The future of Java development

The future of Java development

We attended Java Day Kyiv 2016, held in Kyiv, Ukraine, 13th to 14th of October 2016. The conference was revolving around Java (obviously), Big Data and databases, JavaEE, Microservices, and IoT. There were traditional keynotes in addition to hands-on sessions and many of the keynotes were hands-on coding as well.

I had a chance to interview three nice Java community advocates during the conference. You may watch the interviews from the YouTube video below, or read on to get more insights on some of their points and mine added to the mix.

Tomasz Borek

Tomasz is a coder from Poland. He's organizer of geecon among many other responsibilities. From our discussions with Tomasz, there are three distinctive fields that are driving the development of Java; the cloud, big data, and IoT. Those three fields have shaped Java 8, released March 2014 and they are shaping Java 9 which will be released March 2017.

According to Tomasz in all of these fields, there are rivals to Java. Especially in big data side, Python and Scala have slightly better features in addition to a more comfortable syntax for developers, which makes them more trendy. It could be even said that Java is playing catch-up with Scala and has been doing it for some time. Basically, Scala is driving the development of Java.

Tomasz's talk on Nine lives of Java looked at Java 9 from a historical perspective in order to tell not just what, but also why and in some cases – why so late.

Brendan McAdams

Brendan boasts an impressive resume from companies such as Netflix, Typesafe, and MongoDB. According to our discussions, the biggest thing for Brendan is that Java is becoming more and more like Scala. Introducing functional programming concepts such as the lambdas and streams. In general, the future of Java is going to be about rethinking how to approach different things. Examples of this are that the type system is improving and focusing on making writing code more efficient. Brendan is also leaning towards to the fact that Java is playing catch-up with Scala and getting rid of extra boilerplate is crucial in that.

In his talk, Brendan talked about implementing Microservices using Lagom. Lagom is an opinionated framework making some of the hard decisions for you and focusing on the development efficiency.

Ittai Zeidman

Ittai, a backend engineering lead at Wix argues Java 8 was a big step forward while Java 9 doesn't seem all that different. There are small improvements such as the runtime, but overall, other JVM-based languages, such as Scala, Clojure and Kotlin are emerging. Like Brendan and Tomasz, Ittai agrees that Java is trying to catch up with Scala. For example, Scala has had lambdas and streams for 6 years, whereas Java is only getting them now. According to Ittai, Java is heading more in the direction of writing declarative and functional code.

Ittai, during his talk, showcased practical examples why Scala is still relevant and where Scala's features provide a definitive advantage over Java 8.


Javaday Kyiv 2016 was an overall nice experience. Everyone was open sharing insights and ideas. Thank you, everyone, for attending and making it happen! For Java developers, we at Deveo have something special to offer, hopefully before the end of the year. Stay tuned by subscribing to our monthly newsletter.

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