From bitcoin to deprecated Java, a look at 2017’s top opinions

What were the most contested technology topics of 2017? On TheServerSide, issues such as bitcoin blockchains and deprecated Java methods generated the most comments and page views.

It’s always interesting looking back on the various topics that arose throughout the previous year in the world of Java and technology. TheServerSide typically likes to stick with fairly neutral feature articles, news pieces, tips and tutorials, but every once in a while a subject or an issue arises that calls for a bit of an opinion to be offered. Here’s a look at ten of the most popular opinion pieces for 2017 — based on comments — ranging from cleaning up deprecated Java methods in the Java SE API to the problems with the bitcoin blockchain.

10. The ignominy of working at Uber

It seems that the various issues surrounding Uber and other ride-sharing programs never once abated throughout 2017. But specifically of interest to developers were the unethical practices of creating applications such as Greyball, which geofenced law enforcement agencies, not to mention the allegations by former employee Keala Lusk regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. It all begs the question, if you had been a developer at Uber, would you include that fact on your professional resume? I certainly wouldn’t.

9. Diversity versus parity

Former Google employee James Damore raised a number of eyebrows with his blog post “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” which criticized the search engine’s approach to diversity and inclusion. Of course, what exactly do people mean when they talk about diversity and inclusion? Is the goal really diversity or is the actual goal simply gender and ethnic parity? There’s a big difference between the two concepts.



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8. Process and methods

It’s not wise to speak unkindly about Agile and DevOps, the two hottest methodologies and software development processes around today. But these tall poppies were growing a little high, and someone just needed to address the fact that, as effective as these two approaches are, they aren’t magical unicorns, and they won’t fix every problem a software development team will encounter.

7. Deprecated Java code

Sometimes a discussion on a boring topic such as deprecated Java methods sings to the hearts of the software developers. A snide little rant about using deprecated Java methods garnered far more social media shares than one would have expected.

6. Cloud-native Java

Perhaps the biggest trend in the world of Java development was the move to cloud-native Java architectures. But sometimes the push to re-architect the entire data center was a little over enthusiastic and organizations with more than sufficient infrastructures were made to feel there was a problem with systems that are working just fine. Far too often, fear mongering was driving the microservices and containers trends.

5. The 12-Factor app

How do you develop cloud-native Java applications? Some suggest the mantra of the 12-Factor app is the right place to start. I’d disagree, as I noted in this article.

4. Java EE APIs

I like JavaServer Faces and I like JSR-371, the new Model-View-Controller (MVC 1.0) framework for developing user interfaces. But I’ve never liked the fact that UI frameworks get included in the Java EE specification. They shouldn’t be. They should stand alone.

3. Cloud failures

The Amazon outage was big news in February. But the story was bigger than the simple fact that an AWS availability zone temporarily went down. It was about how that Amazon outage impacted the faith and trust clients have in their cloud computing vendors.

2. Explaining away the Amazon outage

Amazon explained away its zone outage as simple data input error. But when an entire availability zone goes down, there’s more going on than simply a user hitting the wrong key on the keyboard.

1. Bitcoin and blockchains

2017 will be remembered as they year bitcoin broke the $10,000 barrier. But just how fundamentally sound is the blockchain technology that underlies the cryptocurrency? This article on the issues surrounding bitcoin and blockchain technology not only attracted a large number of eyeballs, but it generated an equally large number of comments and shares on various social media sites.