14 April 2020 Java in Education Working Group Meeting Minutes

Version 4


    Tuesday, 14 April 2020, 8:30 am PDT






    Review current state of Java in Education, and how we can support and communicate the use of Java in educational environments – updates from JUG leaders and review Ken’s talking points.



    Heather VanCura, PMO

    Ken Fogel

    Paul Buck, Eclipse Foundation

    Amelia Eiras, Jonathan Gallimore, Tomitribe



    Ken's presentation



    Heather reviewed the summary of our discussion on this topic from our last WG meeting. We followed up on actions from our last meeting.


    As we discussed in our last meeting, Heather followed up on how to develop best practices for connecting developers to educators, and providing tools such as online resources on Oracle Academy for teaching Java. Heather reported on her meeting with Mala Gupta (India), Uberto Barbini (London/Italy), and Buhaki Sindi (South Africa). We should remember that in some areas such as parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America in particular, certifications are very important. Some attempts at connecting with Universities have been difficult for community leaders because they are not taken seriously and professors are resistant to take on extra work; can try to connect with teaching students/teaching assistants as well. Important to have backing of larger corporations and being part of a wider initiative. Also connect with placing students in jobs and connections with industry. Students want opportunity to network and ideas for projects to work on. The industry needs developers with experience in Java, and many students are not aware of Java’s newer features and functionality. There are some Java User Groups who want to connect with younger students – resources from Devoxx4Kids and even starting a local chapter can be activity to provide this opportunity. Anyone can use the tools and workshops available for teaching Java to students (primary, secondary, university) via Devoxx4Kids, which also provides links to the main tools for teaching Java to students, Alice and Greenfoot. There are also resources available from Oracle Academy, including the Java Fundamentals course. These programs can use more awareness; we will work on some messaging for this in our next WG meeting.


    In the last meting, we discussed how we can involve JUGs in connecting with their educational communities, particularly universities. Heather received feedback from some JUGs on their activities in this area – content that highlights incorrect myths about Java would be helpful. Ken shared some points to include in a presentation to highlight what makes Java good in a teaching environment, and also new features in Java, highlighting performance and security, ease of use; and features such as JShell, REPL, JEP 330, use of var, records, text blocks, pattern matching and switch expressions. Ken presented some Java vs Python points. He emphasized that we need more programmers and EC Members should be communicating this more. Amelia suggested making the demos available publicly. Heather suggested this content is a good start, and we should focus on myths of Java such as old, slow, complicated and less focus on Python specifically, mention Python examples to illustrate, but also other technologies. Ken will modify for the EC Meeting next week.


    Next Steps

    Heather to summarize meeting, propose some communications messaging we can start to provide to EC members for their use.


    Ken to update content on new features in the Java platform that make it more appealing to students to present to the full EC during our 23 April EC Meeting.


    Next meeting 28 April at 8:30 am PDT.