ZeroTurnaround CEO Defends PhD Thesis on Boosting Productivity in Java
ZeroTurnaround co-founder and CEO Jevgeni Kabanov has successfully defended his PhD thesis at the University of Tartu’s Institute of Computer Science. Together with Toomas Römer, Kabanov authored a Java Virtual Machine plugin that eliminates a major productivity hurdle for developers.
Marketed as JRebel, the plugin lets developers view code changes instantly, without redeploying the application server. Kabanov’s thesis explores those very methods of boosting productivity in the Java ecosystem.
„My team and I aimed at speeding up the development of the Java ecosystem, taking it to a whole new level,” said Kabanov. “Nearly five years of research and product development focused just on that.”
Kabanov’s work is unique in that it combines academic research with commercial software development. According to Kabanov’s PhD opponent Tanel Tammet, professor of computer science at the Tallinn University of Technology, academics tend to cure unsolved problems with rather complicated technologies. Engineers simplify those technologies and make them usable in practice. Kabanov, Tammet said, invented something new and made it simple enough to turn it into a marketable product.
The 2007 project by Kabanov and Römer, who were then colleagues at IT services provider Webmedia, has now grown into a separate company with nearly 100 employees. Born out of that research, JRebel is ZeroTurnaround’s flagship product that can save a developer 4-6 weeks per year. The plugin is used by developers in 80 countries.
Developing the product in parallel with academic research enabled Kabanov and his team to elicit quick feedback from thousands of Java developers around the world, test the validity of his assumptions and theories, and fix weak spots. In addition, Kabanov worked with software engineers and researchers at other companies that are developing the Java Virtual Machine and the Java framework.
“A developer writes the code that is then deployed into a functional computer program that requires a restart,” said Jaak Vilo, Head of the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Tartu. “With JRebel, code changes are essentially inserted into live software, allowing their impact to be seen instantly.” That, Vilo said, is what makes JRebel unique.
According to Jevgeni Kabanov, the product is currently used by 3,500 organizations in 80 countries. “The biggest impact on the software industry stems from its ability to reload code dynamically,” he said, letting the Java community develop and deliver better code faster and with less downtime.
See the PhD Thesis Defense
Additional information: Jevgeni Kabanov, co-founder and CEO of ZeroTurnaround, phone: +372 53 411 869, e-mail: jevgeni.kabanov [ät] zeroturnaround.com;
Jaak Vilo, Head of the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Tartu, phone: +372 50 49 365, e-mail: vilo [ät] ut.ee.