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What to expect!?

Peter Matthews

Joined: Nov 07, 2005
Posts: 21
Hi All,

I'm currently undertaking a masters degree in Web Engineering, which is due to end in September, after the submission of my thesis. The course involved many aspects of web-based programming, with strong emphasis on .NET (ASP.NET, ADO.NET) and J2EE (JSPs, Servlets, Enterprise Java Beans). I'm basically posting because of my uncertainty of my career path. I'm wanting to get into web development, but not sure whether to pursue it in J2EE or .NET. I've searched many job sites, and have seen that .NET positions are more easy to come by, however J2EE positions usually come with a better salary package. Regarding my experience between the two, I'm more experienced in J2EE (more specifically J2SE), but not sure whether to gain more experience in .NET as more jobs are available. What opinions do you all have? Is it better to go for .NET if my interest is in Web development or stick with J2EE and become more experienced in that - trying to get an unbiased opinion, as I know I'm posting in a Java forum . Also I'm not sure what to expect from my first junior position when the time comes, how much do employers expect you to know when taking a junior role - I guess I'm pretty nervous at the prospect at getting in somewhere and them throwing me into the deep end. As you can I guess I havent had any experience in software companies (one regret I have of not taking a placemen!). However I do have experience in creating websites for several companies, that have given me some experience of the development process as well as client commication skills. One final question is, would it be worthwhile taking the SCJP cert if I decide to take the J2EE path, in order to give me a better chance of getting an interview due to my limited experience? Ok, I'll stop there - any suggestions would be great!! Thanks. Pete
Mark Herschberg

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Peter Matthews:
I'm basically posting because of my uncertainty of my career path. I'm wanting to get into web development, but not sure whether to pursue it in J2EE or .NET.

That's like saying I want to be a folk lift operator but I'm not sure if I should learn to operate the Uniliver folk lift or the Cat folk lift.

Unfortunately, 99% of candidates think this way, as do 70% of the employers. If you want to be in the top echelons of the labor poor, and work for the best companies, you need to change our mindset.

What makes web development non-trivial is not knowing the tools or whether a particular function if alpha.fooBar() or beta.barFoo() but rather understanding how to translate requirements into products, architect solutions (even jr programmers not to architect at some level, even if it's just a few classes), estimate tasks, anticipate and prevent problems, apply patterns, and communicate with others. Any bozo can learn the mechanics of Java or .NET in a few weeks (less if they already know the other).

There is no either or choice forced upon you, but many people force it upon themselves. While your job may use only one, learn the other and then sell yourself as someone who can do both.

[ May 12, 2006: Message edited by: Mark Herschberg ]
Jeroen T Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Posts: 1847
Well said Mark. As a junior especially you shouldn't specialise, by the time you are senior you should have the skills to pick up other languages and tools as needed to perform the job at hand.
While you will specialise in one or a small selection and excel in those, you should never close your eyes to others.

There are people I respect who say a good programmer should learn at least one new programming language each year, preferably one that has no relation to any he's used before.
Keeps you sharp and flexible.
While I don't go that far, I do take an interest in the world around me and try to get a passing knowledge of other languages that look interesting whenever I have the time.

Homer Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 26, 2004
Posts: 311

The collaborative process under the lead of Sun clearly beats the heavy handed predatory nature of M$.
Jeroen T Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Posts: 1847
religious and political reasons shouldn't be a reason for a choice of career path when it comes to choosing what technology to pursue.
Economic reasons are far more important.
Peter Matthews

Joined: Nov 07, 2005
Posts: 21
Thanks guys for all your input. I guess I'll try and get moderately experienced in both, instead of specialising in one. I was just asking the question as I'm not too experienced in either (well, more in J2EE), so was just wondering whether to gain more in one than the other - but I get from your responses that it would be better to gain a good understanding of both - so that is what I'll do. If anyone has been a junior web developer - what should I expect from my first junior role - I just don't like the unknown Thanks again for all your input! Pete
I agree. Here's the link:
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