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Innovations and growing markets

Java 2022: Predictions and Assumptions

Alex Yelenevych
© Shutterstock / mentalmind

The need to work from home and the inability to freely move around the world has stimulated the development of data security, cloud computing, big data, tools for remote work. The Java language and platform are still in demand and evolving. In this article, Alex Yelenevych is going to talk about what will influence the development of Java in 2022 and what to expect for developers of this language.

The past year has changed the lives of many people, and this could not help but affect technology. The need to work from home and the inability to freely move around the world has stimulated the development of data security, cloud computing, big data, tools for remote work … Many of these technologies are based on such a tool as Java. The language and platform are still in demand and evolving. In this article, I’m going to talk about what will influence the development of Java in 2022 and what to expect for developers of this language.

Technological innovations in Java

Last year in the article Java is immortal and feels good I focused on technological predictions. I guess I was more or less accurate, pointing out the main vectors of Java development: the continuation of Spring framework expansion, the gradual introduction of innovations such as Records and Sealed Classes, as well as the development of AI, tools for remote work, mobile development, SaaS, PaaS and Big Data.

Java develops gradually, it evolves. Perhaps, the last revolutionary version was Java 8, and after that, the language acquired logical improvements. The new version of Java comes out like clockwork, every six months. However, the latest version to date, JDK 17, is a so-called LTS (long term support) release, and this is the first such LTS since JDK 11. The new Java will be updated until September 2029. By the way, now LTS releases will come out every two years. According to Georges Saab, Oracle’s vice president of Java Platform Group development, this will help those companies that only use LTS releases. They are, in a sense, limited in their use of new features, and more frequent release of LTS will help such companies improve the language in their code.

I still believe that the most promising novelty of new Java versions is the new Java Record data type. Records removes nearly all boiler-plate code that was previously used for simple data classes. Also among the important features, I would name text blocks, switch statement expressions, and private classes.

SEE ALSO: Deploy a Cloud-native Java App on Kubernetes Using Spring and K8ssandra

Growing Markets, Cloud and Mobile Apps

Nevertheless, you shouldn’t expect any dramatic technological leaps in the Java world in 2022. Something else will change noticeably, the markets where Java and related technologies are in demand.

According to Statista, the number of developers (any software developers, not only Java) will reach 28.7 million by 2024. This is 3.2 million more than it was in 2020.

The geopolitical situation in the world raises many questions, and it also affects the specifics of the development and technology market. The most active countries today are the United States and China, and it is there that technology is developing first of all. In the US, the number of programmers who work with Java is as high as 27%, according to a recent study by JetBrains. In China, this number even reaches an impressive 47%. At the same time, the Chinese market for programmers is very young: more than half of the developers in this country have from 0 to 3 years of experience. These numbers will rise for several reasons. The USA is the world leader in cloud computing. The “Big Three” Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google are gaining ground, especially the leader, AWS, with 32% of the market, according to Statista. The worldwide public cloud computing market is expected to reach an estimated 482 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. This is largely due to the pandemic. Previously, large businesses approached cloud servers very carefully, in stages. Now, CIOs of distributed companies, in which employees work in different offices, at home, and in different countries altogether, will push businesses to move to the clouds as soon as possible.

Cloud computing is also developing in China. While US leaders offer their services worldwide, Chinese cloud providers, such as Alibaba, Huawei, and Tencent, work primarily for the huge and growing domestic market. However, these providers are planning to expand outside of China. Of course, they won’t go to the occupied markets. Even if they offer good prices, European and American companies are unlikely to entrust their data and computations to Chinese providers, since they are completely unfamiliar to them, and from a political point of view, they can cause some distrust in Western countries. Therefore, Chinese providers are looking towards emerging markets, mainly Asian.

In cloud technologies, the Java language is quite actively used, since it is well suited for distributed systems and systems that require data protection. So, on the back end of the AWS platform, you will find a lot of Java. Java is also one of the most popular languages for developing AWS applications. Thus, the proliferation of cloud computing will lead to an increase in the demand for Java programmers.

Mobile technologies are also developing. According to Statista, Global 5G smartphone subscriptions worldwide are going to hit one billion in 2022.

However, bureaucratic red tape and constant delays have helped lift another communication channel, satellite Internet. Satellite internet provided by Starlink and SpaceX is already helping and will continue to help expand mobile internet to regions where the “regular” internet has yet to reach. According to Forrester, 85% of satellite users will live in rural areas. This means that there will be even more mobile Internet users. This is actually very good. This will enable children from remote regions to get a better education. In addition, it should spur the development of mobile services such as delivery, education, and entertainment applications.

In addition to new markets, China has to be mentioned again. In this country, 99% of users use the mobile Internet. This is due to the fact that the Internet in China began to develop later than in most developed countries, and we can say that it was originally mobile. Now, according to Statcounter, about 70% of the mobile market is occupied by Android applications, while in China this figure reaches 80%. According to Trendforce analysts, the situation won’t change dramatically in 2022. Changes will only occur in emerging markets that will connect via satellites, and most likely, Android devices will prevail there too. The vast majority of Android applications are written in Java and Kotlin, so Java developers will be more than in demand here as well.

Among other things, the Big Data and AI market is developing quite actively, where there is also a fairly significant share of Java development.

SEE ALSO: “Lumigo is purpose-built for cloud-native”

Salaries

Since the demand for developers exceeds supply, and in the future, there will be an even greater shortage of personnel, their salaries will remain quite high. On average, they should even grow, and here’s why. The fact is that the largest employers of Java developers are American companies. In the US, according to Indeed.com, the median salary is $100,127 per year. Due to the pandemic, many American companies have become more willing to hire remote employees, including from other countries, which has a positive effect on the level of salaries in these countries.

In addition, investment activity is well developed among American IT companies. Americans have enough money to live, so they very often invest it in well-known companies, for example, Apple. This investment increases the value of companies and the salaries of their employees. It is also customary in many American companies to provide employees with options that will grow over time, judging by the demand for labor from IT companies.

As for China, the economic prosperity of this country is growing, and the average level of wages there is also getting higher. The same goes for Java developers.

Author
Alex Yelenevych
Co-founder and CMO at CodeGym.cc, an interactive educational platform where people can learn Java programming language from scratch to Java Junior level. Visit him on LinkedIn.

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