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The Importance of What We're Working On

Posted by editor on May 1, 2009 at 7:50 AM PDT

The past two polls took the four core topics that will be featured at this year's JavaOne conference, and asked developers: 1) which technology is of greatest importance for the future of Java? and 2) which technology is the primary focus of your current work efforts?

Coincidentally, in today's lead Java Today story (Good News for Java Developers in a Tight Economy), Eugene Ciurana reports on another kind of "poll" -- the one where the marketplace decides which IT skills are currently most important by "voting" with money. I'll take a look at these "poll" results as well, after I review the results of our own last two polls.

Two weeks ago, the greatest importance for the future of Java poll ended in a virtual dead heat, with Rich media applications and interactive content and Core technologies each garnering about 39% of the vote. Those results surprised me, but as I thought more about it, I realized that the relatively low vote totals for Mobility and Services could be due in part to the fact that the four JavaOne topic categories are not rigidly distinct, there's a lot of overlap between them.

Anyway, given developers' sense of which technologies are most important for the future of Java, one would hope that Java developers are fortunate enough to actually be working on those technologies. Assessing this was the point of the second poll. Here are the final results:

Which aspect of Java technology is the primary focus of your current work efforts?

  • 17.7% (66 votes) - Rich Media Applications and Interactive Content
  • 7.8% (29 votes) - Mobility
  • 14.2% (53 votes) - Services
  • 39.6% (147 votes) - Core Technologies
  • 13.4% (50 votes) - More than one of these
  • 7.0% (26 votes) - Other

So, based on these results, I think we'd have to say that, indeed, the majority of Java developers are actively working on the technologies we believe are most important for the future of Java.

What the marketplace "poll" is saying

Of course, our "polls" are actually surveys, not scientifically-constructed polls. I consider "the marketplace" to be a more accurate and objective "poll" of the current importance of areas of technology. What someone is willing to pay someone else who has certain skills and core competencies is a fairly objective statement of the importance of that skill at that particular point in time. But I emphasis "current" and "at that particular point in time," because the marketplace provides only a snapshot of current value. As anyone who has investments in the stock market knows, today's price does not guarantee any particular future trend.

Nonetheless, the NetworkWorld article Some IT skills see pay hikes during downturn that was cited by Eugene Ciurana in his Good News for Java Developers in a Tight Economy post provides a relevant assessment of today's situation, and possibly a preview or forecast of the near-term future. Why possibly a preview? Well, I've studied the stock market for decades, and in a downturn, often the companies that somehow buck the downward trend become the powerhouses of the subsequent market boom.

So, here, in a downturn that many consider the worst since the global Great Depression in the 1930s, we see certain IT skills becoming more valuable, more pricey for their consumers, our employers. Whereas demand for employees in general continues to plummet worldwide, demand for certain skill sets is increasing -- i.e., these skill sets are bucking the trend.

Which particular technology skill sets? Look at these year-to-year pay increases:

  • +28% - Linux
  • +25% - Apache
  • +25% - Sybase
  • +20% - Java
  • +20% - HTTP
  • >14% - PHP
  • >14% - SAP
  • >14% - Unix

Now, these increases are for "skills" -- which I take to mean that these are the year-over-year changes in consulting rates. I doubt companies are providing these types of raises to employees at this time. But that's the trade-off between consulting and being a full-time employee. I'm sure most of us know that consulting rates fluctuate a lot, and the amount of work you have as a consultant can also rapidly fluctuate between 90 hours a week and 10 hours a week.

So, what's the consulting marketplace saying about Java? The need for skilled Java professionals is rising within the context of a broad global economic downturn. Java, as a technology, is bucking the trend. That's very good news for us all.

New poll

The new poll is now posted. This one veers into the consumer hardware aspect of technology, and isn't entirely Java-specific. Yet, the answer to the question surely has relevance for Java and Java developers. The new question is:

Which device will people use most to connect to the Internet five years from now?

  • Interactive television
  • Desktop computers
  • Notebook / laptop computers
  • Netbooks
  • Handheld devices / mobile phones
  • Other

Please take a moment and vote!

In Java Today, Eugene Ciurana discovered some Good News for Java Developers in a Tight Economy in a recent NetworkWorld article: "Some IT skills see pay hikes during downturn. Java, Linux, virtualization and business process skills among those seeing an increase in pay. Budget dollars may be tight, but enterprise IT departments can't do without the technology skills, talent and certifications they need to better navigate a down economy..."

