NOTE: This post was originally published on April 4, 2014, but was updated on August 31, 2018. Do you know of other Java experts who should be included on this list? Send your suggestions to @NewRelic on Twitter, using the hashtag #javaexperts.
Sun Microsystems developed the Java language in the early 1990s as a pragmatic language that could be used for almost any purpose: from limited-resource embedded devices to highly scalable and efficient systems.
Today you’ll find the Java language and the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) running in everything from data centers to set-top boxes to Raspberry Pi. Perhaps the most popular programming language around, Java is the primary language of business systems and the principal language for Android apps. In all, some nine million developers write Java code—and a growing number incorporate other languages that run on the JVM.
Whether you want to find tips and tricks, discover a new tool for your tool belt, or get inspired about what you can do on with Java today, it helps to tune in to leaders in the Java realm. Here are 21, in alphabetical order, to get you started.
Gail Anderson is the Director of Research and founding member of the Anderson Software Group, Inc. Anderson specializes in creating course materials for training in Java and other programming tools, in addition to leading technical sessions and tutorials at events such as the JavaOne, Devoxx and NetBeans Day conferences. Anderson is a Java Champion and a member of the NetBeans Dream Team, and she is the co-author of eight textbooks on software programming.
Currently a professor of principles of software construction at Carnegie Mellon University. Former chief Java architect at Google and distinguished engineer at Sun Microsystems. Lead on the Java Collections Framework, java.math, and the assert mechanism. Author of Effective Java and co-author of Java Puzzlers and Java Concurrency in Practice.
Currently working at Oracle, managing the Java Core Libraries team, and is also the JavaOne Core Track Lead. Former engineering manager of the Swing and AWT teams at Sun Microsystems. Has been working on the Swing GUI Toolkit since its start in 1996.
Brian is an architect for the Java Language at Oracle, a steward of the Java 8 language features, and the lead author of Java Concurrency in Practice.
A distinguished engineer at Amazon Web Services (AWS), formerly the chief software architect at Liquid Robotics. Famously known for being the original developer of Java in 1994. Former CTO of Sun Microsystems’ Developer Products and Client Software Groups.
Arun is a principal open source technologist at AWS. He has been building and leading developer communities for 10+ years at Sun, Oracle, Red Hat, and Couchbase. He founded Devoxx4Kids USA, an organization to help children learn programming. His 10-year-old son, Aditya Gupta, demonstrated Java programming with Minecraft at JavaOne 2013.
Leads the Android UI toolkit team at Google, where he works on animations, graphics, and hardware acceleration for the Android platform. He works with all desktop Java technologies, including Swing and Java 2D. Co-author of Filthy Rich Clients: Developing Animated and Graphical Effects for Desktop Java Applications.
Creator of the Clojure language and the CTO of Cognitect. Clojure is a Lisp-like functional language that runs on the JVM and fully interoperates with Java. Created the functional database Datomic.
Principal engineer at Pivotal. Co-founder of the Spring Framework, for which he was project lead and release manager.
Currently the CEO of Atomist, a software delivery automation company for cloud-native applications. Creator of the Spring Framework, co-founder and former CEO of SpringSource. Author of Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development; co-author of Professional Java Development with the Spring Framework and Expert One-on-One J2EE Development without EJB.
Professor of computer science at SUNY Oswego. Author of Concurrent Programming in Java: Design Principles and Patterns, co-author of Java Concurrency in Practice. Formerly on the Executive Committee of the Java Community Process.
Tor Norbye is Google’s technical lead for Android Studio and a frequent conference speaker. He has more than 20 years of experience working on the development of several major Java IDEs including Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and NetBeans.
Martin Oderskys is a computer scientist and professor of programming methods at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Odersky specializes in code analysis and programming languages; he is the creator of Scala—an object-functional hybrid language that runs on the JVM and fully interoperates with Java—and the author of Programming in Scala. He also created Generic Java, the precursor to Java SE 5 generics; his implementation of the GJ complier became the basis of javac, the Java compiler.
Ixchel Ruiz has developed software application and tools since 2000. Ruiz’s research interests include dynamic languages, testing and client-side technologies, and systems administration (*nix on the top), as well as data modeling and information architecture. Ruiz is a strong advocate of Open Source software; she has participated in the Json-lib and EZMorph projects, as well as Apache Groovy, a Java syntax-compatible programming language.
Recently released a new book, Badass Users. Formerly a programming instructor, game developer, and a master trainer at Sun Microsystems. Kathy is the co-author of Head First Java and founder of the JavaRanch online community.
James is currently the Chief Architect at CloudBeessa, working on Jenkins X automated CI/CD for Kubernetes. Creator of the Groovy language, which is used with JVM-based frameworks such as Grails and Gradle. He is also a member of the Apache Software Foundation and co-founded projects such as Apache Camel, Apache ServiceMix, and ActiveMQ.
Martin Thompson is currently a high-performance and low-latency computing specialist at Real Logic. Formerly the CTO and co-founder of LMAX, which develops ultra low-latency, high-throughput applications for use in high-speed trading and financial services environments.
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Note: Chris Hansen wrote the original version of this post.