Solved: reflection get field value

Java reflection allows us to inspect or modify runtime properties of classes and objects. It is an essential aspect of Java programming, particularly when dealing with generic types. In this article, we will explore how to get the field value using Java reflection. The utility of this process spans various scenarios in programming; from developing robust debugging tools to accessing private variables for testing.

The Solution: Getting a Field Value by Reflection

Getting the field value using Java reflection involves two key steps. One, we have to get a reference to the specific Field object pertaining to the class. Two, we invoke the get() method on this Field object. This action essentially returns an Object that represents the value of the field.

Here’s a quick illustration of how it’s done:

public class TestClass {
    private String testField;

    public TestClass(String testField) {
        this.testField = testField;

public class Main {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        TestClass testInstance = new TestClass("Test value!");

        Field field = TestClass.class.getDeclaredField("testField");

        String fieldValue = (String) field.get(testInstance);
        System.out.println("Field Value: " + fieldValue);

This function fetches the testField value from the TestClass instance.

Step-by-Step Explanation

First Step: First, we create two classes `TestClass` and `Main`. In `TestClass`, we have a private string `testField`.

Second Step: In the `main` method of our `Main` class, we create an instance of `TestClass` called `testInstance` and pass the string `”Test value!”` to its constructor.

Third Step: Then, we get a `Field` object that reflects the specified declared field of the class `TestClass` by passing the field name `”testField”` to the `getDeclaredField` method. The resulting `Field` object provides programmatic access to the field.

Fourth Step: We need to make this field accessible with the `setAccessible(true)` method because it is a private field. Notably, if the field were public, this step would be unnecessary.

Fifth Step: And finally, we use the `get` method to get the value of the field for the `testInstance`. It returns an `Object` type, so we need to cast it to `String`.

This prints out “Field Value: Test value!” as the result.

Caution While Using Reflection

While reflection is a powerful tool, it’s important to use it judiciously. Accessing or modifying a field using reflection can present security and maintainability issues. Therefore, this approach should be used sparingly and judiciously, typically in debugging, testing tools, or where compound system requirements substantiate the need.


Java reflection is an advanced feature that provides the ability to get detailed information about classes, interfaces, fields, and methods at runtime. Though powerful, its misuse can lead to bugs that are hard to trace and fix. Thus, it’s crucial for developers to use discretion while using reflection.

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