Dan Evans announced the Jt - Java Pattern Oriented Framework (Jt 3.8) release: "Jt3.8 has been released. Jt is a pattern oriented framework for the rapid implementation of Java applications. Jt implements many well-known patterns including Data Access Objects (DAO), GoF design patterns and J2EE patterns. Jt3.8 features portal components and capabilities: Account and Profile management; Mailing list capabilities; Photo upload capabilities..."

bytor posted Deep Dive: Sun GlassFish WebSpace Server, which talks about an interview series he participated in recently: "As part of the the WebSpace Server 10 release, Ed Ort (from and I sat down to do a deep dive webcast for GlassFish WebSpace Server. We tried to cover a lot of ground, and it ended up being split into 4 parts (intro, administrator, developer, end user). The first two parts are now available!...

In today's Weblogs, James Gosling talks about The Developer Cloud: Netbeans 6.7 + Kenai: "One of the many interesting things we've been working on lately is the Developer Cloud. There are two major components to it. One is the cloud infrastructure itself: Kenai a much-more-than-a-forge collection of developer facilities that allows you to assemble project areas from a selection of services that range from several SCM systems, bug management systems, wikis and forums. There's a lot more stuff in the pipeline for Kenai, but it's pretty impressive already. The other major component is the tool support that is showing up in NetBeans 6.7..."

Jan Haderka provides instruction on Magnolia Cache in clustered environment: "Look into details and pitfalls of caching content in Magnolia instances with clustered JCR repository underneath. I might have mentioned something about cache in Magnolia here before, today let's look at another aspect of it. While in general Magnolia follows well known and understood publish/subscribe model when it comes to page activation (the activation is always done in direction from authoring to public instance), there is one notable exception to this model - public generated content. This it the kind of content like forums, page comments, etc."

And Fabrizio Giudici writes about semantic technologies in The Observation API (hey, it's not the Observable pattern): "Crossing fingers, I can declare myself out of a load peak and resume with fully technical blogs after a pause of mostly useless "opinional" posts. As I said in February, I'm going to post on my blog a series about the use of Semantic Technologies and how they are being used in some of my projects. Today let's start giving a small domain model and then design a related abstract API. In the next post I'll show you how to implement it on the top of a RDF triple store."

As I mentioned above, starting today we have a new Poll: "Which device will people use most to connect to the Internet five years from now?" Voting is open through next Thursday, May 7.

This week's Spotlight is The Developer Insight Series, Part 2: Code Talk, in which Janice J. Heiss asks renowned developers about the keys to writing good code: "In Part Two, we hear code advice from five distinguished developers: Joshua Bloch and Masood Mortazavi echo Goetz's advice to keep code simple. Jaron Lanier and Victoria Livschitz want to radically change the way code is created. And renowned bug fixer Brian Harry provides tips on bug fixing while emphasizing what the process can teach us."

In the Forums, christiano_carrilho has an issue with MDB Cluster not consuming JMS Queue: "Server 1 (S1), Server 2 (S2) and Server 3 (S3) are in the cluster running an same application. This application is a MDB to consume messages from a broker (OpenMQ) remote (Server 4 - S4), which is not in the cluster. I'm using the broker OpenMQ 4.3 that is installed on the outside of S4 Glassfish, in standalone mode. The S1, S2, S3 are in the cluster with Glassfish 2.1 B60. The following is happening: The cluster of servers S1, S2, S3 are not able to consume messages from the broker. Nothing happens. Messages are sent to the broker and not consume MBD. If I set S1, S2 and S3 without cluster, the MDB consume messages from the broker normally. What may be happening?"

iggar needs help with JAAS with standalone JavaFx + remote EJB: "Hey all, I don't seem to get my head around JAAS in JavaFx. I almost had it, but I worked with the ProgrammaticLogin and now i found out this isn't the way it should go because of it's lack of portability. Can anyone here point me in the right direction of what I should do, because I keep on reading about implementing loginmodules, callbackhandlers, realms and so on... Most of these things are very new to me, so if anyone could provide a step-by-step overview, I could start looking on the internet for more info. I'm deploying my EJB jar on Glassfish v2ur2 in netbeans 6.5..."

And scit continues a conversation Re: Virtual Servers not working correctly on Glassfish: "Because this has been causing me so much aggravation, I went ahead & tried yet another clean install of glassfish v2.1 on a brand new Ubuntu 8.04 install... Loaded up all the webapps, directed my external IP (and thus all the DNS names for the virtual hosts) at it. STILL same exact problem reproduced. I am flabbergasted that I don't see anyone else having this same problem in my searches. Again, this all works fine on Tomcat. Through my further hours of struggles and trying this over and over, I finally came up with just the right oddball way of steps to get it all working correctly: 1. Deployed the webapp that was to serve as the default webapp for the system FIRST... "

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The past two polls took the four core topics that will be featured at this year's JavaOne conference, and asked developers...


Hi dwalend. There's no direct connection between Kenai and James Gosling included it in his latest blog post, which also talks about the new NetBeans release -- so I pointed readers to the post.

Gotta ask: What's the relationship between Kenai and