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Importance of knowledge of OS & web servers for a programmer?

Ghazala Islam
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2000
Posts: 73
Hi all,
I am an unsatisfied certified java programmer :-)
I m learning and working on Java language for more than a year & I have fair knowledge of java applications and servelts.I did all my work on notepad and dos prompt,no visual tool.
I went for an interview for java programmer ,I was confident about my work and certification,but when I came back I was very confused and disheartened,because some of the
things I never concentrated,he asked about my knowledge in operating systems,web servers,visual tools and I couldn't satisfy him,he asked which web server you used ,I said
Tomcat,he said tomcat is not a web server,when I again read the book from which I learned servlets,it was written Tomcat is the refernece implementation of the servelts and can be
used as stand alone server.(it means its not a web server ?)
he asked about visual tool i use for working on java, I said I work on notepad,he asked any idea of windows NT or windows 2000 I said no.
I was quite disheartend by all these questions but rather confused because all these things never came in my way while I worked at home ,I have windows 98,i simply start tomcat and do my work.I never bother making panels within panels while designing front ends,I never missed
any visual tool.
The purpose of this long mail is I want to know :

1 . Why,
2 . Where,
3 . and in which situations a programmer should have knowledge of (OS,Web Servers) .
4 . How can I gain knowledge in developing Professional java Applications without anyjob :-) Any site to get help?
[ October 06, 2002: Message edited by: Ghazala Islam ]
[ October 07, 2002: Message edited by: Ghazala Islam ]
chad stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 88
Hi.
I believe the best thing to do for an individual in your position is to download a free working copy of JBuilder. I used that to work with and also, it provides a wheel after you type a dot so you can see what else to type. Notepad is no tool for a developer. You can also use emacs or vi, but start with JBuilder. You should start looking to learn UNIX over any windows NT or 98. UNIX is importants when looking for a job. About servers, check out Apache, these questions are not so trivial to answer during an interview, but sometimes answering Notepad as a tool will probably lead your interviewer in believing that you aren't a programmer and you just want to start in Java and learned a few buzzwords here and there, such as Tomcat... nowadays, employers are very prudent and there are a lot of C++ and COBOL programmers looking for a job who claim to know Java when all they did is write one small JavaSCRIPT program which isn't Java! If you need further help or links, let me know, I can provide.
chad stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 88
HI again,
Perhaps this clarifies:
http://java.sun.com/products/jsp/tomcat/
http://jakarta.apache.org/
http://www.blazix.com/
http://wwws.sun.com/software/product_categories/web_servers.html
http://www.jboss.org/
Good luck!
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Moving to Jobs Discussion.


"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
Ghazala Islam
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2000
Posts: 73
hi,
Thanks for concern and for understanding my problem.You' ve asked to
learn unix over windows 98/NT,but the question is not how and where
can i learn OS and web servers ,my point is being a programmer why
i should know about these things,because you
know well in computers there are several categories,if you know
java,asp,visual basic or any language you are a software developer,
if you know unix,iis,sql server or oracle you are network or database
administrator,I want to know the role or importance of OS ,Web servers
for a programmer,means while writing code for any system when these
things should be consider by a programmer.I hope you understand my
question.
Regarding sites,I meant that where can I get case studies or usage of
java language in real life or where it can be applied, like I made a small
application for querying,and performing all DML operations on database,
(sql server),I design the front end using AWT,its working fine but
in my subconcious i was thinking when all of it can be done more
easily and efficiently in VB or other tool,then why java.Is
using java for these kind of systems like HR,Payroll,etc. is suitable ?or it
is meant for some more complex tasks ?
I know my question is too long,but hope I will get answere for my first
question also!
William Barnes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 16, 2001
Posts: 986

Well there can be a differance between knowing how to program and convincing a manager of that fact.
If a manager has a group of programmers sitting around using some IDE s/he may think that it is important that a new employee know how to use that specific IDE. And all of us know you don't need to know how to use JBuilder to write java code (for example).
I always thought that Tomcat was a web server. Maybe someone can correct me.


