According to the TIOBE index, Java as a programming language is still the most popular based on search engine rankings. It is important to note that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written. Although, if you compared Java to other programming languages, you might find that it does have as many lines of code written.
In our research, we believe that the reason why there is a surplus of Java positions available is two-fold:
- There may be newer (and more sexy) languages to use, but the majority of the developers out there have not yet mastered those skills. Java, in its long-time popularity, does have a wide base of programmers because the learning curve on Scala, arguably its most viable alternative, is relatively steep. Bottom line: Java is popular for many reasons, which is why programmers still learn it, and companies still want it.
- We think it is helpful to note that Java is widely used in enterprise applications because it is so standardized; it can scale up, be maintained, and provide reliable functionality.
- Java got a bad rap because web-based apps made use of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which required a Java plugin to be installed in the browser. These browser plugins have been the subject of major discussions about security exploits, and it continues to be a problem for end-users today. Put simply, Java got some bad publicity, and may have caused a lot of people to run away from it.
To answer more directly, Java is not being phased out but, rather, it is likely that Java developers are in high demand because there are a lot of enterprise applications that need to be maintained/updated. In particular, there are also a lot of java applets that must be rewritten for the server-side before all of the browsers have disabled the Java plugin.
A more serious question is whether Java is the right programming language to hire for... if your company wants to be on the cutting edge. Curious? Ask the question.