Reading the title of this post; the typical tech Lord is frowning his face, wondering what larisoft smoked last, and preparing to leave a few f bombs in the comment section to set the idiot straight. Unfortunately, i haven’t smoked ever. Unfortunately, the f-bombs will be unwarranted. Probably because unfortunately, the post title is true: java is dying!
Does anyone remember what it was like programming in Nigeria between 2009 to 2014? Java was the thing! Nokia phones were everywhere so the go-to language to reach the average joe who, of course, could not afford a symbian phone was: Java! Internet access was still a novelty most offices didnt have so the go-to language to develop portable enterprise applications was: java. And towards the end of the era, a new shiny operating system emerged and changed things so fast we all spinned. And guess what its programming language was? You guessed it! Java!
Everyone was doing java! Those who werent felt insecure. Not knowing java meant you had to turn down several lucrative opportunities. Myself; i was coding java like that’s all there was and till date, i have not invested as much time in any other language as i have in java.
Its 2017 and we are all finding that our java skills are being kept in the shelfs for far too long. It’s becoming one of those things you use on two projects in a whole year (except of course java is your core specialization and you are in an organization that is relatively old).
How did it happen?
At this point, things weren’t too roughed up for dear Java yet. Phonegap was still so slow people who used it were simply thought of as lazy. Then it kept getting better. And google released angular. And ionic came with the tide and used angular. Long story short; today, writing native apps with android is usually only for special circumstances.
I dont know why the guys managing java let this happen. Till date, using java as a beginner is pretty much as difficult as it was 9 years ago. Java just doesn’t care for ‘dumb’ guys.
For instance, using php for a beginner might be hard since you had to install an awful lot things (Apache, mysql, php, php-cli, etc) but it was simplified by WAAMP and LAAMP. The average joe could just install lammp stack, visit http://localhost and feel like a genius.
With Java; you had to install jdk. If it didnt come with jre (and it didnt most times), you had to install that one too. And what if your system architecture is x32 and you installed an x64 version? Uuummm…what is he saying? Right? And oh! I forgot, There is java EE and there is java SE. Which one will you be needing? There are books that explain the differences but they are only over 500 pages long.
Now, we’ve gotten the ground wet a little bit, you have to set variable path (which is not as easy as it sounds, trust me). After that, the installation then begins. You have to choose one of these very very heavy IDEs: ecliipse, netbeans, Intellij. But wait, the beginner still doesnt know what an IDE is. After installing the ide, you have to learn how to use it to build a program.
At this point; our beginner just gives up and goes to watch…say… Keeping up with the kardishians. Shit is too freaking hard.
Even C# which is java’s strongest competition is made as easy as milk by visual studio…which simplifies development so much that there are CTOs whom are of the opinion that programmers who use visual studio are not real programmers.
But java remained consistently difficult to grasp. Gradually, more and more guys were joining the industry and most of them werent geniuses. So our php space kept getting crowded. Today, i cant even write an app in Java anymore because maintaining it will be a nightmare. No one else will be able to maintain the app if am not around. Everyone is all about php/python/node.js these days.