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Future of IT professional ?  RSS feed

 
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HI All,
I just would like to share my feelings with you people.
I m a programmer since last 4 years. By qualification I m an Electronics Engineer but never worked in Electronics filed.I m not satisfied with Software Field.
In software field, every day new technology comes up to eat my head.
Since past 4 years I m keep on learning new technology in order to be competent in market and to keep pace with technology. As a bachelor to spend more hours on learning new technology may not be a problem, but once you have your own family it would be difficult to get more time.
Today after 4 years serving in IT industry, I feel my knowledge is nothing.I started my career with C programming, then switched to VB, than to Java and than to PERL and ...list is long. I have been working on many technology. Here someone may argue that Why you keep on changing technology. But it is not in my hand.Client/Company will decide which technology to use.What i feel today is what is use of my C programming language toady since in future i m not sure of applying my C knowledge.What would happen to my hunderds of hours I spent on learning C Language? And in future same would happen to other technology as well.
After 10 years from now, I would have many technolgy under my belt but for a new technology I would still be considered as fresher.For ex, I may be expert in JAVA today but fresher in VC ++. I feel that software knowledge is horozontal but not vertical.There is no depth in software knowledge.
What i believe is if i spend several hours on reading/learnig something, than it must help me to grow my career and knowledge.But today C knowledge is not helping me anymore. Bcoz software follows this principle. “Learn, Unlearn and Re-learn”. Sometimes I think that if I were in a doctor profession than my several hours of reading would have made me a more knowledgable after 4 years than as a IT professional today.
My one of friend is Charted Accountant by profession.He is not investing as much time as i invest in learnig.But what he learns, makes him more knowledgable than me bcoz in his field new things are not coming everyday. His past knowldege is always helpful to him.
If i invest 10 years in law, I would be expert in law after 10 years by knowing each and everything about laws.But in software filed, after 10 years I would still be considered fresher for new technolgy.
I m not saying that there is no hardwork in other field.But in other fields
hardwork pays off bcoz there knowledge is vertical.Whatever you learn today, will add more in your previous knowledge and inturn making you more and more expert in your field. Today's knowledge would still be helpful after 10 years unless there is a revolution in that field.

Friends, what do you think? Is spending hours to learn new technolgy really worth? Where this Software filed will take us after 10 years?
Who knows after 10 years, Java expert may be considered as outdated like what is the condition of FORTRAN programmer today?
Is software profession really rewards if your consider the amount of time we spend on it?
This is just my feeling and pls bear with me with my long long paragraphs.
Any ideas/thought are welcome?
[ December 31, 2003: Message edited by: himanshu patel ]
 
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don't try to learn everything (which is what you seem to attempt).
Rather specialise in one field and make sure you excell in that. Of course keep track of what's happening elsewhere and be prepared to jump to another path if it looks like your chosen tech is going to die out soon but at that time you'll have enough experience under your belt to learn that new tech quickly and your previous experience will also help you get hired in the new tech despite your lack of experience with that (as it's new, there will be no experienced people in it and you will have an edge over kids who learned it in school but never worked in the real world yet).
Java might indeed be less of the "cool thing" it is today in 10 years time, but is that a "bad thing"?
IMO it will mean Java has matured to a level where it's no longer of interest to people wanting to make a quick kill but will be at the same level Cobol or C are today, solid tech with a large installed base that makes sure there's a lot of work for experienced programmers to keep it running or if push comes to shove to port it to some new environment (which will give those experienced programmers a good reason to request training in that environment at the expense of their employers/customers ).
Fortran isn't dead at all, there's too much Fortran around (especially in the acedemic world) to make it go away. There may not be much new development going on but existing programs are still being maintained and expanded, it's just that in the hightech Java world you hear little of it.
Same with Cobol, which has an installed base so large it will likely be impossible to get rid of it simply because the cost of replacing it entirely with something else will be too large for all but the smallest systems.
In fact, I've seen figures of one midsized Cobol application with an �18 million annual maintenance budget that predicted replacing it with a C (for example) application would cost �60 million and 3 years while the maintenance cost over that period would remain the same and after that period would not really decrease a lot. Thus replacing Cobol with something else would cost �60 million in 3 years for no reward but reduced training cost for new project staff which ran to maybe �10K a year at most (or a 600 year timeframe to recover the initial investment).
 
