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Java developers are a dynamic, ever changing bunch.

Over the past couple of weeks, I ran an industry survey here on Baeldung, to see how Java 8, Spring 4 and the newer Spring Boot are adopted and used in the industry.

We got over 1500 answers to the survey – leading to some very cool numbers:

>> CHECK OUT THE FULL SURVEY RESULTS

Java 8 Adoption

Let’s start with Java, where we numbers are as follows:

Java 8 adoption
  • 38% – Java 8

  • 48.5% – Java 7

  • 13.5% – Java 6

The community is clearly moving to Java 8 at a very fast pace – a Typesafe survey had Java 8 adoption hovering at around 26% back in October of 2014.

We are now at almost 40% adoption in May of 2015 – only 7 months later – which is quite impressive.

Spring 4 Adoption

Spring 4 has been released in December of 2013. Let’s see how much it has been adopted across the industry today:

Spring 4 adoption
  • 65% – Spring 4

  • 32.5% – Spring 3

  • 2.5% – Spring 2

The numbers are very clear – the ecosystem is moving to Spring 4.

Back in June of 2014 – almost 1 year ago – adoption looked quite different:

  • 37% – Spring 4
  • 57% – Spring 3
  • 6% – Spring 2

Spring Boot Adoption

Finally – Spring Boot was released back in April of 2014. Let’s see it has been adopted over this past year:

Spring Boot Adoption
  • 34% – Using Spring Boot Now

  • 66% – Not Yet

Conclusion

The earlier releases – Java 7 and Spring 3 – are clearly on a downward trend but do have a solid part of the market. What’s interesting though is that the older versions – Java 6 and Spring 2 are nearly gone or down to single digits.

Overall, it looks like the pace of adoption is strong for both Java 8 and the newer Spring technologies.

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  • It’s nice to see the adoption rates of all Spring 4, Spring Boot and Java 8 on the rise. As someone who has spent the last couple of years working actively with Play Framework, I was overwhelmed by the amount of what has changed in the Spring world. The last time I worked with Spring full time was with Spring 2/3, and although the core concepts have remained unchanged, the framework has become leaner and adopting more of the “convention-over-configuration” ideas.

    There are lots of online resources about Spring, not even half of which up to the latest standards. Therefore, surveys like this are a good motivation for people like me, to jump straight to Spring 4 / Spring Boot, and cut with the legacy straight from the start.

    • Hey Preslav, yeah, things are definitely moving forward quickly – especially with Boot dropping last year. You can do things like – no XML (at all) now and do get a fair bit of good “convention” before you have to touch the “configuration”. Overall, I’m excited to see the community adopting these new releases quickly and of course building some cool stuff with it. Cheers,
      Eugen.

  • I wish it was true, but it’s not. What kind of market are we talking about? What part of the world are we talking about? 1500 replies, really? On my Java Installer I read that Java runs on 3bil. devices, 1500 developers are enough for all of them? That survey is quite optimistic in its vision, unfortunately most of the time we have to face the reality: Java is stuck to version 6 and the situation for the Enterprise is worst, where in most of the cases we need to play with Servlet 2.4 or 2.5 (Tomcat 5.5 or JBoss 5). Hence no Spring 4 and no Spring Boot.

    Yeah I know you may say: “then update!”, but working for public administration is HELL or rather it’s the APOCALYPSE every time you speak with fancy words such as upgrade or update. You have to fight ’til your last breath against system admins or the CEO, just to pray and beg for an update…

    You can say whatever you want in order to convince them: security updates, no more support, easier development, save money and nothing prevails. What’s the problem? They don’t care about their job, they don’t trust their job, computer science (or any particular legacy application) is a house built on top of wooden sticks and grog spittle, so don’t touch anything for God’s sake! Or the best thing I heard was: “we can’t update, if we update, we have to stop the production server and we can’t do it, you know, we need to rest in weekend and during working days we can’t touch anything”. FTW?

    Where do I live? In Italy where the chance to work as a developer it’s nothing compared to what I can read on the Internet, where everything is cool and easy (well on the draft). I read an article about Java some days ago, it said: “there should be a technology apocalypse to stop Java”, I wish there was a SYSADMIN apocalypse to get rid of them (yeah DevOps…).

    PS: I hope you feel my sarcasm, but it’s totally true.

    • Hey,
      First, I did some public administration work as well and yes, it’s hard to upgrade. On a personal note, all I can say is – don’t do that 🙂
      Now, regarding the statistical relevance of the test – it’s tough to say. The largest test I’m aware of – in the Java 7 days – is the test Typesafe ran, and than was about 2800 developers – so larger, but not orders of magnitude larger. My hunch is that – yes, the people that go through the trouble of doing a survey like this are a bit more progressive in terms of update cadences, so the results might be slightly biased towards that end of the spectrum. However, that’s true for any survey that’s asking these kinds of questions, so if they’re biased, at least they’re consistently biased.
      Hope that makes sense. Cheers,
      Eugen.

      • I’m glad to hear those numbers – see my post on the Spring team blog – but I share the reservations: The self-selected audience participating in such a survey does have a clear bias towards more progressive environments. Many developers and architects at major corporations are not even allowed to participate in such a survey, so a significant part of the market – assumably with conservative technology decisions – is not being covered here.

        That said, based on our own experience, I can confirm the trend indicated here: JDK 8 adoption is surprisingly strong, and lots of people are migrating older Spring apps to Spring 4.1 this year. As a consequence, we’ll be raising our requirement to JDK 8+ for the planned Spring 5 generation, since by 2016, JDK 8 can be expected to be above 50%. We’ll keep other requirements rather conservative (e.g. Servlet 3.0+) to cover as many production environments as possible, based on our analysis where the state of the art in production EE environments is a Java EE 6 server on JDK 8.

        • Hey Juergen,
          Yes, I definitely agree, the results of the survey are skewed towards a more progressive type of developer and reader. That’s probably because they’re more likely to actually consume sites regularly and get involved. Unfortunately it’s difficult to incentivise the more conservative devs to participate in a survey like this, even if their company doesn’t have any policy against it. So yeah, it looks like most surveys will likely lean towards that end of the spectrum.

          Overall, I do find it the results very encouraging – it looks like the industry is slowly becoming more open and ready to adapt to change than in the past.

          Not the same can be said about application server vendors it looks like, and that’s unfortunate. Not only because there’s no adoption but also because of all of these repercussions and extra work it creates in any system that needs to integrate with that slow-moving ecosystem. Maybe after reading this post they’ll get their act together and start moving in the right direction.
          Cheers.