Heroku.com has just announced support for Java applications on the Heroku platform.
This is absolutely revolutionary for the Java world. Why?
The big value-add for Java is that Heroku takes care of the configuration and deployment of the application platform. A developer can write a Java application on a local workstation and then deploy it to Heroku with a couple of commands. Deployment becomes much faster and easier.
Java developers today have to know a lot about the configuration of JavaEE or J2EE application containers such as Tomcat, Glassfish, JBoss, etc. The learning curve for these software technologies keeps a lot of developers out of the Java world. It is hard to get good at this kind of expertise outside the shelter of a paid job at a Java development shop.
Java on Heroku means that new Java developers can learn much faster how to build Java applications because they don't have to learn about JavaEE application containers and deployment. This rapid feedback enabled by fast deployment on Heroku is what enables faster and more effective learning. This will open the doors to a lot more programmers learning Java.
Now new software developers have a real choice. If a developer wishes to work for a big company with a Java development shop, they can deliberately practice building Java applications on a Heroku platform and get good at it. Knowing how to build good Java applications greatly increases the chances of employment for a software developer. If a new software developer wishes to work for a small company which needs to develop ideas quickly, there is still Ruby/Rack on Heroku and Python on the Google App Engine. Java won't help as much here.
In the long run, this means that Java developers can develop some cloud computing expertise using the Heroku platform, and many will even elect to host their Java applications on Heroku's cost-effective Java platform instead of spending time and money configuring and deploying on JavaEE application containers.
This is a great boon for Java developers and new programmers looking for work.