Today the total number of Java developers globally is over 7 mln (based on different estimates
, there are 6.8-8 mln Java coders in the world), which is quite a large number. And the reason many people, especially Java beginners, can’t help but wondering: is the industry overcrowded with Java coders already? And if not, how many professional Java developers on the market will be ‘too many’? These are the questions we will try to answer today.
Are there too many Java developers in the software industry?
Of course, it’s all about perception and depends on what you consider to be ‘too many.’ This question, when asked by those who are working in this field already or intending to start their coding careers in the near future should be rephrased as ‘Should I switch from being/learning to become a Java developer to something else?’
A short answer to that will be no, being a Java developer is still a thing. And here are a few reasons why, and some opinions on the matter from experienced software engineers.
More Java coders = more Java Developer jobs
The fact that there are over 7 mln Java programmers in the world is more of a positive thing for all of those who are looking to code in this language professionally. A huge base of available developers is one of the reasons businesses are going with Java when choosing a technology for their needs. This, along with other important factors of Java’s huge global popularity such as JVM and OOP support, of course.
Richard Kenneth Eng, an experienced software developer, answering a Java-related question on Quora.
There is a shortage of good Java developers
Here’s the reality: the software industry still has a SHORTAGE of well-qualified and properly trained Java developers. The fact that Java has been so popular and common for companies in various market niches and industries for a number of years made it mainstream and gave birth to hundreds of thousands of Java coders who are... How shall we put this? Not very good. There are hundreds of thousands of Java programmers out there who are poorly trained (like most of those poor bastards who were learning Java with online courses other than CodeGym, for example), have no genuine interest in Java or coding in general (those who decided to get into coding for money only), or simply learnt Java as an additional language/skill and not looking for a career in Java development.
Here’s what Matthew Gaiser, another software engineer with decades of professional experience, has to say
on this matter: “The industry is overcrowded with less than passionate Java developers. For a long time, Java was considered the practical language that you learned to get a job. That meant a lot of people learned it just for the sake of gaining employment. Because software does not generally require formal qualifications, lots of people saw (and continue to see) it as a path to easy money for little investment. So the industry is overcrowded with a lot of people looking for an easy high-paying job. Most of those people choose Java as they see it as an industry language.”
The demand for Java development keeps growing
Being one of the most versatile programming languages in the world, Java these days is used almost everywhere in terms of platforms, technologies and economy sectors. That’s why the need for qualified and experienced Java developers around the world keeps increasing despite the fact there are so many Java coders out there already. Another important factor is location: if well-known business and technology centers like Silicon Valley in the U.S. or major cities in Western Europe normally have lots of available Java programmers, companies in smaller and less developed countries tend to seriously suffer from the shortage of skilled Java devs.
his view on this problem.
Java is probably the best language to start your coding career
Another reason why there are so many Java developers in the world already is the fact that Java is probably the best programming language to learn to start a new career in software development. It is (relatively) easy to master, universally acclaimed, and in high demand. And the fact that Java is popular for so long (the language is more than 25 years old now) and will be widely used for a couple more decades at least makes it probably the best choice for the start if you want to become a professional software developer.
A major advantage of having so many Java coders out there is the fact that such a huge community makes it easier for new and inexperienced coders to learn. Java has one of the biggest knowledge bases among programming languages, with lots of fully detailed software development cases, tutorials, guides, recommendations, and simply experienced software engineers who would be willing to help. All this information normally is available online to everyone, which makes Java Junior developer’s job so much easier.
“Java is by far your best bet,” said
Jeff Ronne, another coding veteran from California. “Most computer programming languages come and go faster than fashion trends. This is for good reason as most computer programming languages do not have unique economic compelling value. The economic barrier to entry between these languages is minimal hence the language turnover is random, capricious and unpredictable. Although Java is relatively old, it has no viable technology competition as there are thousands of companies and workers deeply invested in Java coding efforts. Until there is a vastly superior replacement for Java this situation will persist,” he added.