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Very Grim Prospectives

Rosen Dimitrov
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 10, 2002
Posts: 11
Hi guys,
I just took my Java certification test. Not outstanding, just 84% but it's cool.
What I read here in this forum worries me no end. Looks like Java isn't as hot as it used to be. I hear people way more experienced than I am cannot get a job.
Where is it all going? Is there a way to predict how the market would be lets say a year from now?
Looks like I picked the worse time for a career change. I hold MSc in Physics.
Java doesn't seem fit for real time computation so
I think I wouldn't be able to apply it in programming lab equipment and/or experimental setups.
Rosen Dimitrov
Sun Certified Programmer for Java 2
Joseph Hammerman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 19, 2002
Posts: 76
C++ is a better language for physics work. It is hot right now, but it is much older.
This is not a good time to change in to the software field. If you are employed in something else, you should probably wait for the market to improve to make a move.
Rosen Dimitrov
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 10, 2002
Posts: 11
Thanks for your reply Joseph,
My feeling is that I really have to wait before I make my next move.
Luckily we physicists have the priviliege that very few men have, that of having plenty of time that we can take and think. And what I am thinking about is taking the direction of acquiring database knowledge.
Generally and philosophically speaking we humans are beings of inventory. So in the end it all comes around to the keyword "DATABASE"! Database knowledge and skills will always count. The other keyword is "MONEY". So my next question comes natural: What is the java related database field that is involved in implementing financial projects? What do banks use?
What is the scope of the so called Java database?
Is it standalone? Will there always be a need for SQL, Oracle or I don't know what else? What is the Java related technology involved in running finances?
Best Regards to All
Rosen Dimitrov, SCJP
PS.Sorry if my questions sound kinda immature
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Rosen Dimitrov:
Looks like I picked the worse time for a career change. I hold MSc in Physics.
Java doesn't seem fit for real time computation so
I think I wouldn't be able to apply it in programming lab equipment and/or experimental setups.

(My earlier attempt at posting seemed to have problems.)
I think you picked a great time for a change. I was a physics major in college. In 1995 I looked at physics and I looked at software. While prospects for tenure positions in physics are the best they've been in decades, if you want to make money, go into software. I would make the same call now.
As for Java not being useful so in physics, so what? Program in C++. Any competant programmer should be able to switch languages, especially ones so similar, as the need arises. The good employers are the ones who recognize this, they value intelligence, not knowledge.
--Mark
[ April 15, 2002: Message edited by: Mark Herschberg ]
Todd Sanders
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 07, 2002
Posts: 33
Nice reply!
Joseph Hammerman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 19, 2002
Posts: 76
For database work, Oracle is the hottest and has most of the market. Database and financial work is not closely related to physics, but that might not be important to you. Database work is a fairly hot area, but I wouldn't call it the hot area.
As I said, if you want to combine your physics background with programming, I recommend C++. Real-time and embedded systems would use your physics backgound, although they may not be the hottest areas and they are fairly difficult. Networking would also be fairly closely related to your background.
John Fontana
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2002
Posts: 235
Originally posted by Rosen Dimitrov:
What is the java related database field that is involved in implementing financial projects? What do banks use?
What is the scope of the so called Java database?
Is it standalone? Will there always be a need for SQL, Oracle or I don't know what else? What is the Java related technology involved in running finances?

I started a similar thread in "Financial Experience - NYC?" It seems that most jobs seeking Java skills at the moment appear to be financial institutions.
From what I have learned so far, it is not so much the particular programming skills in this area that is important as the background in the area of finance. Oracle is the hot database for companies who can afford the smoke-and-mirrors, as Websphere and Weblogic are the app servers for companies with similarly bloated budgets.
I think that by the time a finance company opens the doors up for you or me, there will be offerings more relevant to our backgrounds with other companies. It just so happens that in a down economy, the banks are the among the few left who can afford new projects.
Even so, SCJP-carrying Java programmers with financial and Oracle expertise are still having a hard time. One forum user described this phenomenon as "cherry-picking". Times are hard, so top-level programmers can be had at their cheapest rate right now. Otherwise, the banks would probably not be hiring either.
Continue to study new things that interest you, that you feel you have the knack for. Stay at your job if you have one for now. When the market comes soaring back, we will all be too busy and too rich to worry about it anymore!
Now I will go and try to follow my own advice!
best of luck,
John
[ April 15, 2002: Message edited by: John Fontana ]

<a href="http://www.websiteandsound.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">www.websiteandsound.com</a><br />"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."
Rosen Dimitrov
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 10, 2002
Posts: 11
Thank you all guys for your advice!
Especially you Mark for encouraging me. It is nice to meet fellow physicists who have made it in the software field.
Which directon did you take Mark if you don't mind sharing it with us?

