Interview with Jürgen Höller

Juergen HoellerThe Spring Guy

We are incredibly happy to have co-founder of the Spring Framework Jürgen Höller on #jPrime2017! Our attendees will have the privilege to learn what's coming next in Spring and directly ask questions about evolution of the Framework. But before that, we are delighted to present a small interview with him:

Hi Jürgen! Can you please introduce yourself?
Hello everybody, I'm Jürgen Höller, co-founder of Spring and serving as the core architect ever since. You can find myself talking about Spring at conferences and user groups but I actually spend most of my time leading the development efforts on the core Spring Framework ( and providing guidance for related projects in the Spring ecosystem.

You are the co-founder of the Spring Framework since the very beginning. What is the main secret of why it gained such a great popularity?
We started Spring in the classic application framework tradition back in 2003, providing an open source programming and configuration model for enterprise Java applications, with a unique style of our own and integrating with many existing Java technologies out there. The Java enterprise landscape around us certainly changed quite a bit since then, and we're early adopters of many recent trends, but our design principles are fundamentally still the same. This continuity is a key factor.
One of Spring's design principles is its highly decoupled architecture, enabling a wide variety of runtimes and custom usage scenarios. In many enterprise projects, Spring brings brand-new programming model elements to existing application server environments (e.g. Spring Framework 4.3 on WebSphere 7 on JDK 6) while also allowing for best-of-breed stacks with the latest and greatest innovations in the Java landscape (e.g. Spring Boot with Spring Cloud and the Netflix stack on JDK 8).

Spring expanded vastly in the Java enterprise world; are you planning to expand in other branches?
We brought a Spring port to the .NET platform for several years. However, eventually, we did not see enough adoption on .NET and decided to focus all our efforts onto the Java platform, in particular investing into the R&D projects which became Spring Boot and Spring Cloud. And now around Spring 5, we once again venture into new territory on the JVM, e.g adopting Kotlin and of course JDK 9. Java's server-side ecosystem is alive and kicking, so I don't see a need for Spring to expand beyond it.

How do you see the future of Spring Framework in general?
The JVM landscape is once again at a pretty interesting point, with many industry trends forcing us to reconsider the traditional Java ways of doing things. Spring is in a great position as the application framework of choice for a wide variety of architectural styles, be it modern monoliths or decoupled microservices, against an equally wide variety of datastores and messaging mechanisms. I'm curious to find out about the applications that people will be building on Spring 5, in particular with our new reactive facilities!

What are your hobbies except Spring in your real life?
Good question, since I'm indeed rather passionate about Spring and the Java ecosystem in general, not differentiating between the work and hobby part of it. Beyond that, I reserve most of my spare time for family life... And in my evenings, as a dedicated fan of music and the performing arts, I'm enjoying all sorts of live concerts and contemporary theatre productions here in Austria.

Thank you very much Jürgen! See you soon in Sofia on #jPrime2017!