There's a first step that every single Java project has to go through: setting up a build system. And often before that, choosing a build system. There hasn't been much improvement in the Java world in this area for quite a while; Ant 1.1 was released in July 2000 and Maven was created in 2004.
his lack of innovation could seem strange: for non trivial projects (which most end up being after some time), writing build scripts can take a lot of time. Given that builds usually aren't shipped to users, the time spent on their maintenance can seem like time lost... but a sub-optimal build system will actually make you lose time. So down the road, the best build is the one that saves you the most time when writing, debugging, and maintaining your scripts.