65% of developers learning to live with Kubernetes

State of Spring Survey 2024

The State of Spring Survey 2024 is out, you can get it for free, of course. Spring is widely used by Java developers, and Java is widely used for enterprise app development. Thus, what Spring people are doing is relevant to what large organizations are doing in software development. Let’s take a look at some of my hand-picked highlights1 from the survey:

  • Microservices are here to stay. While use has been decreasingly slight (with server less growing slightly), most all people say they use/do microservices.

  • Developers are still too close to Kubernetes: “half start with a Kubernetes distribution rather than a more complete platform a little surprising since so much extra work is required.”

  • Here’s the breakdown. In an ideal, platform engineering world, it would be the opposite with Kubernetes hidden from the developers: "Kubernetes use in Spring environments continued to grow this year, reaching 65% of respondents. More than half (52%) run a Kubernetes distribution (DIY, TKG, Rancher, EKS, etc.), a third (33%) use a platform based on Kubernetes (OpenShift, [Tanzu Platform for Kubernetes], etc.), and more than a quarter (26%) use a non-Kubernetes based platform (Cloud Foundry, Heroku, etc.).

  • Keeping up to date is a major problem, and, conversely, a major benefit. Most large organizations I talk with are several versions behind Spring. And while the survey does not break things down by organization size, things actually look better across org. size, with 55% of people saying they’re running the most recent version of Spring Boot: “While Spring Boot 3.2, the latest version, is in use by 55% of stakeholders, Spring Boot 2.7 appears to have become a sticking point, with 41% still running this version.”

  • Why are people staying with older versions? “Unable to prioritize remains the top reason for not upgrading (chosen by 48%). However, as more companies face the upgrade from Spring Boot 2 to Spring Boot 3, incompatible non-Spring libraries has risen sharply as a barrier to upgrading, moving from just 4% last time to 13% this time.”

    The support window doesn’t stay open forever.
  • This is another reason to shift down more secondary tasks to the platform - it’s easier to keep your frameworks, services, etc. upgraded if the platform is doing it for you and forcing you to do it. Once you wait a year, two years, etc., you really dig yourself into a hole that’s difficult to upgrade from. It’s not a silver bullet, of sure, but it’s better than the rusty bullets you’re probably using.

  • And, indeed, people are not shifting down at all, really, doing most of the work manually: “the majority (65%) reported they still do upgrades manually. The next leading result was Github Dependabot, used by 27%. More robust offerings like OpenRewrite didn’t even crack 20%.”

  • Upgrading means you get new features, but also performance and cost improvements. Not to mention both commercial and/or community support for patches and such. So, like: upgrade already.

  • AI ALERT!!! “A significant fraction (12%) are already

    incorporating AI in Spring applications. That’s a higher percentage than

    report using Spring AI (8%)” // The survey speculates that this difference is likely because people wanted to start doing AI stuff before Spring AI was mature enough to use. // Also, it shows you how little AI use there at the moment, squaring with the vibes I think we’re all getting that this AI thing is fixin’ ski down the slope.

There’s more in the survey, which you should check out.

And, highly related, we put out the Spring Appliction Advisor today to help you upgrade all that old Spring. I saw my pal DaShaun demo it last week and it was good stuff.

Relative to your interests


  • “And as far as your 16 ounce of Maple and Sage [sausage]: I don’t eat that. I’m not from the North. I’m a Texas man.” Randy Taylor.

  • New AI as summarizing tool theory: don’t ask it to summarize, ask it to rewrite it in AP style in less words.

  • AIs are only as reliable as humans, but something slightly more.

  • “Trend reversals travel through earnings calls like cold viruses through kindergartens.” Via.

Conferences, Events, etc.

Talks I’m giving, places I’ll be, and other plans.

SpringOne Tour London, June 5th. DATEV Software Craft Community online, June 6th, speaking. DevOpsDays Amsterdam, June 20th, speaking. NDC Oslo, speaking, June 12th. SpringOne/VMware Explore US, August 26–29, 2024. SREday London 2024, September 19th to 20th.

Discounts. SREDay London (Sep 19th to 20th) when you 20% off with the code SRE20DAY. And, if you register for SpringOne/VMware Explore before June 11th, you’ll get $400 off.

Ikea is ready to be your Instagram and TikTok decorator.


This week’s Software Defined Talk is an interview Matt Ray recorded with Amanda Silver. I haven’t listened to it yet, but she has several excellent posts about doing platform engineering at Microsoft for, like, all the Microsoft developers! So, you should check it out like I’m going to do.

Microsoft was super-cool and paid for Matt Ray’s travel. Maybe I can hit them up for some of that: Software Defined Talk on the road! It’ll be like my analyst days, except this time I’ll insist on Marriott hotels. Probably. Actually, for sure.



Why “hand-picked”? I don’t know, I think it’s because I’m sick, just had two cups of black tea of some kind (I got a new teapot from Ikea and tested it out with some old loose tea Kim got me a couple of years ago in Paris). It’s not like I reached my hand into the PDF and picked out charts. Though…that’d be pretty cool. Maybe next year.,, @cote,,