Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. At the time of writing this, Java development holds 16% of the programming language market, giving it second place out of all languages. As we head into the new year, developers need to keep up with the industry and its latest developments. Working at a custom Java development company, I sat down with several of our developers and asked them what they expected to see next year. In this article, we’ll explore the main 2024 Java trends and take a look at what’s coming.
We’re all aware cloud computing is on the rise. According to Statista, the global cloud computing market size is expected to hit $169 billion by 2025.
Java is widely considered to be one of the best choices for cloud computing, for several reasons. The language’s:
- platform Independence,
- data privacy,
- and IDE and library variety
make it an incredibly popular choice among cloud computing developers. Additionally, cloud services like Google Cloud Platform, AWS and Azura offer a variety of advantages to Java application development. And its suitability for microservice and containerized development solidifies the language’s suitability for scalable, cloud-native applications.
With all of that in mind, we can reasonably expect Java’s popularity as a cloud computing language to continue into 2024, and for an increasing number of Java-based cloud applications to appear in the near future.
Increased Java 21 adoption
We can’t talk about the latest Java trends without mentioning the latest release. In September last year, Java released its latest LTS(long-term support) version – Java 21.
Every couple of years, Java releases a designated LTS that, instead of new features, receives quarterly stability, security and performance updates.
For that reason, LTS versions are typically very popular within the Java ecosystem. This past year, we saw an over 400% increase in the adoption of Java 17 – the at-the-time latest long-term support version of the language.
Java 21 is version 17’s LTS successor. It brought us 15 new features, including an encapsulation API, virtual threads, and string template previews. And it’s going to continue receiving performance updates as time goes on. Considering developers typically migrate to the latest LTS version when it’s stable, I believe we can expect a large-scale move to Java 21 in the coming year.
VS Code adoption
We can’t talk about the latest Java trends to keep in mind without touching upon IDEs. When it comes to Java development, most people still default to IntelliJ or Eclipse. Visual Studio is usually the domain of C# and C++ developers.
But that might be about to change. For a while now, we’ve been seeing a focus on language-agnostic IDEs that support multiple programming languages. Recently, Oracle released their own Java Platform extension for VS code, bringing full-featured Java development to Microsoft’s code editor.
According to Oracle, the extension covers the full development cycle from editing to compiling to debugging and testing, with support for class-level and variable refactoring.
Reception of the new extension is positive, though admittedly, not overwhelmingly so. Many Java developers like it and admit to using it more often lately. As Oracle continues to flesh it out, and more people try it, I do believe we’re in for an increased level of VS code adoption among Java developers in 2024.
Java in machine learning
Machine learning Machine learning is another rising Java trend to watch in the near future. The sector has been evolving at an astonishing rate, and it’s not expected to stop any time soon. Java’s position as a multiparadigm programming language and versatile framework make it a preferred choice for developers working on ML.
Java’s appeal in ML also lies in its rich ecosystem and libraries. Some good examples are frameworks like Deeplearning4j, Weka, and MOA, which provide a powerful toolkit for various ML tasks. Furthermore, Java is great at seamlessly integrating with existing codebases, making it easy to bring ML functionalities into established systems.
Last but not least, Java’s wide adoption in enterprise environments allows for ML solutions to pressing business issues. Things like fraud detection, customer segmentation, and forecasting can be tackled using Java and ML solutions.
Overall, I believe there’s going to be increasing demand for Java in machine learning soon. As we continue to see more fleshed-out and versatile ML solutions, Java’s position as one of the top picks for their development is likely to solidify.
In short, the 2024 Java trends landscape promises some interesting developments. Cloud computing is set to remain a Java domain thanks to the language’s set of capabilities. With the release of Java 21, we can expect to see a move toward this latest LTS release. Interestingly, Visual Studio Code seems to be gaining traction in Java circles thanks to a new Oracle extension. And last but not least, Java is very well suited for ML development, poising it for growth in the AI/ML landscape that’s quickly becoming prevalent.
Overall, 2024 is going to be a good year for Java. The technological market is experiencing rapid innovation, and the fact is that Java isn’t just keeping up – it’s perfectly positioned to spearhead many of the largest changes. As we head into the year, we can expect Oracle’s programming language to remain dominant in the programming world. Hopefully, as you stay updated with the latest technologies and trends, you’ll be able to make the most informed decisions for your software development needs.