File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
http://aspose.com/file-tools
The moose likes Jobs Discussion and the fly likes WebLogic / WebSphere experience..? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Careers » Jobs Discussion
Bookmark "WebLogic / WebSphere experience..?" Watch "WebLogic / WebSphere experience..?" New topic
Author

WebLogic / WebSphere experience..?

Martin Bromley
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 4
I've been developing in Java for the last few years of my career. Although I've had a lot of experience in J2EE, all the apps I've developed have been deployed on open source servers.

I'm now looking for contract work, and lots of job posts are asking for experience in WebLogic or WebSphere. This may sound like a silly question, but what does this really mean? Surely app servers can't be that different? I mean if you understand J2EE can it really be that difficult to write code for a new app server?

I've got hold of an evaluation copy of WebLogic, and I've been working through the tutorials. They're centered around using WebLogic Workshop to build apps. WebLogic Workshop strikes me as a horrible piece of software, intent on generating horrible, proprietary code! Sorry BEA ;-) As far as I can tell it's designed to be useful for people with experience of procedural programming, but minimal knowledge of Java or J2EE. I find it hard to imagine an experienced Java / J2EE developer finding WebLogic Workshop anything but a hinderance to productivity, code quality, maintainability and portability... I just find it so much easier to write code than to step through endless wizards and property editors.

So what I'm wondering is: are companies requesting experience in WebLogic looking for WebLogic Workshop developers (and companies requesting experience in WebSphere looking for WSAD developers)? Or are they looking for people with knowledge of the advanced (non-portable) features of the app servers (configuring a DataSource and making it available through JNDI, session smearing etc.)? Or what?

Do many companies use these products without their associated IDEs?

Thanks
Martin
Martin Bromley
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 4
OK, just re-reading my post, I may have been a little too scathing about WebLogic Workshop: from what I've seen it does have some nice features as well as shortcomings. Apologies BEA ;-)

But anyway, I didn't start this thread to talk about the merits of WebLogic Workshop, rather what it tends to mean when job-ads ask for WebLogic.
John Fontana
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2002
Posts: 235
It does matter -- each server comes with its own set of tag libraries, each has it's own method of deploying EJBs. There are other important differences that I'm not qualified to explain in an informative way. But it could take several costly weeks to ramp up a JBoss-experienced programmer to what is available on WebSphere/Weblogic, especially if they are leveraging those products' proprietary features...


<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."
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
This has been one of my top frustrations for years. They want regular developers but who have experience with their "app." Personally, I think a guy with 5 years of experience in X should be able to pick up 90% or more of Y within the first month. If a company expects employees to last years, than it's a small cost.

Now I do realize sometimes depth is key. Give me a team of 10 developers, and I might want 1-2 experts in the particular tool, but then I'd assume the rest of the team could learn what they don't already know as needed (a safe assumption, since I probably hired them, or wouldn't have joined the company if I thought the team wasn't competant).

--Mark
Martin Bromley
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 4
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
This has been one of my top frustrations for years. They want regular developers but who have experience with their "app." Personally, I think a guy with 5 years of experience in X should be able to pick up 90% or more of Y within the first month. If a company expects employees to last years, than it's a small cost.

Now I do realize sometimes depth is key. Give me a team of 10 developers, and I might want 1-2 experts in the particular tool, but then I'd assume the rest of the team could learn what they don't already know as needed (a safe assumption, since I probably hired them, or wouldn't have joined the company if I thought the team wasn't competant).

--Mark



I appreciate your frustration! What annoys me is that recruiters / HR departments often seem to have very little idea of the significance of the skills they ask for. I can understand them wanting someone with 4 years experience of Java, but I'm dismayed when I realize I'm being rated on my 'years of experience' with, say, JBuilder, or the java.net package. There are some things that really do take time (e.g. Java), and others that you can just pick up in a day or two.

