Your business has probably watched a number of technologies come and go over the years: Fax machines, dumb phones, pagers, PDAs, floppy disks, overhead projectors. That list goes on and on. The same thing holds true for programming languages. Objective-C. Perl. CoffeeScript. ColdFusion. Flash. Another list that seems to never end.
But there are languages that have been around for quite some time that show absolutely zero signs of fading. C, C++, Python, and even COBOL (although that one is questionable). Another language that you can count on for remaining at the forefront of the programming world is Java, one of the most popular languages around which powers many digital projects.
Where did Java come from?
Java was originally developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems and first released in 1996. It was designed for interactive television but wound up being too advanced for the television industry at the time.
Eventually, Java was released as a Write Once, Run Anywhere language that provided little- to no-cost runtimes on many popular platforms. Most of the major web browsers then incorporated Java applets within web pages, which led to the rise in popularity of the language. But then Java applets faded in popularity, so it was assumed the language would fade along with it. Yet, that never happened. Why?
If there’s only one reason why your company should either continue to depend on Java or finally adopt Java, it’s because of mobile apps. When Google adopted Java to be a part of the Android SDK, it sealed the fate of the language. Since then, Java has become one of the most widely used languages on the planet.
In fact, Java is one of the official languages for Android development. Even large portions of the Android operating system were written in Java. When you consider that Android is the most widely-used mobile operating system on the planet (at roughly 74.6%), it becomes quite understandable why Java is so popular.
But why should your business continue to depend so much on Java that you’re ready to hire Java development services?
Because your company should consider the mobile platform as the way of the future. At the end of the Q2, 2020, mobile devices (excluding tablets) accounted for just over half of internet traffic (at 51.53%). That is significant. And if your company isn’t taking advantage of that already, you are way behind the curve.
Not only should you have your website tuned for mobile devices, but you should also be on your in-house (or outsourced) Java developers to create a user-friendly mobile app that makes it easy for customers to purchase your products or services, interact with your company, and get information and updates about what you do.
But mobile apps aren’t the only reason why you should continue to keep Java in your stable of languages. Other reasons include the following.
Java is common
If you’ve ever had to hire a new Java engineer, then you know how common they are. Toss a bitcoin into a crowd of developers and you will hit someone who is proficient in Java. And among those that know Java, you can be sure there will be a good percentage that don’t just know the language, they’re really good at it.
Java is performant
Although it might not be the highest performing language on the market, Java is certainly well above the midrange. It’s also a very reliable language and has a predictable garbage collector that rarely fails.
Even better, if you find your Java apps aren’t performing as you expect them, there are plenty of optimization tools out there to help you get the most out of those apps.
Java enjoys an incredibly vast ecosystem of libraries and tools. For anyone familiar with the field of software engineering, you know that translates into having to write less code to get the work done.
You can make use of the Java standard libraries like JHipster (to generate, develop, and deploy Spring Boot/Angular Web applications), Maven (a software project management and comprehension tool), Apache Commons (which includes numerous, commonly used libraries), Guava (Google Core Libraries), or google-gson (convert Java Objects to JSON or JSON to Java Objects).
There are also a number of very popular frameworks to be used with Java, including:
- Apache Struts
- Ruby on Rails
Although one of the primary platforms to use Java is Android, Java is very much a cross-platform language. Developers aren’t tied to a single platform and can deploy their apps just about everywhere, with little effort to make them run properly. And when you’re developing for very large and complicated systems, the type safety found in Java offers a nice safety net. What type safety does is it prevent programs from performing an operation on an object unless that operation is valid. This feature helps to make the cross-platform nature of Java even easier and more reliable.
Java isn’t going anywhere
Finally, a very good reason to keep Java around is that it’s simply not going anywhere. Java has been a staple of software engineering for decades and will continue to be so for years to come. Until the day when Google shifts Android away from Java, you can guarantee that Java is as sure a bet as any language on the market.
So if your business is concerned about either adopting or continuing to depend on Java, don’t be. This particular language has shown no signs of slowing down.