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Day of The Dead: Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills

As I have argued before, in IT everything is dead. That is- if its in production, its “dead”. When a commentator says Technology A is dead, they generally just mean its not an Apple or Google product. So what about Java, in light of Oracle’s acquisition of Sun, and the complete win of the web over everything else? What role can Java play in a world of dynamic languages?

According to Tim Bray:

“And finally, as a citizen primarily of the Web, I can’t help but notice that in recent years, its interesting bits (Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, 37 Signals, Ravelry) are largely not being built in Java.”

So the cool kids aren’t using Java. Or are they? One of the hottest trends in tech right now is NoSQL (If you’re a software developer get acquainted with it). Many of the hottest NoSQL technologies are written in Java.

MapReduce – one of the core technologies Google and Yahoo use for fast response times across large data sets is Java-based. A whole new industry ecosystem is growing around Hadoop, Apache’s MapReduce implementation. Ask our client Mike Olson from Cloudera if Java is dead. What about HBase? Java… Neo4J? Java. And so on. Of course we’re also seeing innovation from the new hotness – thus Erlang underpins CouchDB and RIAK. But Java is certainly core to the innovation. Lets look at RabbitMQ for example – which though written in Erlang was acquired by SpringSource as a messaging engine to underpin a Java-based programming model.

The Apache Software Foundation can hardly keep up with the pipeline of cool new technologies. Apache SOLR for large scale text search is of course Java-based. And so on.

NoSQL came from the web, but it willl find a natural home in the enterprise. The enterprise Java shop.

For a software stack that really isn’t in the NoSQL game I would say look at Microsoft .NET. myspace was one of the few major web properties built end to end on Microsoft technologies. In fact one wonders whether one reason myspace lost competitiveness with other web properties is because it had access to fewer cool technologies.

The irony of Bray’s argument is of course that Android – the part of Google that pays his salary, is also Java-based (well, pending the outcome of the Oracle suit anyway) and extremely innovative.

Anyway the point of this post is really just to riff on the data from simplyhired, as per the graph above. A 59% increase in bobs since January 2009? Not bad for a dead technology. Java has plenty of runway left and plenty of room for innovation.

disclosure: The ASF, Basho Technologies [RIAK], Cloudera, Microsoft and Neo4J are clients. Oracle is not but we have done work for them.

Categories: Java.

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Comment Feed

45 Responses

  1. Classic enterprise java “EJB” is dead; nobody misses it. There is lots of fun stuff going on, be it Hadoop land, or on some phone platforms. Objective C is something people use on iPhone because they have no choice, not necessarily because they want it.

    But, why are there so many logging APIs in Java: log4j, SLF4J, sun logging, the layers on top, the custom bridges tools like Jetty add to bridge to one of them. The lack of stable logging in Java shows the price of open source -innovation in parallel- with the price of one vendor not being able to say “this is the logging API, be grateful”, the way MS can do in .NET land.

  2. Compare also the trends for JavaScript vs Java. Could be correlated more with general economic trends rather than language vs language.

    • @SteveL i did think of that. the diagram was really intended as illustrative of the argument, rather than my post being a deep analysis of the specific data set. Javascript is certainly hot as hell right now – a Javascript/Java skills combo is increasingly normal.

      James GovernorSeptember 4, 2010 @ 2:50 pmReply
  3. Food for thought from @monkchips: Web driving strong demand for #Java skills http://cot.ag/99zcSr +1
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  4. Cassandra (http://cassandra.apache.org/) is another NoSQL choice created with Java.

    Most people are interested in what is hot at the moment and that is what you called out. Java isn’t cool but if you pull back the covers it is everywhere. The enterprise is still completely in love with Java. On the web you have things like Springsource and JBoss. A large number are also deploying web services with Java. If you dig down to how large companies run internally you get to things like Peoplesoft that is also built on Java. Companies like Adobe are building tools based on Java as well like ColdFusion and Flex. There are also bridges being created with languages like JRuby, Jython, Scala and Clojure that run on the JVM and work well in the Java ecosystem. I would say that Java is far from dead.

  5. http://bit.ly/9lcrBS Java is not dead, we’re finally getting to the core of it. Which makes it harder to find qualified people.
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  6. Day of The Dead: Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills – http://bit.ly/9GCgcQ interesting – and surprising (to me…) #java
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  7. Coola killar använder inte Java… eller http://bit.ly/9zNQAN
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  8. Java’s not dead, it’s just mature – at last.

