Java milestones of 2014

The 10 hottest, most debated Java topics in 2014

Coman Hamilton
Team illustration via Shutterstock

Which parts of Java died in 2014? And what changes had the entire community up in arms? Join us as we look fondly back on an eventful year of change in Java and all the fierce debates that took place on JAXenter.

2014 was another exciting year to be in Java. In case you slept through any of the landmark changes and online debates in Java this past year, here are the JVM’s most turbulent talking points from 2014.

1. Java 8 is here! What, it has lambdas? Woot! RIP Scala!

In the wake of the Java 8 release, there was plenty of debate at to whether the new release had the potential to destroy Scala. It turned out it’s not quite that simple. Java 8 may have muscled in on Scala’’s lambda territory, but it’s no real pretender to the functional programming throne.

2. Java 9 is coming!

Back in August, Oracle announced the first confirmed features for Java 9. After all the excitement of Java 8, the news was at best a bit of an anticlimax. Following a lukewarm response from the community to the absence of major new language features, Oracle has since dropped the planned JSON API to make way for other plans.

3. Java application servers are dead!

What, you haven’t heard? Java applications servers kicked the IT bucket last year. Eberhard Wolff explained to JAXenter readers and W-JAX attendees why this part of the enterprise stack just doesn’t cut it anymore. Mind you, a look at the comments section shows that not everyone in IT agrees that app servers are clinically dead.

4. Can Swift lure more JVM devs to the iOS side?

It’s rare enough that rumblings from the alternate universe of Apple find their way over to the JVM to shake the roots of Java. But when Swift landed at the 2014 WWDC, it had developers everywhere wondering what Apple’s Javascript/Python/Rust/C++-influenced programming language could do that was better than Java.

5. Why is it so hard to find a good Java developer?

2014 was a good year for the Java language. But it’s unshakeable popularity has meant one thing: a shortage in (truly great) Java developers. Most people that have gone through the ordeal of recruiting a Java employee agree that it’s no easy task. But why is it still so hard to find experts in a language as widely used as Java?

6. Developing NASA’s mission software with Java

Yes, that’s right. Java has made it into space. Bet you never thought Java was quite that cool. Before presenting their work to the Java community at the 2014 JavaOne, four top NASA engineers told JAXenter about the role that Java, JavaFX and NetBeans play in NASA’s space missions.

7. The top 5 features of NetBeans IDE 8

The beta release of NetBeans 8 in January sent ripples of excitement throughout the Java community. Following up on his top ten list of NetBeans 7 features, Geertjan Wielenga talked us through the highlights of NetBeans 8.

8. Ellison’s game of thrones at Oracle

In September last year, Larry Ellison stepped down as CEO. But did he really? Ellison still seems to be holding onto all the right strings. And yet in spite of what appeared to be major changes at Oracle, the opening ceremony to the OpenWorld and JavaOne conferences was a rather uninspiring event.

9. Java skills are still golden for developers

As the most in-demand language of 2013, Java entered 2014 with confidence of a programming language both widely spoken and in high demand. But what exactly is it that makes it so useful?

10. Oh, you think Java sucks? How refreshing.

When a five year-old article defending Java went viral again last year, it proved beyond all doubt that the language is still in fashion. But after all these years of debate, why do programmers still find themselves entering into the old “Java sucks” debate?

Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

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