Johannesburg, 17 Nov 2022
With the release of Java 19 in September, the ubiquitous software development language is celebrating its 27th anniversary. In that time, Java has grown to dominate the development landscape – and job market – and today is still one of the most popular and sought-after development skills.
As a Java enthusiast, it’s rewarding to look back on how much Java has evolved over the years, adapting, improving and supporting an ever-growing list of platforms and applications in the modern era of programming, portability, security, scalability and resilience.
It’s not a stretch to say that most of the world’s leading open source frameworks have been written in Java, including Microsoft Azure Spring Cloud, VMWare Spring, Redhat Quarkus, MicroProfile and Micronaut, to name a few, all of which are favoured by countless developers globally for building their software applications.
Whether it’s a Google Android mobile app, client server web app, embedded device, video game, cloud computing application, IOT or big data project, Java is always there, in part or in whole.
Which brings me to the point of this article. Java is not only relevant, but will continue to dominate the development landscape in the next few years. I’ve summarised my eight primary reasons for this below.
2. Ubiquity. Almost all global banking, finance and insurance organisations still use Java for enterprise-level applications.
3. Versatility. Java is a Jack-of-all-trades and master in many cases too:
- A wide variety of implementations are available in the Spring ecosystem, Jakarta EE (Jakarta Enterprise Edition) and Java Micro Editions.
- It is still one of the best choices for cloud computing and IOT development work due to its general-purpose, versatile and robust nature.
- JVM-based programming languages such as Jetbrain’s Kotlin, Scala and Groovy are still used everywhere.
- Google Android developers enjoy building mobile applications using Java and Kotlin.
- Apart from the above use cases, Java is used to write machine learning programs, create neural networks and feature widely in AI-related applications.
4. Community. Java has a helpful, resourceful and welcoming open source community to support any developer’s learning and experience.
5. Compatibility. Version 19 of the Java Development Kit is still backward-compatible with previous versions.
6. Variety. Wide varieties of rich APIs and a massive number of open source libraries are available for Java and various Java-based frameworks. This makes development work fit for purpose on any given project and fast tracks its release process too. Examples include Google Guava, Eclipse and Apache Foundation’s list of open source libraries, and JSON Jackson.
7. Predictability. A stable and prudent release cycle gives developers new features regularly, with proper support and structure in place for forward porting or upgrades to applications, environments and infrastructure.
8. Cloud. Java is becoming stronger in the cloud-native digital transformation journey with frameworks such as GraalVM, Quarkus, Micronaut and Vert.X. Java is also extensively supported on the Java-based Spring framework, Spring Boot and various other frameworks by public cloud providers such as AWS, Redhat, Microsoft Azure (Azure Spring Cloud) and VMware Tanzu.
The Java community and Oracle have improved and evolved the Java ecosystem for almost three decades. The release of popular frameworks like Quarkus, Microprofile, Micronaut, Spring 6, Spring Security 6 and Spring Boot 3 has brought a lot of joy to the open source developers’ community, though developers will need to stay on their toes as more Java updates are released in the next few years.
I am really humbled to see and experience the success of Java as a programming language and how the community has adapted to keep on improving and responding to emerging trends in the software development industry.
Long live Java!
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