Saturday, June 13, 2015

Java 20 year old and still going strong

Java has turned 20 and it's a time to celebrate. It wouldn't be wrong to say that Java created an entire generation of coders that thrived on this celestial language including the author.

Let's see why Java has stood the test of last 20 years in this fast evolving world.

1. Platform independent: Before the advent of Java, half the time of programmers (C++) went in getting the written code complied and run. No one even dreamt of running the same binary across platforms. I remember having done a project which was to migrate the code from Sun OS to Linux OS. It went on for good six moths given the C++ code was like a big garbage dump, where each day we started our journey and each evening we found ourselves back to square one.

Java changed all this. Same binary now runs across platforms via JVM. 

2. Automated memory allocation and Garbage Collection: Memory allocation/ deallocation/ garbage collection was one big headache of C++ developers. Java changed all that. It made programming fun. I am not sure I would have taken programming but for Java.

3. The trinity of James Gosling, Mike Sheridan, Patrick Naughton who worked on Sun's Green Project are G.O.D (Generator, Observer, Destroyer) of Java world. Kudos! to them.

4. Broke the shackles: C++ always came with the burden if running legacy code and hence was never able to break itself free of cumbersome header files, multiple inheritance, pointers etc. Java broke those chains. Unburdened with the past, it wrote a new history. Free of the ghosts and simple as ever.

5. Remember the applets: The initial push to Java was given by applets. The user interactive applets running within the webpage was like a dream come true at that time. With time however applets lost the race to much better options. But still they had their own charm. They attracted a lot of us to start coding in Java.

6. Daring of the Investment Banks: Java has been a darling of back-end of investment banks. Investment banks are where there is money. Hence Java is in the pool of money and hence a strong backing, To beat this, other languages have to do something out of the box. 

7. JUnit: How simple unit testing of code became with JUnit. It started a revolution of Test Driven Development (TDD). It opened new avenues.

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