Please ignore post, I have no idea what I am talking about.
Ghazala Islam
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2000
Posts: 73
still need some more help on this topic.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20723
    ∞

First, is tomcat a server? Technically, yes! For a long time, JavaRanch ran on tomcat, but it was combined with apache. Apache did the nuts and bolts stuff and tomcat did the jsp and servlet stuff.
I suppose somebody could debate whether tomcat is a good server.
Different interviewers look for different stuff. Your interviewer may have been trying to find somebody who knows a lot about the same stuff he knows, which includes some particular server and some particular IDE. After all, if you made the same choices that he made in the past, you must be brilliant! (in his book)
As for an IDE, I have to admit that if I interviewed you and you said you used notepad, I would have thought you were a rank beginner. Notepad is a good place to start, but most programmers move on to something with a bit more gusto after a few days/weeks/months.


permaculture Wood Burning Stoves 2.0 - 4-DVD set
Ghazala Islam
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2000
Posts: 73
Thanks Paul,
But one portion of my question above (2nd Para)is still unanswered but its my fault I should have asked 1 question at a time.Anyway question is:
I made a small application for querying,and performing all DML operations on database,
(sql server),I design the front end using AWT,its working fine but in my subconcious i was thinking when all of it can be done more easily and efficiently in VB or other tool,then why java?Is
using java for these kind of systems like HR,Payroll,etc. is suitable ?or it
is meant for some more complex tasks ?
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
Hi Ghazala,
a good combination of free ides is in my view eclipse (for non gui) and Netbeans for Swing-GUI.
I am really faster with IDE.
regards Axel
Fred Grott
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 05, 2002
Posts: 346
Originally posted by Ghazala Islam:
Thanks Paul,
But one portion of my question above (2nd Para)is still unanswered but its my fault I should have asked 1 question at a time.Anyway question is:
I made a small application for querying,and performing all DML operations on database,
(sql server),I design the front end using AWT,its working fine but in my subconcious i was thinking when all of it can be done more easily and efficiently in VB or other tool,then why java?Is
using java for these kind of systems like HR,Payroll,etc. is suitable ?or it
is meant for some more complex tasks ?

Her elet me make it more clear..
there are certain scripts/languages that do what jsp does, asp, php, vb to some extent in that they allow separation of business logi and presentation happening in the saem web page..
Sound slike you have concentrated on some the core technologies of java like awt, which is important but you also need to have some exposure to J2EE as well..
What snice in using some of the stuff that everyone has mentioned:

Tomcat JSP server
Jboss EJB applicaiotn server
JBuilder, FFJ(SuneONe), or etc in IDEs
is that you can always find free copies so that you can set up your own test/development machine to not only develop an application like Petshop but also see it run and how it works while coding..
I should mention that yes I do remember coding in text editors in learning java back in 19996-1997..You have one up on other sin that you have learned leasons in one line debugging that others have not picked up.. so don't feel down! That debuggin exp of doing one line at a time is very valuable!


MobileBytes blog - Sharing Technology - My Programming Knols
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
To me the answer to all of this is fairly straightforward. To be the best programmer (or "developer", or "software engineer", or whetever you want to call yourself) you have to have the widest range of experience possible.
If an employer hires someone to write software they are not concerned with why you know something, or whether you consider it part of programming or system admin. The employer just needs the job done, by someone who can do it.
So we learn and work with as many languages, operating systems and hardware/software products as we can. If knowing Java, Linux and Excel gets me a job, it's worth it.


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

Joined: Jun 19, 2002
Posts: 110
Well, the trend of employment has changed now!
few years ago, a company would employ a designer,
a database administrator, a programmer, and a system administrator, paying each of them say $40K. now the trend is that to get rid of all the employees and just employ one technical guru who knows 5 or 6 different technologies, such as webservers, programming, OS, web scripting and so on, and pay him $60K.
maybe in a few years, things will change and a Java programmer will only be a Java programmer. who knows??
in any way, knowing all the extra bits and pieces wouldn't harm.
Good luck


