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How long has Java been a viable language

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I see a large number of job postings looking for 5+ years of Java experience. I know Java came out around 1995, but I also remember that in its early days it was cute, but really wasn't something that could be used in a production environment... IMHO.
So my question to the group is, is 5+ years of Java experience a reasonable expectation from companies or are they dreaming?
I've also seen postings asking for 4+ years of XML experience
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5 Years is definitly possible... Though that was around the beginning of when it just started being widely used. Most companies do have unreal expectations of experience... I have actually seen job postings of 7+. This either means that the person posting the job is clueless and just making up some number that seems "experienced" to them, or they are trying to hire James Gosling. (for $30K a year in NY :roll: )
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