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Why is Java still around?

Although Java may be getting up there in years, it is still one of the top programming languages on the market and one that every developer should have experience with.

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Java has been around for over 25 years – which might as well be a billion years according to technology. Even though many new programming languages have become incredibly popular in the world of software and website development, Java still reigns as one of, if not the top language out there.

Why is Java still used on such a regular basis? How does it have such staying power in the technology world? What kind of programs and products are actually written in this language?

Although it’s a bit of a joke between developers nowadays, Java has stated for years that 3 billion devices currently run on the programming language. In this case, old is not synonymous with obsolete. Just ask any busy and successful Java development company, such as BairesDev and you’ll probably hear the reasons listed below.

What Gives Java Its Staying Power?

  1. To put it simply, Java empowers developers to do just about everything in the world of computing. This language hasn’t ranked among the most in-demand programming languages since its inception without a reason. For example, the JavaFX platform provides a basis to build complete web applications. It is the basis of most enterprise-level software products as well. In the world of cloud computing, the leading service providers in the industry, including Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, all support Java as a programming language for application development. Java is also widely used in the world of Internet of Things development (which is expected to grow even more with the deployment of 5G). The language also has its fans in the areas of data science and machine learning.
  2. Java is fairly easy to learn when compared to other popular programming languages. From a technical point of view, it is an ideal language for all developers to learn as is it imperative while also being object-oriented. This makes it easy for beginners to master but it is still so useful that most companies still use it. For more experienced developers with expertise or experience in other object-oriented languages, Java is relatively easy to learn while offering a rich and intuitive API.
  3. Even though it’s over 25 years old, Java is still a very fast programming language. Hardware has obviously progressed quite a bit since its early years, but this has not really had an impact on Java’s performance for most applications.
  4. Nowadays, Java is constantly updated and new editions are being released to keep up with the demands of the modern technological landscape. Although releases were slow and took years between new versions during the language’s early days, new versions of Java are being released every 6 months nowadays, with Java 14 released in March of this year.
  5. Java is backward compatible. This means that code written for one version of Java will continue to run on newer versions without needing to be changed. There is no bigger headache out there than having to alter code that currently works so that it will continue to work on a newer version of a platform, so this is a big draw for many developers.
  6. Java’s scalability, reliability, and performance have made it a platform that can match and even exceed native code’s abilities. Many large enterprises, such as Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce, Spotify, eBay, and many others, have made Java the basis of their programs because of its scalability. Twitter, for example, moved from Ruby on Rails to Scala (which builds on Java) for this very reason. The platform supports billions of lines of code across most of the huge companies of today and is also heavily used by local, state, and federal governments as well as banking institutions.
  7. Google’s Android is the top mobile platform of today’s market – and it relies on apps and infrastructure that are powered by Java.
  8. The online community that surrounds and supports Java is one of the most important and useful in the world of programming. As it is an open-source language, Java’s abundance of available projects online provide developers with an enormous amount of resources for problem-solving and a wide choice of code libraries. If a dev encounters an issue with a program, chances are that another developer has already encountered and solved it over the course of Java’s decades on the market. The ability to consult these resources saves developers time, effort, and headaches when working on a project.

Although Java may be getting up there in years, it is still one of the top programming languages on the market and one that every developer should have experience with. Whether it is the first language a developer learns or one simply used to broaden their skillset, it is a significant asset to have for a variety of projects. It’s safe to say that Java isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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