I agree with Sam Ruby: a successful tech is a diversified one. You can’t always depend on a new millennium to justify sticking with one and only one programming language.

This last week I worked with Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, and Ruby. I had been on a long hiatus from Java after the end of the dot-com era, but now I’m back and plan on sticking it out with the language. Yes, even unto J2EE.

I also agree with Michal Wallace: you are more likely to have an easier time getting work if you focus on .NET than Python. In some ways, I think that the interest in Ruby has slowed the interest in Python. Sure you can work with both languages: but why would you want to?

In St. Louis, the demand is for .NET (VB or C#) or Java. That’s it. I mean, that’s really it. Most of the other work in PHP or Python or Perl is off-shored.

When I move to the northwest, I imagine I’ll either need to get back into .NET or brush up my C++ skills, in addition to the Java. If one has up to date C++ skills, one can usually find work.

As for JavaScript — every web developer should be proficient in JS. Eventually you’re going to want to validate a field before sending it to the server, or have to muck with cookies. There will always be someone somewhere who will say, with breathless excitement, “What about AJAX?” JS is ubiquitous.

PHP is also ubiquitous, but there just isn’t the work for it. Nor Python. Perl’s fading. I have my eye on Ruby, though.

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5 Responses to Dabble

  1. Interesting, I’m seeing a fair amount of demand for php folks here in Atlanta. J2EE, however, has become the Cobol of the 21st century.

  2. You call that diversified?

    I’m doing Java and C++, dabbling in C#, .NET, and Ruby, and playing with web services and stuff. I’ve also done field sales, marketing, product management, documentation and training.

    And I also cook, and do the laundry. Beat that. :)

  3. I’m confused when you say there is no work for PHP. Do you mean none at all, in an absolute sense, or do you mean simply none that pays the kinds of salary you’d prefer to work for? The last 5 years have seen an explosion in the amount of web work done with PHP. Obviously there is good paying work there (though I’m sure .NET and J2EE are much bigger markets).

    Possibly PHP will fade away and be replaced with Ruby. Possibly Python will continue to grow. Who knows? One can’t easily guess what language will flourish. One always hopes one’s favorite language will flourish, but one can never be certain. Some things, however, are very likely. These 4 things in particular:

    1.) It is very likely that computing power will continue to cheapen.

    2.) It is very likely that programmers will want their wages to go up.

    3.) Given #1 and #2, it is very likely that companies will continue to trade computing power for more programmer productivity.

    4.) Given #3, it is very likely that scripting languages will be used for more and more work, of an increasingly sophisticated nature.

  4. JS is ubiquitous.

    It acquires new uses all the time. A huge new arena for Javascript was invented when Adobe decided that Javascript would be the cross platform macro language for all of its products. My biggest gig last year was writing and teaching tutorials to graphic designers so they could learn how to automate InDesign and Photoshop with Javascript macros.

  5. Shelley says:

    Lawrence, it might suprise you the salary I’d work, especially when given health insurance and a steady form of income.

    Almost all of the PHP work I’ve seen lately is being accomplished by groups in India. And there’s rare work in it here in the midwest.

    I doubt that PHP would be replaced by Ruby. But I think Ruby is taking the shiny coolness factor from Python.

    I also agree that scripting will form more of application development. Especially considering that J2EE becomes increasingly bloated and overcomplicated and Microsoft is getting a bad rep for redefining its architecture when it wants to make a buck.

    As for JS, yes. That’s why I’m happy my new book is on JS.