Java & LAMP - being better or being popular ?

Discussion in 'Java' started by heather.fraser@gmail.com, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Guest

    I've invested many years into Java. I do not regret it - knowing
    Java has opened up so many more jobs and opportunities for me. We
    wouldn't dream of using anything else for enterprise middleware.

    However, on the website development front, you look at websites like
    flickr and the extensive contributions behind the Joomla, Drupal &
    Wordpress projects and think "maybe being best isn't as important as
    being popular?".

    My company develop websites with Linux (of FreeBSD), Apache (+
    Tomcat), MySQL & Java. However, the open source CMS and blog tools
    available just aren't as good as Wordpress & Joomla. Several times
    we have found ourselves asking "should we add PHP to our repertoire?"
    but each time deciding that it's better to stick with the language we
    know already.

    It seems ironic that the open-source community follow LAMP but yet the
    Apache Jakarta group have standardized on Java.

    There's no question to this post really. Am just feeling a bit
    insecure (though I suspect I would feel more insecure if I only knew
    PHP and not Java) and looking for some advice.

    Heather
    , Oct 14, 2007
    #1
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  2. Roedy Green Guest

    On Sun, 14 Oct 2007 04:33:31 -0000, wrote,
    quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

    >There's no question to this post really. Am just feeling a bit
    >insecure (though I suspect I would feel more insecure if I only knew
    >PHP and not Java) and looking for some advice.


    The question you have to ask is which is actually better, the end
    product or the tool. I think you will find the tool is revoltingly
    ugly, though people who use it manage to create some very nice things.

    You will also note that forum software very commonly written in PHP is
    extremely buggy. This does not matter who writes it.
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    The Java Glossary
    http://mindprod.com
    Roedy Green, Oct 14, 2007
    #2
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  3. mich Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've invested many years into Java. I do not regret it - knowing
    > Java has opened up so many more jobs and opportunities for me. We
    > wouldn't dream of using anything else for enterprise middleware.
    >
    > However, on the website development front, you look at websites like
    > flickr and the extensive contributions behind the Joomla, Drupal &
    > Wordpress projects and think "maybe being best isn't as important as
    > being popular?".
    >
    > My company develop websites with Linux (of FreeBSD), Apache (+
    > Tomcat), MySQL & Java. However, the open source CMS and blog tools
    > available just aren't as good as Wordpress & Joomla. Several times
    > we have found ourselves asking "should we add PHP to our repertoire?"
    > but each time deciding that it's better to stick with the language we
    > know already.
    >
    > It seems ironic that the open-source community follow LAMP but yet the
    > Apache Jakarta group have standardized on Java.
    >
    > There's no question to this post really. Am just feeling a bit
    > insecure (though I suspect I would feel more insecure if I only knew
    > PHP and not Java) and looking for some advice.
    >
    > Heather


    Heather, often a comment is better than a question; it leaves room for
    others to add their own comments. I started working in IT in 1982 with COBOL
    and PL/1 on mainframes on flat files. And frankly, I regret being in IT. I
    keep hearing how people should always acquire new skills and stay current,
    but that's a lot easier said than done. IT is the only field I know where
    experience and honesty is a negative. It's easier and cheaper to hire some
    college grad than to tell a high-paid senior developer to start learning
    whatever-is-new-and-hot.

    Have you seen many 50-year-old developers?

    When I started learning PL/1 at my first job one very bright senior person
    commented that it took 4 years to really become skilled. Now I see people
    who will claim to know Java, C++, C# , PHP, . has the human race suddenly
    evolved a vast supply of super geniuses?

    That said, your best bet is to ocasionally learn a new skill but don't feel
    pressure to try and learn everything and everything. Make sure that you give
    your customers good value for their money, not fancy bells and whistles.
    mich, Oct 14, 2007
    #3
  4. mich wrote:
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:...

    ....
    >> There's no question to this post really. Am just feeling a bit
    >> insecure (though I suspect I would feel more insecure if I only knew
    >> PHP and not Java) and looking for some advice.
    >>
    >> Heather

    >
    > Heather, often a comment is better than a question; it leaves room for
    > others to add their own comments. I started working in IT in 1982 with COBOL
    > and PL/1 on mainframes on flat files. And frankly, I regret being in IT. I
    > keep hearing how people should always acquire new skills and stay current,
    > but that's a lot easier said than done. IT is the only field I know where
    > experience and honesty is a negative. It's easier and cheaper to hire some
    > college grad than to tell a high-paid senior developer to start learning
    > whatever-is-new-and-hot.
    >
    > Have you seen many 50-year-old developers?


