In Java, how does System.out.println() work?

This question is an excellent example of how just some very basic knowledge of Java can lead you to the correct answer. Most interviewers would not expect you to know the answer to do this right away – but would like to see how you think and arrive at an answer.

Marcus Aurelius once said: "Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature?". This problem is an excellent example of how that sort of thinking can help one arrive at an answer with only some basic Java knowledge.

With that in mind, let’s break this down, starting with the dot operator. In Java, the dot operator can only be used to call methods and variables so we know that ‘out’ must be either a method or a variable. Now, how do we categorize ‘out’? Since println() is clearly a method, and its called using ‘out’, then we know that ‘out’ can not possibly be a method because it doesn’t make sense to have one method invoke another method with the dot operator in Java. This means ‘out’ must be a variable.

We now know that ‘out’ is a variable, so we must now ask ourselves what kind of variable is it? There are two possibilities – it could be a static or an instance variable. Because ‘out’ is being called with the ‘System’ class name itself, and not an instance of a class (an object), then we know that ‘out’ must be a static variable, since only static variables can be called with just the class name itself. So now we know that ‘out’ is a static member variable belonging to the System class.

Noticing the fact that ‘println()’ is clearly a method, we can further classify ‘out’. We have already reasoned that ‘out’ is a static variable belonging to the class System. But now we can see that ‘out’ must be an instance of a class, because it is invoking the method ‘println()’.

The thought process that one should use to arrive at an answer is purposely illustrated

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10th 3i InfoTech Academic Books Accenture ACIO ActiveX ADT Agricultural AIEEE Air Force Algebraic Amdocs Android Answers Application Development Aptitude Aptitude Questions Architectures ASP ATOS B.Sc B.Tech.B.E. Bank Exam BCA BE Board Exam Books break-continue Business Plan C C Programming C# C++ Campus campus interview Candidate profile Capgemini Career CDS Certification CET Challenge Circle Cisco class code Cognizant communication Company Company Profile Competitive Exams computer Computer Networks concentric circles constructor Course Credit Suisse CSS CTS Data Structure DBMS DC Deloitte difficult interview questions dimensions Distributed Computing do while dotNet Download ds Dynamic Web Development e-Admit card Educational engineering entertainment Even Odd Events exam schedule exception for loop fresher GATE general Discussion general knowledge Get Placed Government Job Hall Ticket HCL how to answer How to Prepare HR HR Interview HSC hypertext preprocessor IB IBM IBPS IIT Indian Army Information infosys Intelligence Bureau Internship interview Experience interview questions Interview Tips IntroC IntroC# IntroJava IntroPHP IT J2EE J2ME Java JavaScript jobs Language Books Language Tutorial Languages limit number of objectsJava Limit the number of objects being created in JAVA Linux Linux Administrator Linux Developer Logical Questions loops M Tech M.E. M.Tech M.Tech AND B.Tech Management Management Skills Matrices MBA mca ME microsoft mistakes Mixture Mobile Computing mock questions mock test MySql naukri NDA OOP opening Operating System Oracle paper Persistent PHP php programming php string variables PL/SQL Placement placement guide Placement Paper Placement Process preparing for placement presentation probability Problems Professional program Programming Project Engineer project idea Projects Puzzle qualities Question of the day Questions Quiz Question Recruitment Recruitment Pattern Requirement Result Resume Reviews Screen Sizes Scripting Session Skills Software Software Engineering solved papers Source Code Speed time and distance SQL SSC story Stress Interview Study Material study tips submit resume Synonym TCS Tech Mahindra tech news Technical Books Technical Interview Testing thank you letter Thought Time Table TutC++ Unix questions asked in aptitude and inteviews for MCA UPSC verbal Web Designing Web Developer Website Development What to read while loop Wipro Writing Resume