Java health check-up: Has popularity waned?
The six-month Java release cycle has gained a lot of critics and caused some controversy. Will it affect the popularity of Java though? We look at some surveys to see if Java’s popularity has changed.
Java is everywhere. Its fans and critics alike cannot deny that Java continues to rank in popularity charts, year after year. Let’s have a quick checkup on Java’s health, doctor’s orders.
StackOverflow’s health chart
StackOverflow’s developer survey looks at a massive amount of data. This year they asked over 100,000 developers the burning questions that the community wants to know. (Psst, if you love combing through data, StackOverflow just released their survey data to the public. People are already exploring the numbers and researching the figures with some interesting results and takeaways. What will you discover?) The 2018 survey had some mixed responses for Java’s health.
First: the good news. Java climbed up the popularity chart. In 2017 it was used by 39.7% of respondents. This year, Java rose up the charts, being used by 45.3% of respondents. Bravo Java! What might be the cause of the slowly rising popularity? Is Java popular because of its rampant usage in professional workplaces or because of developers’ familiarity with the language, or something else? We’d love to hear your theories on why Java continues to rank as one of the most popular coding languages!
Source: StackOverflow 2018 Developer Survey Results
However, there’s a dark side. While the sheer usage of Java may be growing, its public opinion is wavering a bit. With the new Java release cycle, there has been plenty of conversation buzzing about the future of Java and whether or not six months per release is overkill. Developers are no longer jumping on board to become early adopters to each new release.
According to the StackOverflow 2018 survey, Java is split between a fan favorite and a dreaded curse. While 50.7% of developers love Java, 49.3% of developers reported that they dreaded it.
This isn’t too different than 2017’s results. In 2017, 50.5% developers loved Java and 49.5% dreaded it. This is not a drastic change in either direction, so perhaps this is neither good nor bad news. It’s just par for the course in the life of Java. Let’s put a sticky note on Java’s health records to be careful and keep an eye out on this, but it’s nothing to stress about for now.
JetBrains’ check up
Let’s move over to JetBrains’ survey: The State of Developer Ecosystem in 2018. We already discussed the results relating to Java and yet again, but let’s compare it to StackOverflow’s results. Are there any differences?
Source: JetBrains The State of Developer Ecosystem in 2018
TIOBE Index’s health physical
Moving on to one more doctor before we make a call on Java’s health. This time, let’s check out the TIOBE Index for June 2018.
Source: TIOBE Index for June 2018
You can stop holding your breath. Java is ranked the number one most used programming language with a change of +0.88%.
That’s pretty conclusive. Java has a strong bill of health and doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere soon.
Will this continue to be the case? Is the new Java release cycle a good thing for Java popularity? We will keep our fingers on the pulse and see what happens. Who knows, maybe in two years Java will be nowhere on the top 10 list and we will all be using Fortran again. (Okay, probably not.)