Is it really a good idea to learn both technologies?


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Thread: Is it really a good idea to learn both technologies?

  1. #1
    austin Guest

    Is it really a good idea to learn both technologies?


    Dear All:

    I believe both technologies(.NET and Java) will keep existing for the years
    to come. There is someone suggest we might learn both. My question is it
    a good idea? What we have to learn is not just the language syntax stuff,
    but all the technologies behind it. Each technology deserves you spend all
    the time on it if you want to be an expert? If you learn both technologies,
    you might know both technologies in general, but you can do nothing seriously
    for both sides. In the job market, no company would hire a person knows
    everything in general, but lacks seriously skillful capabilities.

    So what's the career strategy for these two competing technologies, if we
    don't have any emotional preference on each technology?


  2. #2
    RichardB Guest

    Re: Is it really a good idea to learn both technologies?


    "austin" <austintsai@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >Dear All:
    >
    >I believe both technologies(.NET and Java) will keep existing for the years
    >to come. There is someone suggest we might learn both. My question is

    it
    >a good idea? What we have to learn is not just the language syntax stuff,
    >but all the technologies behind it. Each technology deserves you spend

    all
    >the time on it if you want to be an expert? If you learn both technologies,
    >you might know both technologies in general, but you can do nothing seriously
    >for both sides. In the job market, no company would hire a person knows
    >everything in general, but lacks seriously skillful capabilities.
    >
    >So what's the career strategy for these two competing technologies, if we
    >don't have any emotional preference on each technology?
    >


    Learn one set of technologies, and keep your fingers crossed that the vendor
    is successful

    I don't know about other people, but I find it a full-time job keeping up
    with the technology from one vendor (MS), let alone trying to keep up with
    what Sun are doing as well.


  3. #3
    Frustrated IT Worker Guest

    Re: Is it really a good idea to learn both technologies?


    Well, the easy answer (assuming your a FT employee) is to learn more about
    the technologies and programming languages that your employer currently uses
    and to study technologies that complement them (i.e. SOAP, XML).

    >a good idea? What we have to learn is not just the language syntax stuff,
    >but all the technologies behind it. Each technology deserves you spend

    all
    >the time on it if you want to be an expert?


    Your assessment of the situation is right on target. Seems that no matter
    which online forum that I visit, nobody wants to take this fact into account.
    Many seem to think that they take a Java course and that this will instantly
    qualify them to work on Java development project. For some maybe it does,
    for most ...

    >for both sides. In the job market, no company would hire a person knows
    >everything in general, but lacks seriously skillful capabilities.


    From a new development perspective, I would say that your statement is probably
    true. However, many large organizations do hire generalists who have a good
    business background. Very few people do only new development work throughout
    their career.

    >So what's the career strategy for these two competing technologies, if we
    >don't have any emotional preference on each technology?


    Flip and coin and study like a mad man? I don't know if anyone can answer
    this question for you.


  4. #4
    Jeff Guest

    Re: Is it really a good idea to learn both technologies?


    Unless you get in a position where you actually get to use both technologies,
    you're better off concentrating on one. And I don't know which one, unfortunately.
    You should still keep abreast on the other one, just to make sure you're
    aware of the trends. But the market definitely prefers specialized experience
    over general experience (regardless of actual ability).

    The ability to learn a language / tool quickly, while a good thing, loses
    its importance as the market gets more and more people who have experience
    with that tool. In other words, there is no better time to learn .NET than
    now, because the playing field for .NET will never be more level than it
    is now. If you don't already know Java, you're behind those who have been
    working with it for a while. A few years ago, companies were looking for
    C++ programmers to train to be Java developers. I don't see that nearly
    as much now.


  5. #5
    Jeff Guest

    Re: Is it really a good idea to learn both technologies?


    Unless you get in a position where you actually get to use both technologies,
    you're better off concentrating on one. And I don't know which one, unfortunately.
    You should still keep abreast on the other one, just to make sure you're
    aware of the trends. But the market definitely prefers specialized experience
    over general experience (regardless of actual ability).

    The ability to learn a language / tool quickly, while a good thing, loses
    its importance as the market gets more and more people who have experience
    with that tool. In other words, there is no better time to learn .NET than
    now, because the playing field for .NET will never be more level than it
    is now. If you don't already know Java, you're behind those who have been
    working with it for a while. A few years ago, companies were looking for
    C++ programmers to train to be Java developers. I don't see that nearly
    as much now.


