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What Does a Senior Java® Developer Do?

By Gabriele Sturmer
Updated May 17, 2024
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A senior Java® developer typically has significant experience in software development and helps create and support desktop, web and database programs that use the Java® programming language. He or she usually participates in the entire development process, from the initial planning to the testing phases, and is able to integrate various technologies into new and existing programs. They are required to be highly competent in Java® technologies, so senior developers may hold Sun Java® certifications and must keep their skills updated as each new technology emerges. They also use their knowledge to mentor junior programmers and to support others on the development team.

In the earliest stages of the software development process, a senior Java® developer works with other members of his or her team to develop a prototype. This phrase also may include meetings with team members to discuss the features the program will have or the best way to integrate new features into an existing program. After an initial plan is made, he or she may work with others to develop the modules needed to complete the program. The program then goes through a series of tests after all the coding is complete. After the programming team finds and fixes any errors, the program is ready for use and will be maintained by the senior Java® developer and other programmers throughout its life cycle.

Although a senior Java® developer usually plans, builds and tests desktop applications in the Java® language, some jobs require knowledge of various desktop languages. Knowledge of web applications, which are becoming more common in 2011, is often a job requirement that adds to the skills set needed to do the job. Building web applications requires a senior Java® developer to learn web programming and scripting languages and know how to integrate these languages with Java® applications. In some cases, he or she may construct entire websites along with a web development team and may have to learn to use database technologies.

The variety of programs a senior Java® developer creates usually means additional learning is critical for success. Many employers require a bachelor's degree and five or more years of experience as a basic job requirement. The position is not a quick or easy job to obtain and employers expect one to have the advanced analytical skills needed to create complex programs. Some employers additionally require multiple Sun Java® certifications to demonstrate that the candidate has enough knowledge for the job.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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