Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Why do Java developers hate BPM?

Java developers hate BPM.

The preceding sentence is (of course) intentionally tailored to be controversial. People tend to read controversial blogs, and I'd like you to read this one. Now that I have hopefully grabbed your attention I'll tone it down a bit...

A lot of Java developers hate having to use BPM tools instead of the object oriented tools that they are comfortable with.
I work on a lot of BPM projects, and I work with a lot of other folks who work on a lot of BPM projects, and we have all encountered resistance from traditional Java developers. Java developers (in general) would rather use frameworks like Struts and Spring than be saddled with the constraints of a BPM suite.

Java frameworks like Struts and Spring are in the background... they provide just enough support to "set your creativity free" so that you can be a real programmer. You can build almost anything with Spring or Struts (if you've already mastered the intricacies of Java). They are light-weight, they're agile, and they look sexy on your resume.

BPM suites are in-your-face. They rob you of your creativity. They dictate to you how you will develop your application.

BPM suites make programming boring. They force you to use point-and-click and drag-and-drop tools to design your process diagrams, data models and forms. What's worse, they actually encourage Business People to model processes and design forms on their own... Fortunately most Business People are too intimidated to use these tools, but it does open the door for them to look over our shoulders and meddle in our affairs.

That certainly doesn't sound like something that real programmers would like, does it?

I'm not being subtle, am I?

BPM suites are a threat to traditional Java programmers. These suites are far from perfect, but even in their current state we can see where things are heading. The days of the Java Guru as indispensable are fading... We've used Java to build tools that make knowing Java itself less important, and that's opened up competition for us from folks who didn't spend years learning Java.

We're victims of our own success... programming isn't as hard as it used to be... and that's going to cost us.

That's why Java developers hate BPM.
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