Published: Jul 17 2012 / 13:52
Are we tired of provocative and misleading headlines?
I agree. Not to pour cold water on the polyglot bandwagon, but here is the current TIOBI index of languages: http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html. Java has slid only recently and barely while the much touted JVM languages aren't even on the radar...
In my original article I suggested that now is an opportune time for Java developers to learn a new language, based on several factors including demand for other languages being high. I wouldn't suggest that people completely forget Java and run fast and far from it.
I don't think anyone would deny that interest in new languages and functional programming is higher than it has been in the last ten years, and the numbers of companies that are building systems using alternative languages is going up every day. If you use the Tiobe index as evidence of Java's health, the one language that seems to be on steady decline is Java (since '02). I certainly don't wish any harm on the Java language, but I sincerely care much more for the health/marketability of the current Java community (the people) than I do for the health of the language. My advice is based on my concern for the community.
I'm sure you mean well and much of what you say might be correct in the microcosm that you fill, but frankly I won't be taking these types of posts too seriously until I see some farther indication there is any truth to it. And it isn't just Tiobi, you'll see the same things reflected in things like dice.com and indeed.com...
As a "pure Java" developer, frankly I make well over the six-digit boundary and get recruiter calls about twice a day :-). For reference, take a look at a recent InfoWorld survey that suggests quite the opposite: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2012/071712-tech-job-survey-260950.html.
Reza - I don't doubt that you get tons of calls from recruiters, and I'm sure you make very good money. At this point lots of Java pros at all levels are in that very nice boat! :) If you read my entire article, I addressed people like you specifically. My quote was "Known Java experts who are at the top few percent probably won’t see decreased demand, but the vast majority of the Java talent pool undoubtedly will."
As a speaker and expert group member, I have no concern whatsoever for your future marketability. You are a known entity, and you'll be just fine as there will always be places that need Java work done or maintained.
Regarding the statistics, I don't even use Dice.com to find the developers for these alternative languages - they aren't there. They don't post to Dice, Monster, all the usual places (that are most often picked up by these studies, since they are the biggest sites). These alternative language folks are more likely to use Indeed or even some specialty sites like StackOverflow. You can find them on LinkedIn as well most of the time. But to use Dice stats to talk about alternative languages is not going to give any accurate results.
Again, I'm not here to say that Scala is more used today than Java, or that Ruby is more popular and will last longer. All I'm saying is that I believe that most of the Java community will see lessened demand for their skills, and if they wanted to be proactive to help their careers they should start learning another language. People that jumped on the Java bandwagon back in 98 (playing with applets perhaps) made a great call in choosing Java. Perhaps some of those folks will make a great call in '12 by learning another language. Time will tell. (I welcome you to join the lively debates on TSS or jobtipsforgeeks!)
I appreciate the invitation, but I honesty don't see this as that imperative of a topic at the moment (although clearly you do and that's fine).
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