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Java Tools and Technologies Landscape for 2014

Most Interesting Alternative JVM Languages

It’s exciting to see Scala topping the list of JVM languages people want to learn more about. Scala really is the language with the most similarities to Java (static typing, object-model, etc.) that has the most significant improvements (pattern matching, traits, first class functions); this means learning Scala for the JVM can be a very enriching experience and I think a lot of developers are drawn to that in their hunger to grow.
      – Josh Suereth, Geek at Typesafe

“If you had to choose just one additional JVM language to learn about, it would probably be..?” was a fun question to ask, since the results don’t significantly affect terribly much in the world of Java. That said, some trends are visible: after Java, the real JVM-based contenders out there have always been Scala and Groovy, and this year we see these two pop up once again.

Java tools and technologies landscape 2014 next jvm language to learn graph

Statically-typed Scala (47%) and dynamic Groovy (31%) might do things quite differently, but both remain interesting to Java developers. Considering the professional support and community strength behind Scala by Typesafe, it’s easy to see the Scala ecosystem continue making gains into enterprises as a serious alternative to Java. Groovy is also a very popular choice among JVM developers – coincidentally Groovy is the DSL used in Gradle​, another popular technology among those we asked.

Clojure (12%), the functional language built by the elusive Lisp creator Rich Hickey, remains a fascination for Java developers as well. It’s not even in the top 100 programming languages according to the TIOBE index, yet 1 in 8 Java developers would choose it as their next language to learn. Kotlin (2%), Ceylon (2%) and Xtend (2%) each have small followings, but nothing to rival the leaders.

For further reading, check out The Adventurous Developer’s Guide to JVM Languages.