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Interview with Simon Maple, Head of Developer Advocacy at ZeroTurnaround

“I don’t expect microservices to become a default architecture”

Gabriela Motroc
microservices
Simon Maple

This year’s Java Tools and Technologies Landscape Report takes a look at the trends and patterns in the JVM, analyzes the data and makes predictions about the way the JVM landscape will look like in the next few years. We talked to Simon Maple, Head of Developer Advocacy at ZeroTurnaround, about the results of this report and what the numbers mean for developers.

ZeroTurnaround has just released its Java Tools and Technologies Landscape Report 2016, which analyzes the data about the tools and technologies Java developers use.

We talked to Simon Maple, Head of Developer Advocacy at ZeroTurnaround, about the results of this report and what the numbers mean for developers.  

 

JAXenter: One of the questions included in the report is Have you adopted a microservices architecture? The majority (66%) said they have not adopted a microservices architecture although we hear a lot about this buzzword these days. Why do you think people talk about microservices, but don’t adopt it?

Simon Maple: First of all, I’m not sure the majority would agree with what a microservice even is. That is to say, if you were to take a sample of people from the survey and ask each of them to create a definition of what a microservice is, or what a microservice platform should look like, the answers would vary and I don’t think most would agree with each other.

Secondly, it’s hard to change architectures. There’s a lot involved in breaking down your working applications purely to base them on a different architecture. Yes, the benefits have been widely discussed, but there is a lot of additional work involved from a development point of view to make your microservices work together. I think the 66 percent will reduce over time, but I certainly don’t expect microservices to become a default architecture that everyone will adopt as the default.

Kotlin actually seems to be getting stronger and stronger.

JAXenter: Java continues to lead over other JVM languages while Kotlin, Clojure and JRuby are at the end of the list. What does this mean for young languages? Can they escape the shadow of Java?

Simon Maple: There are many languages on the JVM that were in Java’s shadow but were peeking out due to the promise of functional programming, cleaner syntax and so on. Since Java 8 has been released over two years ago, the gap between Java and other languages on the JVM has reduced significantly due to a *lot* of hard work from the Oracle core Java team. Personally, I think this gap is now small enough that moving to a Groovy or Scala from Java doesn’t carry enough benefit with it.

However, new languages will continue to be born to face tomorrow’s challenges. Kotlin actually seems to be getting stronger and stronger, particularly due to the support it has on the Android platform as well as now being able to write Gradle scripts in Kotlin.

SEE ALSO: The JVM remains a monarchy: Java dominates the list, Kotlin not among finalists

JAXenter: Intellij is the No.1 IDE, beating Eclipse by five percent. You said that the result was expected. Why is that?

Simon Maple: The trends section in part three shows how our survey results have changed from 2012, 2014 and 2016. The results from 2012 and 2014 show significant growth from IntelliJ IDEA and decline from Eclipse. The results in 2016 show continued growth and decline from IntelliJ and Eclipse respectively, so if we had projected the numbers back in 2014, we might have predicted that IntelliJ would certainly be close to Eclipse’s numbers, if not the market leader.

Spring has been incredibly good at adapting, which Spring Boot is a testament to.

JAXenter: Those who skim through the report will see that Maven, Tomcat, Spring, Jenkins and Docker — all the cool kids— have not been dethroned. What does it take to challenge their supremacy?

Simon Maple: I think the tools which you mentioned are very fit for purpose given today’s challenges and the problems which developers and enterprises face today. As new methodologies come into fashion, technologies need to adapt or die. Spring for example has been incredibly good at adapting, which Spring Boot is a testament to. As our problems change, so do our solutions. Often we don’t even realize what our problems even are until someone releases a marketing campaign about them! As a result, I don’t think any technology or tool should consider they’re always going to be top dog. They will need to work hard to adapt to the demands of our industry and if they don’t adapt as our market changes, someone else will.

Thank you very much!

Author
Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc is editor of JAXenter.com and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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