Java is the best general purpose language (don't hate me c++ enthusiasts). Take a look at Cassandra. 100% pure Java, one of the fastests databases, and it can scale infinitely. Nothing in compares. Taking a snapshot of the database is almost instantaneous. HSQLDB, arguably the fastest database, also is 100% pure Java. You look at the code and it makes you cry on how simple it is. There are some exceptions though. Some code in Java looks like some C++ programmer did it. The libraries in Java are too many to elaborate and some XML parsing libraries I've met are ridiculous, the use to much memory, they even create classes on the fly (meaning they are incredibly slow, use too many resources, you get Permgen space errors, because they create new classes and the classes are stored in a special place called Permgen in Java <= 1.6), so yes, working in Java usually means selecting libraries carefully and monitoring your application to replace the offending libraries as soon as you find out. Java beats C/C++ because of the memory management. In Java, the new operator always return in just what it takes to increment a pointer, which is blazing fast. In C/C++ you go into a special part of the program, you need synchronization, and then there is an algorithm to find the right place and right amount of memory, scavenging through a linked list of memory. Garbage collection is not a problem if you use the parallel collector. Now all computers have several cores, so if one of the cores is dedicated to garbage collection it is not a problem. The JVM bytecode gets compiled into machine code when it is being executed too much. this compilation is almost instantaneous. And it beats C/C++ because it is compiled once it has been executed so the compiler knows more than the C/C++ compiler will ever know. In the JVM platform this is known as the hotspot compiler. Java is not a difficult language. Any competent programmer can learn Java in 6 months. The same programmer would need 3 years to learn C++ at the same level. Day (2-3/100) Heard a great podcast by Peggy Fisher on @spotify. Spend the two days exploring more on the language.