by Resourcing People

Java is the backend script for 3.6% of websites, but only features in 0.1% of client-side programming. (Source: W3Techs) 

No matter your preferred programming language, there are overwhelming positives for using Java on a day-to-day basis. Not only is it the main language for commercial development, but Java is one of the go-to options for IT courses across the world. 

Our rapidly developing Internet of Things means this: teams of IT maintenance, coders, and service providers are expected to work in tangent - and using Java as a predominant backend developer cuts out the miscommunications and allows websites to be:

1. Simple and easy-to-use

2. Fit for purpose across platforms

3. Editable “behind the scenes”

4. Secure and protected

5. Robust and scalable

Client-side, that ticks almost every box. 


What About Convenience for Programmers?

In the first instance, Java is easy to learn and use. Over 3 billion devices use Java in some form, and integrated platforms allow for cross-system management. Applications and websites alike can be built and edited through JVM and API access that make Java the perfect tool for Backend Development. 

Combined with “static type-checking at compile-time and runtime checking”, Java has become a highly secure language - an undefeatable feature in a world where cyber-security is essential for the protection of all. 

Java was first adopted because of its ability to process rapid traffic increases, simply by adding resources. Automatic redistribution of loads allows for growth and flexibility, but still, this past year - Java’s popularity dropped by 4.72 percentage points, with Python ahead at +1.90%, and C++ at 0.71% (Source: Tech Zine). 

If the market continues to shift, Java Developers need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of Java and its market in order to diversify their skill set - or even prepare to move job role “before the ship goes down.” 


The Benefits of Java for Backend Development

Dominant Market Share Has Lead To Product Improvements

Java has changed significantly over the past 5 years, and its 35% market share means that hundreds of tools have been designed to make programmers’ lives easier. Instead of coding from scratch, Java Development Tools, Web Frameworks, and Testing and Distribution Tools create the core of every website. 

Smooth Team Integrations Through Widely Spoken Script

The popularity of Java in education means that IT professionals can easily communicate with each other when issues arise. When web developers submit a finished project (e.g. blogging CMS) to a licensed and trained webhost (such as WordPress), problems can usually be fixed by the host, saving time for programmers and reducing direct communications with clients. 

Java Coding is Accessible

Java is accessible in multiple ways. Here are just a few:

1. Mobile Applications: JavalDEdroid and Java Editor allow coders to access work projects on their mobile phones or tablets. 

2. New-Starters: Mobile accessibility allows new beginners to start learning Java without the need for expensive desktops and high processing power. 

3. Free Education Courses: There are thousands of free Java tutorials for beginners, for all types of students. YouTube classes are best for auditory learners, blogs for visual learners, and programs like Codecadmey’s for kinetic learners. 


What About the Disadvantages of Java for Backend Development?

2019 Subscription Introduction

As of 2019, Oracle started charging monthly subscriptions for the ongoing use of Java SE in backend development, increasing server hosting costs. “Desktop pricing is $2.50 per user per month. Processor pricing for use on Servers and/or Cloud deployments is $25.00 per month or lower.” 

Java is Slower and Less Attractive than GUI Builders

There have been complaints for years that Java outputs “ugly” and unattractive user interfaces. Competitors, such as Python, have much better feedback for functionality in UX, which is now an incredibly important marker to Google’s SERP Algorithm. 

Requires Significant Memory Space 

According to Oracle, “On Windows 64-bit operating systems, in 32- or 64-bit mode, the Java runtime requires a minimum of 128MB of memory. Note: The minimum physical RAM is required to run graphically based applications. More RAM is recommended for applets running within a browser using the Java Plug-in.” This, compared to alternatives like C++, which needs 4 bytes on a 32-bit machine and 8 bytes on a 64-bit machine, is a negative for using Java in Backend Development. Despite frequent cloud memory relocation as more businesses improve their IT structures, long-term memory requirements is off putting to business owners and coders alike. 

Dynamic-Type Programming Over Static-Type

For most programmers, dynamic-type programming is a win. As most Java scripts are static, this is a huge disadvantage.


3 Alternatives to Java for Backend Development

With a growing industry, comes growing alternatives. 

While Java certainly is the most well-known worldwide code (even for people outside of the tech industry), there are certainly other key players that are great for behind-the-scenes web development. 

Here are some of our favourites: 

1. Python: Python has been praised as one of the easiest languages to read, learn and write  - reducing barriers to entry - and allowing for vast free and open-sourced projects with high productivity and optimum library network support. 

2. Ruby: As Medium said best, “The main advantages of Ruby programming language are widespread community support, user-friendliness, integrity, readability, compliance and community gems-coding scripts that simplify the development process.” 

3. C++: If you like the portability and accessibility of Java, C++‘s 24.31% of market share enables it to make innovative decisions, and has been named the “new Python”. 


The Future of Java for Backend Development

Although the market does seem to be shifting, currently, the introduction of Java at A-Level and AP Examinations means young entrants in the tech industry will use Java as a prominent language. However, Aran at Dev Team suggests that if “you are in a start-up environment, developers might want a trendier language like Ruby.”

Due to rapid market changes in 2018, a forum on Quora launched about the future of Java for Backend Development.

Software Developers were overwhelmingly in support of a strong future for Java, but also argued that they should be “ready and open to change.” 

With the future leaning towards a shift in prominent coding languages, Software Developers should focus on increasing their skill sets and learning “backup languages”. 


Preparing Yourself for the Future

Extra qualifications will help improve employment opportunities, client happiness, and give you the flexibility to grow. 

The dynamically increasing Internet of Things puts power back into the hands of Software Developers and, for new projects, gives them the chance to work with a code of their choice.

If you’ve been looking for a change in your working environment, or are looking to understand how you can support the future of your software development teams, Resourcing People can help. 

We can connect you with new opportunities or people for your business, putting the control of the future of backend development back in your hands. We are driven by tech, powered by people. Get in touch with us today.