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In the rapidly evolving digital age where new technologies are constantly emerging, it's a challenge for most technologies to maintain relevance for more than ten years.

Is Java still used in 2024?

Despite the fact that the Java programming language has been around for 28 years as of 2024, it is still widely used for software development. And that's putting it lightly!

With over 90% of Fortune 500 companies employing Java, and consistently ranking among the top ten most popular programming languages in the world, Java is going stronger than ever in 2024.

Softjourn's Long-term Java engineer, Orest Guziy, said that Java has been getting more attention than ever since Java changed release processes to every 6 months.

So to jump to the chase, yes, Java still is extremely relevant in 2024. Will it continue to stay popular over the next few years? Keep reading to find out!

Is Java Dead Or Still Relevant In 2023

Java's popularity over the years

Java is one of the most widely used programming languages in the world, and its popularity has only grown since its introduction in 1995. In this paragraph, we will explore some statistics on Java's popularity from various surveys and indices, highlighting its continued relevance and importance in the software development industry.


According to the TIOBE Index, Java has been the most popular programming language globally since 2001, except for a few years when it was temporarily surpassed by C and C++.

Tiobe index for April 2023 for using Java to develop applications
The TIOBE programming community index is a measure of popularity of programming languages, created and maintained by TIOBE Software

Stack Overflow Survey

In the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2021, Java was the fourth most commonly used language, with 38.5% of respondents saying they use it regularly.

GitHub State of the Octoverse Report

GitHub's 2020 State of the Octoverse report found that Java was the third most popular language on their platform in terms of the number of active repositories, after JavaScript and Python.


According to a survey by the job search website Indeed in 2020, Java was the third most in-demand programming language, after Python and JavaScript, with an average salary of $104,000 in the United States.

Why is Java one of the Most Popular Languages Over the Years

Java has been one of the most popular programming languages for several years, and its popularity has remained steady over time. Since its introduction in 1995, it has consistently been among the top programming languages used in industry and academia.

Even though there are newer languages out there, Java has remained popular due to its versatility and robustness. It can be used for everything from developing Android apps to building enterprise-level applications. Sure, there are some drawbacks to using Java – it can be slower than other languages and it isn’t the easiest language to learn – but overall, it is still a very strong option for developers.

Arkadiusz Drysch, CTO and Java expert at Stratoflow said:

Java is a great support for advanced applications. This programming language enables to build high-performance software that is scalable, efficient and secure. Such systems developed in Java are capable of processing a million queries per second. For this and many other reasons, Java remains a world-class leader when it comes to building back-end applications.

Finally, the continuous evolution of the Java language, with new features and updates being added regularly, has helped to keep it relevant and popular over the years.

Programming Languages Statistics

Java Popularity in 2024

Even after more than two decades since its inception, Java is still heavily used by a significant number of programmers, and a plethora of products are being built using it.

According to the April 2023 TIOBE Programming Community index, which is an indicator of widely used programming language, Java ranked third, just behind Python and C, with a positive change, showing Java is on the rise.

Similarly, the RedMonk Programming Language Rankings for Q1 2023 ranked Java as the third most popular language, after JavaScript and Python, based on data from GitHub and Stack Overflow.

This year, an international job search site in the IT industry, DevJobsScanner, studied over 7 million vacancies and found out that Java is in the top three of the most demanded languages after JavaScript and Python.

Additionally, Java tops the list of most googled technologies in 80 out of 162 countries worldwide including Australia, Africa, South America, and Europe.

Software development technology trends
Technology trends

With Java's consistent rankings as a top three programming language, it is not surprising that there is a growing need for Java developers across the globe, with an estimated 8 million currently employed in this field.

This is one of the main reasons why many companies choose to utilize affordable Java developers when seeking to expand their operations. The large pool of skilled yet cost-effective Java developers makes it easy for businesses to find the right talent to meet their needs.

What is Java used for widely?

Having established that Java is still one of the most widely used technologies, the question now is: what are its main applications in 2024? Let us dive into each field and examine its uses in greater detail.

What is Java Used for - Top Applications of Java with Real-world Examples
Applications of Java​​​​

‍Cloud-based Applications

Java is well-suited for utility computing, which refers to cloud-based applications that rely on internet computing. Cloud computing has five key attributes, including on-demand capability, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service.

