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A new Convert needs help!

Mehdi Chaouchi
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 31, 2003
Posts: 14
Hello every one,
First of all, a little introduction:
I have a M.S in computing and 2 years experience as a Software Designer (C++, CORBA, XML, some Java). Currently, i'm looking for a job. Been jobless for 2 months (departement was shut down) and I need to find a new job b4 becoming crazy.
Here it goes: well, I'm mostly a C++ developer. However, I'm seriously thinking of converting to JAVA. For the most part because it seems that Java has better futur + there are actually more open positions for Java developers. Further more, I might start my own company in 3-4 years (need some more experience) and the kind of software I'd be making is likely to be better done using Java technologies. (my simple unscientific "forcast" lead me to think that Java will have the lead in a couple of years).
What I need, is some advices. Especially from people who'd 've gone through the same process C++ => JAVA. Do you think it is a wise move? How do you think I should proceed to master Java. How long would it take me to become good at Java-weeks or months-? And what's the best way to go. Books, if yes what books? Do you think I should get the sun Java developper Certificate, how long does it take one to get it?... etc, etc.
Any information, tips or comments would be much appreciated.
Thank you much in advance.
Don't pay too much attention to my english. It's ain't my mother tongue.
Mehdi Chaouchi
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 31, 2003
Posts: 14
One more question, please.
What other stuff should I study together with Java.??
J2EE, JSP, EJB,... etc?
Thank you so very much.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Have you considered C#? There are a couple hundred thousand Java programmers ahead of you, but you can be an early adopter in the C# realm.
--Mark
Mehdi Chaouchi
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 31, 2003
Posts: 14
Thanks for replying...
Well, the good thing with Java is that everything (or almost is free) and more importantly I think it's gonna take over C++ (of course not completly.. but in many areas). Also I already have 6, 7 Java books: Java2, Java2 Certification, J2EE, J2ME, EJB, EJB Patterns, J2EE Patterns... etc, etc. Java2 is installed on my PC. Moreonver, here in Danmark, there aren't that many Job adds requiring C#. But I guess I could go 4 it, if I think it has some good future.
The worste thing is to invest one's money and time in something that wouldn't be used (or very little) in a couple of years.
I'm sorry to bother you with all my questions... but I'm really lost.
Thank you so much.
Please anyone cpomment!
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Mehdi Chaouchi:
Thanks for replying...
Well, the good thing with Java is that everything (or almost is free)

What's free? I seem to spend a lot of money on Java tools. MS, on the other hand, is well known to give away cheap tools to gain marketshare.
--Mark
Mehdi Chaouchi
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 31, 2003
Posts: 14
Ok...
I meant to say that I downloaded my Java compiler for free, Also a lot of stuff is free when it comes to Java. Go and check some open source sites. Most of the interesting stuff is in Java and for java... JBoss, JGraph.. etc.
Anyways... I am really lost.
I have been talking to a friend who\s doing some J2EE and according to him I could commance coding decent java in about a month. Including EJB and J2EE. If it only takes 1 to three months then for sure I will go 4 it.
What do you think. I am an intermediate C++ designer with 2 yrs experience. How many weeks would it take me to be prodictive with Java. Including EJB, J2EE ...etc.
Note that I did some java. For instance I implemented an S.N.M.P manager in Java.
Please some1 give me some estimate.
Thank u so very much.
Bubye.
Mehdi Chaouchi
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 31, 2003
Posts: 14
P.S> The S.N.M.P manager I talked about earlier is some 3.000 lines of Code, its design is not that hard to make and u don't need to know many libraries (some networking and threading only).

Also,
I feel I ll go for Java anyway... I have nothing better to do with my time. I have been out of job for two months... i hate being idle!
My Question would be how to proceed?
for instance> Java, Java and UML, EJB, then J2EE?
And how much time would it take me?
PS: I hope I'm not wrong and I won't regret not to have chosen C# and the .NET instead in a couple of years.
Thank u 4 listening to a confused fellow. (I might be confusing also )
keep the faith.
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
Mehdi Chaouchi:
- I'd take an open approach towards your decision of C# or Java.

