What’s cool in Java these days?

Lucy Carey

ZeroTurnaround report tallying the leading tools and technologies for the platform in 2014 indicates Java 8 a priority for majority, and rise of JVM languages in enterprise.

The ZeroTurnaround crew has been producing reams of
Java developer oriented data for half a decade now, charting
everything from app restart times to delivery predictability. For
their fifth anniversary edition, the team once again turn their
gaze to a wider look at the 2014 Java tools and technology
landscape, with some interesting results (full results available
here if you’d like to peruse in depth).

Taking their results from a pool of precisely
2164 people (the majority of them, shockingly, “software
developers, working on web-based applications, using Android phones
and Windows”), ZeroTurnaround discovered that the most frequently
used tool appeared to be JUnit, with 82.5% of those surveyed
utilizing it in their work.

Out of the 78.5% of devs who use Continuous
Integration tools (up over 10% from last year, reflecting overall
), 70% were relying on faithful butler
Jenkins. In the world of Version Control Systems, Git comes out on
top with 69% – often used in tandem with Subervision (57%).
IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate topped out at 49% as the IDE devs
would most like to use, and with 58% of votes, Gradle won out as
the tool people want to better understand.

The full leaderboard is as follows:

Source: ZeroTurnaround Java
Tools & Technologies Landscape for 2014

On the JVM language front, Scala, which has
enjoyed a good deal of publicity in the wake of lambda-packed Java
8’s release,  continues to dominate.  47% said they would
be interested in learning more about the language. A further 31%
are interested in fellow JVM enterprise stalwart Groovy, and 12% in
Clojure, though few expressed any inclination towards outliers
Kotlin, Xtend or Ceylon.

On the enterprise side, the bulk of those
questioned are relying on the two latest Java EE releases – 6 and 7
– at 49% and 35% respectively. The relatively high numbers of users
are something that can be attributed to the fact that, as Martin
Verburg states, “Java EE 6 was a good solid release that gave
parity with the Spring suite, I’d expect to see many enterprises
sticking with it unless they really want standardized web socket
& JSON support.”

Moreover, the fast uptake of the latest versions
of both Java EE and Java SE can be attributed to the health of
Java, and as Java EE evangelist and Java champion Markus Eisele
notes, “clearly expresses how important developer productivity and
ease of use are today.”

Whilst the industry chatter around NoSQL drowns
out dialogue around SQL, in reality, 53% of respondents use only
SQL. 39% find optimal performance flitting between the two, and a
mere 4% use NoSQL exclusively.

Overall, over a third of respondents (35%)
reported that they or their companies would be making Java 8 a
major priority over the next two years – less than the numbers
reported by a pre-J8 release
by Scala masters Typesafe, but
sizable figures nonetheless.

Continuous Delivery also ranks high at 18% and
with the encroachment of JVM languages in the enterprise, 15% are
putting non-Java programming at the top of the agenda. With a nod
to the future, 5% are concentrating on the Internet of Things, and
7% on development in the cloud, though obviously it’s very early
days on these fronts. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how
interest in both develops in  the next 12 months.

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