We were lucky enough to be interviewed by The Australian again this past week – this time for our opinion on the state of the employment market for Java experts. Thanks to Jennifer Foreshew from The Australian, and Tracy from Pentica PR for the opportunity. (Incidentally – The headline quote is mine, and I had to feel for Joe Woods our Services Director having his picture right underneath – surely not exhibit A !)
The theme of the article is that Java is no longer ‘in vogue’ and that newer ‘web’ languages such as Ruby on Rails, PHP and Python are the languages of choice for graduates and employers.
As a predominantly Java development house, it’s certainly in our interest that Java is around for the long-term, but we aren’t naive to think that we won’t have to help our team cross-train as we move forward. Having said that, though, in our view, the replacement for Java is yet to be written and the web-languages just aren’t yet ready for prime-time.
There’s no doubt these newer languages are easy to learn, and you can work on some sexy projects, but Java is more robust, proven and performing. PHP and the like are languages that originated for front-end development, not for the plumbing that keeps applications afloat. Java remains the language of choice for banks, telecommunications and government for this reason, and I believe that even companies such as Facebook use Java for the core engines of their applications.
One thing that concerns me though, is that the new breed of application programmers may be so front-end focused that we could end up with less focus and training on the foundation coding & architecture skills of integration, performance and fault-tolerance. Could this lead to less-stable, lower quality business & technology applications?