Thanks for your email... it's always good to hear from other developer's and differing opinions.
I take it from your message that the main issue you have is that with so many different languages and platforms, and with no standardization between the MS camp, Google camp, Apple camp, etc., it makes it difficult for a developer to know what to focus on. Moreover, the worst case scenario is investing time learning a language / platform, only to find it obsolete a few years down the road.
Is this the main point you are trying to convey?
If not, I apologize for misunderstanding your message. But if it is, I would like to offer my own, different viewpoint.
I actually think one of the most rewarding parts of being in a high-skill career field like software engineering is that we are constantly learning new skills and improving our craft. The fact is, I do not believe there is a language or platform that one could learn and master and then expect to not have to learn anything else in his or her career. As one example, feel free to check out http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html
-- TIOBE has done a great job tracking the popularity of computer languages for many years -- and if you look at both the short-term and long-term historical numbers, it's amazing to see how languages that were at one time either not popular (or in some cases, not even invented yet) can quickly become the language of choice for developers and employers.
And that page just documents the languages themselves. It doesn't even go into specific skills within those languages that can come into and out-of vogue within just a few short years. Within my own (even relatively short) career, I've seen the ebb and flow of skills for practices like procedural programming, object-oriented programming, functional programming, design patterns, MVC, event-driven programming, database-driven development, the NoSQL movement, agile/extreme methodologies, test-driven development, and the list goes on and on.
What I love about software engineering is that regardless of the methodology, platform, or language that is being utilized, the core strengths of what makes a good software engineering always remains the same:
- a solid understanding of CS (and by CS I mean the fundamentals of programming in a language-agnostic matter, which does not necessarily require an academic degree/background in CS)
- the ability to mentally abstract problems, solving larger problems in bite-sized chunks and to be able to put it all back together into a cohesive solution
- the ability to read and understand other people's code / design
- an understanding that software engineering can be one way of solving a problem, but not necessarily the only way, and can be used in concert with other non-software or non-technology solutions
- the desire to learn new technologies, platforms, etc.
I would argue that as long as those things are in place, then regardless of the language, platform or methodology used, a developer would be able to ramp up in (relatively) short order and become an effective contributor on any team or application.
Anyway... just some of my random thoughts on Software Engineering for a Sunday afternoon -- apologies if it's too much of a rant... =)
On Aug 6, 2011, at 12:23 PM, Steve B wrote:
|Any hope for a developer to not waste his time learning xyz unsupported language?|
We have HTML5 being solid by 2020 according to the W3C.
Many claim CSS is supported by two browsers.
Android requires mass ADT classes, Java won't run in the Android browser but will on the phone. You can always become a Silverlight expert.
This is why I am currently deciding not to attend any meetings.
The industry seems to have gone whacko with competition vs. thinking the big picture out logically.
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