- Some observations / comments:
1. Since you already have MS-Comp Sci, you have too much time/effort committed to this industry to change to another field. Meaning, you would need a major incentive to change fields.
That being said, it's obvious you need to update/change your skill-set. You have identified this, good.
2. Regarding C# or Java -- which is your real question.
I would say study for Java ... take next 3 months and really hammer down on your Java studies. Best way to do this, it to take an existing project you have done in C++ and start writing code.
3. While undertaking your studies on item #2, I would start to prepare for the SCJP2 exam. I would not start the memorization process, but rather use it as a guide to develop your plan of attack.
Hopefully, you will generate a set of notes (100+ pages) plus examples.
4. After 3 months (200+ hours of studying at 2-3 hrs per day). Do a re-assesment of your situation. If you think you might be ready to sit for the SCJP2 exam then do it.
Hopefully, you completed th econversion o1 or 2 of your previous project.
5. If you decide to continue with your Java studies, then grab the SCJP2 exam, if you have not done so in item #4.
6. Start learning JSP & Servlets. Takes about a month to get a decent grasp of what's going on. Takes about another 3 months to memorize it all for the SCWCD exam.
Also, good time to learn Tomcat (free) and see how webservers work.
7. Once you know Java, JSP, Servlets (would take about 4-6 months all together), then hit the market.
Unfortunately, we don't get paid to do core Java. Instead, we get paid to do Servlets, and JSP.
More importantly, we get paid to convert a business problem, into a text solution, into some type of OOA&D solution (psuedo-code, UML, flow charts, just plain white-board notes, etc.).
Even if you are not an architect, you still do this (on a micro scale) for every method / class you write.
Since you already have MS-CompSci, you know how to do the OOA&D solutions. Your solution might not be perfect, but it works and at this stage that's what counts.
That being said, take your MS-CS, Java, JSP, Servlets, OOA&D, and previous experience to the market place.
9. If you score a Java job...then keep going down the Java path.
At this point, you will be learning about servers and IDEs. Examples Websphere / WebSphere Application Developer. Company you work at will provide training for this.
10. Start learning about EJB, XML, Web Services.
-------------
So why do I mention this path?
1. It will take you 2 or 3 yrs (probably longer) to become proficient in everything (Core Java, Servlets, JSP, EJB, XML, Web Services, Web Servers, and other assorted goodies like Struts, Oracle Databases, and finger painting )
You don't have that much time.
2. To recap my approach.
- Get a feel for Java (core Java). After three months. If you like it and feel that market is still headed in that direction, then continue your studies.
- Get Servlets & JSP under your belt. Know it well.
- I assume you have OOA&D knowledge. If not, then learn basics.
- Apply for work in Java field.
- Once employed, continue your studies with web servers, integrated development environment tools (IDE tools).
- Learn about web services and XML.
- Somewhere along the line, learn EJB.
---------------
What I am now doing, is preparing for SCWCD exam (I am employed). We are converting our IDE over to WebShpere Application Developer. Also, migrating systems to WebSphere 5.0. So am learning those as on-the-job training.
I plan next to learn about EJBs.
Then move in to XML, and WebServices arena.
-----
Once that is all done, I will be 110 yrs old and ready for retirement Does the learning every stop?
That's my advice.
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)


John Coxey
Evansville, Indiana, USA
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
I contest these points simply to make sure you are basing you decision on correct information.
Originally posted by Mehdi Chaouchi:
Ok...
I meant to say that I downloaded my Java compiler for free, Also a lot of stuff is free when it comes to Java. Go and check some open source sites. Most of the interesting stuff is in Java and for java... JBoss, JGraph.. etc.

Yes, the Java compiler is free. Most languages have free compilers. In fact, I can't think of a non-proprietary language without a free compiler.
I'm familiar with the open source sites. I'm also familiar with a lot of open source software and libraries in C/C++. Java has a number of years on C#, but I see no reason C# won't have the same type of support. In fact, given that MS is behind this, you can be sure that free and cheap products will be produced fairly quickly to support the language.
--Mark
Mehdi Chaouchi
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 31, 2003
Posts: 14
Hello John & Mark,
Thank you for taking the time to answer my "calls".
I really do appreciate it much!
John, I'll write down the plan that you came up with and try my best to follow it. However, something worries me. According to you it's gonna take 3 months to master Java core only... Wow, a friend of mine just told me yesterday on the phone that it won't take me more than a month to start working with java + ejb + j2ee...
he did say though that it takes more to know the ins and outs of th j2ee architecture.
Well, I think it's too googd to be true. 3 monnths + more time makes more sens to me.
Between us, I think that programming certification are crap and a waste of time. It really doesn't help much to know all the tricks and stuff. If i wanna know whether something compiles I'd simply try and compile it. No matter how many certification you pass you'll always have compiling errors. Developpers certification make more sens, but there is still room for subjectivity.
Anyways, if the market asks for certification, we will "certify", ... no problem!
Once more, Thank you! and let's pray C# will be a failure ... kidding of course
 
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