Java can be used to develop cloud applications in three delivery models, including IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS, and there are several cloud building tools available for Java, such as AWS SDK for Java, Oracle Cloud service, and Google App Engine. Many companies are hiring Java developers to assist with transitioning to the cloud for improved business continuity, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.

Mobile Applications

The technology stack used for developing mobile apps depends on the target platform. While Objective-C and Swift are used for developing iOS apps, Android apps are primarily built using Java.

Java is the preferred language for Android app development due to the fact that Android is used on 83% of devices globally, whereas iOS is only used on 17%. Additionally, Java is compatible with Android Studio, the most widely-used tool for Android app development.

For those looking to use build both Android and iOS applications, Java's platform independence is a key advantage, making it a popular choice for businesses developing cross-platform applications.

As a language that can run on any operating system, it eliminates the need for developers to write and maintain separate codebases for different platforms. This can save businesses time and resources, allowing them to focus on delivering their product to a wider audience.

Desktop Applications

Java provides several advantages for desktop applications. It is platform-independent, which means that it can run on any operating system, such as Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it an ideal choice for businesses that need to develop cross-platform applications.

Additionally, Java's robustness and security features make it a preferred language for developing desktop applications, especially for enterprise-level software.

With Java, developers have access to a large number of libraries and frameworks, which provide them with tools for creating rich and interactive user interfaces.

Furthermore, Java's automatic memory management feature allows for efficient memory usage, which can be critical for large desktop applications.

Web-based Apps

Java offers the benefits of simplified coding and enhanced security, making it an excellent choice for developing applications in areas such as healthcare, education, and insurance.

The language is compatible with a range of tools, including Servlets, Hibernate, Spring, Struts, Apache HTTP web-server, Apache Tomcat, and Thymeleaf, among others, which can be utilized to develop a wide range of web-based applications.

E-commerce web applications also commonly use Java, often leveraging open-source eCommerce platforms such as Broadleaf. Additionally, numerous popular web-based applications, including Gmail, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, are built using Java.

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides - Using Java

Embedded Systems

Java is widely used in embedded systems, which form the foundation of numerous products, machines, and intelligent operations such as machine learning and artificial intelligence applications.

There are four main types of embedded systems: real-time, stand-alone, networked, and mobile. Nowadays, it is rare to find a product that does not use embedded systems, even appliances like refrigerators and microwaves. Java is the primary programming language used in almost all these systems.

Future Of Java Programming

To make your cloud Java application highly efficient, flexible, quick, and low-cost to run, you should build it with cloud-native components. The race for a better fit of Java to the cloud continues in 2024. Among the updates to Java are:

What's New in Spring 6 and Spring Boot 3
What's New in Spring 6 

Spring Framework 6.0

The Spring Native 6.0 GA and Spring Boot 3.0 releases in 2022 that initially launched a new framework generation. Spring 6.0 focuses on ahead-of-time transformations, enhancing native image support for Spring 6.0 applications. Spring Native 6.0 updates in 2023 were among the news expected by the Java community.

Java 20

Java 20, the next version after Java 19, is a non-LTS version and was released in March 2023. Java 21, which will follow Java 20, will have Long-Term Support (LTS). Java 20 will introduce several new features, including extent-local variables, universal generics, string templates, asynchronous stack traces, classfile API, value objects, primitive classes, sequenced collections, record patterns, foreign function and memory API, virtual threads, vector API, structured concurrency, and pattern matching for switch expressions and statements.

AWS Lambda using Java

AWS Lambda

Released in April 2023, developers can now utilize the latest version of Java, Java 17, for creating serverless applications in AWS Lambda as both a managed runtime and a container base image.

By using Java 17, developers can leverage new language features such as sealed classes, multi-line strings, and Java records. Additionally, the Lambda Java 17 runtime includes performance improvements, specifically optimizations when running Lambda functions on Graviton 2 processors.

This runtime also supports fast cold starts using AWS Lambda Snap Start (in supported Regions), and the most recent versions of popular application frameworks such as Spring Boot 3 and Micronaut 4.

What To Expect From Java in the Future?

Java continues to be a popular and relevant language in the software development industry. Several trends will continue to shape Java development, including DevOps, cloud computing, GitHub, VS Code adoption, artificial intelligence (AI), Spring Framework, and mobile/Android development.

Our Java engineer, Orest Guziy, said that he looks forward to new JDK Enhancement Proposals and cannot wait to see new Virtual Threads in Action.

