Java, one of the most widely used programming languages of the past two decades, is clearly not going anywhere – especially in the US. Many IT job sites report that Java was consistently the most-requested skill in candidates for 2015, and that trend has no reason to stagnate for 2016.. That’s good news for IT job seekers; the average salary for Java developers is around $115,000.
Obviously, this is great news for Java developers. But how exactly has the demand remained so high for so long? After all, Java as a programming language is over 20 years old, and considering how fast technology tends to evolve, shouldn’t its underlying code also require an “upgrade”? Not to mention, there are dozens of other programming languages out there that are newer, more interesting, or more efficient that many companies might inevitably switch to, right? Additionally, a quick search for “learn Java” results in hundreds, nay, thousands of video tutorials, application demos, online courses, and in-depth textbooks that provide free or affordable training for anyone willing to learn. By that logic, shouldn’t there be an overabundance of Java developers in the industry struggling to find a job?
The real reasons why Java developers won’t be starving on the streets holding “Will code for food” signs:
- Java is grounded in readability and simplicity, and provides long-term compatibility that ensures older applications will continue to work now into the future. Not to mention, it’s free, fast, flexible, secure, well-supported, and well-documented, which might be why it’s used by millions of developers and runs on over 7 billion devices worldwide. In short: it’s got some serious staying power – after all, it powers a variety of popular websites, such as LinkedIn, Netflix, and Amazon.
- Since Java has been around a long time, there are some seasoned Java developers who have spent a considerable amount of time with corporations and think to themselves, “I already have a job, so I don’t need to learn a new programming language.” Not being willing to adopt new skills can be a dangerous – and foolish – stance to take. With open source technologies gaining popularity at a rapid pace, developers that keep their skills fresh by learning Angular, Hadoop, or Node.js, will be more relevant and sought after than those who only work on legacy code. If that seasoned Java developer’s company hops on the big data bandwagon and suddenly needs developers with Hadoop experience, those legacy developers will likely get the boot, ultimately creating a higher demand for Java developers who have sharpened their skills and learned new programming technologies in their free time.
- Whether it’s the glamorization of “the hacker” from TV shows and movies, the prospect of earning a six-figure income, or the story of the 13-year-old who built a mobile app and sold it for $1 million, dozens of people are enticed to learn to program through online training programs. The truth? There is a very large difference between learning basic concepts and syntax in a weekend and understanding the nuances of managing an entire Java ecosystem with various APIs, best practices, and operational approaches – and there are very few people who are willing, or able, to go down that path. Anyone learning a foreign language can memorize vocabulary and conjugations, but it’ll take years of practice before they’ll be able to write a cohesive novel.
Of course, standard reasons also factor in as to why companies are seemingly always in need of Java developers, such as frequent turnover due to low performance, not meshing well with the company culture, expiring visas, and completion/termination of large projects. Obviously, every company wants the most skilled Java developers – those who were seemingly born to write code, solve problems, and develop complex algorithms – but they will always seek talented developers that value hard work, continuous improvement, collaboration, and innovation.
Cutting Edge Recruiting Solutions (CERS) is a nationally-recognized staffing and recruiting firm located in Boca Raton, Florida that specializes in placing skilled IT professionals with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies in South Florida.