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Any serious challengers to Java ?

sid smith
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 27, 2014
Posts: 50
I looked at job portals and it seems that most dev jobs require java. Java is also omnipresent. It is in web development, mobile phone development and in a few cases even in embedded systems. Python and ruby just seem new and weak contenders. I am wondering if there is any serious challenger to Java in terms of usefulness and number of jobs ? Any rising stars ?
chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1774
    
  14

Python has been around as long as Java, but it is a scripting language that tends to be used in a different problem-space, so it's not entirely a fair comparison - each has its pros and cons for different purposes. Ruby has been around a long time too, but my impression is that it is mostly used in web apps with Rails, and Rails is probably less suited to big enterprise stuff than Java. So again, you're comparing apples and oranges. And there are plenty of other scripting languages that are widely used - PHP, Perl etc.

Java is big, well established and very widely used for all kinds of applications from big enterprise systems to Android apps, so it's hard to see an obvious challenger across all those domains. Microsoft .NET covers some of the same space, and Apple has a big slice of mobile apps, while JavaScript is used all over the place and taking over some areas from Java e.g. modern JS-based web clients instead of old-style JSP. But none of these cover the same range as Java.

I guess if you're only going to learn one programming language, it should probably be Java (or C/C++ which really is everywhere under the hood). But expecting to get by with just one language would still be stupid. The reality is that different languages and platforms are suitable for different purposes, and they all change and evolve over time. Pick the language that suits your problem, and be prepared to keep learning new stuff.

As for "rising stars", you could keep an eye on the Thoughtworks technology radar for ideas:

http://www.thoughtworks.com/radar/#/languages-and-frameworks


No more Blub for me, thank you, Vicar.
sid smith
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 27, 2014
Posts: 50
Thanks Chris. I had heard about the Thoughtworks company before and I also saw some books by them. Just wondering if they are considered an authority in the IT industry, like Joshua Bloch is considered and authority in Java. I'll keep an eye on their blogs if there is a lot to be learned from them.
 
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