Java in 2024 - Java 21: A Testament to the Language's Ongoing Relevance

Java continues to evolve and adapt to the changing landscape of software development. The latest version, Java 21, is now in the Rampdown Phase, meaning all improvements and updates are already in the build and are currently being tested and polished. This new LTS version will include 15 JEPs, featuring Generational ZGC, Record Patterns, Pattern Matching for switch, Virtual Threads, and much more.

One of the most discussed topics is JEP 445: Unnamed Classes and Instance Main Methods (Preview). The trend towards casualization of programming languages is also evident in Java, making it more pleasant to learn and write scripts in. Other significant changes include JEP 430: String Templates (Preview), JEP 453: Structured Concurrency (Preview), and JEP 446: Scoped Values (Preview).

The latest Stack Overflow survey results show that Java remains the most popular among old-school backend languages, especially in the financial sector. These updates and trends underline the continued relevance and vitality of Java in today's tech world.

Oracle officially released JDK 21 on September 19, marking it as a key update in Java's six-month release cycle. This version promises both new features and long-term support (LTS) for at least eight years, offering businesses flexibility and low maintenance costs.

In response to user feedback, Oracle has also extended Java 11's LTS until at least January 2032, affirming Java's enduring relevance in the tech landscape.

What's New in JDK 21

JDK 21 is not just another update; it brings thousands of productivity, stability, and security improvements. Specifically, it introduces dozens of new features, 15 of which are substantial enough to have their own JDK Enhancement-Proposals (JEPs). These include six preview features and one incubated feature.

Preview features are fully defined and implemented but not yet stable; they're meant to gather real-world developer feedback before becoming permanent. Incubated features allow developers to experiment with non-final APIs, improving the overall Java platform based on user feedback.

The 15 JEPs in JDK 21 fall under six categories that align with Java's key long-term projects and hardware support initiatives.

The latest JDK 21 brings a slew of notable enhancements designed to improve performance, security, and developer productivity. Under Project Loom, JEP 444 introduces Virtual Threads, offering an efficient and scalable way to handle concurrency, ideal for boosting network application performance. JEP 446 previews Scoped Values, aiming to simplify the passing of context data in a thread-safe manner, especially beneficial in the realm of virtual threads. JEP 453 lays the groundwork for Structured Concurrency, a model making it easier to manage groups of related tasks executing in different threads as a single unit of work.

Project Panama also makes significant strides. JEP 442 offers a 3rd Preview of the Foreign Function & Memory API, which simplifies Java's interaction with native code like C/C++. This is a move towards making Java more interoperable without relying on the fragility of the Java Native Interface (JNI). JEP 448 provides a sixth incubator of Vector API, aiming for effective Single Instruction, Multiple Data (SIMD) operations which are crucial in tasks ranging from cryptography to media processing.

Performance and security get their share of updates as well. JEP 439 introduces Generational Z Garbage Collector (ZGC), an evolution aimed at reducing "stop-the-world" pauses to an almost unnoticeable 1 millisecond. This positions ZGC as one of the fastest garbage collectors available. JEP 452 unveils the Key Encapsulation Mechanism API, introducing cryptographic functionality for securing symmetric encryption keys, implementing algorithms like RSA-KEM and ECIES.

Overall, JDK 21 focuses on fine-tuning performance, enhancing security, and easing the developer experience, making Java more robust and versatile for modern computing needs.

Java in the Enterprise World: How Major Companies Leverage Java for Success

Java is widely used by major companies due to its security, scalability, and compatibility features. Notable examples include Microsoft, which runs over 2 million JVMs and uses Java extensively in LinkedIn, Bing, and Yammer; Google, for backend networking and user interfaces; Amazon, for backend software engineering; Accenture, for its stable and scalable systems; and Uber, which integrates Java into its tech stack for a secure and efficient system. Other significant users are Spotify, Netflix, Instagram, eBay, Airbnb, and Zillow, each leveraging Java for various backend and server-side developments. These companies demonstrate Java's versatility and its pivotal role in modern enterprise applications.

Why Java will Remain Programming Language for 2024

Java remains a popular programming language with a vast ecosystem, strong community, and proven track record. Its ability to support various platforms, including cloud and mobile, makes it an excellent choice for businesses looking to develop and scale applications.

While Java has its pros and cons, we predict that it will continue being a dominant programming language. Plus, with the rise of technologies such as AI and DevOps, the demand to hire Java developers will continue to grow in the coming years.

If you're looking to extend your team with Java talent, Softjourn has expert Java developers

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