    Although I'm now a 58-year-old Ph.D. student, 8 years ago I was working
    for Sun Microsystems as a large server platform architect. I worked
    continuously in programming or hardware architecture from 1970 to 2002.

    I believe my durability as a developer was very closely related to
    continuous self-education, including learning several programming languages.

    Patricia
    Patricia Shanahan, Oct 14, 2007
    #4
  5. Lew Guest

    mich wrote:
    > Have you seen many 50-year-old developers?


    Isn't that a matter of people advancing to management positions? You seem to
    think that a) there aren't many 50-year-old developers, and b) that this is
    due to the difficulty of learning new technology. Is that your argument,
    because there's little evidence that those points are correct.

    In markets where there is an active I.T. demand, there is also a significant
    demand for senior developers. The competition is fierce, because to be
    considered a "senior" developer you actually have to know a thing or two. The
    youngsters can get by fraudulently representing themselves as knowledgeable,
    and get away with it because there isn't the same expectation of expertise.

    I have seen plenty of older developers. One of my mentors when I first got
    out of college was an eighty-plus-year-old developer. He had to have been in
    his sixties when he started as a programmer! Where I work there are many,
    many older developers, probably because the applications are large, complex
    and require great expertise. There are relatively few "junior" developers
    there. If you used my workplace as a sample, you'd think the marketplace was
    drying up for newbies.

    Of course, my anecdotal evidence has no more statistical significance than
    your unfounded rhetorical question.

    --
    Lew
    Lew, Oct 14, 2007
    #5
  6. mich wrote:
    > Have you seen many 50-year-old developers?


    There exist a few.

    But note that:
    - 50 year old developers started around 1980 or so and there were much
    fewer in IT back then or put another way: the growth in the IT the
    last 25 years makes the average developer younger
    - a lot of those 50 year olds in the business that started as developers
    are now managers of all kinds

    > When I started learning PL/1 at my first job one very bright senior person
    > commented that it took 4 years to really become skilled. Now I see people
    > who will claim to know Java, C++, C# , PHP, . has the human race suddenly
    > evolved a vast supply of super geniuses?


    No.

    http://norvig.com/21-days.html

    Arne
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Arne_Vajh=F8j?=, Oct 14, 2007
    #6
  7. wrote:
    > I've invested many years into Java. I do not regret it - knowing
    > Java has opened up so many more jobs and opportunities for me. We
    > wouldn't dream of using anything else for enterprise middleware.
    >
    > However, on the website development front, you look at websites like
    > flickr and the extensive contributions behind the Joomla, Drupal &
    > Wordpress projects and think "maybe being best isn't as important as
    > being popular?".
    >
    > My company develop websites with Linux (of FreeBSD), Apache (+
    > Tomcat), MySQL & Java. However, the open source CMS and blog tools
    > available just aren't as good as Wordpress & Joomla. Several times
    > we have found ourselves asking "should we add PHP to our repertoire?"
    > but each time deciding that it's better to stick with the language we
    > know already.
    >
    > It seems ironic that the open-source community follow LAMP but yet the
    > Apache Jakarta group have standardized on Java.
    >
    > There's no question to this post really. Am just feeling a bit
    > insecure (though I suspect I would feel more insecure if I only knew
    > PHP and not Java) and looking for some advice.


    PHP is quite popular, so it may be a good idea to have some
    PHP skills in the company.

    Very few customers are single technology based. There are often
    used for suppliers that know more than one technology.

    You will probbaly be a bit disappointed when you dig into PHP.

    In the CMS/portal/community market then PHP is indeed dominating.

    But the quality varies from the fine to the absolutely horrible.

    Drupal, Xoops and Typo3 has a decent reputation.

    Avoid everything that either has "nuke" in its name or descend
    from such.

    I do think that the Java world have a few relevant products:
    Liferay and JBoss portals
    OpenCMS and Alfresco CMS'es
    Jahia combo
    etc.

    Arne
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Arne_Vajh=F8j?=, Oct 14, 2007
    #7
  8. Lew Guest

    mich wrote:
    >> Have you seen many 50-year-old developers?


    Arne Vajhøj wrote:
    > There exist a few.
    >
    > But note that:
    > - 50 year old developers started around 1980 or so and there were much
    > fewer in IT back then or put another way: the growth in the IT the
    > last 25 years makes the average developer younger
    > - a lot of those 50 year olds in the business that started as developers
    > are now managers of all kinds


    mich:
    >> When I started learning PL/1 at my first job one very bright senior
    >> person commented that it took 4 years to really become skilled. Now I
    >> see people who will claim to know Java, C++, C# , PHP, . has the human
    >> race suddenly evolved a vast supply of super geniuses?


