Days of Future Past

Our pundits predict what’s in store for Java in 2014

Lucy Carey

We’ve rounded up some pretty canny people from the sector to forecast their expectations for Java in 2014 and resolutions, for the months ahead, as well as personal highs and low from the past year.


It’s 2014! Year of the horse, the most contentious Winter Olympics for some time, and the alleged obsolescence of Moore’s law. The party’s over, you’re slowly sipping on your fourth emergency recovery coffee, and, just maybe, you’re having a bit of a reminisce on how the past twelve months have unfolded.

This time last year, we published some interesting predictions from the Java community on what was in store for the platform in the year ahead. Obviously, the failure of Java 8 to arrive put a spoke in the wheels of many people’s expectations, but others, including the burgeoning popularity of typed static languages like Dart, as well as the continued rise of Groovy, proved to be pretty spot on.

Sadly, we at JAXenter can’t claim any sort of mystical powers of foresight, so, once again, we’ve rounded up some pretty canny people from the sector to forecast their expectations for Java in 2014 and resolutions, for the months ahead, as well as personal highs and low from the past year.

Jamie Allen (Director of Consulting, Typesafe)

Three predictions for the industry in 2014:
  • Javascript will make a splash on the JVM with Nashorn in Java 8, but Java 8 adoption will be statistically small in 2014 as Java shops hold back

  • Streaming data, and the handling of backpressure in applications that use it, will explode in usage

  • The programming model defined in the Reactive Manifesto will be the key software development paradigm of the year

2013 : the year that put the fun back into coding for the Java platform

There have been some dark years in the past 15 with respect to developer enjoyment, particularly in the JVM ecosystem. Developer experience is now recognized as a critical aspect of productivity, and that means I’m finally having a great time coding for the Java platform again.  Part of this has been the renaissance of language proliferation, but another part is the frameworks that are now available and how we interact with them. People can criticize Ruby on Rails for many things, but developer experience was a primary driver in its success, and now that same focus on making software development fun in the Java ecosystem is making all of our lives better.

Things I’m working on in 2014:

I become a better programmer by learning other languages. For example, I’m a better Java programmer from having learned Scala.  I came to understand data structures and the relationship between code and data better from learning Scheme. This year, I want to learn Rust.

Billy Bosworth (CEO at DataStax)

Crystal ball gazing for 2014:

  • A revolution in the database industry is taking place right now as enterprises rapidly adopt next-generation NoSQL databases instead of relational giants such as Oracle.

  • In 2014, more businesses will adopt NoSQL than ever before because consumers will generate significantly more data that companies will need to analyze for a competitive edge.

  • In particular, we will see accelerated momentum in Europe as many NoSQL providers laid significant groundwork in this important market over the past year and are seeing significant customer adoption in the region.

A proud year for Cassandra in 2013:

The Cassandra community is growing by leaps and bounds, and DataStax hosted our first Cassandra Summit in London, as well as our annual one in San Francisco. It was very gratifying to see more than 1,500 Cassandra users assemble to share stories and help each other succeed. I was so proud to witness the strength of our community and the massive momentum of our technology.

On making connections and pounding the treadmill in 2014:

Aside from my ongoing personal resolution to hit the gym harder, on the technical side I’d like to help connect the relational and NoSQL communities. There is so much overlap between the two groups, and given my experience as a former Oracle DBA and the CEO of a NoSQL company, I am in a unique position to help demonstrate the power of heterogeneous environments as well as smooth their transition to this new technology.

Rod Johnson (Creator of Spring Framework and startup investor)

A Java resurgence in 2014:

I think the Java resurgence will continue, with Java 8, but that Java 8 will also contribute to increased interest in functional languages.

Personal high:

Scala Days in June. It felt like the early days of Java or Spring: Lots of excited attendees and great talks. And it was the most beautiful environment I’ve ever spoken in.

2014 goal:

Learn another language, which isn’t too similar to those I already know.

Fred Simon (Co-founder and Chief Architect, JFrog)

Industry tips for 2014:

  • More and more open public APIs will appear. Traditionally closed software stacks will open up to programmable extensions.

  • Infrastructure as code (Chef, Puppet, Vagrant, JClouds, etc.) will start to use more advanced software practices: CI, Automated Test, versioning, dependency management.

  • PaaS and IaaS will merge as the technical line will get more and more blurry, and the companies involved will also merge.

The best thing about 2013?

DevOps migrations accelerated in 2013. Also, more and more DevOps understood that managing software binaries, configuration version and installable packages cannot be done with a file system solution. Using appropriate tooling for Binary Management became a must.

My big goal for 2014:

Extend the ecosystem of JFrog products to solve the whole flow, from commit to production, without human intervention! Whatever your environment and tools, with JFrog you can develop, deploy, and distribute!

Bobby Patrick (Executive Vice President & CMO of Basho)

What’s in the tea leaves for 2014?

  • CIOs become more involved in cloud operations because of the business demand to match AWS economics in-house, whilst operational simplicity will be required across every level of enterprise IT due to strained resources.

  • ‘Internet of Things’ hits prime time, further accelerating the explosion of big data we have seen over the past few years

  • Customer experiences will be measured in milliseconds, rather than seconds and users will demand constant availability; any significant latency or planned downtime will spell the death of a service provider

Top 2013 moment:

Rather than focus on any specific thing, my personal highlight is simply seeing the success we’ve had bringing Riak into Europe and working with a wide range of organisations to address their critical data concerns.

Tech goal in 2014:

Our resolution is to be ready when everyone realises what they are missing with distributed systems. From our experience, we believe that 90% of use cases are better solved with distributed systems and we feel this is the year that people will wake up and smell the coffee!

Image by Choo Yut Shing
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