One of the things I love about my job is the fact that I get to meet developers from all over the world. A while back I sat down and figured out that, during my career, I’ve spoken about Java to audiences in 57 countries (and I’m always looking for new places to go).
Last week, as part of Azul’s Java community activities, I went to China to present to the Green Tea JUG. My trip also presented me with an opportunity to meet with some of our current and potential customers while I was there. Even though it was a short trip, I certainly managed to pack in plenty of Java.
I’m always struck by how China is advancing at an incredible pace, not just regarding infrastructure, but also in the adoption of technology. Just getting from the airport to the centre of Shanghai is an engineering geek’s dream using the Maglev train, which travels at up to 430 Km/h (270 mph) reducing the 30.5 Km trip to just over seven minutes!
The first company I met with was in the process of making a transition from .Net to Java for all of their server-side applications. When I asked them about the rationale for this migration they explained that there are literally millions of Java developers available to them. They don’t see graduates leaving university with skills in .Net, whereas almost all the universities use Java as a primary teaching language. They also felt that, with the JCP and OpenJDK, Java is an open platform whereas .Net is closed. Certainly, I did not disagree with their assessment.
The second company I met with was a large customer of ours, and they were very happy to report that using Zing as their Java runtime they had reduced their hardware requirements by fifty percent. I just wish I could convince more people that paying for a Java runtime can actually save you money (and provide a far better service for your customers) in the long run. Why not try free Zing trial on your applications and find out how much you could save?
During my second day, I travelled to Hangzhou by train (fast, but not quite as fast as the Maglev) and spent 90 minutes presenting JDK 9 and Modularity (slides available here). My talk was followed by nearly two hours of questions, starting with JDK 9 but moving on to a wide range of Java related subjects. This was a lot of fun. I also really liked the name they had for the room where the meeting was held.
Before heading back to Shanghai, I spent some time talking with another customer who has some seriously big infrastructure. They develop and use around 10,000 applications, of which 5,000 are written in Java. These run on over a million instances of physical and virtual machines as well as Docker containers. Their challenge is to support a considerably bigger load without increasing the amount of hardware they use. We had a lot of fun discussing ways of measuring performance and figuring out where to apply effort to reduce both load and latency.
It’s always good to see how widespread the use of Java is and how people who think that nobody uses Java anymore are as far as possible from the truth.