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“Why Are There C# & Java Web Developers When We Have Javascript?” #Programming College Student Q&A: #WebDev

Image credit: https://medium.com/physiatry/build-a-web-app-to-test-fine-motor-coordination-with-leap-motion-part-2-programming-tutorial-61e00d8e13

This morning I received a question from a close connection attending programming college, as you may have read in the title, he wanted to know why C# and Java were still so valid in a time where Javascript is mature, more efficient and effective? Since I tend to look at things not only on the micro level (which is my friend’s usual focus) but also the macro I was able to respond in full. The following is that response.

Q: Why are there Java web developers or C# Web developers what is the point if there is JavaScript?

A: Many reasons:

#1. Education System

Because most formal schools and colleges use Java to teach development, companies prefer the security of their employees working in the language they know the libraries best. C# is strong because of .NET which is used heavily in the corporate world and government, so since the knowledge and experience is there, it makes sense to make online apps with .NET instead of Js… my brother built his career on .NET at the beginning.

#2. Grandfathering

Since Java and C# have been the standard for a long time because of the education system, even if Js may be better and more current, it is very expensive for large organizations to completely migrate from one platform to the other without it being very expensive, complicated and time consuming. Smaller companies can more easily adapt to changing platforms, when it’s more appropriate and relevant, but massive establishments don’t have that luxury, as it is a massive investment to do so when you have 100s, 1000s or even 10s of thousands of people working on it. Thus old establishments tend to follow the rule of “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and use it as long as it still works. Heck there are even some very old companies (very few now of course) that use much older technology, like punch-hole computers from the 60s and 70s for their accounting!

#3. Security & Stability

The final reason [I thought of top of mind] that they rely on outdated and less effective systems due to legacy, is insurable security. They can be sure that it works because it’s work for so long already. Also history has shown that the systems that have been around the longest (see: C, C++, etc…) will usually stay around the longest. This gives the organization peace of mind that the system that lasted so long up to this point is more likely to last than a newer one that hasn’t been tested by the sands of time yet.

Therefore larger establishments, corporations and organizations tend to stick to mature platforms since there is less uncertainty for their employment and their future than the newer platforms. Usually these massive establishments will only decide to start migrating to a better platform (if they do at all) once they’ve done the research and can be certain that the massive investment it will take to change platforms will will return to them by the added efficiency and effectiveness of the new platform. It could take years or decades for the benefits of the new platform to come to fruition. Therefore if they are considering a new platform they have to do a calculation to predict the return on investment (ROI), if there is not enough return on investment soon enough from the perspective of C-level management (CEO, CFO, CTO, etc…) based on research, data and calculations, then they will delay a system shift until it is more profitable sooner.

Closing Thoughts

This problem is not unique to the software development field. You can see the same exact problem in the energy sector. We’ve had better ways to generate energy sustainably and cleanly for a longtime with wind and especially solar power… but few have actually invested in it early on even though it would be more profitable and sustainable in the future. That’s because the initial investment, especially when it is a young technology, is too risky for conservative establishments. That’s why it’s not until capitalistic entrepreneurs, the lifeblood of society, generously take the risk and invest in those platforms (see: Elon Musk, Naveen Jain, etc…) that they actually become mature enough, quickly enough for more people to feel safe enough to come on board.


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