I am in a little dilemma here. I am a java programmer with around 2 years of java development experience. A recruiter got me an interview with a mobile development company. Its an awesome company, fantastic. The job descriptions include a mix of front end and back end stuff. But it makes me feel that it might include more front end designing/ coding than I would like. My question is if you are a hardcore java programmer who only cares about the java code underneath the front end and all the layers below that, would you go for a job that includes front end (almost 50%). ?? Or is it one of those things that coders and programmers dont like but end up doing it anyways ??
I think I would get to learn a lot as far as the non-frontend part is concerned. But still does it make more sense if I wait for another job that includes more coding?? I would like to ask all the experienced people here, how does that affect one's career path?? With my current job I am lucky enough to be kept away from all the front end stuff. But if it is one of those things that I have to get along with, then I would surely go for it.
I feel that my next job would define my career as it would be a step to something bigger in the direction i go now. That makes me feel a little nervous about it.
Please help. Thanks in advance.
Joined: May 31, 2007
It is good to have a good end to end knowledge. When I look for a new job, I make up a list of sought-after technologies and frameworks to work on next. If I had worked more on front-end on a particular job, I will be more inclined to work on back-end and integration work next. Some companies/projects do now a days have specialized teams to do either front-end or back-end work. This question even pop up in the job interviews as to if you are stronger in font-end or back-end.
At the end of the day all depends on what you enjoy the most. But, it is good to have a variety.
Your concern is valid, especially if your development experience consists of data processing or computation, i.e. non-GUI elements. However, you don't have much experience in general and the Presentation coding and/or graphic/page designing is typically easier and where most developers start. In other words, this is where someone with around 2 years of experience falls. If you are still doing Presentation coding in four or five years, then this is a greater concern as it may indicate that you are not growing fast enough. You should make sure that you don't get "canned" as a GUI guy in a new position.
That said, with only two years you still are a beginner and shouldn't get distracted by thinking too far ahead. Since you are currently seeking new employment with only two years of experience, you should take any position offered to you at this point as long as your salary increases by at least 20%.
What's wrong with pushing your own boundaries and learning something new? Many developers (myself included!) would love the opportunity to gain new experience/skills while working for an "awesome" company on the latest technologies. By learning about GUI design and development you will become a better developer and have a broader understanding of application design/development, even if you decide it's not going to be your main focus in future.
Your next job will not define your career (unless you really want it to), because things change too fast in IT for anyone's career to be defined by a single spell using a particular technology. That's why it's good to know about lots of different things as you need to be flexible and adaptable to survive in this industry. Anyway, if you're already looking for a new job and talking to recruiters then obviously you are ready to move away from your current role, so why not try something new and challenging, rather than sticking to what you already know?
What's wrong with pushing your own boundaries and learning something new? Many developers (myself included!) would love the opportunity to gain new experience/skills while working for an "awesome" company on the latest technologies.
Well I agree. It is good to explore and learn new technologies. But currently I am working with very limited back end technologies. I want to explore more on that and be confident with that first. That is why I am moving away from my current role as it is limiting as far as technologies are concerned.
I wouldnt mind working on front end but I am not sure if taking a job that has 75% front end development would justify my career goals, I feel that I would lose touch with what I have, let alone learning new back end stuff.
As Jimmy said, Dont get canned as a gui guy. That's where I dont want to be. That is why I feel that my next step would be an important one.
Why don't you like front end development? Many developers do enjoy it and don't view it as a necessary evil.
Well I am okay with front end development but my concern is my career path would be a little scattered if I take this job. That is my question here, do you think it affects one's career path. My ultimate goal is to become a software architect designing enterprise software and I want to get there as fast as I can. But I am not sure in what way can getting into front end development( as compared to backend development) help get me there.
That said, with only two years you still are a beginner and shouldn't get distracted by thinking too far ahead
Yes. I get that a lot. But cant help thinking about it.
Joined: Apr 16, 2008
Yes. I get that a lot. But cant help thinking about it.
Your analysis is very good. General knowledge of front-end GUI technologies is generally required to reach the enterprise software architect level. The basic experience that programmers typically get in their early 2 or 3 years is usually sufficient. However, deeply working in this area should not continue as you will not be developing the required knowledge, skills, and abilities for an enterprise architecture position. This takes many years and extra time spent with GUI stuff is not going to help you. Your focus points should include relational database design/programming, distributed computing, web services, business logic algorithms, messaging, security, transactional computing, mentoring, public speaking, and writing.
Personally, if my long term goal is to move into an architect role, I would take positions that give me a variety of challenges. Early in my career, I would take jobs that put me out of my comfort zone, so I get the experience of learning new technology from scratch, which is something you will have to do many many many times in your career. If I were you (and yes, I have been in the same place before), how challenging the job is would take precedence over what exactly the job entails.
I agree that one job isn't going to pigeonhole you. I'd be considered about someone with 7 years experience who has *never* done anything GUI. Which isn't a problem now, but will be eventually. And I agree with the above posters. You want to be well rounded.