Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Java is not dead, but be careful...

So this is the past due followup to my blog post "I guess Java is not dead, or is it?"  You may recall I included a link to a survey titled "My Dream Programming Job" and promised the results on the 2nd, so yes I'm a little late, but here we go.  First let me say I was quite surprised that the survey was not flooded by responses from indignant Java programmers, but only 28% of the respondents indicated they were currently programming in Java (which was question #1).

The second question dealt with the area of an application that the respondent would like to work on.  Interestingly a respondent could choose more than one answer, most chose on average two.  The results here were pretty much evenly split between back-end development (Data Access, Business Logic, Web Services, API), front end web client development, and front end mobile application development.  A small percentage wanted to work on Database schema and programmability, and even fewer wanted to work on desktop applications.

The third and final question dealt with language preference and again respondants could choose more than one answer, and here they chose on average just under three.  The first and most interesting takeaway was that Java programmers want to stay being Java programmers.  Outside of that it was statistically a draw between C#, Java and JavaScript, with Objective-C coming a close second, trailing the pack were Ruby, PHP and VB.NET.  Most developers chose JavaScript in conjunction with some other language, which did not surprise me.

So in summary Java programmers are happy being Java programmers, and honestly that's not surprising because when you look at the major job boards the demand for Java programmers outstrips all other languages combined by about 2:1.  On the flip side, if the responses to the survey are accurate only 1 in 3 is currently a Java programmer. This might make Java a really bad bet as language choice for a startup because your going to find it almost impossible to hire programmers and they likely will cost a lot more.  As my prior blog post titled "Platform choice for startups should not just be about technology", indicated you might struggle to scale as a company if you cannot recruit talent.

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