchecked. On the contrary, the exception is generated by the application intentionally or mistakenly. It can be only unchecked. 

Q9: What is multithreaded programming?

A9: Multithreaded means that multiple threads will run to execute the task simultaneously. The operating system is an example of a multithreaded system.

Q10: What are the different ways to create threads in Java?

A10: There are two ways to create threads in Java: by implementing a runnable interface or by extending thread class.

Q11: What is a constructor?

A11: The facility to declare a special member of the class with the same name, no return type, and with zero or many parameters is called a constructor. 

Q12: Describe the constructor vs method?

A12: The constructor is the special member of the class with the same name as the class and no return type. But the method is the ordinary member of a class used to describe the behavior of some object or class.

Q13: What is the Difference Between ArrayList and HashSet in Java?

A13: Here are the main differences between them:

Implementation

ArrayList: Implements List interface

HashSet: Implements Set interface. 

Duplicates

ArrayList: Allows duplicates values.

HashSet: Doesn’t allow duplicates values.

Constructor

ArrayList: Has three constructor which are ArrayList (), ArrayList (int capacity), ArrayList (int Collection c).

HashSet: Has four constructors which are HashSet (), HashSet (int capacity), HashSet (Collection c), and HashSet (int capacity, float loadFactor).

Order

ArrayList: Maintains the order of the object in which they are inserted.

HashSet: Doesn’t maintain any order.

Null Object

ArrayList: It’s possible to add any number of null values.

HashSet: Allow one null value.

Syntax

ArrayList: ArrayList list=new ArrayList ().

HashSet: HashSet set=new HashSet ().

To build a development team you'll need to source top-class developer talent. Before taking the plunge, check out what Index can do for you. If you’re looking for more tips on how to find other types of developers, check our Software Engineer, Data Engineer, ReactJs, LinkedIn hiring guides. 

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