java report
January 8, 2020

2020 Java Developer Report Overview

Java Application Development
Product Updates

Welcome to the 2020 Developer Productivity Report overview. This report is based on a survey of Java developers from around the world and gives valuable insights into how Java development teams are using languages, tools, and technologies in their day-to-day work.

2020 Java Developer Report Respondents

In this report, we explore the tools and technologies used by Java professionals, how they approach performance in application development, the effect of redeploys on developer efficiency and the effect that microservices are having on development teams.

Not surprisingly, one of the more important things in conducting a Java developer survey is making sure that Java developers participate. But beyond job role, we also asked respondents to provide information on their experience level with Java, development team size, and company size.

It was great to see so many Java developers participate in our survey! We have always believed in the importance of creating tools that benefit the average Java community and this helps us better understand that community.”

— Curtis Johnson, Senior Solutions Consultant at JRebel

You can download the full report by clicking the link below.

Download 2020 Report

Job Titles

For this Java developer survey, we asked respondents to pick which job title best matched their current role.

Infographic showing Java development job title

Not surprisingly, the majority of our respondents self-identified as Java developers at 76% of those surveyed. 12% of respondents identified as Team Lead, while Java architects and consultants identified at 6% and 5% respectively. Lastly, 2% of respondents identified as Director, Vice-President or C-Level executives. The vast majority of our respondents serve in technical roles, which makes us confident that the data collected is highly relevant to the intention of our survey.

Experience

Experience can provide additional clarity into the respondent data we collected. While we can gain some understanding of developer knowledge via job title, knowing how many years of experience the average respondent has with Java gives further clarity of their authority in their Java ecosystem.

Graph showing years of experience with Java

Our survey respondents were very experienced, with the majority of respondents having over two years of experience in working with Java. At 38%, respondents most-commonly reported having two to five years of experience. Respondents that had either under two years or between six and ten years experience with Java shared the 23% mark. Lastly, respondents with over ten years of experience reported in at 17%. What does that mean for the survey data? Mostly that the survey responses reflect the gamut of Java development and that some of the respondents have been working with Java from around its inception.

Team Size

Next, we asked about Java development team size. Team size can have a bearing on how processes are performed during development and which tools and technologies are used. We also wanted to get a grasp of the changes occurring in Java communities when it comes to more small agile development teams.

Graph showing Java development team size

The results showed respondent team size largely following previous survey results, with 56% of respondents reporting a team size of three to nine people. Respondents working in teams of 10-20 and 20-50 people measured in at 24% and 10%, respectively. Teams of one to two people made up 5% of respondents, with teams of 50-100 and 100+ people comprising 3% and 2% respectively.

Company Size

Company size can give valuable information on how to frame questions regarding Java technology choices. We asked respondents to classify the company they work for into six categories:

  • Small company
  • Midsized company
  • Enterprise company
  • Contractor/freelance
  • Startup
  • Unemployed
Graph showing Java development company size

Almost half of respondents (46%) reported working in an enterprise company. Respondents reported working in midsized and small companies at 32% and 15% respectively. The remaining respondents fell primarily in startup companies at 6% and contractor/freelance at 1%. Lastly, and in a bit of good news, a statistically insignificant percentage of respondents reported being out of work.

2020 Java Developer Report Summary

In this report, we explored the tools and technologies used by Java professionals, how they approach performance in application development, the effect of redeploys on developer efficiency and the effect that microservices are having on development teams. The results of each survey topic are summarized below.

"It is clear that microservices provide an enormous amount of benefit for Java applications despite the growing complexities in testing processes, performance management, and in creating processes for proper development."

— Curtis Johnson, Senior Solutions Consultant at JRebel.

Tools and Technologies

The effects of microservices were everywhere in our tools and technologies survey results, with many developers leaning toward microservice favorites like Spring Boot, Tomcat, and Docker. Language choice seems to be stuck in the past, with most developers using Java 8, but given the lack of (debatably) significant changes to the language, it’s understandable.

Application Performance

Our survey showed a continuing trend — developers are expected to play a bigger role in application performance. In fact, over half of our respondents reported having non-functional performance goals for their current project. This also means that developers are being asked to test application performance during development, often without full insight into how their code is impacting the entirety of the application.

Developer Productivity

For Java developers, one of the biggest issues facing productivity (aside from lack of caffeination) is redeploys. And, as our report showed, microservices aren’t necessarily making these issues go away. In fact, almost half of our survey respondents reported redeploy times of over four minutes per redeploy.

Microservices

The effects of microservices adoption on Java applications and developers has been monumental — with changes to everything from team composition to emerging technical problems and technological solutions. And, with the wholesale adoption of microservices as the architecture of choice for most Java applications, these issues will continue to develop in complexity as new technologies interact with one another. As these problems grow more complex for microservices developers, tools and technologies that solve them will become more necessary.

Additional Resources

2020 Java Productivity Report

JRebel Java Industry Reports

Want to see full breakdowns on the 2020 Java developer survey results?  You can download the full PDF version of the report by clicking the button below.

Download the Report