Amir
Jon McDonald
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 167
Originally posted by Amir Ghahrai:
Well, the trend of employment has changed now!
few years ago, a company would employ a designer,
a database administrator, a programmer, and a system administrator, paying each of them say $40K. now the trend is that to get rid of all the employees and just employ one technical guru who knows 5 or 6 different technologies, such as webservers, programming, OS, web scripting and so on, and pay him $60K.
maybe in a few years, things will change and a Java programmer will only be a Java programmer. who knows??
in any way, knowing all the extra bits and pieces wouldn't harm.
Good luck

Yeah, I'm noticing this in the marketplace as well. I have a buddy with a BSCS. The company that hired him after college (a utility company) has had him working essentially as a Jack of all trades. In the just under 3.5 years he's been there he started out doing VB development, went to network engineering, did COBOL coding, built and installed servers, did light Database administration, and is now doing enterprise Java development.
If he ever decides to switch jobs he could go for positions ranging from network engineering to software development, and could show several years of experience doing either (even though that was not ALL he was doing those years). definately provides one with more options.
I have anothor friend who graduated just 6 months later than my first friend, but he has been working solely in info security. Hot area right, wrong! most of the positions he was looking at wanted more experience,specifically more network engineering experience as opposed to just security consulting. He is kind of pigeoned holed into one sub-section of IT, a sub-section he is considering leaving.
While I love coding (especially in Java), I won't pigeon hole myself into being only a java coder (or only a coder for that matter) I believe flexibility breeds security in employment.
Jon


SCJP<br/>
"I study politics and war that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy in order to give their children a right to study painting poetry and music."<br />--John Adams
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
Regarding sites,I meant that where can I get case studies or usage of
java language in real life or where it can be applied, like I made a small
application for querying,and performing all DML operations on database,
(sql server),I design the front end using AWT,its working fine but
in my subconcious i was thinking when all of it can be done more
easily and efficiently in VB or other tool,then why java.Is
using java for these kind of systems like HR,Payroll,etc. is suitable ?or it
is meant for some more complex tasks ?
I know my question is too long,but hope I will get answere for my first
question also!

Java is a general purpose language for HR, Payroll and more complex systems. Somethings can be done more quickly and efficiently with PHP and VB in the beginning of a product's life. Over a five or ten year period, the hope is Java will age more gracefully and thereby be better.
How long do you want your HR system to last and how maintainable do you want it to be?
Fred Grott
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 05, 2002
Posts: 346
Originally posted by Ghazala Islam:
Hi all,
I am an unsatisfied certified java programmer :-)
I m learning and working on Java language for more than a year & I have fair knowledge of java applications and servelts.I did all my work on notepad and dos prompt,no visual tool.
I went for an interview for java programmer ,I was confident about my work and certification,but when I came back I was very confused and disheartened,because some of the
things I never concentrated,he asked about my knowledge in operating systems,web servers,visual tools and I couldn't satisfy him,he asked which web server you used ,I said
Tomcat,he said tomcat is not a web server,when I again read the book from which I learned servlets,it was written Tomcat is the refernece implementation of the servelts and can be
used as stand alone server.(it means its not a web server ?)
he asked about visual tool i use for working on java, I said I work on notepad,he asked any idea of windows NT or windows 2000 I said no.
I was quite disheartend by all these questions but rather confused because all these things never came in my way while I worked at home ,I have windows 98,i simply start tomcat and do my work.I never bother making panels within panels while designing front ends,I never missed
any visual tool.
The purpose of this long mail is I want to know :

1 . Why,
2 . Where,
3 . and in which situations a programmer should have knowledge of (OS,Web Servers) .
4 . How can I gain knowledge in developing Professional java Applications without anyjob :-) Any site to get help?
[ October 06, 2002: Message edited by: Ghazala Islam ]
[ October 07, 2002: Message edited by: Ghazala Islam ]

I should also mention that one of the other areas for every programmer to have exp in is some business area/function..
What do I mean by that?
For mysleff it was serving as Junior Acountant/Bookkeepr while also completing MIS functions such as Papplicaiton development in DOs days..
The accounting/business exp allows me to even this day see how to take a business process from theri terms and description and translate to programming structures and mapping..
 
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