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Java's Future in the Programming World

Vikramjit Singh
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 01, 2005
Posts: 15
After just studying my balls off for the Java certification exam (programmer), I have been informed by several people that Java's preference in the programming world is turning sour and the language will be heading the same way Pascal and Fortran are. IS THERE ANY TRUTH TO THIS? Please give me an unbiased answer.
On a different topic, why are so many respondents to this web site seem to be from the Colorado area?
Any help anyone can provide is appreciated.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

Java's future: I remember ten years ago when I was working on a new project and there was some discussion over language. One guy advocated C and I advocated C++. This guy was adamant that C++ was a fad language and was going to go the way of Prolog. In the end, the manager agreed with that guy. I ran into him a coupla years later and threw his quote in his face and we had a good laugh.
I think you should distance yourself from anyone saying that Java has no future. They are uninformed clods that fear change in an industry that thrives on change. Java will be here for a very long time. It is currently the premier language of choice.

Colorado: I own this site and I live in Colorado. That might be a part of it. I know that for registered users, about 30% are from colorado and 20% are from India.


permaculture Wood Burning Stoves 2.0 - 4-DVD set
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
There is one big factor which I think will keep Java alive for a long time. It's not just it's portability, large standard API library, or relative clean-ness as a language (all of which help, of course). It's that Java is very rapidly becoming the "lingua franca" of computer conversation. A lot of people are moving over to Java as the way of expressing and discussing algorithms, program designs and general software development issues. Just check out the technical journals and the web.


Read about me at frankcarver.me ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Thanks for the reply guys...
Any advice on how to become a Java analyst or programmer without having any practical work related experience without taking too big of a cut in pay (I have 5 years of Business Analyst experience, and have recently obtained the Sun's JDK 1.1 certification)?
Thanks again.
Alan Dooley
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 22, 2000
Posts: 7
I've heard, through what I believe to be good sources, that JAVA programmers are going to be in STRONG demand in the future. I am personally betting on that, since I'm putting in alot of time learning the language. I'm also preparing, in the near future, to take the certification exam. So, how difficult is this exam? What kinds of preparation did those of you that have already taken the test use? (any recommendations on books that prepare one for it, etc.)
Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Alan....
I passed my test on 2/22/00 (2nd try) and can honestly say that it was the hardest test I have ever taken in my life - more difficult than completing my Thesis my senior year at College.
Anyway, buy Barry Boone's book - it's easy to read and will only cover those topics found on the test. You should also read the "Not on the Test" sections found at the end of each chapter......because some of those items ARE on the test. I also bought the Heller and <somebody else> book (gray cover) only to cover those topics I felt I needed additional help with.
Also, try to get a hold of whatever sample exams you can from the web (see the links to mock exams on this site).
The test asks some tricky questions, which makes you want to kick the monitor a few times, such as:
How do you delcare a string array that can hold 50 variables:
a) String [50]; b)Object [50] c)String [49] d) String [] e)Object []
Answer - d - remember, the questions asked you to DECLARE.
if you are wondering what Certification can do for your career, I hope to find out as I am trying to go from a Business Analyst to a Java Analyst or developer.
Good luck.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

Employers are equating Java certification to a year of experience. You should be able to easily land a java gig with certification.
V Soderbergh
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 28, 2000
Posts: 6
VJS is on the mark with his reply.
I am also a business analyst looking to move to the programming field.....any comments?
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

First, learn a bit about Java. I suggest you start with the Cattle Drive here at the ranch.
Then study for certification. The process will force Java down your throat in a big way. Two months later, pass the exam and employers will treat you as if you have a year of Java experience.
Ron Moddesette
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 19, 2000
Posts: 17
Paul, I've seen you state that Java certification is equated to a year of experience by employers. Is this statement based on your conversations from IT recruiters, other programmers, or personal experience? I'm just curious as to how factual this statement is in the real work place.
I'm currently a Smalltalk programmer, looking to switch over to Java, and wondering if the certification would get me in the door to a Java shop.
Thanks,
Ron
Tony Alicea
Desperado
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
"Smalltalk"!? I mean that in a good way!
I thought that lang. never escaped the Lab at Xerox PARC!
Do tell!