Rosen
Jim Petersen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 24, 2001
Posts: 241
Agreed nice reply Mark - for those hunting it is pretty easy to get discouraged. Take heart things will change. Myself I'm waiting for a client sign off so I can start next week doing some more J2EE work - not great money and involves alot of travel but its doing what I want to do... though since I 'have' the job I've found it more nerve-wracking waiting for the go ahead to start (though the whole process has taken a long time compared to when I was last looking when it was good) ...all the best for those looking


- Jim Petersen <br />SCJP2<br />SCWCD<p>- but then again, I could be wrong...
Jim Baiter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 05, 2001
Posts: 532
Rosen - I would check out biotech. Biotech has actually stayed hot and with your Physics background you may have some understanding of atomic structures, etc.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Rosen Dimitrov:
Thank you all guys for your advice!
Especially you Mark for encouraging me. It is nice to meet fellow physicists who have made it in the software field.
Which directon did you take Mark if you don't mind sharing it with us?


Happy to help. I generally have a brand of "tough love" in this forum. I really do think people, spurred on by our sensationalist media, are making it out to be worse then it really is.
I ended up staying in school another 2 years to get a masters degree in cryptography. Let me tell you, quantum physics seems easy after cryptography!
After getting my masters degree, I continued at my college, this time as research staff, working on developing the Curl language. The group turned into a startup company, but I choose not to join them. (It seemed to be the rigth decision.)
I was very briefly part of a dot com, for about 2 months. But they seemed incompetant, and they never paid me.
I joined a boutique software company here in Cambridge. They claimed to be a startup, but really they were just a small firm. It has a core engineering team and consulting practice bacsed on our proprietary technology. That was a good opportunity, because I got to experience both development and consulting.
I left that firm and joined my last one, which was a wireless software company. There I got a lot of experience growing a development team and a company. In addition to my technical skills, I was able to enhance my business skills.
I was able to learn a lot at these small places, especially my last comapny, because I am the type of person who will sieze opportunity. I saw many others who, simply because they were young, didn't get as much out of it, and could ahve gotten more out of a better structured place.
I quit my last job in November, in order to write a book on software engineering, based largely on what I saw at my last 2 companies, and from what I learned at seeing and hearing about other companies.
Overall, I think physics is a great background for software engineering. One thing that this hard to teach is analysis. CS programs are very bad at that; physics is very good at that. There are a lot of physicists who left for software.
I agree that biotech is a good field for you to try, because it requires a strong science background, and many physicists went to that field, too. Finance is also an option, because wall street has hired physicists for years to work as quants.

--Mark
Rosen Dimitrov
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 10, 2002
Posts: 11
Hi to all!
It sounds like a good idea to seek opportunities in the biotech field. Though I have certain moral issues with genetics. These issues are outside the area of programming so maybe it is not a good idea to bring them up in this particular forum. Suffice it to say I am very ambivalent toward genetic engineering.
Mark, your career is impressive in the sense that one always has a chance to find what one's looking for as long as one keeps searching: if our convictions are strong then our life circumstances tend to adjust to them. I wish you good luck with your book.
Thank you Jim Peterson for the wonderful quote from the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". It probably doesn't matter that I can't program since I am not gonna make it to the software business anyway ... and when I make it to the software business I might find out that I am actually a pretty good programmer . I will not lose courage to try anyway.
Thank you all guys
Rosen, SCJP
tarnovo
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 27, 2000
Posts: 4
Hello Rosen!
Where are you from?
See you
Tim Jones
Greenhorn

Joined: May 09, 2002
Posts: 12
Rosen.
I am a Physics graduate who now works in Java. I joined a financial services firm graduate training scheme and they taught me everything I needed to know.
All the best!
Tim
 
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