10 Years of Java… for what?

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Update (Dec 3): first should point out opinions expressed here I my own and I take responsibility for them – they are not Sitepoint’s or Maarten’s. In retrospect should have followed my first feeling and kept this opinion (which is all it is) to myself.

Last Wednesday evening hooked up with Maarten to open up Sitepoint’s Zurich office ;). Told Maarten about this amusing (to me) Java rant I was dying to post but figured it would generate too many bad vibes. But Maarten, as a fellow PHP fan, found it pretty amusing as well and told me to “Go for it!” – so blame him. In the spirit of kicking a man while he’s down (or calling in an airstike on your own position)…

Back in May this year, Javaworld was celebrating 10 years of Java. Since then Ruby on Rails has been generating much buzz, to the point where it’s got people talking about the death of Java.

That got me thinking “If Java dies, how will it be remembered by future generations?”. What is Java’s legacy? What Java applications will people still be using 20 years from now and saying “Wow – they really knew how to write code back then”?

Then it struck me – I can’t think of a single popular Java application that “everyone” (as in non-nerds) is using.

If you rule out tools for nerds, like Eclipse or [insert app server here] and web sites custom built in Java (vs. off the shelf web apps), what’s left?

If I restrict myself to “useful” (to real people) instead of “popular”, two (but only two) applications eventually spring to mind – Sitepoint’s own Editize and JAlbum.

Perhaps there’s something I’ve missed – this for example ( I found it as a result of writing this and searching Google for “java killer app” – never heard of it before ) but I’m not convinced. Where is Java’s killer app?.

For 10 years the IT industry has been swamped with Java marketing. We’ve had endless books, lawsuits, a ton of specs and a generation taught the “Java way” at University, priming them go on to sneering at experienced colleagues. And who knows how many $$$ have been burned?

All this begs a question: what the [insert expletives here] have you guys been doing?

[Remember – don’t blame me – blame him]

Harry FuecksHarry Fuecks
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Harry Fuecks is the Engineering Project Lead at Tamedia and formerly the Head of Engineering at Squirro. He is a data-driven facilitator, leader, coach and specializes in line management, hiring software engineers, analytics, mobile, and marketing. Harry also enjoys writing and you can read his articles on SitePoint and Medium.

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