Tony Alicea
Senior Java Web Application Developer, SCPJ2, SCWCD
Ron Moddesette
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 19, 2000
Posts: 17
Originally posted by Tony Alicea:
"Smalltalk"!? I mean that in a good way!
I thought that lang. never escaped the Lab at Xerox PARC!
Do tell!


Smalltalk is out there, and I've heard that 50% of the Fortune 100 have used it. It is a true OO language, very elegant and powerful. Syntax is very concise, and if you have extra time (who does?) it would be a good language to pick to sharpen your OO skills.
It is however limited in where it is being used as compared to C++ and now Java. Several Smalltalk programmers are now switching to Java, since Smalltalk is more of a niche language.
I can't say which language I prefer, since I'm just starting to learn Java.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

Passing the SCJP exam equates to a year of Java Programming: I've heard this many times from people that are involved in the hiring process of Java engineers. I'm sure you will find some recruiters that have not heard of this, but I think most go along with it.
Having 24 years of programming experience including two and a half years of Java experience and having taken the exam, I have to say that I think this statement is accurate. I have interviewed a lot of Java candidates and I have to say that people who have taken the exam are sharper than people who have over a year of Java on their resume.
I do a lot of tech interviews for employers and when I see Java certification, I tell them to count it as an additional year of experience.
Ron Moddesette
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 19, 2000
Posts: 17
Thanks for the info Paul.
I guess it's time to learn Java,
Ron.
V Soderbergh
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 28, 2000
Posts: 6
I'm sorry to report that on the east coast (NY at least), Java programming certification doesn't seem to hold as much weight as promised. I am looking for a junior level position (I'm formerly a Systems Analyst and VBA programmer) as a Java programmer and have been told by countless headhunters that I need to have some Java work experience, despite the certification. One headhunter even told me that a 'study' was performed on Java certification and some people were admitted to the exam without an ounce of Java knowledge and passed the test (which I find hard to believe). Apparently this has lead to a demise of the certification's worth. If I had known this last year, I wouldn't have busted my ass learning Java 6 nights a week for the last year and 1/2.
If any headhunters read this....please confirm the above...this is what I am being told in the NY region. Thanks.
Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Hi to all of You.
I have passed programmer certification and thinking about going for developer certification. Does anyone have a clue how much would such thing be worth out there ??? I am asking this because I am recent University graduate and have experienced (when looking for a job) that programmer certification is worth almost nothing.
thanks for any replies
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

I posted this question on a java mailing list I'm on and got the following response:
From: "Keith R. Bennett" <keithb@fgm.com>
A year and a few months ago, I had been doing C and C++ development for
many years, and wanted to move into the Java world. I was looking for a
Java job, but had no Java work experience.
I then got Java 1.1 Programmer certification. This certification was
ignored by some potential employers, but not by the company where I am now
working . I was told it was instrumental in their decision to hire me. In
the absence of Java work experience to validate my claim, this was another
objective measure they used.
- Keith
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

More:
From: Cynthia Jeness <cj@goldencode.com>
An AS/400 Consulting firm here in Atlanta hired me to teach a Java Certification class at
one of the local colleges for a period of 3 months in order to get all of their
constultants Java certified. I think that being Java certified does not indicate that you
are a good Java developer; however, it is at least a data point to take into account
during the hiring process. I also think the Java certification exams are much better than
the various IBM certification exams that I had to take because Golden Code is an
IBM Business partner.
Cynthia
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

