It may be 21 years old and counting, but the object-oriented programming language Java isn’t going away anytime soon. In 2015, Java was named the “Programming Language of the Year” on the TIOBE Index. Considering that it was up against 19 other languages, some of which include C, C++, Python, Ruby, Perl and PHP, that’s a pretty impressive feat to say the least.
When speaking at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco, Tiobe Managing Director Paul Jansen said that Java is currently going through a change, in which it’s closing the gap with other programming languages to make programming “easier.”
“Java is currently number one in the enterprise back-end market and number one in the still-growing mobile application development market (Android). Moreover, Java has become a language that integrates modern language features such as lambda expressions and streams. The future looks bright for Java,” said Paul Jansen.
So, what makes Java such a popular programming language? And for how long will this trend continue? There are several factors attributing to the rise of Java, one of which is its use in mobile application development. There are tens of thousands of apps on the Android marketplace are written in Java. Given the fact that 64% of Americans now own a smartphone, the use of Java will likely continue to grow as developers use the programming language to create new apps.
Of course, Java is used heavily in client-server web applications. From Java-based games to calculators, tools and more, it can be used to create a wide range of web application. Java applications aren’t limited strictly to the web, however. They can also be executed offline from a runtime environment. Wikipedia even reports that there are more than 9 million Java developers.
It’s also worth noting that Java integrates features of modern languages like lambda expressions and streams, offering additional functionality for developers and programmers.
Only time will tell what’s in store for the future of Java, but it’s looking bright thus far. After being named the “Programming Language of the Year,” it has remained in first place on the TIOBE Index. Java’s share for January 2016 (as of writing this) is 21.465%, while C is in a distant second with 16.036%. Assuming these numbers continue, Java could very well be named the “Programming Language of the Year” for 2016 as well.
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