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A Typical Java Developer Career Path

 
Greenhorn
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Hi,

I'm a Java Developer with 3.5yrs of experience (was working in Insurance Domain). I would like to know what is the typical career path for a Java Developer. I started as a trainee, then got promoted to Associate, then to Software Engineer and now Senior Software Engineer. I have heard people asking, "Will you sit and code even if you are 10years experienced??? Move to a functional Role! Be a Domain Expert!". Basically, I love to code. So how should I progress my career.

It would be so helpful if someone experienced in this field can guide me.

Thanks in Advance
 
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Praveesh Palakeel wrote:how should I progress my career


Your career path is your choice entirely. If you love to code, then code. I recommend looking to your senior colleagues for advice on this, as they will be able to show you what options are available to you within your current company. From your options you can then choose which is of the most interest to you. If none of the options interest you then you will have at least figured out some things you don't want to do, which brings you closer to narrowing down what you do want to do. Be prepared though, that your desired career path may not be with your current company.

Praveesh Palakeel wrote:I'm a Java Developer with 3.5yrs of experience... ... and now Senior Software Engineer


As a side note: This sort of thing worries me. Perhaps it's a cultural or locality thing, I'm in the UK, but nobody is 'Senior' at anything after just 3 years. It devalues the value and credibility of job titles. Naturally you will disagree with me, and please don't take my opinion as an attack. Rather you should be prepared for other people and other companies to share this view and to challenge you on it.
 
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Tim Cooke wrote:
As a side note: This sort of thing worries me. Perhaps it's a cultural or locality thing, I'm in the UK, but nobody is 'Senior' at anything after just 3 years. It devalues the value and credibility of job titles. Naturally you will disagree with me, and please don't take my opinion as an attack. Rather you should be prepared for other people and other companies to share this view and to challenge you on it.



Well, isn't job titles relative? And isn't it specific to a company? In a company with only young employees (such as some start ups), or have high turnover, perhaps 3 1/2 years is the senior?

I don't think that job titles across companies was ever comparable. Heck, in many cases, I don't think that it is even comparable between teams of the same company...

Henry
 
Tim Cooke
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Absolutely right Henry. Perhaps this is my desire to have some sort of 'standard' so that titles have meaning.

A number of years ago, when I was a relatively junior engineer, I encountered a fella in my company from another office who was a Lead Software Engineer. It instilled in me an image of someone highly skilled and pragmatic in his work, someone I could look up to. However, after some 'surprising' design decisions I probed further and discovered that this guy was less than 2 years out of school and was a complete disaster zone!

I guess this is just a pet peeve of mine. I should probably have kept it to myself, rather than having a rant about it.
 
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http://www.java-success.com/can-java-programmer-create-brand/

You can do a lot as a Java developer. Here is my high level take.

 
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I've been coding for 37 years. Ain't stopping now.
 
Praveesh Palakeel
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Thanks a lot for your Suggestions Titles/Positions are relative, and it varies from Company to Company. I was just asking whether I should move to a Functional Role or be in technical Role itself. Because I heard lot of senior people talking: " Will you sit and code in your whole career?". I felt whether this was something wrong or what! That's why I asked help from the World's best Java Programmers ;)

Thanks a lot for your suggestions.

@Bear Bibeault, You really inspired me
 
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Bear Bibeault wrote:I've been coding for 37 years. Ain't stopping now.



Wov Bear !!!  You have done what I'm planning now. I'm in 28 now and love coding. But nervous on how to I take my career path with Java(Want to Marry Java ). Of Course, looking for some technical guidance/Suggestion. Sorry to ask you, But You are the first person I meet who has covered a very long Programming career. Is back pain affecting you ? I mean any pain around spinal since you sit and do coding for years ? I would be happy to hear "No" From you.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Mohammed Sardar. wrote:But nervous on how to I take my career path with Java(Want to Marry Java


Just Java? Do you really think you will use one language for an entire career? I was just thinking of how many different languages I've used in my career and I lost count at 11...

Is back pain affecting you ? I mean any pain around spinal since you sit and do coding for years ?


I do have back issues now and again -- but I do not attribute that to my careers choices, but to being 59.

