What we learned about the world of Java from the JavaOne 2016 keynotes

The JavaOne 2016 conference keynotes were replete with special guests speaking on topics as far flung as rocket science, particle physics, and the human genome. It’s obvious that all advanced scientific disciplines rely on computing power to reconnoiter the reaches of outer and inner space. So it should come as no surprise that Java plays a role in some of the most exciting explorations of the 21st century. Java language, the JVM, and JDK will all be part of the future. Here are just a few of the areas where this workhorse of the computing world will continue to prove its worth.

The secrets of the universe

Calling the Hadron Collider “large” is a bit of an understatement. The facility housing this particle accelerator is seventeen miles in circumference, making it the largest building in the world. Yet it takes that much space to reach the speeds necessary to smash apart a tiny atom. Of course, busting up particles is only part of the fun. It’s capturing and analyzing data that really makes CERN tick. From the command system that runs the collider to the business systems that keep the institute running smoothly, CERN made a decision a long time ago that Java and the JVM were the way to go. That’s still how things stand today, which means the world has Java to thank, in part, for the discovery of the God Particle. Next on the cosmic quest for CERN scientists are dark energy, dark matter, and other dimensions.

Researching a cure for cancer

Java is already playing a huge role in shaping the future of medicine. Intel’s VP of Software & Services Group, Michael Greene, revealed that several big name organizations including Broad Institute and Google are coming together with Intel to take cancer treatment to the next level. Precision healthcare, with targeted treatments that are tailored to a patient’s genetics, is already a reality. But the time span from the initial doctor visit to the development of each treatment can take months—time seriously ill cancer patients may not be able to spare. By 2020, the “Collaborative Cancer Cloud” hopes to shorten that wait time to deliver same day treatment. This is a perfect use case for Big Data, with genomicists and bioinformaticians all pooling their data to create a resource that could save countless lives. And it’s all running on the JDK.

Java on Mars

There may well be life on Mars soon—and it could be human! That’s a hope held out by NASA aerospace engineer Dr. Anita Sengupta. It could even happen in the lifetime of TheServerSide readers. It took complex calculations, half a million lines of code, and a lot of engineering expertise to safely land Curiosity, a rover the size of an SUV, on the surface of Mars. It’s going to take a whole lot more to send a manned spacecraft to the red planet and potentially start terrarofming. Odds are good that Java will be on board for that journey. It was used in the guidance system for Spirit already. Wind River, the IoT industry leader responsible for the system on Curiosity, is well known for using the JVM as well.

A fully connected world

Intel and the Java community are working together to bring about the vision of a completely connected world. It’s possible that the globe could be home to 50 billion devices and four times that many sensors within the next fifteen years. With that potential for connectivity come many new puzzles for software and hardware engineers to solve. It will take fifth generation wireless standards, better and faster memory, and greater analytics than ever before to make this connected world run smoothly. Greene is confident that the community is up to the task.

With so much riding on the abilities of Java software developers, it’s good to know that there are goals worth the effort.


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