“œWe have more demand than we can accommodate,” shared Calen Legaspi, CEO of Orange & Bronze Software Labs, and Technology Director of the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), in an interview during the Java 7 release party held recently at their headquarters, where over a hundred Java developers were in attendance.
“œWe have more projects coming in than we can handle, from our local clients such as Smart Communications and Banco de Oro, to our offshore clients such as Cisco Systems,” Legaspi added.
He said that the reason for this is because Java is the only platform available to build large-scale enterprise systems that are not tied to a particular operating system or vendor. The closest competitor to Java is Microsoft.Net, which must run on the Windows operating system.
“œOther competing technologies have not yet been able to reach the maturity or industry acceptance of Java. This is why companies with huge scalability and security requirements like Google, Twitter, Ebay and LinkedIn use Java for much of their core systems,” Legaspi said.
The latest release of Java introduces new language features to boost developer productivity, better performance, and support for multiple languages. The multiple language feature will support the current trend of new programming languages and frameworks that will run on top of the Java platform.
“œSome industry analysts such as Forrester are saying that Java is on the decline. What they don’t understand is many of the “˜new’ technologies supposedly replacing Java are actually built on top of Java. These are technologies like Spring, Hibernate, JRuby and Grails,” he explained.
Legaspi, who is one of the co-founders of the 2,000-strong premier local Java community–Pinoy Java Users Group (PinoyJUG), said that right now, Filipino Java developers are among the most talented in the world, as they are able to adapt to the software language much faster.
Legaspi believes that the Philippines needs to take advantage of the current demand for Java development by supporting the educational system, something that he and his company actively partakes in.
Orange & Bronze provides free training and curriculum support for faculty in the Computer Science and IT departments, either through their own initiatives or through cooperation with the PSIA. Legaspi developed the Java curricula for the Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA) Train-for-Work program. This is part of long-term goals by the Philippines to strengthen the Java development skills.
“œOur goal as an organization is to ensure that our developers are at par with international standards and be able to adapt to changes when needed. Our country has so much potential and we can remain a major provider of Java-based development as long as we are continuously trained in the latest technologies,” said Legaspi, who also sits on the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Technical Panel for Computer Science.