Re: Programming project required

Date: Sat Jan 20 2001 - 07:40:04 MST

Emlyn wrote:

> Don't choose languages/platforms/OSes etc based on what you like; choose
> what people are using, and are going to be using more in the future. In real

Excellent. OpenSource (Linux, *BSD, Apache, Zope, Python, etc.) is going to see
much more use in future. In fact so much use, that Redmond is heading towards
big trouble, unless they straighten out their act quickly.

> world coding, you very rarely get to choose your tools; they are part of the
> initial parameter set.

Yes, but you can choose your employers or clients, if you're a contractor,
not only for the compensation, but for a) satisfaction it gives you b) building
skills for the future c) by steering the marketplace by concerted action (if
you've got religion).

If a client dictates you use of broken tools with zero flexibility, perhaps
he's not the right client for you. Unless you absolutely, positively need
that contract, or you go broke.
> I highly recommend ASP, on IIS, with SQL Server backend, as a good starting
> set of employable skills. I'm currently working using this set of products,

There are many employable skills right now. SAP, Oracle, Java. (Though I wonder
how long it takes until the Java backlash will begin. Or until the damn thing
matures, it is taking it's sweet time).

> with the caveat that the same products must also support Oracle, and the
> caveat that javascript is used for ASP programming rather than VBScript, a
> very sound choice.

Sure, I choose cholera over plague every time.
> Some of the purists will come out of the woodwork and attack me for this
> viewpoint. It does sound like a banal and colourless life. Don't be fooled;

Nope, you're paying your bills and having fun in the prospect. No point in
ruining all this by getting religion.

> the mainstream technology is not only rewarding in a financial sense, it's
> fun. It's fun because it keeps changing at a crazy pace. When you've got

Sure, unfortunately it doesn't go anywhere particular. It looks rather brownian,
one step forwards, two back, one sideways, one forward, iterate. I like change
a lot, but I like change with a purpose even more.

> most of the coders, and most of the install base, you can afford to put a
> lot of effort into development. This means things are rarely ever the same,
> which is damned hard, but always interesting.

Which means you have to have the proper personality structure to appreciate it.
> Note also; I've had a lot of jobs, and never used even similar sets of
> skills/languages from one job to the next; the primary language to use, for
> instance, has always been entirely new to me. That's not uncommon. So

Yes, but the opposite is also true. A good C programmer under Unix has
an employable history of almost three decades.

> there's no need to get cut up on becoming a specialist in language X or
> database Y. Just get really good at learning.

Good advice.

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