by Resourcing People

No matter your coding background, you’ll have heard the rumours. Java popularity is decreasing. Whilst still an incredibly prominent brand and script (with over 3 billion devices using Java in some form), the complaints are piling up - and so are the alternatives. With long-time Java developers noticing the shift in the market, there is a scrabble to learn new languages and increase skill sets: meaning no developer gets left behind.


The Changes In The Coding Market

A captivating article on “The Evolution of Coding” by BetterProgramming highlighted a change in the market. No longer are new tech entrants requiring degrees, now, live test analysis is a key part of recruitment. Self-taught skills and coding portfolios are becoming favourable for any technology business - and developers with a wide understanding of different programming languages are scoring higher-paid, competitive job roles over Java Developers. 

Further, high competition in the market has led to “agile” and “functioning” programming becoming a priority. As Elye wrote, “Customers want to see the product fast, and demand changes rapidly.” As a traditionally lengthy and time-consuming code, Java has dropped in popularity compared to convenient, modern alternatives. 

What Are The Compliants About Java?

In our industry, you can’t walk 5 steps without seeing complaints about Java’s outdated, static-type script. Minor mistakes turn into costly time-consuming errors, and further complaints include:

1. 2019 monthly subscription introduction that upped the costs for developers and business owners alike

2. Java being slower and less attractive than GUI builders

3. Java requiring significant memory space compared to alternatives

4. Questionable business practises from the owner Oracle


What Are The Coding Alternatives For Backend Development?

Thankfully, our increasing Internet of Things means alternatives are becoming more accessible. Although Java is still the most taught script in schools and education, the increasing emphasis to diversify portfolios is encouraging new entrants to boost the popularity of other scripts. Favourites for backend development in the industry include:

  Pros Cons

Time efficiency, strong community, accessible tools and knowledge library, high standard of safety.

Application runtime, low flexibility, still a 'niche language'.

(Source: The Codest)


Large reference base, high loading speeds, large selections of add-ons, inexpensive website hosting, flexible.

Decreasing popularity, lack of specialized/niched libraries, security problems.

(Source: Light IT)


Easy to read and write, high productivity, interpreted language, dynamic-type, free and open-source, vast library support, portable.

Slow loading, memory inefficient, weak in mobile computing, low database access, consistent runtime

(Source: TechVidvan)


Fast query processing, easy, standardized and interactive language, portable, provides multiple data views.

Complex interface, high cost, only allows for partial control.

(Source: Geeks For Geeks)


Easy integration with Windows, large developer availability, compiled language.

Only applicable with Windows, slow production, high testing required.

(Source: Agilites) 


Ruby: A Potential Superpower?

Ruby has been around since 1995, however, Ruby on Rails, its web framework counterpart, was released in 2004 - bringing modernization and accessibility to a previously dying code. It currently holds 5.98% share for backend development capabilities, competing against big players like Django at 47.63% and Spring Framework at 35.06%. (Source: Slintel). 

Despite its niche market size, Ruby often appears in “Best Backend Developer” Articles, with a loyal (if small) fanbase. The team over at Codest are big fans, proclaiming “Ruby on Rails is absolutely one of the finest back-end web development frameworks you might consider for your next project.” Popular apps that use Ruby include Twitter, Airbnb, and Shopify. Regular updates keep Ruby fighting tooth and claw to beat the competition, and keeps developers happy. 

Loyal fans of Ruby stay true to form for a multitude of reasons, including its time competitiveness, self-documenting capabilities and regular expressions parser that one user on a Quora forum quoted is “second to none.” The Ruby community is by far one of the strongest tight-knit groups out there, encouraging innovation and providing accessible resources for new entrants. 

Since the introduction of Ruby on Rails, the future of Ruby as a backend developer has improved. After all, one of the biggest costs in life is time - and using a framework that’ll save you a tonne is an intriguing concept for any developer. 


Learning Ruby

Additionally, Ruby makes for a great “second language” to developers warily watching the bad press surrounding Java. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources out there that will help you learn Ruby, including YouTube videos, Codecademy courses and LinkedIn Tutorials. Despite its small market share, active forums and online libraries are well-maintained by eager developers.


Ruby vs Java

“Ruby is an interpreted scripting language, whereas Java is a compiled programming language.” – Deepak Vohra,

Although every developer is bound to have their own preference, Ruby’s ability to run directly without compiling and generating a byte code allows it to stand out against the competition and push Java further into the shadows. 


Job Searching For Ruby Developers

Ruby on Rails downloads have increased tenfold in the last 10 years. For developers looking for new languages to learn, there’s no doubt that you’ll find support and friendship within Ruby’s community that’ll guide your career and help you grow. 

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 in your hands. We are driven by tech, powered by people. Get in touch with us today