himanshu patel
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I do not want to learn everything rather I want to get expertize in few technologies only.Usaully on which technology to work is not in our hand.
boz client can ask for any technology for his work to be done.
For ex., 2 months back I was working on J2ee project. After this project finished, I was assigned a new project which is to be coded in PERL.I did not know PERL but i was forced to learn it in order to complete that project though I would like to work in either C or JAVA based project.What can we do ? I can not refuse to work on project that i do not like.This is happens everywhere and its hard fact.Also,since today there are lot of technology exist, every company can not afford to have dedicated team for each technology only.And most company can not afford to undertake work in selected technology.Becoz CUSTOMER IS KING.So we have to work on the technology which we do not like.
Experince in one technogy definately would help to learn new technology but i think language not.For Ex, previously i was working on J2ee. I spent lot of time to learn java/j2ee, different patterns,different packages.but currently i m working in PERL.By no means I can apply Java language knowledge to PERL.Python knowledge will not help to write servlet and vice versa.Java is totally different with C in concept.I have had spent several hours to get exepertize in pointers, structures & sorting alogorithms in C but can not use the same knowledge in JAVA bcoz it has got buit in class for each purpose.Here my point is, the time I have invested to learn these languages will not helpful while working with other language.
As a experienced professional,definately i will have a edge over kids who learns it in school.but it may happen that the project/company you work for, may not adopt new technology at the time of its introduction.And after some time when you need to work on that technology, you will lost edge over others who have already adopted that new technology.
[ December 31, 2003: Message edited by: himanshu patel ]
 
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I agree with you Himashu and this is not the case with you alone .

i will have a edge over kids who learns it in school


May be not.
 
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Originally posted by himanshu patel:
I do not want to learn everything rather I want to get expertize in few technologies only.
[ December 31, 2003: Message edited by: himanshu patel ]


There are many areas where you can specialize in one subject and people without authentic experience and insight(not just knowledge!)of that subject can't compete with you.Language is a tool.Subjects you can specialize are many.Grahics/Game programming are some of the areas I can think of.You can find many Java/C++ programmers(atleast in India) but Java/C++ with experience in AI may not be more than 0.01%.
Computational Biology is imerging as one of the 'hottest' field.[Problem is you may not be paid same as someone working for big IT shop eventhough your work is more challenging.Thats the 'compromise' you may have to make].
[ December 31, 2003: Message edited by: Capablanca Kepler ]
 
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Originally posted by himanshu patel:

What i feel today is what is use of my C programming language toady since in future i m not sure of applying my C knowledge.What would happen to my hunderds of hours I spent on learning C Language? And in future same would happen to other technology as well.
...
What i believe is if i spend several hours on reading/learnig something, than it must help me to grow my career and knowledge.But today C knowledge is not helping me anymore. Bcoz software follows this principle. “Learn, Unlearn and Re-learn”. Sometimes I think that if I were in a doctor profession than my several hours of reading would have made me a more knowledgable after 4 years than as a IT professional today.


It definately sounds like you're wasting your time. I suspect you are not focusing on learning at the right level.
I learned a number of languages years ago (C, Scheme, FORTRAN, etc). I doubt I could get something to compile without a lot of effort. Did I just waste my time?
Of course not, because I didn't focus on the grammar. Rather, I focused on concepts such as data hiding, abstraction layers, etc. Those are timeless lessons, even if the medium within which they are applied changes.
Good developers can pick up new technologies quickly. The recognize that the difference between one OO-language and another is minimal. I know many C++ developers who picked up Java inside 2 weeks, and were proficient within 2 months. They don't focus on memorizing the details of every language, but they can pick up new languages as necessary.
--Mark
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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