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Poll Result: Java/JVM Developers Expect the Cloud to Most Significantly Impact their Daily Work in 2013

Posted by editor on January 27, 2013 at 4:48 PM PST

A majority of the developers who voted in our just completed poll believe that new developments related to the Cloud will have the greatest effect on their work in 2013. A total of 1163 votes were cast in the poll, and one comment was posted.

The exact poll question and results were:

In 2013, my own work will be most affected by new developments related to:

  • 53% (615 votes) - The non-Java-EE Cloud
  • 8% (96 votes) - Java EE (in or out of the Cloud)
  • 10% (118 votes) - Java SE / OpenJDK
  • 4% (46 votes) - JavaFX
  • 10% (117 votes) - Java Mobile (including Android)
  • 1% (17 votes) - Java Embedded
  • 2% (22 votes) - Non-Java JVM languages
  • 2% (28 votes) - Java Tools (IDEs, CI, etc.)
  • 1% (10 votes) - Other (please comment below)
  • 8% (94 votes) - I haven't a clue!

How to interpret this? The audience is primarily Java/JVM developers, and more than half expect the non-Java-EE Cloud to have the most significant affect on their work in 2013. So, perhaps, do they expect to be developing applications that will run in the cloud, but not a Cloud that's based on Java EE?

As usual, the standard disclaimer for polls applies: this is not a scientific poll; both the results and any interpretation of them should be considered accordingly. Still, I find these results both surprising and fascinating. We've got Java EE 7 about to be released some months from now, and certainly a significant portion of the enhancements anticipate the growing impact of the Cloud -- and certainly there are many Java Enterprise developers out there. For that reason, I'd have thought "Java EE (in or out of the cloud)" would have garnered a very significant portion of the voting.

But, then again, new major releases of Java SE and Java EE don't typically have an immediate effect on people's jobs, because companies don't immediately jump from their current baseline Java platform to the latest release. And, the larger the customer base that's running software that's been certified on a particular Java SE or Java EE release, the greater the likelihood that years may pass before a software vendor chooses to advance to a later release. Indeed, there are plenty of Java developers who are still working with Java 5 in their daily paid development.

For these reasons, and since Java 8 won't be released until relatively late in 2013, I wasn't surprised that "Java SE / OpenJDK" did not receive a larger percentage of the vote.

That "Java Mobile (including Android)" received a reasonable 10% share of votes didn't surprise me. But, "Java Embedded" receiving only 1% is a bit surprising given all the publicity embedded Java has garnered recently. JavaOne 2013 included a mini-conference devoted to Java Embedded, and there will also be a Jfokus Embedded mini-conference as part of Jfokus in the first week of February. To me, it feels like there is a lot of momentum in the embedded realm -- yet, very few of the developers who voted in this poll believe that's going to significantly affect their work in 2013.

Possibly, this is because of the nature of the embedded "revolution" -- since embedded Java is really in the realm of sensors collecting data, which is then sent back to a data center... Is it possible that few developers are actually working on embedded Java software development, yet many developers will be impacted by the Cloud because the data from devices running embedded Java will be processed in the Cloud? That's speculative, to be sure. But, I find the notion that machine-to-machine (M2M) is the next internet revolution to be quite compelling. We've waited for this to happen for a long time (XML was developed in part to facilitate this...).

I usually have no comment on the people who choose the "something else" options I put into polls. But, this time, I highly respect the 8% who chose "I haven't a clue!" as to what developments will most affect their work in 2013. Yeah, can any of us really predict what the next year will hold for us?

And pjmlp commented that: "After doing Java development for the last 6 years, my employer is now investing into .NET languages and C++ for new projects." Well, it's a good thing long-term to have a resume that includes diverse technologies, right? But if pjmlp wants to stick strictly with Java and the JVM, opportunities may be available...

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Stephen's Nighthacking Nordic Tour, which will end at Jfokus 2013, is currently under way.

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