Author: Karsten Silz
Jan 30, 2023   |  updated Feb 16, 2023 3 min read


LJC Live Talk: "When Is Native Java With GraalVM Worthwhile for Me?"

LJC Live February 2023 Announcement


  • Native Java means spending developer time to save operational costs.
  • Here the advantages:
    • Nativ Java gives us faster startup, smaller files, better security, and uses less memory.
    • The sweet spot is microservices on Kubernetes – we can run more pods per node there.
  • Here are the disadvantages:
    • Native java sometimes doesn’t work and often makes no business sense.
    • It’s harder to learn & use, and there’s low job demand.

Please see my slides for why I came to this conclusion.

Information additional to the slides is below.

And here’s how to get started with native Java:

Table Of Contents


User Group

The London Java Community (LJC) is one of the most active Java user group’s in the world. They organize multiple events per month. Most of them are online, but once a month is an on-site event with two speakers: LJC Live. I’m honored to give my talk there on February 16, 2023.


My talk “When Is Native Java With GraalVM Worthwhile for Me?” is part of LJC live on Thursday, February 16, 2023, from 17:30 - 20:15 BST.


Many Java applications move to the cloud. But in the cloud, Java is often pricier than competitors like Go, Python, or JavaScript. Native Java with the static GraalVM Native Image AOT (Ahead-of-Time) compiler makes Java cheaper. Frameworks like Quarkus and Micronaut made native Java popular, and Spring Boot 3.0 just gave it a big boost. So, do I need to learn a new framework, like Quarkus or Micronaut? How does native Java work exactly? And when IS native Java now worthwhile for me?

My talk answers these questions. Here’s a short summary: Native Java executables start much faster, require less memory, and are smaller and more secure. The downsides: Native Java doesn’t always make business sense, doesn’t work for all applications, often runs slower, and makes development and operations more complicated. And it’s pretty new, so it’s much harder to hire for and to troubleshoot.

My talk examines the advantages and disadvantages of native Java, independent of a particular Java framework. I explain how native Java works, when you can’t use it, and how to get some of native Java’s benefits in “regular Java”. And I give you concrete guidelines so you can determine when native Java is worthwhile for you - and when it’s not.

Who Made Me the Expert?

I have data to back up my claims. In the spring of 2022, I was the editor of a highly popular, six-part article series about native Java on InfoQ. Java experts helped me. And I’ve evaluated and recommended technologies for 20 years.

I’m neither affiliated with the projects I’m discussing in this talk nor selling books or training courses. I share industry analysis and my project experiences so you can build better projects faster!


Here are the slides as PDF. They have more content and more text than my talking slides. They are just 1.7 MB:

Get Started With Native Java

Here’s my page for getting started with native Java. It tells you how to install the tools for Spring Boot 3 and Quarkus and how to build native executables.

Additional Talk Information

Demo Application

The demo application converts images to PDFs. It’s available as a Spring Boot 3 version and a Quarkus one. Check it out below.

Part 14 of 15 in the Talks series.
« Aspiring Speakers Lightning Talk: "Why Is Java in the Cloud So Expensive – And How Can I Make It Cheaper?" | Angular Community Meetup Talk: "Flutter For Angular Developers: Mobile, Web & Desktop from 1 CodeBase" » | Start: LJC Lightning Talk: Eclipse OpenJ9: Memory Diet for Your JVM Applications

Java Tech Popularity Index Q1/2024:
Developer job ads down 32% year over year, Stack Overflow questions dropped 55% since ChatGPT. I now recommend IntelliJ Community Edition because many AI code assistants don't run in Eclipse. Job ads for Quarkus hit an all-time high.

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