Top 8 Java People You Should Know

Here are the top 8 Java people, they’re created frameworks, products, tools or books that contributed to the Java community, and changed the way of coding Java.

P.S The order is based on my personal priority.

8. Tomcat & Ant Founder


James Duncan Davidson, while he was software engineer at Sun Microsystems (1997–2001), created Tomcat Java-based web server, still widely use in most of the Java web projects, and also Ant build tool, which uses XML to describe the build process and its dependencies, which is still the de facto standard for building Java-based Web applications.

Related Links

  1. James Duncan Davidson Twitter
  2. James Duncan Davidson Wiki
  3. James Duncan Davidson personal blog
  4. Apache Ant
  5. Apache Tomcat

7. Test Driven Development & JUnit Founder


Kent Beck, creator of the Extreme Programming and Test Driven Development software development methodologies. Furthermore, he and Erich Gamma created JUnit, a simple testing framework, which turn into the de facto standard for testing Java-based Web applications. The combine of JUnit and Test Driven Development makes a big changed on the way of coding Java, which causes many Java developers are not willing to follow it.

Related Links

  1. Kent Beck Twitter
  2. Kent Beck Wiki
  3. Kent Beck Blog
  4. JUnit Testing Framework
  5. Extreme Programming Wiki
  6. Test Driven Development Wiki

News & Interviews

  1. Kent Beck: “We thought we were just programming on an airplane”
  2. Interview with Kent Beck and Martin Fowler
  3. eXtreme Programming An interview with Kent Beck

Kent Beck Books

  1. Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change (2nd Edition)
  2. Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
  3. JUnit Pocket Guide

6. Java Collections Framework


Joshua Bloch, led the design and implementation of numerous Java platform features, including JDK 5.0 language enhancements and the award-winning Java Collections Framework. In June 2004 he left Sun and became Chief Java Architect at Google. Furthermore, he won the prestigious Jolt Award from Software Development Magazine for his book, “Effective Java”, which is arguably a must read Java’s book.

Related Links

  1. Joshua Bloch Twitter
  2. Joshua Bloch Wiki

News & Interviews

  1. Effective Java: An Interview with Joshua Bloch
  2. Rock Star Josh Bloch

Joshua Bloch Books

  1. Effective Java (2nd Edition)
  2. Java Concurrency in Practice

5. JBoss Founder


Marc Fleury, who founded JBoss in 2001, an open-source Java application server, arguably the de facto standard for deploying Java-based Web applications. Later he sold the JBoss to RedHat, and joined RedHat to continue support on the JBoss development. On 9 February 2007, he decided to leave Red Hat to pursue other personal interests, such as teaching, research in biology, music and his family.

Related Links

  1. Marc Fleury Wiki
  2. Marc Fleury Blog
  3. JBoss Application Server

News & Interviews

  1. Could Red Hat lose JBoss founder?
  2. JBoss founder Marc Fleury leaves Red Hat, now what?
  3. JBoss’s Marc Fleury on SOA, ESB and OSS
  4. Resurrecting Marc Fleury

4. Struts Founder


Craig Mcclanahan, creator of Struts, a popular open source MVC framework for building Java-based web applications, which is arguably that every Java developer know how to code Struts. With the huge success of Struts in early day, it’s widely implemented in every single of the old Java web application project.

Related Links

  1. Craig Mcclanahan Wiki
  2. Craig Mcclanahan Blog
  3. Apache Struts

News & Interviews

  1. Interview with Craig McClanahan
  2. Struts Or JSF?

3. Spring Founder


Rod Johnson, is the founder of the Spring Framework, an open source application framework for Java, Creator of Spring, CEO at SpringSource. Furthermore, Rod’s best-selling Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development (2002) was one of the most influential books ever published on J2EE.

Related Links

  1. Rod Johnson Twitter
  2. Rod Johnson Blog
  3. SpringSource
  4. Spring Framework Wiki

News & Interviews

  1. : VMware to acquire SpringSource
  2. Rod Johnson : VMware to acquire SpringSource
  3. Interview with Rod Johnson – CEO – Interface21
  4. Q&A with Rod Johnson over Spring’s maintenance policy changes
  5. Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development: Interview with Rod Johnson

Rod Johnson Books

  1. Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development (Programmer to Programmer)
  2. Expert One-on-One J2EE Development without EJB

2. Hibernate Founder


Gavin King, is the founder of the Hibernate project, a popular object/relational persistence solution for Java, and the creator of Seam, an application framework for Java EE 5. Furthermore, he contributed heavily to the design of EJB 3.0 and JPA.