But I have invested in a really good chair.
 
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I'm a lot younger than Bear. But I want to mention that ergonomics is something you have to emphasize for yourself. I have a good setup for my personal machine at home and also at work. I get up regularly. The keyboard and mouse/trackpad are at the proper height. The screen is a certain distance away and also at a proper height.

At many employers the "setup" is a laptop on a table with people hunched over. Now *that* is how to injure your back. If I worked at one of those places, I'd request or bring my own peripherals to make a decent setup. I actually did that when I had to work in another room on a table. I "supplemented" by building a desk out of a file cabinet. And my wrists thanked me.
 
Mohammed Sardar.
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Just Java?



Not just Java but I'm more interested with Java. A Little chap in java now but keep updating. Right now I'm learning Ext JS since the current need it. What else I should learn more ? Hibernate, Spring MVC, Ext JS.
I heard its based on the project requirement we choose languages. But I guess you did not mean .NET right ? Please add your highly valuable career suggestion for me to learn. We're not getting projects here as the languages we prefer, but we have to learn the language and work upon what we as project.

Thanks

 
Bear Bibeault
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Mohammed Sardar wrote:I heard its based on the project requirement we choose languages.


Yes, obviously we need to use and learn the languages that are needed for our jobs -- that's why/how I learned most of mine.

But I guess you did not mean .NET  


Most definitely not.

Right now I'm learning Ext JS since the current need it.


ExtJS is not a language -- it's a library for JavaScript.

What else I should learn more ? Hibernate, Spring MVC,  


These are also not languages, but libraries for Java.

And sure, there's value in learning all of that. My point is that a lot of people seem to limit their thinking to Java and talk about "a career in Java". As you have noted, your career will span whatever languages are needed by the job you have; don't fall into the trap of thinking that that will always be Java.

As for advice -- so much of development today is web-focused that I always recommend people keep up to date with HTML, CSS and JavaScript, as well as the latest JavaScript frameworks (that's Angular2+ and React at the moment).

But it's also valuable to dig deep into domain knowledge of areas that interest you. For example, if you like finance (I don't, oh gawd I don't), or education, or (one of my interests) meteorology or .... whatever. It's good to have domain knowledge that you can bring to the table to get the jobs that work in the domains that interest you rather than mere technology choices.

And for the record, the major languages I've worked with (not including libraries, frameworks, or minor languages like bash shell scripting):
BASIC
FORTRAN
Cyber Assembly
Pascal
PDP-11 Assembly
VAX-11 Assembly
BLISS
C
C++
Java
HTML
CSS
JavaScript
TypeScript
 
Mohammed Sardar.
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ExtJS is not a language -- it's a library for JavaScript.



Ok. I Learned this library from you. But you are a language pool like session pool, connection pool I'm a kind who wants to learn a lot Java but always finding path to learn. I heard many job portals usually ask for scripting languages for JQuery,AngularJS so my brain decided its a language,. Due to my project looks for ExtJS I have to adopt it now. But simultaneously I can do Online certifications in AngularJS to look for opportunity in that too right ? Thanks for letting me know that, a developer can keep on work to update HTML.CSS,JavaScript. Will do more exercise to improve.

Thanks.
 
Bear Bibeault
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I can do Online certifications in AngularJS ...



Be aware that Angular naming is weird. Bear in mind that AngularJS refers to the legacy Angular1 project. Angular (without the JS) refers to Angular2+, the current project.

I heard many job portals usually ask for scripting languages for JQuery,AngularJS so my brain decided its a language



You need to be aware of the difference between a programming language, and the libraries and frameworks created for them. jQuery, Angular, and similar are not languages, but libraries or frameworks.
 
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I don't like to be a professional dev but a hobbyist only and work for non-profit organization like ranch .
This could be my answer to any person who ask me the OP question.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Arun Giridhar wrote:I don't like to be a professional dev but a hobbyist only and work for non-profit organization like ranch .
This could be my answer to any person who ask me the OP question.


Not really seeing how that's relevant to the topic.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Arun: We are all volunteers here at the Ranch. So it doesn't pay in money .
 
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