2024 Java Trends
May 8, 2024

CTO Takes on Java Development Trends

Developer Productivity

The 2024 Java Developer Productivity Report is here. It’s loaded with stats about the challenges Java developers are facing—and the tools and technologies they’re using to solve them. But amid the stats there’s also a deeper analysis to be had.  

To that end, Perforce CTOs Rod Cope, Deepak Giridharagopal and I dug into the data to uncover the emerging trends in Java development. Some of those trends—like the rise of AI and multi-language environments—will surprise no one, while others, like the rise of productivity teams, had our CTOs doing a double take.  

Read on for a closer look at upcoming Java development trends, including:


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Learn More in this Java Webinar

 Want to learn more about these trends? Watch the full discussion with Rod Cope, Deepak Giridhargopal, and Curtis Johnson below.  

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About the 2024 Java Developer Productivity Report  

Each year, I have the distinct pleasure of compiling JRebel’s annual Java Developer Productivity Report, and I can safely say that this year’s report is the most thorough and insightful edition yet.  

We surveyed 440 Java users for the 2024 Java Developer Productivity Report. While the majority (42%) classified their role as Java developers, another 22% classified their role as Java architect. This year’s survey also saw an increase in responses from individuals in leadership roles, with 15% saying their role is team lead and 11% saying their role is director or vice president. These stats are important because the survey has always been—and will continue to be—geared toward the boots on the ground in Java development.  

About the survey

Source: 2024 Java Developer Productivity Report

Diving deeper into the demographics, 29% of respondents were from Enterprise companies with 1,000+ employees, 22% were from mid-sized companies with 100 – 1,000 employees, 14% were from small companies with 20-100 employees, 18% were from startups with less than 20 employees, and 17% were contractors or freelancers. The majority (29%) were from development teams of 3 to 9 developers, with teams of 10-20 developers trailing slightly behind at 25%.  

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Want to dive into the data? Download your copy of the 2024 Java Developer Productivity Report today. 

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Amid chatter about economic headwinds and market forces, our CTOs found it encouraging that 60% of respondents said their companies have plans to add Java developers in the coming year while 42% plan to increase their Java development tool budget in 2024.  

Plans to add Java developers

Source: 2024 Java Developer Productivity Report

In conjunction, these numbers send a strong message that Java is here to stay as a core part of enterprise applications. The fact that companies are very deeply entrenched with large Java applications will continue to be a driving force for hiring Java developers throughout the developer ecosystem. 

“I’m always really interested in data that supports my contrarian viewpoint to the established narrative,” says Deepak Giridharagopal, CTO at Perforce. “Seeing this data confirms suspicions that I've long had; this stuff isn’t going away.”  

While naysayers might cite the decline of Java, the reality is a stark contrast. There is so much Java code already out there—there's no scenario where you go from that to no one writing Java code, says Rod Cope. 

While other languages like node.js or Go are often cited as the next big thing, they often lack the interconnection of the Java community has contributed to the language’s longevity and stickiness. 

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Microservices May Not Always be the Answer 

The 2024 Java Developer Productivity Report found that 42% of respondents have fully transitioned to microservices, while 45% are currently transitioning to microservices. But when we dove deeper, we found that those microservice environments might not be delivering on their initial promises. 43% of respondents said their microservice startup has increased by 10% or more.  


Source: 2024 Java Developer Productivity Report

Dive deeper though, and those microservices might not be so "micro" after all. The chart above illustrates how the number of microservices in enterprise applications has ballooned over the past four years,  with the number of respondents using 11 or more microservices ballooning from 16% in 2021 to 41% in 2024. Examining this year's data, 18% using 11-20 microservices and 23% using more than 21 microservices. 

“Microservices are a great tool in the toolbox but they’re not the one tool to solve every problem,” says Rod Cope. “The newest tool always looks the shiniest for a while and this is an example of that.”  

It’s worth examining who’s reverting from microservices—and whether alternative application architecture structures like miniservices or macroservices might be an appropriate alternative.  

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Cloud Commoditization is Leading to Differentiation

The obvious reality is that AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform are the primary cloud providers at 31%, 18%, and 11%, respectively. But the real storyline is how secondary cloud service providers stack up, accounting for 29% of cloud deployments.  

Alternate solutions (case in point, IBM Cloud Platform, Oracle Cloud Platform, and SAP Cloud Platform) may provide organizations with unique advantages, like pricing, analytics, or other unique capabilities, and this data point shows that organizations are exploring those options while the “Big 3” of cloud providers remains steadfast.  

Cloud/Remote Platforms

Source: 2024 Java Developer Productivity Report

Cloud has reached a maturity point where nearly every cloud provider offers core capabilities like the ability to do object storage or run a VM, so it’s up to developers to look deeper into what are the differentiating factors for their organization.   

“As the ecosystem gets more diverse you’re starting to see more optionality on the part of consumers, which I would say is probably a good thing,” Giridharagopal said. 

Cope echoed that, encouraging developers to not just go with the “new, shiny object” but rather to pick an array of cloud options that fit their needs.  

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IDE Usage Evolution and VSCode

Many Java developers have a hard-coded preference to a specific IDE, but the reality is that there may not be a one-size-fits-all tool for today’s multi-language environment. That trend was reflected in this year’s survey results.  

Once again, IntelliJ IDEA topped the charts with 41% of respondents. Eclipse held onto the second position (23%), but Microsoft Visual Studio Code, or VSCode, is close behind at 19%. Additionally, 84% of respondents using IntelliJ IDEA said they use more than one IDE in their Java development practice, with VSCode being the most popular secondary IDE. 

IDE Usage

Source: 2024 Java Developer Productivity Report

10 years ago you wouldn’t ever see Java in any Microsoft stuff but they’re starting to edge into the Java space, Giridharagopal notes. VSCode becomes a versatile tool in a developer’s toolbelt not just for its debugging features, but also for its multi-language capabilities. Jetbrains has noticed this trend with its own polyglot-savvy IDE, Fleet, which is currently in Beta.  

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Productivity Teams are on the Rise 

Increasingly, organizations are turning to productivity teams and work groups to investigate tools for broader team use, with 42% of respondents indicating so for this year’s survey. These teams can vary as volunteer work groups or full-time teams, but the commonality is that teams are putting dedicated resources towards developer productivity.  

methods to encourage developer productivity

 Source: 2024 Java Developer Productivity Report

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Final Thoughts

Productivity teams are a rising Java development trend for 2024. Is your team testing and trialing Java productivity tools for broader implementation? Add JRebel to your list.  

See how much time you can save during your 14-day free trial of JRebel

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