Related Links

  1. Gavin King Blog
  2. Hibernate Wiki
  3. Hibernate Framework
  4. JBoss seam

News & Interviews

  1. Tech Chat: Gavin King on Contexts and Dependency Injection, Weld, Java EE 6
  2. JPT : The Interview: Gavin King, Hibernate
  3. JavaFree : Interview with Gavin King, founder of Hibernate
  4. Seam in Depth with Gavin King

Gavin King Books

  1. Java Persistence with Hibernate
  2. Hibernate in Action (In Action series)

1. Father of the Java programming language


James Gosling, generally credited as the inventor of the Java programming language in 1994. He created the original design of Java and implemented its original compiler and virtual machine. For this achievement he was elected to the United States National Academy of Engineering. On April 2, 2010, he left Sun Microsystems which had recently been acquired by the Oracle Corporation. Regarding why he left, Gosling wrote on his blog that “Just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good.”

Related Links

  1. James Gosling Blog
  2. James Gosling Wiki

News & Interviews

  1. Interview with Dennis Ritchie, Bjarne Stroustrup, and James Gosling
  2. Interview: James Gosling, ‘the Father of Java’
  3. Developer Interview: James Gosling
Please feel free to share your personal opinion.
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About the Author

Founder of and, love Java and open source stuff. Follow him on Twitter, or befriend him on Facebook or Google Plus. If you like my tutorials, consider make a donation to these charities.


  • Jenkins Continuous Integration

    Hi Mkyong,

    Your blog is excellent. I follow your blog daily.

    Thanks for showing java god’s

    • Abdallah

      hey “Jenkins Continuous Integration”, plz correct your sentence.
      we say JAVA MAN’S

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  • abin

    Thanks for compiling the info. Its really awesome.

  • Chandu

    Thanks a lot for keeping very useful information….

  • Justin

    I thought this article of Rod Johnson was very interesting in that it covered the entrepreneurial side of his work…

  • prabhu gurunathan

    Its all very nice collection of tutorial, Thanks for sharing the valuable information.

  • Sarrah

    Thanks $author! You share some great -2 tactics, thanks for sharing all this and making itclear,enough for any one to be able to get! I’ve subscribed to your rss feed to keep up to date,looking forward to your new post!

  • nityananda

    thanx for sharing….

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  • ken

    Mostly close to what all we think except Hibernate’s Gavin King. No doubt he is very good developer but wasted not only his time but other people time by inventing and then maintaining Hibernate for such long time. There is nothing wrong in inventing wrong thing. Failure is part of game. But what is important is that not realizing that we haven’t found the perfect solution yet!

    If he would have invested his time in inventing something simple he would have crossed stature of Rod Johnson or Joshua Bloch. Hibernate and few other softwares (including EJB, JPA where Gavin has given his input as well) are curse but people still haven’t realized it yet. EJB 2.0 would have given the same pain if Rod didn’t have invented Spring. I guarantee you that if Spring would not have been there they (Sun guyz) would not have taken effort to create EJB 3.0. We all would be using same old EJB 2.0 and same ugly entity beans.

    The same invention is yet to happen in ORM world and that’s why people still use Hibernate. One great guy and one new invention and then everything changes in few months. Then they realize what shithead they were to use such ugly technology for such long time.

    • Kevin

      I really like Ken’s comment, I wonder why do you think these frameworks are not good? I am a new java programmer. Should I avoid learning these frameworks? What are the alternatives?

  • Khanh Nguyen

    Thanks for sharing. I love java ….. I love them.

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  • http://None Thomas

    Java Concurrency will allow java to rule the server side …
    Also it is a structural approach to concurrency
    So I think Doug Lea could at least be mentioned like the Collection framework conceptor :)

    My 2cts

  • Sanjay Jain

    I think Joshua Bloch should be at #2,…By the way really good article

    P.S The order is based on my personal priority.

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  • elbek

    2 guys here that real creators of java, rest of them just creator some frameworks or tools
    that two guys:
    James Gosling
    Joshua Bloch

    I think rest of them can not come near to them.

