The future of Java – a community perspective

January 30, 2012
By Bogomil Shopov
3 Comments
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Ah memories

I’ve started my interaction with Java a long time ago – in 1998 (*), when a friend of mine show me thr good ‘ol Borland JBuilder and how to write Swing applications. I was using a very very old computer that I bought a day before that and my first compilation took 30 min or so.

Couple of months after that I betrayed Java and I’ve start using PHP and other easy to learn web languages, because my employer requires that, but I never forgot my loving Java.

14 years after

14 year after that I had the opportunity to be a part of Java community again. Of course I followed what’s going on with Java during the years and when the Oracle bought it I was shocked. They did the same with MySQL…

What is the future of Java NOW?

Last couple of months I am working with JUG and other Java boys and girls and I see that most of them are not happy, enthusiastic and don’t care about the spirit of Java (if I may use that expression).

I don’t want to start a technology flame war and I am not a Java tech person at all, but I am worried about the community around Java.

The Example
There are JUG’s with 1000 and more members, from which 50 are active online and 10 coming to an offline meeting.

Community?
Most of you can say Java is only about the technology and maybe they are right, but this is not what I think. Java is about the community also – There is no technology that can survive without a community around it and the community plays a big role to make a technology kick-ass.

That’s I want to find the way to scream “WAKE UP” and to push the technology forward.

So, where is the problem?
Is it Oracle politics about Java? Are you afraid of them?
Is it Community Management – most of the JUG lists are used as one way communication. There is no active engagement from the leaders at all. Sad!
Is it the “threat” of other languages? Really?

What do YOU think? How to bring back the passion?

I have my own vision, but I’d love to hear more about yours. Can you share it with me, please?

P.S I’d love to discuss this at FOSDEM and I may buy you a beer :)
(*) in my 1.0 version the date was wrong, sorry for that.

Bogomil Shopov

I care about privacy, ethical design, and freedom in many aspects. I spend 20+ years working as a web developer and architect, analyst, manager, and product owner/manager in different environments, several countries, and multiple software industries like Healthcare and Hospitality. I wore many hats, and I use the knowledge gathered to optimize the flow of value across complex systems.

3 Comments

  • Peter Sabin

    January 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Bogo, you are right as usual :)

    Java for most of the developers is like an “island” – They know a lot of Java and nothing more, they don’t care about the community and they don’t care about what is gong on on the Java world – I give you the code – you give me the money and that’s it.

    There is no passion to bring in the Java world!

    Reply
    • Bogo

      January 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      I think you’re wrong, there is still passion :)

      Reply
  • pohl

    October 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I’m currently taking the online course that Martin Odersky is teaching at coursera.org, and the experience has brought me back to the old days. The forums there are full of passion.

    So maybe the problem is not that the passion has drained out of the people in the Java community. Perhaps, instead, the passionate people have moved on to non-Java things.

    Reply

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