For the purpose of being recession proof, Java programmers should diversify what they spend their time learning. Specifically, Java programmers should add business topics to their learning diet.
The following are three sources of business news and trends that Java programmers should find both interesting and useful.
Read the rest here: http://www.pardontheinformation.com/2008/11/recession-proof-java-programmers.html
Hmmm.... and learn Flex... maybe learn 3D, add to your skills.
I used to teach Java, now teach Flex and Game dev.
self promo: proj.com.
I came across an interesting website, www.bigideasmachine.com, which blends in a mix of innovative business and technology and tries to bridge the gap.The site also has a Live Projects Programme aimed at providing commercial freelancing experience to first timers and developers wishing to go freelance.
I had same profile 4 Java certification ready for garbage collection and typical Java experience.
I am not interested in Java anymore (SUN is main reason). If you look at other companies and product you if SUN has f** Java & it's market for RIA in particular big time. Adobe has done well with it's runtime and open sourcing some of the server side products (BlazeDS)
I have heard from friend of mine that American Express has converted it's J2EE apps into ROR and very happy with it. If you look at the http://www.zendesk.com/about
at the bottom they have explain why they are using ROR. So many companies are following that path.. again Java will remain in market for many years because so many application are develop on that platform and current economy don't allow much liberty to experiment with new technology.
I'll add this: Learn about your customers. Learn about the people who pay your company money and therefore who pay you money, indirectly.
How could your customers be just a little bit happier with the code you write? Can you put yourself in one of your customers' shoes, even for a little bit? Can you better meet their needs in what you do each day as a Java developer?
- Java Job Scheduler. File Transfer. Workflow.
I get enough of this from my employers, thanks.
In response to your blog,
1) I already get enough emails and RSS to sink a battle ship covering a range of topics, I especially don't need or want any more emails. Emails are time consuming clutter that only hide what is really important in my inbox, which is emails from my customers or colleagues that require attention.
2) I don't like podcasts as I simply don't have the time to give them any serious attention and more often than not they are pretty boring either because of the topic (which is much quicker for me to read about) or the presenter (simply not being very interesting). You can't work with someone drivelling down your ear, and you're better off listening to music to help you relax during a commute. I've never seen the value of podcasts.
3) Great tip about reading up on F500 companies once a year. Not! That is not going to give me any particular business insight that is going to benefit the technology I produce since it covers such a broad topic and is an annual activity.
I don't read TSS for this kind of patronising drivel, so please stop posting it!
However, I will post my tips to developers:
1) Use an RSS reader - I use Google Reader and Google Reader Gadget on my Google home page. This lets me add a broad range of topics ranging from technical, business and fun and let me scan them quickly to determine which ones require more investigation.
2) If you're working in a particular sector, ask your employer or business oriented colleagues to give presentations about current business trends. My employer is extremely good at doing this and we have monthly meetings which always has something about current trends on the agenda.
3) Don't waste time learning frameworks in detail. I work with Java and Flex so I could spend all my time learning various frameworks that are available for both. Most frameworks can be picked up in a day, perhaps two or three for the more complicated ones (which you should then question the value of). Learn them if you have to, but IMHO it is better to keep an eye on what is available and the community's attitude towards it, so that you can make a choice about whether or not to use the framework when you need to. This will prevent you from being a "jack of all trades (frameworks) and master of none (your chosen technology, e.g. Java, Flex)".
Employer presentations are helpful but usually fit into two categories: a biased motivational message intended to get you excited about the business or a dreaded "we've fallen on tough times" memo that freaks everyone out.
In the former case, you are doing yourself a disservice by not doing an independent appraisal of the industry with which your company competes. In 2001, I worked for a small web company that thought it would grow even though IBM right down the street was laying people off. A macro analysis would have identified that growth for any web company was going to be tough.
In the latter case, people start looking for new jobs but by this time getting a new job is going to be even harder because you are competing for a job with your former co-workers other industry peers.
Which industry do you work in?
I too had never much listened to podcasts. However, that changed for me recently. I went running a few times, and each run lasted over an hour. I usually just listen to music, but the last few times, I tried the Java Posse podcast. It was nice! I felt that I was a little more in tune with the overall Java market after listening to each once. They can be entertaining, too.
At the end of one of the recent podcasts, Reza Rahman was mentioned along with his EJB 3 discussions. That was fun to hear, since Reza is active here on TSS.
- Flux - Java Job Scheduler. File Transfer. Workflow.
I started in data comm, then went to voice mail/IVR, then went to biotech, then went to medical s/w, then went to prepress s/w, then went to meta-data/ontology s/w, and now I am in online advertising. Not a lot of crossover there.
While it is helpful and important to understand the business domain you are involved in, most employers do not hire for your business acumen - but rather mostly for your development skills. If you get tied to one particular business domain and that domain suffers a downturn (like the financial/mortgage sector now), that knowledge isn't going to be all that helpful.
It is good to know whether a particular domain/sector is profitable and/or growing (or may suffer a downturn) when considering an employer, but you may not always have that much of a choice about where you work in a tight job market.
Today you could be working in tele-presence, tomorrow you may have a job writing accounting software. The latter obviously has a broader range of open jobs in more geographic areas, but the point is that software devs move from one problem domain to another quite often.
If you want to be recession proof, find the development skills and experience that are in demand and in use across a broad spectrum of employers. Go to indeed.com and look at their trends tool which graphs keywords for job postings. For example, ROR may be a buzz word you see a lot, but compared to Java in job postings, it is just a minor blip - a growing blip, but a minor one still.
Don't let yourself get pigeonholed in either business or dev knowledge, but don't learn diverse frameworks and languages willy nilly - there are too many to learn without a targeted approach. Pick the ones that are in steady strong demand by employers - preferably ones that are in growing demand too.
Yeah, right. I was trained that way in one major US metro area at the beginning of my career, across a couple of different companies. I loved it, thrived in that environment, and was promoted several times. Then I moved to another metro area, and have been given the blank stare by both sides of the table ever since, as they can't figure out my "vertical".
And even my continued systemic worldview didn't prevent me from being laid off recently. If anything, it singled me out as a threat to those above me.
The point is, you need to have situational awareness of your environment. There will be some environments and areas where such a systemic worldview is considered to be a bonus. There will be others--many others--where the second you pop you head out of the code, you're a goner.
To be recession proof, you need to remove your dependency on money. That's the only answer really.
Past that though, the US is getting hammered by recession issues, and jobs going out of the country.
I know many developers going into law and medical fields (not IT) because you cannot outsource those, and they are always in demand.
I think one way you could be successful Recession Proof entrepreneur (providing development tools for Java technologies) is by developing technologies that would prevent outsourcing. How does one do that?
By developing productivity tools, tools that minimize hand-coding, tools that would minimize physical functional testing... and so on.
More over the next administration had promised to reduce outsourcing.
...will usually do the Job. Since most programmers and developers have profound problems mastering the actual environment they work in ("What, there is no "Undo" to Drop Table?") this is more than likely to carry you through any recession during the next 10 or so years. Where the "diversifying strategies" help you to become a good or better programmer they will usually do the job. Where they will only help you to become a better company person they will only be a waste of time.
Also, don't forget that business is changing very quickly and unpredictably, so for most parts it is futile to try and figure out which industries rise and which are failing. Of course, today we think American Car Manufacturers have no future...but this is belief, more than anything else, just as the knowledge that the Oil price will never again fall below $100 (a statement issued multiple times this summer).
Of course it won't hurt to notice that your current employer is in financial trouble before he has to file bankruptcy and to move on early enough.