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  • No one hires for Spring expertise

    I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this, but I've noticed that there are very few jobs that ask for Spring expertise, and I wonder if that's a bad sign for Spring's future.

    To be specific, searching the Dice job site for "Spring" in the United States, I found 718 listings, but many were only included because of terms such as "Colo. Springs," "Spring Valley," or "Spring Semester." In contrast, there were 10407 listings nationwide for "ejb." I then narrowed the search to the Philadelphia area (that's where I live) and found zero valid Spring listings. The local search found 313 ejb listings.

    Obviously, this says nothing about the Spring's quality, and it doesn't mean that once you get a job you can't suggest that the client use Spring. But I think my brief unscientific study implies that people who do IT hiring have almost no awareness of Spring.

    And isn't that a sign that when ejb 3.0 comes out, everyone, including people who now use Spring, are going to move to ejb 3.0 just because it's got the right brand name? Now I understand that Spring will work inside ejb 3.0, just like it works inside current-day ejbs. But on job interviews, the people that can hire you will be asking ejb 3.0 questions, and saying "Here's how to do it in Spring" probably isn't going to get you that job. It becomes a matter of economics. If ejb 3.0 knowledge is what gets you your next job, you're going to spend time getting that knowledge, and you're not going to keep improving your Spring skills.

    Even though I expect Spring will be superior to ejb 3.0 when that spec is implemented, I don't expect that the gap will be anything like that between Spring and ejb 2.1. And if the gap's small enough, the above logic says that the Spring community is going to melt away.

    Am I missing something?

    (Oh, and don't think this is what I want to have happen. It's what I fear will happen.)

  • #2
    There is a similar thread here.

    I've noticed that there are very few jobs that ask for Spring expertise
    I'd expect that to change over this year. One thing I've noticed is that the good companies are the ones asking for it. If you get involved now, and its what you like doing, you're more likely to get one of those good jobs.

    people who do IT hiring have almost no awareness of Spring...the Spring community is going to melt away...It's what I fear will happen
    I think there is too much value add and momentum for it to disappear. The excellent Spring committers also use it on many of their projects, so this is not something I fear. Being tied to a container without the option of using Spring is something I fear.

    Try doing a JUG presentation and make a difference. That'll be good for your career and you can carry that around to present when people or organisations are curious but are unsure about what it is.


    • #3
      I consider Spring to be the glue of all the service APIs for at least the next three years. It is more simplier then EJB and I have talked a lot of people into it (at least 10 :-)). The solutions to come (and already exist), which are comparable to Spring, are also all about Inversion of Control (Dependency Injection). So you don't have to learn something totally new. They do all the same. They do it slitly diffrent but almost the same. Getting familiar with Spring is like getting familiar with most of the IOC containers. You are learning concepts rather than anything special -> No special fluff, just generic stuff!

      The only thing I miss within the Spring framework is the lack of any contributional support. But hopefully this changes within the RPC subproject.


      Martin (Kersten)


      • #4
        I can tell you the companies that we at Interface21 work with as a consultancy, some of which people would consider traditionally the larger, more conservative corporations, are excited about Spring, the value it providing them today, and the model it employes to sustain long into the future.

        Spring's model is all about providing the best choice for generic technology infrastruture, capturing usage best-practices in a consistent manner that allows you and your development team to focus. That approach is never going to go out of style, regardless of the leading technologies of the day. Spring will continue to evolve, as the industry does, to continue to hedge bets on infrastructure, reduce risk, and abstract away complexity to provide a productive programming model for developers. Those armed with knowledge on how to leverage what Spring provides are always going to command the best rates in the market. Why? Because they'll be the ones solving real business problems.

        We see on a daily basis evidence that Spring translates to measurable productivity and cost savings to businesses writing software in a wide range of industries, and we as a community need to keep pushing that message.


        p.s don't forget the momentum -- look at the rush of Spring books. APress's Pro Spring sold out the first week it was released. Spring is still relatively new when you compare it to other technologies like EJB or Struts, for example, but it has momentum. And Spring is and will always be more than Spring. If someone asks you in a interview, "do you have EJB experience?" With Spring you can say definitely "YES", and not only that, but I know how to apply EJB better than anyone else when it is appropriate.

        Lastly, as katetim pointed out, in the early days those leveraging a new technology/approach -- the many early adopters -- are often the best places to work.


        • #5
          No one hires for Spring Expertise

          Thanks for the responses, and especially for the thread that discussed ejb 3.0 vs Spring. I've never really looked at the ejb 3.0 spec all that closely, so I'd assumed it would be pretty powerful. But it sounds like Spring will still be far superior when ejb 3.0 comes out.

          That being said, I'm still puzzled about why IT managers don't ask for Spring when it's so clearly superior to ejb. Maybe it's similar to the kind of lag that happened when Penicilin was introduced-- most doctors didn't understand its importance until it had been in use for about 5 years. If you consider the average IT manager and the average doctor, it might be 40 years before Spring is in common use.

