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 a Dutch Born Kiwi who co-leads the London JUG (aka the LJC) and also is heavily involved in the London graduate/undergraduate developer, CTO and software craftsmanship communities. The Javaranch kindly invited him to be a bartender in 2008 and he's been humbled by the awesomeness of that community ever since. He's currently working on somewhat complex JCA Connectors and an associated open source middleware platform (Ikasan) and also spends a good deal of time herding monkeys on another open source project that deals with creating characters for d20 based role playing games (PCGen). More recently he's joined Ben Evans in writing "The Well-Grounded Java Developer (Covers Java 7 and polyglot programming on the JVM) for Manning publications and can be found speaking at conferences (such as TSSJS and DevNexus) on a wide range of topics including open sourcing software, software craftsmanship and the latest advancements in the OpenJDK.

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