Five reasons OpenJDK training matters for developersJoe Taylor Jr., September 27, 2011
"Open source" used to refer to software developed by volunteers, designed to replace more expensive code offered by large companies. Today, major software players have come to terms with the need to help enterprise customers develop and deploy large-scale solutions using open source tools. When Oracle purchased Sun in 2009, it inherited OpenJDK, the open-source version of the Java Development Kit.
Sun opened most of the Java code to developers in 2006, capping more than a decade and a half of controlled development. By placing Java under a GNU license, Sun opened the platform for experimentation and exploitation.
However, the spread of servers and embedded devices running Java forced Oracle to place OpenJDK under a tighter grip than most open-source development projects. In partnership with IBM, Oracle released a long-term roadmap for OpenJDK and announced that it would form the foundation for the new baseline implementation of Java's commercial Standard Edition platform. Apple and SAP have since joined the coalition of Java's corporate stewards, ensuring consistent growth and deployment of the platform across a variety of devices.
OpenJDK training helps information technology professionals achieve five critical career goals:
Learning OpenJDK best practices
Most professional developers learn their favorite software platforms by hacking around with code. As Oracle and IBM spearhead a move to consolidate Java development under a single core product, formal OpenJDK training helps developers understand the differences between the multiple Java versions in production within different kinds of organizations. Java training programs also help experienced developers learn the best practices necessary to prepare for the latest version of Java SE.
Preparing OpenJDK code for certification
Java developers write code that can run on everything from a multicore server to a low-power processor embedded in a small electronic device like a toaster. Before releasing code to the manufacturing process, most companies must meet industry and trade group certifications. Formal OpenJDK training enables developers to create apps that can reliably run under Java SE, or to create custom implementations of Java that meet safety and security guidelines.
Understanding OpenJDK patent implications
Even widely used platforms like OpenJDK carry some risk for organizations. Not all of the original Java source code ended up in the public domain, due to a handful of third-party code modules and licensing deals. Likewise, high-profile lawsuits against Microsoft and Google underscore the challenges that companies face when deploying open-source code without consideration to patents and permissions. OpenJDK training helps students understand the nuances between fair use and licensed deployment.
Preparing for future OpenJDK consolidation
According to a study by information technology analysts at the Standish Group, companies would have to spend $60 billion or more every year to match the features they enjoy by using open-source software. Still, large businesses make plenty of money by helping clients deploy Java and other "free" platforms. With corporate support from Oracle, Apple, IBM, and SAP, OpenJDK enjoys a huge advantage over other Java forks. OpenJDK training can help developers write code that doesn't rely on unsupported extensions.
Presenting OpenJDK credentials to employers
In many companies, engineers write code while managers and HR professionals conduct hiring processes. Developers often review code portfolios from prospective employees, but landing a portfolio into the review stage of a hiring requires impressing a non-technical manager. Formal OpenJDK training assures companies that candidates meet the baseline requirements for posted job opportunities. With Java development evolving rapidly to meet enterprise demand, even experienced programmers can leverage training into bigger assignments.