Java Developers have Loads to Learn from the Rails Community

Java Developers have Loads to Learn from the Rails Community

date:Jun 15, 2011

In an interview with, the creator of the Spring framework, Rod Johnson, tells interviewer Cameron McKenzie that  Java developers have a lot to learn from the Rails community. The response came from a question about what it would take for the enterprise Java community to eagerly adopt cloud based technologies like vFabric and the up and coming Code2Cloud initiative. Here is Rod's response.

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Read the full text transcript from this video below. Please note the full transcript is for reference only and may include limited inaccuracies. To suggest a transcript correction, contact   

Spring's Rod Johnson on What Java Can Lean from the Rails Community

Rod Johnson: "I probably shouldn’t say this in a Java community website, but I think that the Java community has almost a pathological desire for complexity at times. 

"We do have to learn from communities like Rails. I had an interesting conversation with one of the prominent Rails folk a year ago, where he said, 'You have to understand about our community, if someone finds a better way to do something, within 30 days, everybody does it, switches out what they’re doing and move to the better way of doing it.'

Discussing enterprise Java and the move to the cloud

"In reality,  there will be some resistance from enterprises; and of course, let’s face it, there are classes of enterprises for whom having their source code in a public cloud is just not an option for various reasons. However, I do think that you’ll see a lot of adoption from small to medium business, and I think you’ll see in larger organizations a gradual adoption at a departmental level. 

"Whether or not we provide any of these in terms of a private cloud is an open question. Technically we can do it. It’s really a product management and packaging question. So I think we will certainly see an enterprise adoption, and I think there is a strong desire in the enterprise to radically simplify. 

What the modern CIO is looking for

"I think a lot of CIOs are getting to the point now where they think, 'We’ve got to be more consistent, we’ve got to be a lot simpler, we can’t keep going and reinventing the wheel constantly.' So on the one hand, I think there are undoubted sensitivities about getting some of that stuff in the public cloud, but on the other hand, this kind of desire to simplify is strong; let’s just not reinvent the wheel every time. I think that actually aligns with what modern CIO is looking for. 

Reservations about the private cloud

"And I think broadly speaking, there is this whole question of how long it’s going to take large enterprises to move towards a public cloud. And what I see is that every single CIO that I talk to is concerned about a public cloud, and their priority for the bulk of their workloads is, 'How do we move to a private cloud?' I think public cloud is something that will undoubtedly take longer."

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