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Jump ship? C#, etc ..career advice

 
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I'd be interested in some career advice. I've been doing JSP and Java now for about 3 years. Just passed my Sun programmers exam on Feb 12th. My background before doing internet work was teaching (have a Masters in Education and my four year BS degree in biology ). My resume includes obviously just Java and JSP stuff as it related to the web ( no, I haven't coded EJBs..haven't had a need to at any of the two companies I've been with).
I'm not really happy where I work right now and would really like to leave. I'm making 50K which I suppose isn't too bad but I've worked on a lot of projects have over 2 1/2 years experience and am Sun Certified so I would like to be making a bit more (60 would be fine). The job boards look horrible though at least compared to when I first started looking about a year and half ago.
My question is one of econonmics and long term future. I love coding in Java but am not opposed to learning new languages. I'm wondering if maybe the market will be better for me if I start learning C#? Or am I better off just continuing to further my Java and web development skills. I'm sort of stuck because there are only so many hours in a day:) If I take time learing more advanced Java stuff than I hurt my java background but if I don't branch out maybe I'm stuck if the Java market gets way oversaturated with developers. I'm leaning towards just becoming the best Java developer I could become and than try to stand out from the crowd. I think I'm sort of way behind the crowd though in this regard and could never catch up to the many great java developers out there, so maybe jumping ship so to speak could land me a good career with C# and doing web development with .NET. I could maybe catch a bit of the wave that first happened when JSP took off.
Any advice much appreciated. Thanks.
 
Greenhorn
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I have been thinking of this also. I have about a year of experience (programmers cert and soon tobe developers I hope) I have also worked with vb in the past. C# is very similiar to java, and of course the IDE wins. Seems like it will be a very productive tool. Difficult to gauge the demand. Who will hire c# people? Many vb users will go to vb.net (a good sized leap into an oo language) It seems like c# is the better of the two as it was grown with .net and is not based on a language that was not oo. I checked on monster and a few jobs are listed. Many companies will be making the switch to .net. It is much superior to the old vb I think.
 
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I am also thinking about this. Based on current
employment trends, it may be very difficult for us to find java jobs, also in terms of the number
of potential java programmers out there. Its like too many job seekers for very few java jobs. This is the reality we have to face. I am also thinking about C# and other technologies. Once you choose IT, you will never have a stable job in your life, many people get fired at 50, its a terrible age to start over. I am thinking I just go open a computer shop for my rest of life.
 
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I love software development in Java, but I'm fortunate to have experience as something other than a Java programmer. Likewise, I'm fortunate to have experience as something other than a C programmer, a PL/I programmer, and a specialist in some this and that protocol.
If you are worried about being RIFed at 50, you may be even better able to appreciate the value of having diversified experience, and of having experience applying lessons learned on one area to other areas.
If you've got some diversified experience, starting over at 50 doesn't have to be starting over from the beginning, but getting another opportunity to adapt, extend, and add to the skills and experiences that you adapted and extended before, with more in your bag of tricks each time. However, if you are not diversified, and you have avoided changes in the past, starting over at 50 could be close to starting over from the beginning, and more difficult.
I still plan for my next job to be in Java, but I'm open to other possibilities. Some of the best stuff I've done is stuff I didn't originally want to do (as was some of the worst).
As they say, embrace change.
 
Rick Reumann
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The problem is, though, it seems employeers now want people with particular skills (experts I guess) in particular areas. Sure if I can be above average in all of these other areas that would be great, but assuming you can't, you could end knowing a little bit about a lot of stuff and end up not getting a job anywhere. For example the NFL wants the best football players usually not a guy that is somewhat good at football but also somewhat good at baseball. ( I guess the key is to be a Bo Jackson or something where you are great at both .
 
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