How Java Become The Most Popular Programming Language

Java was released way back in 1995, and 22 years later, it still remains one of the best programming languages around. This article explains the why’s and how’s of it.

The TIOBE index from the TIOBE Programming Community reveals the popularity chart of various programming languages. According to the index, Java takes the lead by about 8.3% and by 7.9% according to the PYPL (Popularity of Programming Language )Index. The PYPL Index also reveals that Java is at the top in India and Germany, followed by Python and PHP.

A little info about TIOBE index: The TIOBE ratings are calculated as per the hits received by the most commonly used search engines. In this case, 25 search engines were analysed.

The interesting thing is that Java has remained number one or two consistently over the past 22 years. Before Java was released, C, held the position after which, both the programming languages started vying with each other to attain the top slot.

So here are the reasons that make Java the most popular programming languages around.

Because of the popularity of Java, developers specialising in the programming language are in high demand. Employers are constantly searching for experienced industry professionals and even talented graduates, so having competency in coding will bring in remarkable advantage.

Java is an Object Oriented Programming Language

As Java is an OOPS application, the concepts like Absraction, Encapsulation, Polymorphism and Inheritance can all be used with Java. The best design practices and patterns can be used with Java, so you can say it is a 100% OOPS programming language. Java lets developers use the dependancy injection principles to ensure managing of object dependency, apart from promoting the use of SOLID and Object oriented design principles through open source projects like Spring.

Java has rich API
Java’s rich API, another reason for its massive success. The API becomes visible right after Java installation, and it is pretty well designed. This is why programmers enjoy programming with Java and they enjoy quick results from it. Switching to Java ensures faster running of projects through reduced development time because the API is not only rich, it is intuitive as well. It helps programmers write better codes, with lesser number of bugs when compared to others.

The security of Java is none like any other

The entire Java program, including the language and the platform was built with security in mind. Through Java, users can download untrusted codes over the network, but they can run it securely, with doing any harm to their host system, without the threat of virus, or without reading or writing files from the hard drive. This is one factor that makes Java entirely unique from the rest. Each version of Java comes with advanced features with highly configurable restrictions that extend beyond applets. The security system of Java is pretty tight because security bugs are instantly identified and fixed.

Write once, run it anywhere

This is another factor that scores Java over all other languages and platforms in its genre. This means that you need to write your application just once in a Java platform, and you can run it anywhere, at least anywhere that supports Java platform. And since Java is almost ubiquitous, it is integrated into almost all the major operating systems. Java is built into popular web browsers, and even into consumer electronic devices like PDAs, cell phones and even television set-top boxes.

Java has both dynamic & extensible programs

Java codes are organised in modular object oriented units known as classes. The classes will loaded into separate files, and will be loaded into the Java interpreter whenever needed. The application can decide which class it needs and will load it into the interpreter according to requirement. A program, can hence extend itself and expand its functionality by loading itself into the classes. This makes Java dynamic and extensible.

Backwards compatibility

When Java codes were written, care was taken to ensure that they were written for all versions. So the codes would remain the same for them. This has been made possible, to an extent, but not always, because some language constructs cannot be expressed in earlier versions. Backwards compatibility is possible, which means you can run a Java 7 program on Java 8 runtime, but you cannot do it the other way round. This is because bytecode is versionedand JVM checks for support of the version in .class files. Another reason could be because some language constructs cannot be expressed in older bytecodeversions.

Incredible open source libraries

There are open source libraries that ensures developers Java can be used everywhere. Java development is made cost effective, easy and fast through libraries offered by organisations like Apache and Google. So if you are writing a new code in Java, just search for it through Google. Chances are that the code may already be written, tested and available for use. Saves time, doesn’t it? Additionally, Java comes equipped with frameworks like Spring, Struts and Maven to ensure the best practices for software craftsmanship can be followed.

Coding is a breeze

Java comes equipped with powerful development tools like Eclipse and Netbeans and this makes coding in IDE (Integrated Development Environment) a breeze, meaning easy, fast and fluent. The IDEs also make it easier to search, refractor and read code. Additionally, this provides powerful debugging capability that’s integral for real world development. Other tools include Maven and ANT for building Java applications, decompilers, JConsole, Visual VM for monitoring Heap usage etc.

Finally, Java is free

Cost is an important factor in everything. Since Java is free, a programmer can learn the programming language easily. And Java’s excellent documentation, Javadocs just raised its value several notches higher. So you don’t have to spend time learning all the codes.

Closing thought

Java is easily the most popular programming languages around. It is simple, elegant with powerful, rich API making it the best among programmers because they get really quick results with it. Switching to Java can improve and increase programmer efficiency, while reducing development time and eventually, TTM or Time To Market.

Interesting links about the topic:
Why Java Is Still In Popular
Why Java?

Pictures: / Jim Moore/ Blue Coat Photos

The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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