          I'm not sure I'm joking there. In any case, I think the slow adoption of Spring is important and troublesome. For example, a couple months ago, I had a choice between a job 5 minutes from my house and one 45 minutes away. I took the longer commute so that I could implement a system in Spring, and I doubt that there was another Spring job within a reasonable commuting distance.

          So while I agree that Spring will survive for the forseable future, I also expect that a lot of people who would like to use it won't be able to.


          • #6
            No one hires for Spring Expertise

            I recently presented at an open source conference in Philadelphia sponsored by my employer Chariot Solutions ( I presented on the Spring framework (slides posted on the Spring documentation page Judging from the attendance, there is significant interest in Spring. More encouragingly, many of the attendees were managers -- not just developers.

            At Chariot, many of us are using Spring whenever we have the chance. We find that our clients are most interested in results -- not buzzwords, acronyms, or the coolest technology. Spring helps us deliver those results. Of course, clients are also interested in standards and the ability to hire resources well-versed in their technology. However, many of our clients are still reeling from overly bloated EJB applications that are difficult to maintain and brittle. All it takes is a little success here or there [using Spring] to convince them to trust us. Further, it is not like Spring is trying to supplant J2EE in any way. I believe the word is beginning to get out amongst the open minded companies (who are usually the ones you want to work for). Personally, I would stagnate in any other situation.

            One more thing, I've found my level of knowledge regarding non-Spring specific J2EE architectural issues to be increasing significantly with Spring. It is almost like I have more time to worry about how things fit together (with the help of Spring) than trying to debug mundane JNDI lookup code, as a simple example.



            • #7
              Much of what you can accomplish with the Spring Core container and application contexts can be handled using POJO and a hand cranked singleton factory. Especially EJB-like services that do a little bit of JDBC.

              Using Spring increases maintainability, uses a consistant interface and has a nice generic XML structure to manage your object life cycle. Spring tries very hard not to tie you to Spring. So much of the basics you can do with Spring you can do without Spring.

              The value is in the details. Its adds that much more structure to your environment. It makes it easier to write unit tests (especially when you can stitch together multiple XML files). It has TONS of convenience utitilies for JDBC, JDO, ORM, EJB, remoting, etc. SpringMVC is somewhat seperate (but integrates nicely), so you can't sell the rest of Spring by trying it to SpringMVC. Spring tries so hard to not reinvent the wheel for most types of technologies and does integration so well, it ends up being almost invisible. I know this because I've been slowly championing it in my organization and I sometimes find it difficult to explain why its compelling, even though I myself know why.

              Selling a concrete product (like Struts, Oracle, Weblogic, JBoss, Tomcat, JUnit, Hibernate) can be much easier to sell than concepts (J2EE, Open Source containers, unit testing, ORM). Spring is more conceptual and an integration technology. So despite the fact that it has its own website, and a slew of books, it still feels like a concept (albeit a very powerful one) that can be hard to sell.


              • #8
                We are actually looking for developers with Spring experience, especially with Hibernate and Spring MVC . So if you're interested in the Atlanta, GA area, send me a private message.


                • #9

                  All I can add is that basically in the new reference architecture we promote at our company Spring is a major part of it. So whenever we interview new employees we do ask them about their spring knowledge as we will need a lot of it pretty soon !

                  the Netherlands


                  • #10
                    I'd expect that to change over this year.
                    Even a month (since my first post) at has seen Java+Spring search go from returning 1 or 2 to 12 jobs.


                    • #11
                      Spring Team,

                      It might be interesting if there was enough momentum behind Spring to have a Spring Certification exam.

                      There's enough depth and breadth to Spring to create a certification test, sort of like the Java Developer/Programmer certification tests.

                      The upside would be:

                      - good checklist way for people to make sure they understand all capabilities of Spring

                      - add a bit more formality/credibility to Spring to help it make further advances into Enterprise development

                      - more cash for Spring Team, likely in the form of a cut from each exam taken + opens up opportunity to write the Exam Certification Guide book.


                      • #12
                        I have an opposite problem

                        I actually have a quite opposite problem. I have hard time finding developers familiar with the Spring Framework. For me, a knowledge of a spring framework is a good way to distinguish developers who are thinking out-of-the-box. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a good way to locate folks who are at least familiar with Spring.

                        If you know anybody who would be interested in a software engineer position located in San Jose, CA and has previous experience with Spring, please contact me directly.

                        I would also appreciate any hints on how to look for Spring developers.


                        - Dominik


                        • #13
                          Maybe you could loiter in bookshops and throw a net over anyone picking up a Spring book ? :-)


                          • #14
                            I've also thought about the possibility of a spring certification. It's probably too early in the game for one right now - but I think it would be a great idea in the upcoming years.

                            BTW, when interviewing candidates we consider spring experience to be a big plus , though it is admittedly rare to find those candidates.