Looking back at a big year for Java

Java retrospective #3 – most important thing for the community in 2019

Chris Stewart
© Shutterstock / Interpass

As 2019 draws to a close, we got in touch with some prominent members of the Java community to gather their thoughts on the events of the last year. In this five part series, we will look at what they had to say. In this third part, we asked what the most important thing for the Java community was in 2019.

What was the most important thing for the Java community in 2019?

java…to see that the comments and concerns expressed about the preview features in the new Java versions are also taken into account. The final versions of switch expressions and text blocks are definitely better than the versions introduced as previews. This makes the language more stable and better.

Tim Zöller – Team Leader Java, ilum:e informatik AG

javaThat the Java community is still able to provide new innovative features on a stable basis.

Thomas Darimont – Founder of Java User Group Saarland and Fellow at codecentric AG

javaRealizing that Java is not that important, I had to look into a couple of conference programs to find an answer to this question. What I noticed is that many talks are not about Java, Java frameworks or libraries. Instead they are about things that are important for Java developers outside of Java:

  • Dealing with requirements
  • Build processes
  • Dealing with stress
  • How do I use Docker, Kubernetes & co
  • How do I keep physically fit
  • How to use non JVM languages like JavaScript or Typescript

Jens Schauder – Spring Data team, Pivotal

javaParticipation of individual developers and small companies in the OpenJDK and OpenJFX projects show that Java is really open, and that anyone who has the required expertise can contribute to the platform.

Johan Vos – Java Champion, co-founder Gluon and LodgON

javaThe most important things for the Java community are the development pace of Java language as well as the JVM, and the amount of high-quality open source projects being developed. The competition between Spring and new frameworks such as Micronaut or Quarkus is changing the landscape of Java enterprise software, making it more lightweight and fit for Cloud-native environments.

Vlad Mihalcea – Java Champion and author of High-Performance Java Persistence

SEE ALSO: Java 14 update news

javaJava is now consistently releasing new features every 6 months. It’s important to move past Java 8, ideally onto Java 11 (although more daring organisations might be using the latest releases as they come out, currently 13 is the latest), and this year we’ve seen a surprising number of organisations taking the plunge and moving up to Java 11. This is great news, if the whole community is moving forward it removes some of the burden of supporting older versions of Java, which is particularly painful for open source projects.

Trisha Gee – Java Champion and Developer Advocate, JetBrains

javaI will answer that question from two viewpoints:

  1. From the JDK perspective, it is most important that we have tremendous OpenJDK support, which means that the community will have a stable release of the JDK.
  2. From the events and community involvement perspective, I’m happy to see that more and more conferences appear around the world and our community is continuing to grow based on my observation.

Oleh Dokuka – Java Champion and Principal Engineer / Dev Rel, Netifi

javaTo continue to work as a community. We see many events organised by the community, such as JavaZone, Jfokus, JavaLand and the Voxxed series all providing great ways for people to learn about and share their experiences with Java. The Java Champions group is increasing in size and continues to help shape the Java ecosystem.

Simon Ritter – Java Champion and Deputy CTO, Azul Systems

javaThat after the LTS release of JDK 11 it is still actively going ahead. After Oracle put their builds under a new license a lot of companies and people were motivated to get actively involved. We owe the AdoptOpenJDK to this movement, and thus still freely available builds of LTS versions, and shows that the Java community still works and can create something if they want to.

Michael Vitz – Senior Consultant, innoQ Deutschland GmbH

SEE ALSO: Read more Java retrospectives as they are released

javaIn my opinion, the Java community is focused on continuous and innovative further development, in addition to backward compatibility and a well-filled Java feature pipeline. In addition, the technological driving force behind the Java Champions, who are anchored at the core of the developer community and are involved in Java projects worldwide, is the Java community.

Wolfgang Weigend – Systems Engineer Java Technology and Architecture, Oracle

javaTo my mind, the most important thing to happen in the Java community was this emphasis on eeking out every last iota of performance and scalability from production-services. I’ve watched the Spring ecosystem press forward with end-to-end reactive programming support across the stack. Spring, along with other technologies from other vendors like Lightbend and Netflix, have long supported reactive programming, but this is the first year where every traditional use case has parity in the reactive world. Messaging, microservices, monoliths, web applications, WebSockets, SQL, and NoSQL, etc., it’s all supported now in the Spring ecosystem.

In the same vein, I’ve loved seeing what the Spring team has been doing to improve upon the performance of the applications themselves. A reactive SQL and HTTP application in Spring Boot routinely starts up in around a second, or less. Of course, these numbers are even better when you use Spring Boot with GraalVM’s Substrate native-images.

Josh Long – Java Champion and a Spring Developer Advocate, VMware

Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart is an Online Editor for He studied French at Somerville College, Oxford before moving to Germany in 2011. He speaks too many languages, writes a blog, and dabbles in card tricks.

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