Sunday, June 14, 2009

Java Developers' Thoughts on 2009 JavaOne and the Future of JavaOne

I have found the results of the current and previous survey on to be interesting. These two surveys and indeed the three of the last four surveys have been related to JavaOne.

As always, there are several disclaimers when analyzing the results of these surveys: the survey is not scientific, sample size is relatively small compared to population of Java developers, sample demographics may not be indicative feelings of the wider and more general Java development community, and survey could be stuffed or otherwise cheated if someone actually saw an advantage to doing so, etc. Despite these disclaimers, I generally have found these survey results to be typical of the things I see, read, and hear from Java developers in other forums.

The current survey question asks, "Will there be a JavaOne conference in 2010?' So far, with over 120 votes, the overwhelming consensus (over 2/3 of the total votes) is "Yes" (there will be a 2010 JavaOne Conference). This indicates to me that Java developers are generally confident that Oracle will continue shepherding the Java community in a fashion similar to that used by Sun. Two-thirds of the developers responding so far are confident that 2009 JavaOne was not the last.

The previous question seems to fit into the idea that Java developers feel Oracle will continue running Java similarly to how Sun has. That question asked, "What was the most significant event about JavaOne 2009?" One-third of the (currently 180) responses indicate that "Larry Ellison's appearance" at 2009 JavaOne was the most significant event of this year's JavaOne. As I wrote in the blog posting Questions Answered: First Day of 2009 JavaOne, many attendees at JavaOne did seem relieved at what Larry Ellison had to say in his brief appearance during the opening day keynote. I think most people liked what they heard. I think some of the quotes captured in Justin Kestelyn's blog posting Larry Ellison on the Future of Java were particularly well received.

The somewhat surprising (to me) second most popular choice for "most significant" happening at 2009 JavaOne (with nearly 1/4 of the vote at this point) was the core Java SDK presentations. I am happy to see that; it indicates to me that there are many others out there besides myself who are generally happy with the basics of the Java language and the Java platform and want to continue learning about it and seeing innovation in that area.

It is easy to read some overly enthusiastic blog postings (and more so the anonymous responses to blog posts) and think that Java is dead and that anyone interested in Java is just behind the times. However, events like JavaOne and the follow-up to this massive event are reminders that Java is still among the most widely used languages out there and that many of us are still able to provide customers with outstanding results using the Java language and the Java platform.

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