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Advice needed - where to focus for the current trends?

 
Mark Freeman
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Hello everyone. I'm looking for some advice on where to put my focus learning. I'm currently working as a Jr Developer/Business Analyst at a software company. A year ago, I got my SCJP5 with the expectation that I would be moving to into a full time development position. Unfortunately, the economy tanked and I spend very little time coding and almost all of my time continuing to work as an analyst. My goal is to make it over this economy hump and likely look for a new position. I'm curious what you folks thing good areas of focus are in learning. I have little to show for my experience thus far. I understand I need to write some apps to show off and find a nice open source project to work on, but where would you put your focus? So far, all of my experience is basic J2EE with heavy use of Swing. I'm very comfortable with SQL, so I've recently started spending some time to learn the new JPA API. Is the web stack THE place to put your focus? It seems everything is moving that way and I know very little about that area.

Thanks for any advice you all may have in giving me a little nudge in the right direction.
Mark
 
Bear Bibeault
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From where I'm standing, I see the web stack as where it's at. That may be because that's where I've been working for the past decade or so, and I'm in a web-heavy job market (Austin, TX). So I hope others weigh in as well, with their own perspectives.

If that's where you want to focus, to make yourself desirable, you want to develop expertise at various levels of the stack. Get JPA and Hibernate under your belt. While I personally hate frameworks like Struts and JSF with a passion, learn them. Spring is popular at various levels.

Everyone says that they know HTML and JavaScript, but they really don't know them well. Learn the client-side triumvirate of HTML/CSS/JavaScript, and learn it well. A developer who can straddle both sides of the great client/server divide is usually in higher demand than someone who can just work on the server side.
 
Mark Freeman
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Thank you Bear. That certainly helps give me a little direction.
 
Sumit Bisht
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I came across this article :
10 skills developers will need in the next five years
 
arulk pillai
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Most applications are Web based.

Web Development : JSPs, Servlets, HTML, HTTP paradigm, etc. Pick a framework like Struts2. Download an application server like Glassfish or JBoss. Go through some tutorials.
Most applications have to persists data

-- JPA, JDBC, and Hibernate.

Many applications use

-- Spring


Commercial applications need to integrate with other applications

-- Web Services

-- JMS


Note: Once you understand the tradiotional Web frameworks well enough, you can look at a component based freamework like JSF.
 
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