How Java Programmers “Feel” in 2013

My summary of general Java sentiment after attending JavaOne 2013.

“Everyone’s all excited that Java didn’t die. Yay! We made it!”

Ok, that’s not fair, how about:

“Everyone’s excited that Java has new found energy and that Twitter ultimately had to migrate everything to Java. I mean Twitter is using Java! The fact that twenty-somethings are using the platform makes us feel a lot less old. Thanks.”

Ok, let’s try again…

“Everyone is excited that the Ruby on Rails kids are playing defense, that Oracle is paying a lot of attention to Java, and Java EE officially doesn’t suck anymore. Let’s go.”

I’m going to go with that last option.  While it is true that Oracle’s taking the platform in an incrementally more commercial direction (you can’t get 1.6.0_51 without a subscription and there are some new tools only available to paying subscribers), the platform does appear to be healthier than ever.   My own theory is that Oracle is doing a much better job enabling people like Rheinhold and Gupta to innovate than Sun Microsystems ever could have.   There was a lot of pain between the Setting Sun and this New Java Renaissance, but we’re here.

After several industry luminaries predicted the death of Java, we’re still here and not only that, we’re still innovating.  We’re beyond that difficult period of ex-Sun employees griping about Oracle’s takeover and we’re now moving on to things like Java 8.  I wouldn’t have said this four years ago, but I’m generally optimistic about Java as a language and a platform.