Java’s Use Continues Steady Growth

A study of software developers conducted in October points to an increasing acceptance of the Java programming language.

The North American Developer Opinion Survey by Evans Marketing Services reported 44 percent of developers are now using Java some portion of the time. The study predicts Java use will increase to 57 percent by next year. Usage patterns outside the US currently stand at 43 percent using Java, with 61
percent planning to use the language next year.

“Java is the perfect example of what we call an ‘iceberg language’,” said Janel Garvin vice president of research at Evans Marketing Services.

“If you don’t understand development and you measure usage incorrectly then you just see the little tip of the Java iceberg. You only see those developers who use the language as their primary language, and you entirely miss the huge iceberg of Java users who use it less often.”

Among the developers using Java, 75 percent are using it less than 30 percent of the time, the survey found. The developers also forecast an increase in Java use both overall and at various usage levels, a pattern not found in any other language today, Garvin said.

According to Garvin, the fact that developers using Java typically use it less frequently than some other languages is due to
several factors.

“Java is still a new language and can’t address the huge mass of old code that must be maintained,” Garvin said. “In addition, it’s particularly suited to newer type applications, architectures, and implementations, which are only beginning to come into their own.”

The Evans survey is based on an in-depth telephone survey conducted every six months with more than 500 developers in North
America and more than 300 developers internationally.

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