You shouldn't learn Java. C, C++, and PHP - count 'em out.

  • UPSGuy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

One more for the road, then I'm out for the weekend. :)

Now that I've got your (possibly angered) attention, the TIOBE Programming Community Index for April, 2009 has been released. "Great", you say, "More statistics - perfect." Well hold on, let's take a closer look. I'm a recent graduate myself, and I know that as I edged closer and closer to that degree, I always thought that a good working knowledge of the newest buzzword language was what would put me ahead of other job seekers. In retrospect, maybe that's not the best way to go about it...

The Index (which can be viewed here), shows a rate and ranking for each of the top languages based not on code count or application usage, but on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors related to the software. "OK, sure", you say, "but doesn't that give more incentive to learn Java and the other languages you mentioned?" Hrmm, yes, maybe if you want to do run-of-the-mill code and potentially compete with thousands for low pay. One of the benefits of having such a rating system is that you can see where the masses are. If Java's ranked top, that means that Java developers are a dime a dozen, and you're most likely to get pulled into low-scale pay when entering that arena. Hey, if you won't take the job, someone else will.

Now, let's get this straight - I'm not putting down the use or knowledge of these top languages. I happen to have strong backgrounds in every one I mentioned, and I continually work on new and exciting Java projects. However, I'm also not encouraging everyone to run out and find every ABAP tutorial they can get their hands on, either! Think of it as such - if you want to work on interesting projects and have a bit more say over your payscale, diversify yourself! Play with a few out of the norm languages and see what they have to offer. Keep an eye on up and coming languages, and stay hip to what cutting edge companies are using. Add these languages to your resume as you develop yourself in core languages such as Java or C. ...unless, of course, you like large companies with cookie cutter applications and loads of red tape. ;)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Bogey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Even though, I suggest knowing PHP as well... those popular languages. You know something that not a lot of people know, AND you know what everybody else knows lol
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I just read an article yesterday that was dated from about a year or two ago that said iPhone application developers were commonly booked solid at $150+ an hour. However now that developers are a "dime a dozen" and there's $0.99 apps all over the place, nobody is getting anywhere near that and developers are writing personal letters to Steve Jobs crying out for help.
  • Bozebo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Seeing as I'm studying game design, this news doesn't have to bother me :D (yet), it's c++ all the way. I'd better go and reinforce my knowledge SQL for game development seeing as it's on the up more than c++ :roll:
  • spork
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm so pumped. My copy of Real World Haskell just arrived yesterday!

</geek-out>
  • effim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

spork wrote:
I'm so pumped. My copy of Real World Haskell just arrived yesterday!

</geek-out>


:D LOL.

---

While you might make more per hour as a specialist, as specialists typically do in any field, there will be less work overall. That means while you're not competing with as many people, you are competing for a (typically substantially) smaller pool of potential clients/jobs.

In the current economic condition, I'd really recommend spending some of that extra downtime on learning as much as you can about technology you're somewhat familiar with and familiarizing yourself with technology that you anticipate will become important over the next 5 years. That means put down that mainframe programming book and pickup one on programming for mobile devices. ;)
  • spork
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm teaching myself Haskell as a side interest, not really to specialize in Haskell development. I currently don't know much about functional programming and would like to learn it to further my own understanding and through processes.

Programming is a hobby for me, not just a profession ;)
  • UPSGuy
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Quote:
Programming is a hobby for me, not just a profession


Ain't that the truth, lol. I think to be stupid enough to do the profession, you have to be consumed by the hobby. :)

Let me know your opinion on Haskell once you get a handle on it.
  • dyfrin
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Looking for someone to hire you to code something (aka code monkey) is not the best way to go.

Perhaps a few years to get some idea on how a project goes.

The real key, is to then start making your own programs worthwhile.

Panic is a good company to reference here.

Facebook/google/etc are so hit/miss it is not fair to try to attain that.

I think an example that applies here:
There are a ton of fly by night CCNA's. Two week guaranteed.
A teleco company here won a bid to replace our switches with Nortel (hp full of fail on multicast licenses, cisco rediculous $ for poe/1gb ports on all switches).

The team they sent had 3-4 guys for implementation. One guy had like 3-4 "certs". He knew nothing.
It was clear when we were discussing how to set up the 8310 with vlans and subnets that he did not even know how vlans were layer 2.
And he had a CCNA? We told him to get lost. Certified idiot.

Even if you know the same stuff 1,000 other people know in your state, put in the effort on a few first projects, and then word of mouth, examples of previous jobs, and references really do make a huge difference.
  • wolfmanz
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Post 3+ Months Ago

UPSguy;

Great comments.

As one who has programmed in many different languages over the years, not to mention all the ones I learned in college (and never used), I definitely believe that diversification has kept me employed more than many.

But keep in mind that, as more and more websites and applications are developed, the more popular languages will always stay at the for front of what potential employers are looking for. Sometimes a foot in the door can be just as important as that high dollar job. I am currently teaching myself “php and MySQL” just for that purpose.

That being said, I have a degree in CS. When I went to college the CS curriculum was predominately theory based - a lot of “Math, statistics, analysis and concepts.” Don’t forget these things, sometimes understanding how a process works can be just as important as being able to use the process.

Wayne :D
  • UPSGuy
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Quote:
That being said, I have a degree in CS. When I went to college the CS curriculum was predominately theory based - a lot of “Math, statistics, analysis and concepts.” Don’t forget these things, sometimes understanding how a process works can be just as important as being able to use the process.


I totally agree - I tend to be the type to take on any type project based solely on my understanding of the foundational concepts. Many new to programming would be surprised just how well you "know" multiple languages once you have a good grasp on the basics in one.
  • moniqu
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What do you guys think of COBOL? This language has been around in the finance world for a long time already, and it still is!

Couple of weeks ago I got a tour for a big insurance company, and they are still coding in COBOL. Many other companys do the same, banks for example. The reason they don't switch to a other language is because there is so many data stored in such specific way, so many software is written in COBOL that it is a very expansive job to update everything. Not to mention the risk of losing data of clients while upgrading.

After the tour I read some articles (sorry, but can not find those at the moment) and I quickly came to the conlusion that people barely or don't study COBOL anymore.

Is there anybody here who knows COBOL or is studying it? My guess is that COBOL programmers will get paid big time in the future :)
  • effim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

moniqu wrote:
What do you guys think of COBOL? This language has been around in the finance world for a long time already, and it still is!

Couple of weeks ago I got a tour for a big insurance company, and they are still coding in COBOL. Many other companys do the same, banks for example. The reason they don't switch to a other language is because there is so many data stored in such specific way, so many software is written in COBOL that it is a very expansive job to update everything. Not to mention the risk of losing data of clients while upgrading.

After the tour I read some articles (sorry, but can not find those at the moment) and I quickly came to the conlusion that people barely or don't study COBOL anymore.

Is there anybody here who knows COBOL or is studying it? My guess is that COBOL programmers will get paid big time in the future :)


Unless you have a very specific purpose for learning it, COBOL would be a pretty poor choice of a language to learn. It's specialized, sure, but it isn't being actively maintained and it doesn't have the same capabilities as modern languages. COBOL programmers are still a dime a dozen.

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