It's hard, but there are tools, techniques, and tool kits to help.
I love Scala, Case Classes (okay the 22 field thing is an issue, especially when I want to model Twitter JSON) and val. That alone made it so much cleaner to write then Java. Write Scala code. Think Functionally. Use what you learn and like in Scala in Java.
Say you are at a large enterprise, they can't get off Java that easy. Hundreds of Java developers can't all be functional programmers writing Scala.
Use the Right Infrastructure (Containers/Docker, CloudFoundry/PaaS, Mesos, YARN, NoSQL, Hadoop, Geode, Redis)
Use the Right Tools (IntelliJ, Gradle, SBT). Never create a singleton, toString method or JavaBean set/get from scratch.
Use Java 8 for Big Data (Spark, Flink, Kakfa, Akka)
Oh and unlike, say, Perl, Java isn't afraid to do some serious upgrades and changes like adding cool things from other languages and just fixing stuff.