What makes Java EE platform unique is the process of how it is specified. The standards of Java EE are developed as part of the Java Community Process (JCP). The JCP is a prime example of an industry that actively encourages participation in defining standards, not only from the few engineers involved but anybody interested in that technology. The platform comprises standards in the form of Java Specification Requests (JSR). These JSRs are not only relevant for Java and Java EE but also for technologies that build upon them, such as the Spring framework. Ultimately, the real world experience of these other technologies then again help shaping new JSRs.
During application development, and especially when encountering potential issues, the written specifications that emerge from the JSRs are extremely beneficial. The vendors who support the enterprise platform are required to provide the implementation in the way it's specified in these standards. That said, the specification documents inform both the vendors and developers as to how the technology will work. If some functionality is not met, the vendors are required to fix these issues in their implementations. This also means that developers, in theory, only have to learn and know these technologies, no vendor-specific details.
Every developer can participate in the Java Community Process to help in shaping the future of Java and Java EE. The Expert Groups who define the specific standards welcome constructive feedback from anybody interested in the topic, even if they're not active members of the JCP. Other than this, you're able to have a peek into the next versions of the standards even before they're released. These two facts are very interesting for architects and companies. There is not only insight into where the direction will go but also the possibility to contribute and make an impact.
These motivations were also two of the reasons why I personally specialized in Java EE. I have a background of enterprise development with the Spring framework. Besides the fact that both technologies are very similar in terms of the programming model, I especially valued the power of the CDI standard as well as the possibility to seamlessly use all of the technologies within the platform. I started to look into the specific JSRs that are part of the enterprise platform and started to contribute and provide feedback on features that were standardized back then. At the time of writing this book, I'm part of two Expert Groups, JAX-RS 2.1 and JSON-P 1.1. Helping to define these standards improved my knowledge in enterprise systems a lot. You are naturally obliged to dive deep into the topics, motivations, and solutions of the specific technology that you help standardize. And of course, it is somewhat satisfying to know that you helped in working on standards in the IT industry. I can only encourage developers to participate in the JCP, looking into what's currently developed, and to contribute and provide feedback to the Expert Groups.