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November 2, 1999

Current Java Usage “Just the Tip of the Iceberg”

By CBR Staff Writer

Some 44% of 500 software developers surveyed in North America by Evans Marketing Services are now using Java for at least some portion of time, according to the latest North American Developer Opinion Survey. It continues a steady upward growth pattern established over the past two years (the survey is carried out once every six months). The developers themselves forecast that Java use will increase to 57% by next year. In Europe, current usage is 43%, with 61% of developers projecting that they will be using it by next year.

Janel Garvin, VP of Research at Evans, claims that Java is an example of an iceberg language. If surveys count only those developers who use Java most of the time, they miss the huge percentage of developers who use it less often, he says. Up to 75% of those surveyed use the language 30% of the time or less and in the case of Java that has become literally millions of developers. Garvin says that developers continue to forecast an increase in Java use both overall and at various usage stages. These developers are adding Java to their repertoire and they intend to use it more and more. This is not the same pattern found in any other language today.

Java is used less frequently than some other languages because it is still new, and can’t address the huge mass of old code that must be maintained, says Garvin. And, he says, it’s best suited for use on the newer type of applications, architectures and implementations only now beginning to be built. When they become commonplace, he says we’ll find an enormous Java user base already established and the ‘iceberg’ will surface.

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