Java jocks set to pass C/C++/VB experts

The latest round of squabbling between Microsoft and Sun Microsystems over the future of the Java programming language notwithstanding, Java jocks are apparently breeding like rabbits. A new survey by Evans Data Corp. concludes that the number of programmers using Java will surpass the number of programmers using Visual Basic and C/C++ by next year.

Janel Garvin, vice president of research at the Santa Cruz, CA-based Evans, presented her firm's findings at IBM's Solutions technical developers conference, held last week in San Francisco. Garvin reported that more than half the developers working in North American today use Java. That number, she said, will rise by 10 percent next year, giving Java jocks the edge over VB and C/C++ coders for the first time. Java usage is even stronger outside North America, Garvin said, where almost 60 percent of developers are expecting to spend some part of their programming time using Java.

Garvin added that initial Evans surveys suggest that only a small portion of the developer population intends to try Microsoft Corp.'s C# (pronounced "C sharp). Most of those will be coders who are already using Microsoft programming languages, Garvin said.

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John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].