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Mainframe Programmer. New to Java, Web, etc.

Rafael Portillo

Joined: Feb 02, 2007
Posts: 3
This is my first post at JavaRanch and I am humbled by the wealth of Java experts that post and moderate at this website. My question: Where do I start in making the transition from mainframe programmer to Java/Web services programmer? Learn Html first? Then CSS followed by J2SE and JSP? What about database connectivity?

I need to transition from Cobol/CICS/DB2 to the above mentioned web languages ASAP. Please provide, if possible, a suggested top-10 skillset in order of necessity. I'm sure Java is at the top of the list but I am looking to acquire a well-rounded web services skillset. Thank you for your help and advice.

Best Regards,

R Portillo

BTW, I have already purchased the HF Java book to start my transition.
Ulf Dittmer

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42965
Since you're a programmer, HTML and CSS are probably not that high at the beginning (or maybe even later, too). Basic J2SE (not JEE) would be a good start, followed by JDBC (i.e., database connectivity) and servlets/JSP. Only then I'd get into web services. Study the other enterprise Java APIs that are part of JEE/J2EE, e.g. EJB, only if there is a need.
marc weber

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Rafael Portillo:
...I have already purchased the HF Java book to start my transition.

Head First Java is a perfect place to start. The important thing is to get a solid foundation of core Java SE before moving on to EE.

If you feel uncomfortable with the HTML/CSS when you get to EE Servlets and JSPs, there's a Head First book on HTML/CSS that will get you up to speed very quickly. (As a matter of fact, I have a copy open at my desk now.)

"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
Rafael Portillo

Joined: Feb 02, 2007
Posts: 3
Ulf & Marc,

Thank you for your advice. As you've both suggested, I will begin my Java experience by learning J2SE. The HF Java so far seems to be a great read. JavaRanch is certainly a very valuable resource what with the many questions/answers and dialogue that can be found here. I hope to one day be able to make a contribution towards its continuing Java dialog.

Best Regards,

R. Portillo
Stan James
(instanceof Sidekick)
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 8791
Hi, Rafael. I made the same transition years ago and have dragged a few of the unwilling along over time. The biggest hurdle for many of our COBOL folks was understanding what's in memory ... classes, objects, references (aka pointers), etc. If you did more advanced COBOL/CICS with GetMain() or USING base registers you're probably all set.

Keep us posted about what makes sense and what seems too mysterious. Many of us would love to brush up on our "helping newbies" skills.

A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi
Rafael Portillo

Joined: Feb 02, 2007
Posts: 3

Thank you for your advice and for inviting me to post Java 'newbie' questions here at JavaRanch. I am motivated to learn and to make the transition from Cobol to Java. Though I do love coding in Cobol, I am quite intrigued by Java and the O-O paradigm.

Best Regards,

R. Portillo
I agree. Here's the link:
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