Still more:
From Kimberly Bobrow:
Well, I taught a class a couple of weeks ago where somehow the training
coordinator decided to put "Java Certification" as a requirment to an "Intro
to Java" course. Well, a little more than half of my class was in fact
certified (employee incentive program last year, they got $1000 to get
certified on their own time) and none of them had coded ANY Java ... They
NEEDED the intro class with the labs - they didn't have ANY practical
experience at all, in spite of the lovely certification they had.
Just an anecdote, but a true one that is slightly scary if you really valued
the certification!
[This message has been edited by Paul Wheaton (edited March 10, 2000).]
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

more:
From: Bryan Zarnett <bryan_zarnett@yahoo.ca>
We get several people who have Java Cert. on their
resume and we generally ignore it. I find that most
people (now adays) memorize the certification book and
actually know very little about Java or programming
itself.
I think every 1 out of 3 resumes I see has the Java
certification mark on it.
Bryan
[This message has been edited by Paul Wheaton (edited March 10, 2000).]
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20730
    ∞

more:
From: Mike Bowler <mbowler@GargoyleSoftware.com>
It's amazing how quickly the certification has become useless. I took
my certification test at the conference (3 years ago?) and at that time
a lot of good programmers were failing it. If you had passed then it
actually showed that you were doing quite a bit of work with Java.
Now that the certification books are available, lots of people are
memorizing the answers and passing without really having a good
understanding of the language. I've met quite a few people who fall
into this category.
Having said that, there's still lots of managers in hiring positions who
are impressed by the certification.
Mike
mbowler@GargoyleSoftware.com
Ray Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 12, 2000
Posts: 458
Programming aptitude cannot easily be determined by testing.
I have not taken the Java exam yet, however, from the sample tests and the game with the cows it appears that the certification exam is primarily concerned with an in-depth knowledge of the inner-workings of the Java language.
Passing this exam means you know the rules. It doesn't mean you know how to play the game.
Any manager, worth their salt, knows that experience is the best teacher. For a person with a solid programming background the Java certification should be a big help in moving to the language.
No matter how you slice it no experience is no experience. Certification doesn't mean you can code.
The old catch 22 of not being able to get work because don't have experience and not being able to get experience because you can't get work is still in effect.
In programming you must start at the bottom and work up. Certification should help ( it certainly can't hurt ) but it's not a magical bullet that replaces experience.

Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength. – Charles Spurgeon
Tony Alicea
Desperado
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
Please see my take on this:

http://www.javaranch.com/ubb/Forum6/HTML/000109.html
Srishti Deepa
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 14, 2006
Posts: 9
Hi ,
I think I agree that Certification is losing some value in the Job market , atleast in Mid-West area (ohio). No one counts it as 1 year experience straight forward .
But I totally disagree with the idea that a Java certified will not be a good programmer . When I studied for this I spent my days and nights practicing each and every aspect of programming rules in Java .
The only things that might be left out of hands on experience is forming some logics , that will execute the required activity . I thinks that should'nt be problem for a guy who had been programming for a long time in some other technology . After all you don't suddenly lose your logic .

Certification drills you to become an error free programmer in Java . This certainly would improve your work performance .
Srishti
Ray Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 12, 2000
Posts: 458
Originally posted by Srishti:
Hi ,
But I totally disagree with the idea that a Java certified will not be a good programmer .
Srishti

Srishti,
I hope my comments didn't give you that impression. I totally agree that programming logic is not confined to any one language. If you understand logic flow, half the battle is won.
What certification does not necessarily mean is that you can code worth a hoot.
With all the assistance available, a person with no programming experience or skill for that matter, could pass the SCJP exam with a good score.
As a matter of conjecture, I would presume that this very situation is partly or largely responsible for the decline of the SCJP's prestige.
If this makes me sound negative on the SCJP, that is most certainly not the case. I like to believe I have a realistic view of the situation.
Please see my comments and others at: http://www.javaranch.com/ubb/Forum6/HTML/000109.html
Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
I have 1.5 years (Internet)industry experience with java programming. My view on certification is that:
1) It is a great complement for a proven experienced programmer, making a more complete programmer with a strong knowledge of Java basics. I believe that it should be respected and valued when accompanied by experience.
2) I would never compare it to 1 years work experience. It is not that much. A person with SCJP does not know how to program such things as Servlets, JSP, EJB, JDBC. To be valued as a programmer with 1 years experience, you can't just have certification. There is no substitute for experience.
jashman
Tony Alicea
Desperado
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
Which is where certification (especially with a very high score) comes in. It increases your chances of getting that 1st experience (i.e., of finding a job).
 
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