Let’s start with Java’s place right now. According to an IEEE survey that looked at 10 factors, including GitHub repositories, data from Google trends and Twitter posts, Java is the top programming language, ahead of C, C++, and Python. HTML came in a lowly 14th place. In a second poll focusing on the purely mobile languages, Java held the top spot. It is the language of choice for LinkedIn, eBay, Tumblr, Reddit and Google.
Why? In technical terms it has a long list of virtues. Power-users will rave about the intelligent architecture of string class, speed, it has dozens of web frameworks, a simple object and data model, and automated memory management. This makes is as useful for a junior developer working on databases as it does a senior IT consultant in the banking industry. Working with Java
Working with Java is easy. Tools such as Eclipse make coding and debugging a simple and straightforward process, while auto-complete and auto-import are big time-savers. (Great if you prefer the creative side of programming.) Hot swapping is possible without restarting the program. And it works on Windows, Linux and Mac equally well. Other rival languages can’t boast anything quite as good just yet. These are important, but there are two other reasons why:
Java Virtual Machine makes Java seriously versatile. The ability to write one single piece of code for a dazzling variety of machines makes Java an attractive proposition for corporations, who would resent having to pay for porting to other languages. Over 5.5 billion machines run JVM. And JVM has morphed – it now runs a version of Lisp called Clojure, Groovy, Scala, JRuby, and the Jython implementation of Python, plus a dozen others. The other big factor is momentum. Java is simply a language with so many users, so many existing applications and such a vast eco-system around it that its position as the world’s leading language has become a self-sustaining proposition. No matter what you need to do you are likely to find something suitable in a free library. This means learning Java is an investment in your career as well as a good way of boosting your short-term earning power.
Java is the main development language for Android. This alone gives Java a huge advantage in commercial terms – and gives you a chance to work at the cutting edge of mobile development. First-time jobseekers might not be ready to work on an investment bank’s infrastructure written in Java, but they ought to be ready to tinker with apps. It’s a wonderful leg-up into the industry. The future for Java?
Dr Kevin Curran of the University of Ulster and senior member of IEEE says: “Knowing Java opens many more job opportunities. That cannot be underestimated. The vast majority of programmers learn their languages in college. Colleges are increasingly under pressure to churn out graduates who can get a job. Employability statistics for graduates are recorded globally and this has an impact on each college’s rankings. Therefore colleges will teach the languages which lead to jobs after graduation. Java is being taught, students learn Java. If students are exposed to Java, they will tend to recommend it later in their workplace. This ensures Java’s place in college courses for some time to come.
”Wired magazine labelled Java “a relic of the 1990s” but now argues it is “remaking the internet”. Ever since Sun made Java open source in 2006, it has been the dominant language in commercial development. That doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon.