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Java Method Creation: Java-Method Explained

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Java programming language is a powerful and popular language used by developers around the world. One of the core features of Java which helps to make it so powerful and versatile is the ability to define and use methods. This article will aim to explain the concept of a Java method, how to create them, and the advantages of using them in your code.

What is a Java Method?

A Java method is a block of code that carries out a specific task or set of tasks, and then returns a value. You define a method using the keyword ‘void’, but you can also use other modifier keywords such as ‘public’ or ‘private’. It’s important to note that a method can be defined with or without parameters that can be used for various functions. A method is also known as a subroutine, a function, or a procedure in other programming languages.

When a method is called, the program execution jumps to the method and executes the code within the method. After the code within the method is executed, the program execution returns to the point where the method was called. This allows for code to be reused and makes it easier to debug and maintain code. Additionally, methods can be used to break down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Advantages of Using Java Methods

The use of methods in Java has many advantages. For example, by defining methods, you can avoid duplicating code throughout your program, leading to better organization of code and greater readability. Additionally, because they are self-contained, methods allow you to create reusable pieces of code that can be called from any other part of the program. This makes them extremely useful when you need to perform a task multiple times.

Furthermore, methods can also be used to break down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces. This makes it easier to debug and troubleshoot code, as well as to make changes and updates. Additionally, methods can be used to pass data between different parts of the program, allowing for greater flexibility and control.

Writing a Java Method

When writing a method in Java, it’s important that you start with the keyword ‘void’ to indicate that the method does not return any value. After this, you should define the name of the method and any parameters it requires in parentheses. For example, if you wanted to create a method to calculate the area of a rectangle, you would use the following code:

void calculateArea (int length, int width) {    // Your code goes here}

After declaring the method name and any required parameters, you then need to write the body of the method. This is essentially what the method should do when called, and can include anything from basic calculations and comparisons to loops or other sections of code. Lastly, you should end the method by adding a ‘return’ statement. This specifies the value that should be returned once the method has completed its task.

It is important to note that the return statement should always be the last line of code in the method. This ensures that the method will return the correct value when called. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the method is properly tested before use, as any errors in the code can lead to unexpected results.

Calling a Java Method

Once you’ve created a method, you can then call it from any other part of your program. To do this, simply call the method by its name and provide any necessary arguments in parentheses. For example, using the calculateArea method from above, you could call it as follows:

calculateArea (10, 20); // Calls the calculateArea method with 10 and 20 as arguments

When calling a method, it is important to ensure that the number and type of arguments provided match the method’s signature. If the arguments do not match, the method will not be called and an error will be thrown. Additionally, the return type of the method must be compatible with the context in which it is called. If the return type is incompatible, the method will not be called and an error will be thrown.

Access Modifiers for Java Methods

In addition to ‘void’, there are several access modifiers you can use when writing methods in Java. These modifiers determine who is allowed to access the method and what they are allowed to do with it. The most commonly used access modifiers are ‘public’ and ‘private’, which mean that the method is accessible to all or only the class in which it was defined, respectively.

Other access modifiers include ‘protected’, which allows the method to be accessed by the class in which it was defined, as well as any subclasses, and ‘default’, which allows the method to be accessed by any class in the same package. It is important to consider the access modifiers when writing methods, as they can have a significant impact on the security and functionality of the code.

Argument Passing in Java Methods

Argument passing is an important concept when writing methods in Java, as it allows for greater control over what values are passed into a method. By default, arguments used in a method are ‘passed by value’, meaning that only copies of the original values are retained. Alternatively, you can use ‘pass by reference’ to pass the address of an object into a method, allowing the data within an object to be modified within a method call.

When using argument passing, it is important to consider the scope of the variables being passed. If the variable is declared within the method, it will only be accessible within the method and will not be available outside of it. However, if the variable is declared outside of the method, it will be accessible both within and outside of the method.

Return Values from Java Methods

A return statement allows data to be returned from a method. This data can either be an object or a primitive type such as an int or a double. For example, if you wanted to return an object from a method, you could use the following syntax:

return myObject; // returns an object called myObject

However, it’s important to note that not all methods need to return values. If a method does not return any data, then it should be declared as ‘void’.

Overriding Existing Java Methods

An overriding method is one that has been redefined from its parent class. When this is done, it usually means that the new definition will be used instead of the one defined by the parent class. This can be useful for making minor modifications without changing existing code and can save time when working on larger projects.

Recursive Java Methods

A recursive method is one that calls itself within its own definition, creating an infinite loop of execution until it meets some predefined criteria. This can be useful when dealing with complex problems where multiple cycles of execution are needed in order to reach a solution. However, care should be taken when writing recursive methods as they can often lead to stack overflow if not handled properly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Java methods are useful for reducing code duplication, improving organization of code, and creating reusable pieces of code. When writing methods, it’s important to know when to use which access modifiers and argument passing techniques. Finally, it’s also important to understand when it makes more sense to override existing methods or write recursive ones.

Anand Das

Anand Das

Anand is Co-founder and CTO of Bito. He leads technical strategy and engineering, and is our biggest user! Formerly, Anand was CTO of Eyeota, a data company acquired by Dun & Bradstreet. He is co-founder of PubMatic, where he led the building of an ad exchange system that handles over 1 Trillion bids per day.

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