The 10 Technologies that will help you stay employed.

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by VBGOD, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. VBGOD

    VBGOD Guest

    1. XML
    First, and above all else, you should know about XML. I'm not speaking only of the XML specification itself, but also of a family of related XML-based languages: the most important of which are XHTML, XSLT, XSL, DTDs, XML Schema (XSD), XPath, XQuery, and SOAP. For those who have been hiding in the basement slinging code without looking up from the keyboard for the last five years, XML is a text file containing HTML-like tags that define a tree structure and describe the data that they hold.

    The nicest thing about XML is that you can store both structured and unstructured data in it—it can contain and describe "ragged" document data just as well as it holds and describes "regular" table data.

    2. Web Services
    Web services are a direct outgrowth of XML's popularity. Because you can use XML to describe data and objects, because you can use schema to ensure that the content of an XML document is valid, and because XML is a text-based specification, XML makes an extremely convenient base format for a cross-platform communications standard. If you haven't been exposed to Web services yet, you probably will be soon, and you almost certainly will be within five years. Web service familiarity is important because it's the simplest way anyone has yet invented for applications to communicate across disparate machines, languages, platforms, and locations. Whether you need them or not, Web services are a major step forward for interoperability.

    3. Object-Oriented Programming
    Many programmers still regard OOP as an ivory-tower technology, but just think for a second about which languages have become dominant over the past decade and you'll begin to understand that it's not. Starting with Smalltalk, OOP spread to C++ and Pascal (Delphi). It made a serious mainstream leap with Java, and a few years later to VB.NET and C#, completing its ascendance. While you don't have to learn OOP to use most of these languages, I suspect that there are a diminishing number of programming jobs that you can get if you don't know the basic concepts and how to use them.

    4. Java, C++, C#, VB.NET
    I've lumped these together not because I'm recommending that you become a guru in every one of these languages. No. The reason is that one of the most efficient ways of learning to program is by looking at code—and a huge amount of the code available to look at is probably not written in your favorite development language.

    5. JavaScript
    Despite the similarity in their names, Java and JavaScript are unrelated. Why is a scripting language so important? Consider that all the major browsers use JavaScript. If you need to write Web applications, that's enough of a reason right there. But you can also use JavaScript as a server language for ASP or ASP.NET or as a functional language for extending XSLT. Javascript is the preferred language to activate XUL-based interfaces in Mozilla/Netscape, a derivative, ActionScript, is the programming language for Flash MX applications, and JavaScript is highly likely to be the scripting language for new devices in the future, as well as the macro language for major applications.

    6. Regular Expressions
    You search relational databases with SQL, XML with XPath and XQuery, and plain text with regular expressions. For example, you can do things such as find and remove all comments from an HTML document via a single command. The simpler text-searching functions built into the various development languages such as "IndexOf" or VB classic's "InStr" function or "Like" operator are no match for regular expressions—and every major development language now provides access to a regular expressions implementation. Although the expressions themselves are difficult to write and even more difficult to read (a throwback to earlier days of computing), they're a powerful and underused tool.

    7. Design Patterns
    Just as OOP simplifies programming by letting you collect and classify objects, design patterns classify common object interactions into named patterns. The more you use OOP, the more useful design patterns become. The most common patterns have names that are working their way into the common development argot, so you need to understand them at least well enough to keep up with the general flow of information.

    8. Flash MX
    When you need more client-side graphics and programming power than you can get with HTML and CSS, Flash is the answer. Programming in Flash is much faster and easier than programming graphics applications with Java applets or .NET code.

    9. Linux/Windows
    Get familiar with Linux. Install it on an old machine—or a new one. Download the GUI interfaces and program some applications on it. Install Apache and write a Web application. The world no longer belongs exclusively to Windows, and that trend will probably continue. In contrast, if you're a hard-core Linux developer, drop your antipathy toward Windows and see what you can adopt. There's a reason why Windows is still king of the desktop—and it's not just that Microsoft controls the market.

    10. SQL
    Although SQL isn't as new as most of the technologies discussed in this article, and it's likely to diminish in importance over the next decade, it's still an essential skill—and one that many developers either don't have or understand only well enough to use it inefficiently. Don't rely on GUI-based SQL builders to do the job for you; write your queries by hand until you're comfortable with the basic SQL syntax. Not only will understanding SQL now help you learn XQuery later, but you may find ways to immediately simplify or improve your current development projects.

    Cultivate Curiosity
    Finally, (and yes, I realize this is No. 11), the most important skill you can acquire is curiosity. Try things out. That new language or new technology may or not be important to you in your present or future job; but not everything you learn needs to be job-focused. Don't be afraid of failing; it's always difficult to be a beginner at any new technology. Most failures happen because people expect too much of themselves too fast. Be satisfied with small steps, and don't let time (or the absence of it) get in your way. Instead, make time to look at, research, and test new development techniques and tools.

