The Struggle to Keep Java Relevant

Posted on April 3, 2010



According to a recent slashdot article [1] (It seems that Oracle VP Jeet Kaul’sthinks mohawked, nose-pierced hipsters are the harbingers of innovation. The original article can be found at infoworld:

Will Draw Anything 408: Badass Programmer with Mohawk, September 22nd, 2008 | by CoffmanMyself not being that conventional (I’ve had mohawks, ponytails and completely shaved head in the past), it seems to me Kaul clings to some l33t hax0r mental image of what innovative software developers might be like. Superficial imagery will not lead to tangible changes in the JCP patriarchy that could lead to innovation on the Java world. Neither will it remove the systemic maladies of incompetency and apathy that plague the Java development community, in particular in the web development space.

Having said that, it could be that he’s been taken out of context, or that it simply a marketing talk gimmick. The one thing I agree (heck, I was talking about this with a colleague last night) is that Java is turning into COBOL. Innovation is taking place somewhere else in the JVM. I give Java thanks, for it lets me put food to the table. However, what are the implications for me, for us in the mid-long term (5-10 years)?

There will always be work in Java, but is that all there is? I don’t see myself doing anything (straight up code monkeyism, tech leading or architecting) if I don’t have my hands and elbows smeared with code grease.

The same itch I got that got me off all other languages into Java in 1999-2000, is the same itch that I’m getting now. There is something to be said about a language that stimulates you. If the project or type of work you do does not stimulate you, the technologies being used should. And if the language itself does not provide that stimulus, it’s hard to find fulfillment with most projects in general.

That is, of course, if your program because you love it instead of simply going through the motions required to earn a paycheck.

Happy Eastern.


[1] – The Struggle to Keep Java Relevant, Friday April 02, 2010.
[2] Will Draw Anything 408: Badass Programmer with Mohawk, September 22nd, 2008 | by Coffman.