    • jaymes

      please check your grammar before you post.

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  • Evgeniy Dorofeev

    + Ceku Gulcu + Jason Van Zyl

  • Nishant

    8 wonders of java world

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  • Ahmed Al Hashmi

    All of these all of them are of top Java people. But there are only 3 legends:
    1- James Gosling.
    2- Neal Gafter
    3-Joshua Bloch

  • Joselo

    Joshua Blosh also has a wonder book called ‘Java Puzzleres':

    • Sanjay Jain

      Indeed one of the best I found for Java.

  • Thai

    It’ll be great if you can say what they are doing right now. For example, where is Mr. Mcclanahan now and what’s he doing?

    • Ram

      exactly agree with you

  • Akash

    thank you for this information. i hope for java developers this kind of information is published even if in future also.

  • Abdallah

    Thank you

    #9 MyKong


  • sivakdivi

    It really good to know about consummates of java&&j2ee.

  • Abid

    I strong feel, a great name is missing from the list of great people.
    My favorite. Sir Martin Fowler.

  • Svetlana

    It`s good to know now all of them, thanks.

  • kiran bisanal

    which is the primary thread

  • Tanveer

    Nice to see these great people who contributed the Java what we have today.. Its very motivating to know these people. I am still in the begging stage of learning this great language. Please guide me to be a great Java programmer. And you are also great man and i mean it >>! Thanks

  • Eric

    Gavin King is really cool..

  • Anand .L (Citizen)

    One Day my photo will be posted in top-9 list…

    surely ill assure….

    • mkyong

      Look forward it :)

  • pranav

    HI Mkyong, thanks for showcasing Gods of Java Programming in a great article.

  • Javabuddy

    A different kind of blog post but I like it . glad to know about these greats though I was familiar with most of them its good to get all links together, in my opinion James Gosling should be in 1st rather than 10 if you are talking about java.

    • mkyong

      Where you saw the #10 people :) ?

  • kunal
    thnks ....i was really not knowing ...except james sir
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  • Mohan Rathore

    Is the order right? IMHO James Duncan Davidson deserves better spot than 8, and certainly before say Gavin or Kent.

  • Suresh

    Hi everybody,

    They are Top 8 Most wanted People in the world,
    Pls Find and kill them.

  • Prabhakaran

    good work friend………………………

  • G@nesh

    I too want to be in this list

  • andy

    Gavin King – CDI !

    Also whoever invented maven should be held on the same grounds as whoever invented ant. Avoid these guys in all cases ;)

  • Rajan Pokhrel

    You are missing two people. One is Doug Lea (who wrote Java Concurrency Package) and a new rising star, kohsuke kawaguchi, Hudson inventor.

    • mkyong

      Thanks for the Doug Lea, i do not know he wrote the concurrency package. Hudson, a great CI… indeed need to be noted as well, will update the list soon…

  • Scout

    You forgot Neal Gafter

    • mkyong

      ya, he is a great guy as well, “co-designed and implemented the Java language features in releases 1.4 through 5.0″.

  • laurent kubaski

    Great list BUT :

    – ANT is not limited to building WEB applications
    – same thing for JUnit which is not limited to WEB applications testing
    – “award-winning Java Collections Framework” : are you sure the collection framework won awards ?
    – “[Struts is] widely implemented in every single of the old Java web application project” : this is wrong, I know many OLD java web applications which directly use JSP & servlets.
    – “James Gosling, generally credited as the inventor of the Java programming language” : “generally credited” ? Does this mean someone else claims to have invented the language ?

    • mkyong

      Hi, thanks for your suggestion,

      Q : Are you sure the collection framework won awards ?
      A : I didn’t attend the award ceremony, but it’s widely published in many articles, for example,

      Q : This is wrong, I know many OLD java web applications which directly use JSP & servlets.
      Ya, indeed, some ancient projects are pure JSP & servlets, but the Struts is still the most implemented framework in the world.

      Q : Does this mean someone else claims to have invented the language ?
      A : At least the statement is widely acceptable in the world wide.

      Sometime, we have to accept the perfect imperfection.

  • Arun

    I will benext one in the list

    • Arun

      Really !. All the best. Hurray

  • justo

    #2 Martin Fowler
    Eric Evans

    • http://mkyong Tiru


      Nice article. Thanks for providing this kind of valueble info…