Making the cut: Top Java content from developerWorks
A quick rundown of the content and topics that resonated most deeply with the dW Java audience in 2017
2017 was an amazing year for the Java™ platform. We finally saw the release of Java 9, new APIs for Java EE 8. Spring Framework 5, JUnit 5, and some notable open source projects from IBM —Open Liberty and OpenJ9— as well as the welcome news that Java EE would be moving to the Eclipse Foundation (for now, as EE4J). Accordingly, JavaOne was the most exciting it's been since 2005, and our dW TV team was on the spot with some fantastic videos to bring the conference home to those who couldn't attend.
2017 was an exciting year for developerWorks, too, with a deeper investment in exciting topics like Blockchain, as well as patterns that bring together open technologies, code, content, and community to help you solve your programming challenges. And with regard to Java, we welcomed several new contributors.
So, without further ado, let's get to the goodies.
Java 8 idioms
At JavaOne 2016 I finally had the pleasure to meet master teacher Venkat Subramaniam during a conversation with Brian Goetz. As longtime readers know, Brian has graced the pages of dW off and on since 2002, and he leaned over to Venkat and said, "You should write for dW!" That delightfully impromptu endorsement led to the powerhouse series of 2017, Java 8 idioms. Venkat is one busy man, but he took the time to offer up 11 fantastic articles that invite you to rethink how you look at coding in Java, the last of which was published just weeks ago. Every one of these articles is packed with targeted and easy-to-follow guidance. You won't want to miss a single one.
Spring Boot basics
Another favorite in 2017 came from dW veteran, Steve Perry. He's done some fantastic work for me over the years, and this one is no exception. With cheeky video added for reinforcement, Steve walks you through Spring Boot's starters, opinions, and executable JAR file structure to help you quickly create Spring-based applications that "just run."
5 things you didn't know about...
This series, which digs beneath the core functionality of the Java platform to help you solve even your stickiest programming challenges, held the same position last year. But this year I finally get to say: it's been updated! Ted Neward (with a little help from his friends) was the original author, but newcomer Alex Theedom, who you'll see elsewhere in this list, picked up the thankless job to review and update the series — and he added a few, too!
Introduction to the JSON Binding API
As promised, this is your dW introduction to Alex Theedom, whose work I'd seen in other venues piqued my interest. A few DMs and emails later, we settled on some ideas for him to pursue. His JSON-B introduction, published between November 2017 and January 2018, started moving up the charts immediately upon publication, and I think I know why: Built-in support for XML has been sorely needed in Java EE. This four-part series thoroughly explores the API and explains how it combines with the JSON Processing API and other technologies for manipulating JSON documents in Java enterprise applications.
Introducing JUnit 5
If you've been on the fence about upgrading to the new JUnit 5, this tutorial will convince you to take the plunge. In the fun yet detailed way that he's becoming known for, Steve Perry takes you on a tour of the new Jupiter API and shows you how to get started with the Jupiter extensions for parameter injection, paramaterized tests, dynamic tests, and custom annotations.
Honorable mention: Intro to Java programming learning path
This learning path, a 23-unit course with video and quizzes, originally published in fall 2016, still tops the list as a fan favorite. The introductory content, which has had some tweaks already with a few others on the way, has helped countless people learn about the Java platform in a fun and engaging way.
2017 was a good year, and I admit that by the time December rolled around, I was beat, ready for some serious downtime. Lest you worry that we'll rest on our laurels, 2018 will be no exception to the continual change at dW. This year will usher in new topics, new contributors, and a redesigned Java hub. Our focus will be on bringing together the many Java-related resources available in the broader developerWorks ecosystem into a more complete and cohesive picture for our audience. I hope that by this time in 2019, this look back will have a lot more to share. In the meantime, enjoy the selections!