I'm looking for contract work so it's probably more important to know the tools listed, which is why I've been learning WebLogic (should really learn a bit of Websphere next I guess). I wouldn't dream of trying to pass myself off as a WebLogic guru (I'm imagining that a job ad would say specifically if that's what they were after), but I do hope that the recriters aren't all playing the "how many years in WebLogic" game.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15641
    
  15

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
This has been one of my top frustrations for years. They want regular developers but who have experience with their "app." Personally, I think a guy with 5 years of experience in X should be able to pick up 90% or more of Y within the first month. If a company expects employees to last years, than it's a small cost.
--Mark


Dream on. Back in the '80s, I got static from would-be hirers because they wanted 2 years experience in - let's say "JES2 2.8". I might have a good 6 months in "JES2 2.9", and JES2 2.8 might have only been released 18 months ago, but noooo.

And that was in the '80s, when it was only 2 years they demanded. These days, I see things like "5 years Oracle 9i".



This is why I never get hired from ads. The successful candidate lies and claims this mythical experience. My ethics won't permit me.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Martin Bromley
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 27, 2004
Posts: 4
Originally posted by Tim Holloway:


Dream on. Back in the '80s, I got static from would-be hirers because they wanted 2 years experience in - let's say "JES2 2.8". I might have a good 6 months in "JES2 2.9", and JES2 2.8 might have only been released 18 months ago, but noooo.

And that was in the '80s, when it was only 2 years they demanded. These days, I see things like "5 years Oracle 9i".



This is why I never get hired from ads. The successful candidate lies and claims this mythical experience. My ethics won't permit me.



Years of experience is rather a silly concept in the first place. I've yet to figure out how it should be defined, and I'm pretty sure the recruiters haven't either.

For example, lets say I'm asked for the number of years experience I have in XML...

Well, I first learnt about it 3 years ago, spent 2 days learning how to create and parse docs using DOM, and then another day or too writing some code for a project that needed XML. I then didn't go near it for another year, until I needed XSLT. Another day or two of learning here and there, another day or two of parsing / transformations or whatever here and there. A few bits and bobs of reading articles about XML-related things that I worked with every so often. Picked up SAX at some point, and worked with XMLBeans a bit.

Going on total hours working with or learning about XML, 8 hour days, 20 working days a month (all approximate), to be accurate I have to say I've had about a month's experience of XML.

Working on the number of years since I first used it I've got 3 years experience of XML.. now this sounds better... 36 times better in fact!

It's an unfortunate fact that the sensible answer (the first one) won't get me very far

Tim, I respect your ethics, I wish everyone was as honest.
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1297
does getting the certification in those application server help?
such as BEA 8.1 certified administration, IBM WebSphere administrator, Sun Certified IPlanet Administrator?


BEA 8.1 Certified Administrator, IBM Certified Solution Developer For XML 1.1 and Related Technologies, SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCDJWS, SCJD, SCEA,
Oracle Certified Master Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
does getting the certification in those application server help?

No, they want experience. paid experience.

As several recruiters have told me, they ask for these things because they can. With the programmer surplus in the US, there is no reason for an employer to pay for someone's learning curve.

It's true that HR departments use silly criteria screening resumes, such as "5 years Oracle 9i". It's just a way to narrow down 500 resumes to 5 interviews. For legal reasons, HR loves objectively measurable criteria in hirng, raises, etc.

I guess I would interpret "5 years Oracle 9i" as 5 years of Oracle experience including enough time with Oracle 9i to be thoroughly familiar with the latest features. Of course, Oracle 9i has so many capabilities that few experienced applicants have used half its features, but the specifics can be covered in the interview.


Mike Gershman
SCJP 1.4, SCWCD in process
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1297
There is no way a software developer can possibly use a single application server for every projects and for the so many years, for example my last project was on PowerTier and this one is on Weblogic.
Maybe many projects on a ap server but not possibly every projects
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15641
    
  15

Based on my own personal experience, I'd look for J2EE experience rather than experience on a single product. J2EE is a broad enough standard that, unless you're looking specifically for someone to optimize a site, rather than be just another part of the development team (i.e. maybe 1 person in 10), you actually don't want people who know all the little inside tricks that differentiate the servers. One of the best ways I know to make a project fail is to optimize prematurely or depend heavily on unique (and often buggy) proprietary features.
Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1297
So what is the best J2EE application server currently in the IT industry and the market? in terms of the non functional and functional requirements of a system?
or where might I be able to find those kind of information from?(like ranking)
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    1
Martin Bromley:

I'm looking for contract work so it's probably more important to know the tools listed, which is why I've been learning WebLogic (should really learn a bit of Websphere next I guess). I wouldn't dream of trying to pass myself off as a WebLogic guru (I'm imagining that a job ad would say specifically if that's what they were after), but I do hope that the recriters aren't all playing the "how many years in WebLogic" game.

