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I had to let Go of Java

Posted at — Aug 21, 2021 by Abishek Muthian

If you're a millennial and involved in SW-development then its likely Java has touched your life in some way.

Java was the magic pill in late 90s in India and every Engineering graduate irrespective of their domain was told to get certified in it for a job. My sister(ECE) was one of them, my father got our first computer (Pentium-III ~900 MHz)to help with it in 2000 (which was a big deal for a middle-income family in India) and unfortunately the Dot-Com bubble crash hit its peak with absolutely no recruitment for java developers. My sister struggled for a while, fortunately was able to switch domain(non-SW) and has a great career now.

Fast forward to 2005, it's my turn in the Engineering college - CSE (A premium one, so job was pretty much guaranteed). Our 2nd year has introduction to programming with Java, No C, no low level languages, straight up Java. Since meritorious, Many in my college are from very poor backgrounds who never had access to computers, taking in Java directly was very tough for them. So almost everyone went for C-programming training outside our college run by one of our alumni(He has now started his own Engineering college, one of the largest in the city!) all of them studied C, so they could understand Java(programming) better!

In late 2000s it was common to define your job as a 'Java developer' and it was understood in even rural India. Famous movies were made where a character goes from rags to riches because of JavaYouTube. Then in 2008 during my placements recession happened, only fraction got placed(mostly in java dev), I was into J2ME and so waited for a mobile development job. Then Android happened, got a android development job and of course Java development background helped me a lot(Worked with other major languages every now and then).

Fast forward 2019, I've shutdown my startup due to health issues. I'm not writing android applications or java-back ends anymore. Wanted to switch to some other language as primary language partly because of java fatigue, partly because learning new language could help me divert my attention from the ongoing issues, but mainly because I have less time to code(Any time saved is a time I can put for my health) .

I chose Go, because I've been burned before by Python when the application scaled up requiring expensive optimizations. Luckily Go was everything I wanted from a new language although it wanted me to empty my cup(pun intended). Now, most of my code is in Go be it production applications or home automation scripts. I don't think I'll be able to touch Java again(perhaps maybe it brings back memories I don't really cherish) or may be I'm just adamant.

If you have made it so far, Thanks for reading.

Addendum: I wrote this originally as a comment on Hacker News on discussion about Java programming language.

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