Re: Programming project required

From: Emlyn (
Date: Sat Jan 20 2001 - 20:46:15 MST

Eugene retorted:
> 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
> 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
> big trouble, unless they straighten out their act quickly.

I must admit, MS is behaving like a company flailing around in panic; eg:
getting into half a dozen new businesses in which it has little experience.

> > world coding, you very rarely get to choose your tools; they are part of
> > 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)
> skills for the future c) by steering the marketplace by concerted action
> you've got religion).

> If a client dictates you use of broken tools with zero flexibility,
> he's not the right client for you. Unless you absolutely, positively need
> that contract, or you go broke.

Too true. You have to decide if you want to work that way. When clients get
like that, the only way to respond is to say "Yessir", cobble along with
what you are given, and prepare to move along.

> > I highly recommend ASP, on IIS, with SQL Server backend, as a good
> > set of employable skills. I'm currently working using this set of
> There are many employable skills right now. SAP, Oracle, Java. (Though I
> how long it takes until the Java backlash will begin. Or until the damn
> matures, it is taking it's sweet time).

In Oz (don't know about the US), Java spent all last year taking off in a
big way; for instance, the demand for coders increased steadily and
dramatically, while in comparison demand for C & VB coders remained flat.

How is Java to use these days? I dabbled in it a few years ago, and had to
retreat due to multiple injuries. What a painful experience!

> > with the caveat that the same products must also support Oracle, and the
> > caveat that javascript is used for ASP programming rather than VBScript,
> > very sound choice.
> Sure, I choose cholera over plague every time.

(still laughing)

> > 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
> 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,
> > 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
> one step forwards, two back, one sideways, one forward, iterate. I like
> a lot, but I like change with a purpose even more.

I don't quite agree with this. For instance, going purely MS, you can't
compare the world of 10 years ago to that of today. It does move forward,
overall. It just does so in a fairly erratic way; looks kind of like natural
selection rather than intelligent design.

> > most of the coders, and most of the install base, you can afford to put
> > lot of effort into development. This means things are rarely ever the
> > which is damned hard, but always interesting.
> Which means you have to have the proper personality structure to
appreciate it.

Like being a bit broken in the brain, perhaps; I admit it.

It compares I think to the zealot mind, where one latches onto a narrow set
of tools/technologies, decides they are the be all and end all, and defends
them till death. Or until one finds oneself fossilised, supporting what
inevitably have become legacy systems in the least progressive
organisations, staggering on toward retrenchment/retirement. Pray/prey for
the spike...

> > 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,
> > 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.

But maybe not for three decades to come.

> > 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.

I'm toying with where to start studying next. I've got an inkling that
getting stuck into biochemistry/microbiology might not be a bad direction.


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