A bright future for Java and its cohorts, mostly

2012 Java Predictions – Martijn Verburg


The co-leader of the London Java Community and general open source aficionado offers his thoughts for the year ahead

JUGs could set the agenda for Java

The Java User Groups (JUGs) are growing rapidly and are putting their resources and passion into OpenJDK and other Java standards via the ‘Adopt a JSR’ program.  This potentially has a massive impact on the quality and usability of JSRs and the OpenJDK itself. Two examples of this are the TCK work being done by the LJC on JSR-310 and the recent OpenJDK Java 8 compiler warnings hack day (attended by >20 enthusiastic JUG community members).

Untapped source for cloud start-ups

Java PaaS providers are now plentiful (Heroku, OpenShift,CloudBees, CloudFoundry et al), allowing Java developers to join the ’cool kids’ of Ruby, Python, PHP etc. I don’t think the industry has realised the impact of this but you’ve now got another possible 9-10 million developers who will be very comfortable in creating
applications for the cloud and starting to think deeply about that little start-up they always wanted.

Polyglot acceptance and rise of NoSQL

Polyglot programming on the JVM will continue to creep into the mainstream – combining languages such as Groovy, Scala, Clojure, JRuby with Java gives the developer the flexibility they need for their different problem domains.

Although many mainstream developers don’t have a need to use Cloud/Mobile/functional programming/NoSQL right now (lots of polling at conferences has told me that <5% of the developer population use any combination of these areas) – these are all exciting areas that continue to grow and move into the mainstream.

Oracle/Java community relationship thaws to benefit all

Oracle will continue to work with the Java community to improve relations and to push resources out. Although there is still miscommunication on both sides from time to time, it’s fair to say that things are improving which can only be good for the Java ecosystem.  The steward of Java and the 9-10 million developers need to have good relations if Java is going to remain vibrant.

Businesses come back to Java

More organisations are going to shift back to the JVM.  The stability and scalability it offers is still the best out there as sites like Twitter have discovered in 2011.

One bad thing

The Oracle/Google does not look like being resolved any time soon. This still continues to have a negative impact on the developer community and beyond. Is there a point where the negative impact outweighs a potential gain? Not sure.

Martijn Verburg is the CEO and co-founder of jClarity a Machine Learning based Java/JVM performance analysis company. He is the co-leader of the London Java User Group (LJC), and leads the global Adopt a JSR and Adopt OpenJDK efforts to enable the community to contribute to Java standards and OpenJDK. Martijn is the co-author of "The Well-Grounded Java Developer" on Java 7, Polyglot Programming on the JVM and modern software development techniques. Martijn also acts as a community lead for the PCGen and Ikasan open source projects, moderates at the Javaranch and can be found answering thorny questions on the programmers stack exchange sub-site. He was recently made a Java Champion in recognition for his contribution to the Java ecosystem. He's a popular speaker at major conferences (JavaOne, JFokus, OSCON, Devoxx etc) where he is known for challenging the industry status quo as "the Diabolical Developer".

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