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Billions of devices today are still running on a Java platform. Since its launch in 1995, Java has become the transformational force in software development across decades. It has stood the test of time and continues to evolve.
Java became popular owing to its conciseness, object-oriented nature, in-built libraries and runtime error detection, making it quicker and easier to build enterprise applications than the alternatives available then such as C and C++ languages. Moreover, it delivered on the ‘write once, run anywhere’ promise with total platform independence, OS-independent Java virtual machines (JVM), and support for internet protocols such as HTTP/FTP.
In time, Java has shaped the way enterprise workloads and application servers are being built, meeting their needs of scalability, security, and reliability. In 2006, Java was formally open-sourced, bringing in a lot more community adoption and contribution.
In parallel, Java also powered the mobile technology phenomenon we’re experiencing today. Symbian OS, one of the early mobile operating systems, supported Java, giving wings to several mobile applications and games of the time. As mobile technology evolved, most Android applications came to be built with Java. In fact, until 2017, Java was the preferred Android application development language. Twenty five years and over nine million developers later, Java remains one of the most popular, commonly used, and highly regarded general-purpose programming languages all over the world.
Java’s popularity and adoption rates continue to be high simply because of its versatility and range. To get a better perspective, take a look at how Java is shaping the present and future technology:
Enabling applications on the cloud
We don’t just mean building new cloud-native applications, but also modernizing existing enterprise applications for cloud environments. With its ‘write once, run anywhere’ capabilities, Java ensures that applications work on multi-cloud environments, containerized apps, cross-platform apps etc.
Serving as the backbone of enterprise applications
Java remains the top language in the enterprise application development landscape. This is especially true for server-side applications across enterprise workloads. In fact, some of the world’s most visited websites such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Amazon, use Java for their back-end programming, as one of the few languages they have in their tech stack.
Connecting the Internet of Things
Several IoT applications, including wearable technology apps, are being built on Java. Existing ecosystem of cross-platform applications, easy portability and interoperability are encouraging developers to build IoT applications on Java, to say nothing of the platform independence needed to connect myriad devices across the globe.
Powering the data revolution
Andrew Binstock, Editor in Chief of the Oracle Java Magazine, wrote in Forbes that, “The big data revolution is primarily a Java phenomenon.” We couldn’t disagree given frameworks like Hadoop are primarily written in Java, and languages like Scala are interoperable with Java.
Whether Java enabled the big data revolution or not, it is powering a significant portion of data and analytics projects even to this day. Though Python and R are emerging as the top programming languages for analytics and big data applications, programmers who are used to Java find it simpler to take their skills to new applications.
Taking the world mobile
As mentioned before, a significant number of Android developers use Java as their programming language. While Kotlin is slowly gaining ground, developers well-equipped with skills in Java are unlikely to shift any time soon. And it helps that they have a vibrant and collaborative community to reach out to.
As we look around the developer community, there is no doubt that the opportunities for Java developers are aplenty. Java features among the top skill sets that are the toughest to find. A recent study in the UK found so. This is also true in the US, as found by the LinkedIn Economic Graph Forum. Hiring, training, and retaining qualified Java professionals can be an uphill task for enterprise application teams. It is here that we see low-code development platforms help immensely.
Leveraging visual programming methods, low-code development platforms simplify and accelerate application development in many ways:
- Using low-code platforms, programmers can use a simple drag-and-drop graphical user interface (GUI) to build application logic and automate writing code. This saves Java developers significant time and effort in hand-coding applications.
- Leveraging the high-quality code generated by a low-code platform, Java programmers can edit/customize your code based on their specific needs. This combines the speed of automation, with the flexibility of customization.
- They can perform rapid cross-platform UI development using out-of-the-box widgets and templates. Server-side Java programmers with little or no experience in UI/UX development can comfortably build front-end applications with low-code, be it for the web, iOS, or Android frameworks.
- They are integrated easily with APIs, third-party REST APIs, databases, and web services without writing additional code. Low-code platforms can save developers’ time in building these APIs.
- They come with auto-containerization and deployment capabilities. This way, server-side Java developers don’t need to learn to create deployment scripts and CI/CD hooks for their application. They can deploy their application artefact, which is a WAR file quickly and easily on-prem, as well as in public cloud environments.
In short, low-code platforms automate a significant part of programming. Whether you’re modernizing an existing application or building a new one, it can supplement Java coding across the application development and delivery lifecycle. It can help Java developers upskill and become the much-coveted full-stack developer. Get to know how a low-code platform can accelerate your application development.