    Arne Vajhøj wrote:
    > No.
    >
    > http://norvig.com/21-days.html


    In addition to Arne's well-founded points, there is "skilled" and there is
    "skilled". A person well-versed in object-oriented design and programming
    best practices, and in C++ or C#, likely will learn enough Java to be
    effective in a week. An inexperienced person with little evolved skill in
    programming generally, likely will take a little longer. Likewise, an
    experienced developer's code is likely to be freer of bugs and lurking dangers
    than a newer practitioner's, even given similar skill in the language as such.

    Skills that make for rapid development of quality systems tend to transfer
    well to different platforms. Those skills take a lifetime to master.

    Another aspect of the question: "... people who will claim to know ...".
    Claims, as the poster seems to elucidate, may be faulty or even fraudulent.
    Further, what a claimant purports to "know" may not live up to one's standards
    of competent knowledge.

    It is useful to question some claims of expertise. Another useful question
    is, "What can I learn from this person?" One can learn much from other
    students, from the misguided, from the ignorant, and even from the dishonest.

    The question as phrased subsumes several, actually independent questions,
    applied here to the 50+ age group, but equally applicable to other demographics:

    - What is the prevalence of developers age 50 or greater?
    -- Compared to other age groups?
    -- Compared to those in this age group who formerly were developers?
    - What is the opportunity for developers age 50 or greater?
    - What has become of former developers age 50 or greater?
    - Are people learning development skills more quickly, and if so, why?
    - What expertise are they claiming?
    - How credible are people's claims to expertise
    (i.e., what do they actually know)?
    - How does that expertise meet one's standards?

    --
    Lew
    Lew, Oct 14, 2007
    #8
  9. mich Guest

    "Patricia Shanahan" <> wrote in message
    news:fete7l$l3v$...
    > mich wrote:
    >> <> wrote in message
    >> news:...

    > ...
    >>> There's no question to this post really. Am just feeling a bit
    >>> insecure (though I suspect I would feel more insecure if I only knew
    >>> PHP and not Java) and looking for some advice.
    >>>
    >>> Heather

    >>
    >> Heather, often a comment is better than a question; it leaves room for
    >> others to add their own comments. I started working in IT in 1982 with
    >> COBOL and PL/1 on mainframes on flat files. And frankly, I regret being
    >> in IT. I keep hearing how people should always acquire new skills and
    >> stay current, but that's a lot easier said than done. IT is the only
    >> field I know where experience and honesty is a negative. It's easier and
    >> cheaper to hire some college grad than to tell a high-paid senior
    >> developer to start learning whatever-is-new-and-hot.
    >>
    >> Have you seen many 50-year-old developers?

    >
    > Although I'm now a 58-year-old Ph.D. student, 8 years ago I was working
    > for Sun Microsystems as a large server platform architect. I worked
    > continuously in programming or hardware architecture from 1970 to 2002.
    >
    > I believe my durability as a developer was very closely related to
    > continuous self-education, including learning several programming
    > languages.
    >
    > Patricia


    Patricia, I am impressed! You obviously had an employer who recognized your
    value and gave you the opportunity to do this. My big problem is that most
    employers will find it "cheaper" to just hire a kid out of college with
    intro level skills.
    mich, Oct 15, 2007
    #9
  10. Patricia Shanahan wrote:
    > Although I'm now a 58-year-old Ph.D. student, 8 years ago I was working
    > for Sun Microsystems as a large server platform architect. I worked
    > continuously in programming or hardware architecture from 1970 to 2002.


    > I believe my durability as a developer was very closely related to
    > continuous self-education, including learning several programming
    > languages.


    Similar history; I was the guy who installed the new [whatever] and did
    a couple of projects in in to show how it worked. Must have learned
    20-30 languages. I dropped out after 30 years when the IT strategy
    became, "Do whatever Microsoft says." I still keep a hand in, manage a
    couple of non-profits' websites, and try to stay up to date, but my
    biggest job opportunity at present looks like it's going to be voice
    acting. (As a backup, I'm composing an operetta. Not very practical, me.)
    --
    John W. Kennedy
    Read the remains of Shakespeare's lost play, now annotated!
    http://pws.prserv.net/jwkennedy/Double Falshood/index.html
    John W. Kennedy, Oct 15, 2007
    #10
  11. Lew Guest

    Re: voice acting (was: Java & LAMP - being better or being popular?)

