JAX Award winners announced at JAX 2015 conference!

Coman Hamilton

The winners of the 2015 JAX Innovation Awards were announced to an audience of over two thousand programmers at the JAX conference in Germany.

Over the past weeks, hundreds upon hundreds of developers from all over have been submitting their votes on this year’s best Java and Open Source innovators. Three technologies emerged victorious in the 2015 JAX Innovation Awards.

The JAX Award for Most Innovative Open Source Tech in 2015 goes to

This year, the community decided for Akka, a toolkit and runtime for concurrent, distributed and resilient message-driven applications on the JVM, which has take the community by storm since its release in 2010.

Akka Team Lead Roland Kuhn was there in person to receive the award. In an interview with JAXenter, Akka’s founder Jonas Bonér responded he was “happy and honoured” to receive such an award. “On behalf of the Akka Team I want to thank everyone that voted for Akka. We are so grateful to have such an amazing–passionate, engaged and positive–community.”


Akka Team Lead Roland Kuhn (right) accepts the JAX Innovation Award

When asked what it is about Akka that gave it its success, the Akka founder and Typesafe CTO said “I think it is because Akka is both addressing real pain points in today’s systems, and is pushing the envelope and innovation in the industry. Akka makes you feel empowered by making things that used to be very hard quite easy and straightforward, allowing you to do things that you didn’t dare doing before–and something that I hear a lot is that it ‘makes programming fun again’.”​

First developed in Scala by Jonas Bonér in 2009, Akka was inspired by Erlang’s library support for writing highly concurrent event-driven applications. Having since joined the Typesafe Platform, the toolkit’s modular structure, resilience, elasticity and adaptability has won over a significant following (lovingly called ‘hakkers’), including firms like Amazon, Ebay and Cisco, as well as an active base of contributors.

Typesafe, the platform behind Akka, recently outlined its open source policy, saying that its goal in the open source world is to be a good collaborator with the community. “We are not doing charity work for you, any more than you are doing charity work for us; we are working together as colleagues: because we have shared goals. We hope to avoid disrupting our shared goals, and we strive to be good colleagues to work with.”

Meanwhile in the Java category in this year’s JAX Innovation Awards, it was a tight race until the end with Apache Kafka and OpenHAB both receiving major support from the community.

And the winner of this year’s Most Innovative Java Technology of 2015 is…

java8_logoJava 8

Having already been pre-emptively selected for a Special Jury Award last year, Java 8’s popularity has now officially spread throughout the community. Its landmark introduction of lambdas has not only already been adopted by the majority its users, but Java 8 has also managed to spread a general curiosity about the possibilities of lambdas to mainstream

Since its release in March last year, its adoption rate has grown faster than expected while its new feature range brought Java back into pole position in programming language rankings like the TIOBE Index.

Accepting the award at the JAX award ceremony was Brian Goetz, Oracle’s Java language architect.


Oracle’s Brian Goetz and Akka’s Roland Kuhn after the awards ceremony

“Java SE 8 has been a huge success,” said Goetz. “We want to thank all those who contributed – the developer community, our partners in the OpenJDK and JCP communities, and all the engineers at Oracle who worked to make it a reality. Java SE 8 was the first release planned and executed under Oracle stewardship and reflects our continued investment in the Java platform and ecosystem. We are very pleased to see the positive community response and the fast adoption of Java SE 8.

“And we’re not stopping here!  We want to keep innovating to ensure that Java remains the most popular programming platform in the world.”

And finally, every year, the JAX Award Jury also elects a prominent member of the IT community for a unique contributions to the IT community. After much careful deliberation from the JAX Award jury…

This year’s JAX Special Jury Award goes to…


Netflix_Web_LogoBehind a revolutionary user experience which has changed home entertainment also lies an open idea about innovation that is changing our notion of how enterprises develop and how they talk about their technology.

The rate at which this entertainment game-changer has adopted new technologies and implemented them into its DevOps approach is setting new standards in IT. Java, Tomcat, Hive, MySQL, Gluster, Hive, Chukwa, Cassandra and Hadoop are just a few of the technologies being used by Netflix, which has made a significant contribution to the open source world in doing so.

“This year’s JAX Award jury was entirely unanimous in its selection for the Special Jury Award,” said Jury Member and JAX Program Chair Sebastian Meyen. “Although we had quite a few worthy tech achievements to consider, there was an overwhelming consensus that the pioneering work from Netflix’s developer team has had a huge influence on innovation in IT.”

The Netflix engineering team accepted the award via video speech, with Netflix Senior Software Engineer Andrew Spyker saying it was “honour” to accept the award on behalf of all Netflix open source developers. Netflix’s Ben Christensen thanked all those who contributed to the Netflix projects. “It has resulted in our projects being of much higher quality than if we had kept them internal.”

“I’d also like to thank our users,” added Clay McCoy from the Netflix team. “Our projects have been helped tremendously by a user base that has tested our code through scenarios that we just don’t have internally.”

netflix awardJury member Neal Ford commented that Netflix’s work has demonstrated “that architecture is cool again, that it can be used as a business differentiator, and when done right it is a huge advantage. They showed the power of internalizing DevOps into their architecture; all architectures will do this in the future.” Not only are they named by many software vendors a prominent customer, but they have continuously involved the community in their innovation, whether that means keeping one of the most enlightening enterprise blogs in tech, or offering a million dollar prize to a developer that can improve their recommendation algorithm.

Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

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