Java’s Not Dead! Why This Skill is Still in Hot Demand

Not only is Java not dead, but it’s going to live to a ripe old age. Yes, its use is narrowing, but it’s still so widely used, it won’t be replaced any time soon.

Consider this:

  • In January 2012, Java/J2EE developers were at the top of the wish list for 1,200 tech hiring managers and recruiters polled by Postings on Dice for Java skills grew between 2010 and 2012. That growth may have slowed, but it hasn’t disappeared.
  • According to ComputerWorld, 60% of IT executives were looking to hire Java developers in 2013.
  • Java in the cloud, Java embedded, Java mobile, and Java enterprise are all areas of specialization that should keep developers in the black far beyond 2014.
  • According to Robert Half Technology’s 2014 IT Salary Guide, in-demand web development skills include .NET, Java, PHP, Silverlight, Flex, MySQL and portal technologies, such as SharePoint.
  • Java is the second-highest-growth language on software-development project hosting site GitHub, behind CoffeeScript.
  • It’s the No. 2 language by number of associated tags on Q&A site Stack Overflow and on the TIOBE Programming Community Index.
  • Major corporations, such as banks and insurance companies, rely on Java for back-end systems. So even if companies are looking for new tools in development, they still need people who know Java for legacy maintenance.
  • New IT grads and Java and .NET jockies are being re-trained to run mainframes by big companies desperate to replace a generation of IT staff giving up work.

Some experts may argue that business process management and business rules systems can offer faster, more agile results. But RedMonk co-founder and analyst Stephen O’Grady believes that Java is still hugely important to current open source projects such as Hadoop, Hudson and Jenkins and HBase. “It’s still being used to write a lot of projects that get developers excited,” he said.

O’Grady sees two potential paths for Java developers: Leverage their skills and experience with these high-profile projects, or freshen their skills with new languages like Android.

If you want to work in specific IT fields such as web front ends and web applications, gaming or embedded software, Java is not the first choice, but it can certainly keep you well employed. It impacts and is impacted by all of the changes going on in the cloud, mobile and related spaces. Knowing Java may not be the hottest ticket in town, but it’s still a valuable commodity.

If you want to be a valuable commodity to IT employers in the Richmond, Virginia area, give Triumph a call! We’d be glad to match you with our best employers.


By Logan Bragg: Partner, Triumph Services. As head of the Recruiting Division of Triumph, he has helped thousands of candidates find rewarding positions.