    John W. Kennedy wrote:
    > my
    > biggest job opportunity at present looks like it's going to be voice
    > acting. (As a backup, I'm composing an operetta. Not very practical, me.)


    Can you point me to some contacts to help get into voice acting? Agents,
    managers, casting folks, ...?

    --
    Lew
    Lew, Oct 15, 2007
    #11
  12. Guest

    Re: voice acting (was: Java & LAMP - being better or being popular ?)

    Oh my, I'm not sure whether this all has reassured me or makes me
    wonder about the life of a developer in general :cool:

    No, really, thanks for the input. We'll look at PHP but if it turns
    out to be as much of a scripting mess as Cold Fusion was and full of
    hacks & workarounds with Apache I may have to reassess this :)

    Thank you all,

    Heather


    On Oct 15, 10:47 am, Lew <> wrote:
    > John W. Kennedy wrote:
    > > my
    > > biggest job opportunity at present looks like it's going to be voice
    > > acting. (As a backup, I'm composing an operetta. Not very practical, me.)

    >
    > Can you point me to some contacts to help get into voice acting? Agents,
    > managers, casting folks, ...?
    >
    , Oct 15, 2007
    #12
  13. mich Guest

    Re: voice acting (was: Java & LAMP - being better or being popular ?)

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Oh my, I'm not sure whether this all has reassured me or makes me
    > wonder about the life of a developer in general :cool:
    >
    > No, really, thanks for the input. We'll look at PHP but if it turns
    > out to be as much of a scripting mess as Cold Fusion was and full of
    > hacks & workarounds with Apache I may have to reassess this :)
    >
    > Thank you all,
    >
    > Heather


    Heather, at some point in my dead career I was talking to some people about
    joining their "fantastic" e-commerce venture (they soon dropped it after
    several people worked at it for months!). They told me about their software
    that was mostly written in pearl and had something like 6000 + scripts in
    it. What scared me most is that they kept using any tool they could find as
    long as it was free, but they expected others to pay them money as
    consultants. Maybe they were planning on being free consultants?

    What you really need to do is to talk with your employer about you long-term
    future, and try to make some sort of long-term career development plan with
    them. Where do they see you in a few years? What do they expect of your over
    the next few years? And what can you both do to make it work? It's really a
    matter of determining what real commitment your employer has for you. The
    worst thing that you can do is to just let things happen.
    mich, Oct 15, 2007
    #13
  14. RVince Guest

    I'm a "50 year old developer." I learned (the hard way) that you must ALWAYS
    be learning something new.

    I have further found that "something new" means "something in widespread use
    out there which I don;t know about," and NOT "something new."

    If it were merely the latter, I would have gone down many dead ends. Lots of
    meta-languages in recent years come to mind. Yet, C, C++, Java, Perl,
    php....these are (among) the broad, accepted, non-dead-end languages out
    there that are in widespread use. Oh I could have gone and learned Python
    and Groovy.....years ago, maybe Forth and Logo.....Algol even!

    Yet, of the widespread ones I have mentioned, there is mesiness in all (look
    at the extensions to C++, and believe me, php has plenty of extensions &
    hacks!)

    But php, like the others, seems to be here to stay. Right now, Ruby has
    gotten a lot of buzz. BUT, if you learn a decent web framework (read CAKE)
    for php, you'll have what Ruby gives you (sans the syntactic, rubyesque,
    so-called "sugar" - gag), in php. What a beautiful web framework you now
    have, that is big & broad and let's you call POJOs or, if you incorporate
    SOAP (30 minute investment in NUSOAP) you can call your EJB's from a php web
    framework that gives you what Ruby is......it just keeps getting better.

    So yeah, you would be wise to learn php imho. -Ralph Vince
    RVince, Oct 16, 2007
    #14
  15. Re: voice acting

    Lew wrote:
    > John W. Kennedy wrote:
    >> my biggest job opportunity at present looks like it's going to be
    >> voice acting. (As a backup, I'm composing an operetta. Not very
    >> practical, me.)

    >
    > Can you point me to some contacts to help get into voice acting?
    > Agents, managers, casting folks, ...?


    Can't say, yet. I'm rehearsing Gloucester in an upcoming "King Lear",
    and our Cordelia said a couple of days ago that she's going to put me in
    touch. Since it was her suggestion in the first place, I suppose she
    means it.

    Turkish TV into English.

    --
    John W. Kennedy
    "The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and
    Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes.
    The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being
    corrected."
    -- G. K. Chesterton
    John W. Kennedy, Oct 17, 2007
    #15
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