My experience is that most employers are not looking for the number of years of experience with a specific deployment platform, but only that there is some experience with it. "5 years J2EE WebSphere experience" normally means they want 5 years of J2EE experience including at least one stint using WebSphere.

On the other hand, if they specifically want people using a particular development environment - in your example, WebLogic Workshop - they might specifically be looking for number of years of experience with that tool. That might also be a sign that that particular job may not be one you want, though.
Pradeep Ram
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 18
The reason the recruiters/employers want that particular skill is to be for the new team member/recruit to be productive from day 1. This especially holds true in contracting positions. Most of the times, I have been asked about my experience on WSAD or WL-WorkShop and when I join the organization, I am amazed to find a plethora of development tools being used (from Textpad with macros to IntelliJ-IDEA). Most use this tool for deployment only (esp the EJB-JNDI mapping and the DataSource configuration become a lot easier).

If you do not use WSAD and use an ejb-jar.xml and application.xml from say JBOSS, it would be a night mare to deploy them on WebSphere. WSAD makes it a breeze by creating WebSphere specific .XMI files. Interstingly, the one place where I had consulted had WSAD on all developer desktops and that was their console. The entire app was developed and debugged using WSAD. it improved productivity.

My gripe is that these recruiters emphasize on the number of years of experience in a tool, that they overlook candidates who are very good at fundamentals. I personally would pick someone who writes scripts to manage and deploy applications. Thats a crude way of working, but it gives one a good control over the process.
--pradeeP
peter wooster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 1033
Originally posted by Pradeep Ram:
The reason the recruiters/employers want that particular skill is to be for the new team member/recruit to be productive from day 1. This especially holds true in contracting positions. Most of the times, I have been asked about my experience on WSAD or WL-WorkShop and when I join the organization, I am amazed to find a plethora of development tools being used (from Textpad with macros to IntelliJ-IDEA). Most use this tool for deployment only (esp the EJB-JNDI mapping and the DataSource configuration become a lot easier).

If you do not use WSAD and use an ejb-jar.xml and application.xml from say JBOSS, it would be a night mare to deploy them on WebSphere. WSAD makes it a breeze by creating WebSphere specific .XMI files. Interstingly, the one place where I had consulted had WSAD on all developer desktops and that was their console. The entire app was developed and debugged using WSAD. it improved productivity.

My gripe is that these recruiters emphasize on the number of years of experience in a tool, that they overlook candidates who are very good at fundamentals. I personally would pick someone who writes scripts to manage and deploy applications. Thats a crude way of working, but it gives one a good control over the process.
--pradeeP


Recruiters are a plague on the earth. They expect technical expertise in areas which they themselves are completely ignorant. Its always been the case that they want 5 years experience on products that were released last year. This may not have been true during the dotcom bubble, but it always was before.

Your best bet is to work in parts of the industry where HR is an afterthought, and find jobs through contacts. The worst thing about J2EE is the first E, its Enterprise, and that means banks, big business and the like. I've heard J2EE called "the COBOL of the new millennium".
Jesse Torres
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2004
Posts: 985
Can someone recommend a good book for learning WSAD?

Thanks,
Jose Velarde
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 11, 2002
Posts: 78
Originally posted by Jesse Torres:
Can someone recommend a good book for learning WSAD?

Thanks,


The Redbook is your best bet and it's free
Jesse Torres
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2004
Posts: 985
Originally posted by Jose Velarde:


The Redbook is your best bet and it's free


Thanks a lot!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: WebLogic / WebSphere experience..?
 
Similar Threads
Resources for WAS
easier ways to get java to work for non technical users...
Sr. J2EE Architect (441511)
SWT versus Swing/awt
J2EE Consultant - Los Angeles - Unique Bonus!