  6. #6
    simon Guest

    Re: Is it really a good idea to learn both technologies?


    "Frustrated IT Worker" <frustrated@nospam.com> wrote in message
    news:3ac01173$1@news.devx.com...
    <snip>
    > Your assessment of the situation is right on target. Seems that no matter
    > which online forum that I visit, nobody wants to take this fact into

    account.
    > Many seem to think that they take a Java course and that this will

    instantly
    > qualify them to work on Java development project. For some maybe it does,
    > for most ...
    >


    It is correct that taking a class will get you familiar with the syntax and
    the tool only. To become good at it is where your "former schooling +
    working experience + lots of real world practices" kicks in. The sole
    purpose of a class is to get you started, and you have to take it from there
    yourself.

    Programming is not a profession for eveybody. If someone gets in simply for
    the money, he/she will not last very long or always be mediocre programmer.
    You have to *love* programming to be good at it (It is like... dah, same
    rule applies to any profession). You have to "eat and sleep" these stuffs.
    I work all day and when I get home, the first thing I do is to turn on my
    computer at home. Everybody I know spend a lot of time learning different
    technologies primarily because we *want* to and not because we *have* to.

    Of course you have to specialize something which will be your
    "bread-and-butter" skill. But there is no reason why you cannot be good at
    something else also. Whether it is .NET or Java or dada, the basic
    fundamental rules are still the same. And if you are a good programmer with
    solid foundation, you can adapt to any new technology and still be good at
    it.

    If you have to ask the question: should I learn this or should I learn that?
    Well.......

    Just my 2 cents.

    simon.


  7. #7
    David K. Guest

    Re: Is it really a good idea to learn both technologies?


    Austin:

    I agree with you to a certain extent that can't learn "everything" about
    "everything", but I don't agree that you can't learn more than one tool or
    technology. If you and I are lucky, we will probably be working for something
    like 40 years before we retire. During that time, there are probably going
    to be so many changes that can't even begin to fathom. IT seems like every
    few years, there a "new" thing to learn. Today it's C++, Java, and VB, but
    tomorrow you can be sure it'll be something else. Given that fact, you've
    got to be a generalist if you want to survive in this field long term.

    My philosophy is to first master the fundamentals: algorithms, data structures,
    software engineering, analysis, and design. Once you've done this, then
    concentrate on learning tools and technologies that are relevant to your
    career. I agree with you that you should pick one or two to concentrate
    on. As Simon puts it, these are your "bread and butter" skills.

    However, in addition, you should learn something about the other tools that
    are out there - enough to be proficient. This isn't as hard as you make
    it out to be. It's rare that a new technology is really 100% new. Usually,
    they are just variations on a theme. The supposedly new language of C# bares
    a strong resemblance to C++ and Java. I would guess that if you are familiar
    with Java, picking up C# should be no problem. If you have the fundamentals
    (see above), you're learning curve will be even shorter!

    If the winds change and your "bread and butter" skill is getting obsolete,
    you'll be able to transfer your knowledge to one of the other skills you've
    been learning in parallel and make that your "bread and butter".

    The other beneficial thing about learning different tools is you'll be a
    better position to know what tool to use in a given situation. If all you
    know is C++, then you'll try to apply C++ to every single problem, even though
    there may be a better tool for the task. Also, it seems like in this day
    and age, systems aren't built with a single language. You're always trying
    to integrate different things into a single structure.

    Look at all the work that people are doing in the area of inter-process communication
    (CORBA, COM, and now .NET). The goal of all these things is to make it easier
    for different languages and platforms to interoperate. Who's going to be
    a better developer in this type of environment? The developer who is familiar
    with the different languages, of course!

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents on the subject!

    "austin" <austintsai@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >Dear All:
    >
    >I believe both technologies(.NET and Java) will keep existing for the years
    >to come. There is someone suggest we might learn both. My question is

    it
    >a good idea? What we have to learn is not just the language syntax stuff,
    >but all the technologies behind it. Each technology deserves you spend

    all
    >the time on it if you want to be an expert? If you learn both technologies,
    >you might know both technologies in general, but you can do nothing seriously
    >for both sides. In the job market, no company would hire a person knows
    >everything in general, but lacks seriously skillful capabilities.
    >
    >So what's the career strategy for these two competing technologies, if we
    >don't have any emotional preference on each technology?
    >



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