Give Duke a Break

If you remember the man to the left of this sentence, then my hat’s off to you. Good old Duke here has seen some good times, some bad times, and frankly some overhyped times. My how times have changed. Some of the “journalists” who heralded Java as solution to all software development problems are now wrongfully spread FUD — implying that Java itself is insecure. Like any technology, Java has its issues, but the space is large and the recent security issues are almost focused on one area: applets. Java applets are more than a little antiquated at this point and there aren’t many developers worth their salt developing them.

The real issue here is not that applets are taking the web development world by storm, because that hasn’t been the case for almost a decade. The issue is that we, software developers, have done a poor job of conveying what software really is to counterparts in the business world. They think that you can contract out for an application or system and the cost of the system will be all (or mostly) taken care of upfront. This “set it and forget” attitude works fine for roasting a chicken. Sadly, software is not a chicken and that attitude eventually becomes problematic in the software world.  Unfortunately, coupled with the questionable coverage of the recent applet security issues, this attitude has lead less sophisticated developers and our business development colleagues to exile Java as though it were some sort of plague ridden rat. We, as a community of software professionals, need to change the way our colleagues view our work.

The reality of software is that it needs to be maintained and cared for, not unlike an automobile. We should clearly explain that the solutions develop are not intended to stay in place until the end of time. This is not a Java problem — this is a software problem. I encourage you to join in changing this conversation. Come on, let’s give Duke a break.  Questions? Comments? Dogmatic rage? Find me on Twitter and Google+. This post was brought to you by Code Journal and Fingertip Tech, INC.

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