    By Russell Jones (Executive Editor of DevX)


    I strongly agree with 2,3,4,7,9 and 10. Of course, this is just one guys educated opinion. I'm still not jumping up and down over XML. If I had to recommend some things for future and fellow programmers, it would be..

    Learn SQL - inside and out. Regardless of programming language, SQL is the standard for database connectivity. SQL isn't going out of style anytime soon. Most people know the basics, but you should become an expert with the SQL syntax.

    Do it right the first time. Anytime you take a short cut, it will come back and haunt you. Spend the extra time now (screw the pressure), and do it right the first time.
     
  2. jk

    jk Guest

    You pretty much just listed 90% of the stuff that people does. :dunno:
     
  3. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    Yes I know none of that
     
  4. Slimmy

    Slimmy Get Richt or Die Trying

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    But I don't like programming. :hs:
     
  5. Mikel

    Mikel .

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    D'oh! I know none of those. :big grin:
     
  6. Mugatu

    Mugatu Ask me about market research. OT Supporter

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    you're assuming we're all nerds
     
  7. BlackCord96

    BlackCord96 The Humble Magnificent.

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  8. Lokey

    Lokey OG Lurker

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    I know Windows/Linux and HTML... is that good? :hs:
     
  9. Steve Kerr

    Steve Kerr 6 Time NBA Champion OT Supporter

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    I was going to guess Pencil, paper, notebooks and flash cards.
     
  10. psykosis

    psykosis Go placidly amid the noise and the haste

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    well, at least I wanna fuck your avatar...
     
  11. Kent

    Kent Guest

    That looks like the resume of all the unemployed IT workers. Thanks for the newsflash.
     
  12. MP

    MP New Member

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    hmm i got the flash mx and *nix part covered. Javascript can lick mai balls though.

    I wouldn't mind learning more about xml though. :)

    good post :)
     
  13. crotchfruit

    crotchfruit Guest

    web services are actually pretty rad. i didn't fully appreciate them until i saw how easy it was to make clients on a billion different platforms for the same server. thank you gsoap.
     
  14. Yoritomo

    Yoritomo dad's jar chimer

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    Learn spanish. Certify your level of expertise in the language. It'll get you a job faster than any of that. (at least right now it will)
     
  15. Aimless

    Aimless Resident drunkey

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    This is surprisingly overlooked by students and applicants. The CEO of my company (SC Johnson) has stated that the only reason he was hired was because he was bilingual.

    Of course, in C&P I doubt that all that many people aspire to be CEO but it's still not a bad idea.
     
  16. JaimeZX

    JaimeZX Guest

    I can do Flash and Windows. :)
     
  17. Mikel

    Mikel .

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    Thankfully, all those applications run over network and telecom infrastructure where my expertise lies. ;)
     
  18. CompiledMonkey

    CompiledMonkey New Member

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    I don't really agree with that list. The only things you need to have in terms of skills are knowledge of SQL, a high level language (Java, C++, C#), and an attitude of wanting to learn. I think a sound foundation in SQL and a modern high level language is more than enough. As Herb said, SQL isn't going anywhere. And with knowledge of Java or C++, you'll be able to pick up most anything else with minimal effort. A good understanding of Java or C++ leads you to OOP and design patterns too.

    XML and Web Services seem to be marketing terms more than anything right now. I've used XML in applications before, but it didn't give enough benefit for its overhead. Well, there was one application where XML was perfect, but nothing like that has come up lately. Web Services just haven't been proven. With the focus of security in most places, the last thing people want to do it open their data to the Internet. Huge attacks like the Slammer worm doesn't help MS get this technology off the ground either.

    Flash and JS are not very requested skills IMO. If this discussion is for getting and holding programming jobs, Flash and JS don't belong.
     
  19. D1G1T4L

    D1G1T4L Active Member

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    hm yea you just listed just about everything you can learn in computer science
     
  20. vipastyle

    vipastyle Guest

    M$ has dropped their Java support.
     
  21. CompiledMonkey

    CompiledMonkey New Member

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    :random: :p

    I believe J# is still being pushed by them though.
     
  22. CompiledMonkey

    CompiledMonkey New Member

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    :rofl:

    Computer Science isn't about Flash, Windows, Linux, XML, Web Services, JS, or even Java/C++/C# (although most use one of these in teaching the principles). I figured you would know that.
     
  23. ManinCamo

    ManinCamo I wear big boy pants.

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    Actually... the Air Force will help me stay employed.... :big grin:

    I don't know any of those listed :(
     
  24. Jericho

    Jericho Active Member

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    that list is bs, javascript and flash mx are top 10 technologies? :ugh:

    and VB can lick my balls.
     
  25. D1G1T4L

    D1G1T4L Active Member

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    stop being a smart ass, you know what i meant
     

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