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Maintenance projects based on very old tech - career prospects down the road?  RSS feed

 
Greenhorn
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One topic I have seen come up sometimes, is software maintenance. Specifically, maintaining software that someone else built.

I understand that such software exists. I accept it. I also accept that someone has to maintain it.

That said, I'm worried that if I work on projects having a very old tech stack, let's say Java 6 and some old UI framework, that some of my tech skills will atrophy (no lambdas, no streams etc.) which may cause employers later down the road not to want to hire me.

(I'm not talking about migration from old to newer versions, which I am interested in.)

To clarify:

Java 6/EE 6/Swing/Struts: Worried
Java EE 7/8/relatively new version of Spring/some older JS framework: Not worried
Java EE 8/Spring Boot/Angular/React/Vue etc.: Not worried

Am I right to worry about the age of the tech stack vs. later career prospects?
 
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i think you may find that the ability to understand old code before NIO and try‑with‑resources is a useful skill in its own right. But don't go calling Java6 very old. I suspect there is still stuff pre‑Java5 there needing maintenance.
 
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Paul,
Before I opened this thread, I thought it was going to be about COBOL or another mainframe language!

I wouldn't be worried because tech is old. Even in an app that runs on java 11, there's likely to be code that was written years ago and doesn't use lambdas/streams. So understanding how to read "old" Java code is a useful skill.

What worries me is a project that still on Struts 1. (which has security issues and has been end of lifed for a good while now.) That's a sign that they probably don't want you improving the code. And that it is held together with duct tape and they are afraid to let you touch it.
 
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I hear that all of the COBOL code grinder developers have retired.   Therefore the demand for them is high with good salaries (or contractor / consultant rates).  Most large companies seem to have the old dinosaur computer in the basement.  I know of one large bank that had a settlement system written in C, and then the airline industry seems to tied into the central Amadeus system.  I suspect Amadeus is COBOL and VAX/VMS.  

You are right however, our industry seems to have a fixation on the latest technology and its worst in recruitment.  What nobody seems to recognise is that technology changes but the core principals seem to stay the same and good developers always adapt.    

I'll be more worried for my sanity if I had to work on Swing (again).  Totally Gridbag

 
Campbell Ritchie
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You need Cai Horstmann's GBC class to “tame” GridBag.

And don't post that tutorial link until I have a chance to have some beer first
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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