Will Java still be relevant in years to come?


Java was developed by James Gosling in 1995. Today one of the widely used mobile operating systems, Android and Big Data framework, Hadoop run with it. Top tech company’s like IBM supports Java on all their major platforms, running its mainframe, COBOL though it is not specifically dedicated to Java programming. According to a recent survey by BMC Software Inc., among 1,200 mainframe users, 93% confirmed that their Java usage is growing and 46% acknowledged that their rate Java usage in mainframe is increasing 10% per year.

The programming language provides a wide range of possibilities for software development to big programming enterprises as well as small startups, mainly because it is open source, high performance, and stable. From game engines to mobile apps, datacenters to the Internet, Java is used everywhere. It is implemented by popular Apps based organizations like Uber, business and employment-focused company’s like LinkedIn, and eCommerce company, eBay.

How relevant will be Java in future?

Predicting the life of Java is difficult. The first programming language was Fortran and is rarely used in the industry, but it is still being used, in fact, it is extensively used for large-scale simulation of physical systems such as climate models, astrophysical modeling of stars and galaxies, hydrodynamics codes, and so on. It is also used for designing bridges and structures and the analysis of large-scale scientific data.

If we go by the lifecycle and age of Fortran, then Java has many more years off to live and it is still at nascent phase. But if we try to predict the relevance in comparison to its present stature, as the programming language is the backbone of Enterprise computing world, then also there is no tough competition, at least not now.

What do ratings say?

Ratings help us understand the current usage and demand of Java. According to the Tiobe index May 2017 rating, Java tops the chart with the rating of 14.6%, double of what is the next contender C got, 7.002%. In the row stand third is C++ with the rating of 4.751%.

Swift, another general-purpose programming language, developed by Apple Inc. is positioned 13th, way behind from Java but has gained 0.68%, whereas Java has lost up to 6.32%. Another language that has started dominating the frontend world JavaScript ranked 7th with 3.071% has gained 0.73%.

Now that you have got the idea how Java is losing grounds but still ranks on top, it is apparent that it will take years to replace Java until a new disruptive technology sweep its way. But again usage of Java is so widespread that it has fair chances of gaining grounds again.

Developers’ favorite

Most of the developers confirm that Java is not only easy to learn but also easy to use, easy to write, compile, debug, and learn as compared to other programming languages. It allows them to create reusable code and modular programs. Along with this, it has great libraries and one of the largest communities of developers to share knowledge and take help, wherever required. With that said, it does not mean that Java application developers like it from the perspective of income as well.

A salary estimate report of 2017 from indeed.com shows that Java stands on the sixth spot with respect to average developer salary. Highest average salary is of Ruby/Ruby on Rail Developers. Chronologically stands Python, C++, iOS, and JavaScript. High salary for other programming languages may create a shortage of talent for Java in future and also a better scope for other languages. In this context, a Java development company may not be able to gain the best of talent, but otherwise, it will again increase the salary prospect of good developers.

Counting on experts’ opinions

Don’t confuse JavaScript with Java, as the former is a dynamic language, and has replaced Java in Stanford’s computer science course. In the Stanford Daily, Eric Roberts, emeritus professor of computer science with the track record of creating 106 computer science courses, said that Java has served for around 15 years but is aging. According to him, JavaScript is the future of programming language on the Internet.

We know that everything comes with a lifecycle, but many do not comprehend with the words of Eric Roberts. Among those is Dr. Wayne Citrin, CTO, and co-founder of JNBridge, LLC, who believes that Java is still going strong. This has also been proved by 2017 survey by Stackflow, in which, Java ranked among the top three, for the fifth time in a row, followed by SQL and JavaScript. He gave two reasons for this arrival:

1. Seniority over other languages

According to Dr. Citrin, Java has an edge over other languages because it was developed earlier and so it has got the chance to establish superior tools for writing, maintaining, and debugging code.

2 Bridge to Other Languages

There are many other languages that are Java-based such as Clojure, Groovy, Jython, and Scala that compiles in the same way as Java.

Future Ahead

Despite the emergence of so many programming languages, Java still ranks no.1 in the annual survey conducted by JAXenter.com, wherein, other popular languages like Python and Swift were not even able to rank among top 5.

This may be because Java is widespread. From server-side application to billing applications and writing algorithms for the stock market to creating transaction management solutions, Java is pervasive. And even if it dies, it will resurrect quickly.

Will Java still be relevant in years to come?