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Career Path Guidance and Advice Needed

 
Greenhorn
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Disclaimer: This is my first post and I apologize if I have disregarded any protocals that resulted in a question being asked for the 1,000th time.

I've recently decided to apply myself towards developing my skill sets in Java with the intent to eventually program for mobile applications. My background is in business analysis with a degree in Informations Systems. As part of that coursework I learned C++ & SQL. However, my subsequent career path led me down a path where it wasn't required or applied accordingly. In summary, I am knowledgeable with the principles and syntax. Just never applied it. Today I find myself flooded with ideas associated with the expanding mobile application (and internet) markets, but lack the expertise or knowledge to develop. I can conceptualize the working components, the workflow, wire frame & psedo code it for the programmers I've worked with, but thats where its stopped (until today that is).

I've been reading "Head First Java" to bring myself up to speed with the concepts, syntax, and usage of Java. Its comming pretty easy thus far. However, I'm seeking all and any advice/recommendation regarding the necessary steps to progressively attain knowledge and experience. Ex: What type of applications should a greenhorn strive to achieve. What distinguishes a green horn from an intermediate, or expert. What skills are consistently in demand? (I work alot in Finance and live in NYC). What will make me more marketable. What other languages should I consider? And any other bit of advice that may be deemed notable will be appreciated.

I'll be looking forward to your responses.
 
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Welcome to JavaRanch.com - A friendly place for Java greenhorns!

I would suggest that you study and learn FpML® (Financial products Markup Language). It is the industry-standard protocol for complex financial products and many financial organizations are using it and developing it further.


FpML® Training Course
December 7, 2010
Global Financial Conference Center
New York, New York

http://www.isdadocs.org/conf/conf_indexes/index_12-07-10fpml.html



 
Tone Stacks
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Jimmy, thanks for the advice.

However, I want to develop my Java skills and what I'm looking for is advice on how I should go about doing it with the intent to become more marketable. As I noted, I'm currently reading the HeadFirst Java, but are there other sources or methods that have proven to be successful for those to progressively succeed.

 
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Tone Stacks wrote:I've been reading "Head First Java" to bring myself up to speed with the concepts, syntax, and usage of Java. Its comming pretty easy thus far. However, I'm seeking all and any advice/recommendation regarding the necessary steps to progressively attain knowledge and experience. Ex: What type of applications should a greenhorn strive to achieve. What distinguishes a green horn from an intermediate, or expert. What skills are consistently in demand? (I work alot in Finance and live in NYC). What will make me more marketable. What other languages should I consider? And any other bit of advice that may be deemed notable will be appreciated.


Knowing about the common open source libraries is helpful. In NYC finance, there are generally two types of jobs. Server side jobs require JEE (web application architecture, message driven architecture, etc) depending on the kind of work you are looking for. Client side jobs usually require core Java and Swing.
 
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If you are comfortable with Java, move on to Enterprise Java (e.g. JSP, Servlets, JDBC, JNDI, etc) and sought-after technologies/frameworks to better market yourself. Learn a Web framework (e.g. Struts), and also learn a persistence framework (e.g. hibernate). Apply what you had learnt to an open-source project. Mention this in your CV.
 
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Tone Stacks wrote:I've been reading "Head First Java"


I'll recommend you to read the next book Head First Deisgn Patterns. It'll give you plenty of idea how to write code properly.
 
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Hi Tone,
After getting comfortable with java, I'll suggest that you brush up things like xml before moving over to mobile application development through Android,which is fairly documented and quite prevalent at the moment. You can also try j2me or eclipse based mobile platform tools too . Find more information here.
Knowledge in finance domain can be leveraged through Java ee as the others said and this will help you build systems that can be used in mobile applications too.
Good Luck
 
Jimmy Clark
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Tone, the FpML is a data language only. What type of software applications exist for processing this type of data? Are they written in Java? Do you think that you could work on these applications without deeply understanding the FpML?
 
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Jimmy Clark wrote:Tone, the FpML is a data language only. What type of software applications exist for processing this type of data? Are they written in Java? Do you think that you could work on these applications without deeply understanding the FpML?



I think there are better ways to learn java than a niche data exchange format, and an almost $1000 course that you're advertising, but that's just me.

Cheers!

Luke
 
Jimmy Clark
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What if all of your work experience has been in the finance industry? What better way to learn Java? What if I told you that you could make up to $200,000 a year programming FpML-based applications? A $1000 bucks is trivial...chump change for a greater cause
 
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Luke Kolin wrote:
I think there are better ways to learn java than a niche data exchange format, and an almost $1000 course that you're advertising, but that's just me.




Agreed. Having worked in the finance industry for many many years, I see the Fix protocol all the time. To a much lesser extent, the Swift protocol -- mostly because I am on the trading side, and not the bank to bank stuff. I have never ever seen the FpML protocol -- describing it as Niche is pretty accurate.

Henry
 
Jimmy Clark
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The Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) is pretty cool and would be a good thing to learn and understand. This is true for those just starting and seniors as well. The EMF is very complex and a very powerful tool for object-oriented data processing applications. It combines the best of UML, XML and Java objects ... check it out!

By the way, most FpML applications are written using EMF-based models.
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
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