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Karsten Silz
Karsten Silz

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How to Build Java Applications Today: #58


Stand-up and Java Full-Stack Index December 2021.


Welcome to my newsletter “How To Build Java Applications Today”! If you like it, then subscribe to it on Substack! Or read it on or Medium. Even better: Share it with people who may be interested.

Next Issue: Wednesday, January 5, 2022

My newsletter usually appears on the first Wednesday of every month.


So here’s the second issue on the monthly cadence. I spent all my time on the “Java Full-Stack Index” (see below), measuring the popularity of technologies in five areas with four data points. I planned to add a new section to the newsletter but ran out of time. Why?

I attended Devoxx UK, where I gave one talk, and W-JAX Munich, where I gave two talks (here and here). I was on-site for both conferences. Finally!

I'm also honored to be on the Program Committee (PC) for the next QCon London. It's my first time on a conference PC, and I'm loving it!

Apart from all my conference activities, I also worked in my own start-up. And finally, I set up my brand-new MacBook Pro 16" with M1 Max and 64 GB RAM. You know, "My computer has too much RAM!" isn’t a valid sentence in English! 😁

Anyhow, I hope to have a new section in my newsletter next month. See you then!



I’m a full-stack Java developer with 22 years of experience: Spring Boot, Angular, Flutter. I'm looking for a project in May 2022, in Milton Keynes, London, or remote. I’ll work as a contractor or fixed-term employee but don’t take permanent positions.

Interested? Then check out my resume & work samples!

Check out my resume & work samples

Java Full-Stack Index December 2021

What do we need to build a Java application today? A JVM language, a database, a back-end framework, a web framework, and - if we want to get fancy - a mobile app framework. So my index recommends technologies in these five areas, based on popularity, industry analysis, and my 22 years of Java experience.

Why am I measuring popularity?

  • Picking a popular technology makes our developer life easier: Easier to learn, easier to build, debug & deploy, easier to hire, and easier to convince teammates & bosses.
  • Popularity can make a difference in two situations: When multiple technologies score the same, you could go for the most popular one. And when a technology is very unpopular, we may not use it.

How am I measuring popularity?

I measure popularity by systematically observing what millions of developers do. And by monitoring not one but four popularity data points across the entire technology adoption journey, I can forecast the popularity of technologies in the near future.

  • I look at technology popularity as a funnel from interest to learning, application, and finally to skill.
  • Quantity decreases in the funnel - we're interested in many technologies, but few end up on our resumes.
  • Time increases in the funnel - it takes many months, often years, for technology to move from "interest" to "skill".
  • We're interested in the trend of the ratio between competing technologies.
  • We use Google searches to measure interest, Udemy course buyers to measure learning, Stack Overflow questions to measure learning & application, and mentions in Indeed job ads to measure skills.

So what's changed over the index from November?

  • I updated all charts for all technologies with the latest numbers. I collected those November 24-26.
  • For JVM languages, databases, and back-end frameworks, I compared the numbers of Udemy students against the ones from November. For JVM languages, I did the same for mentions in Indeed job ads. This hints at trends, but these trends need more time to become visible.
  • Both the front-end and back-end frameworks now show all technologies in the charts for the numbers of Udemy students and the mentions in Indeed job ads.
  • I corrected several typos. I barely managed to get last month's issue out before I went off to my conferences, so I couldn't proofread this properly then.

Java Full-Stack Index December 2021


Karsten Silz is the author of this newsletter. He is a full-stack web & mobile developer with 22 years of Java experience, author, speaker, and marathon runner. Karsten got a Master's degree in Computer Science at the Dresden University of Technology (Germany) in 1996.

Karsten has worked in Europe and the US. He co-founded a software start-up in the US in 2004. Karsten led product development for 13 years and left after the company was sold successfully. He co-founded the UK SaaS start-up "Your Home in Good Hands" as CTO in 2020. Since 2019, Karsten also works as a contractor in the UK.

Karsten has this newsletter, a developer website, and a contractor site. He's on LinkedInTwitter, and GitHub. Karsten is also an author at InfoQ.

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