    The good vm, memory management and thread support is way ahead of most other languages and with multi-core cpu’s and huge amounts of memory becoming the norm it’s perfectly positioned to move from the server to the cient.

    c# just shouldn’t be in the picture because it’s tied to one flaky vendor, c++ is a mess, and the toy scripting languages don’t scale.

  9. Reading Day of The Dead: Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills – http://bit.ly/9zNQAN
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  10. Day of The Dead: Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills (James Governor/James Governor’s Monkchips) http://bit.ly/cgKfQ7
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  11. Java is quite a funny beast these days. The enterprise side is stagnant, yet there are cool ideas bubbling up from developers that evetually will land there anyway.

    Its also reached the point where I think people are being more creative with it because its been around so long and if you dont try and innovate you just get bored.

    Its kind of nice to have the big guys more or less out of the way and I even include apache in that, so that more interesting things can be considered.

    And as one commenter said, we have many logging frameworks and that seems silly except that I can still think of ways to improve them and I think people who have the time should.

    The motivation to make great software should be to make great software not to establish de facto standards. Just because apache adopts something does not affect whether I think its useful or not.

    Java’s limitations are mostly in our heads, and who wants to write for just one platform? not me.

  12. +1 for SteveL’s suggestion. Java usage is actually declining, but it is one of the default languages to list in job posting requirements – which is what simplyhired measures.

    • @peteskomoroch i can see your point but you don’t support your statement that Java usage is “actually declining”. While I realise the simplyhired data set is limited in scope, there is a great deal of evidence to say Java is still growing – now, it may be growing a lot more slowly than it was, but its growing nonetheless. think of the *global* situation- where Java is taught at universities everywhere…

      James GovernorSeptember 7, 2010 @ 9:28 amReply
  13. Need a job? Learn Java. http://ping.fm/XcstV
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  14. James Governor’s Monkchips » Day of The Dead: Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills http://ff.im/-qkZgK
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  15. Quite impressive feat for old Java but I ran same query for Silverlight and: Silverlight jobs increased 261%

  16. Question for the “Java is declining” crowd: if not Java, what should one learn / watch? Ruby on Rails? Perl? What?

  17. Man what I’d do for a bob…

  18. Java core to innovation http://bit.ly/9VOgGE
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  19. Very nice read. For being a “dead technology”, Java is in the innards of lots of emergent tech: NoSQL, messaging… http://icio.us/itni21
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  20. Also worth noting that many web-based video streaming stacks are Java-based, using open-source alternatives to Adobe’s expensive solution.

    And let’s face it, there a LOT of video-based sites cropping up all over the place, in the time frame, to deliver video recording and streaming on the web.

  21. .. also Android. Obviously?

  22. Java? Definitely Not Dead!!! A nice article by James Governor http://bit.ly/bxwC4t #in
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  23. you rock @kosso! thanks for the comments on the #java innovation and #nosql post http://monk.ly/aRYCSf names of oss java streaming tools?
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  24. Reading @monkchips post on demand for Java skills from NoSQL / Hadoop / Solr etc. http://bit.ly/9zNQAN – cool kids are still using it.
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  25. See @monkchips post on Java skills demand from NoSQL/Hadoop/Solr… http://bit.ly/9zNQAN – cool kids are still using it! (via @awhitehouse)
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  26. Day of The Dead: Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills – http://su.pr/7OMJJc
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  27. Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills via @monkchips http://cot.ag/99zcSr
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  28. @rhirsch @haloworldwide Day of The Dead: Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills http://monk.ly/aRYCSf #nosql + #asf
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  29. Day of The Dead: Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills http://t.co/L2k8tjH
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  30. James Governor’s Monkchips » Day of The Dead: Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills: http://bit.ly/dl0RLJ
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  31. Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills by James Governor http://bit.ly/aowb3C via @rgaidot
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  32. @bgranvea RT @rgaidot: Day of The Dead: Web Drives Strong Demand for Java Skills http://t.co/L2k8tjH
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  33. “the cool kids aren’t using #Java.” http://bit.ly/9zNQAN #nosql #solr
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  34. or are they? ;-) RT @irina_guseva “the cool kids aren’t using #Java.” http://bit.ly/9zNQAN #nosql #solr
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  35. Or only the rich kids? #orcl :) @ebarroca: or are they? ;-) RT @irina_guseva “the cool kids aren’t using #Java.” http://bit.ly/9zNQAN #nosql
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter



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Continuing the Discussion

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  3. [...] James pointed out recently, Java is far from “dead.”. Indeed, Java is finding much use as the basis for new middleware: So the cool kids aren’t using [...]