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General Question on Programming Languages

General Question on Programming Languages

General Question on Programming Languages

I am a sophmore majoring in Computer Science. I was hoping that I could get some advice on which programming languages are the most valuable in the job market. I am beginning my Junior plan soon so I have to decide on my elective cs credits. I figured I would ask the professionals :)

Thanks for any advice,

RE: General Question on Programming Languages

Search the job sites for each language and see which is most appealing to you. I think you'll find C/C++, VB, and Java the leaders.
Proficiency in web development is very hot, but there are not as many jobs as VB for example.

RE: General Question on Programming Languages

Demand for skills can change quite a lot. There is no doubt that VB,C++ and Java are sought after skills. However the mainframe and mini mainframe are not dead and you should not dismiss Cobol and RPG because they are not in vogue at this particular time.


Bill Paton

RE: General Question on Programming Languages


Computer language is only one factor to consider. Work experience gives you skills that a language only compliments. Any good programmer can pick up new OO languages like C++ and Java, if you understand OOD and OOP.

To determine what language, first figure out where you want to work and live, how much you want to make, what type of programming (application, OS system programming (OO Programming gaining significantly), embedded system programming (limited OO programming yet), control language programming, etc..).

Next, determine what kind of company you want to work for and find out what you need for skills to get an internship with that company. This will give you skills, insights, and usually a job offer.

If you are interested in traveling, that is another important consideration.

If interested in more info, see http://www.greatplains.com/ and check out the links. There is quite a bit of interesting info there for you.

RE: General Question on Programming Languages

That's the best advice I wish I had 25 years ago! Bitflipper, I would've given you my vote for tipmaster but you signed on as a visitor. Next time, sign on as a user so you can receive full credit.
Not that you need it or want it, but it would give me certain satisfaction to clap your back and thank you for telling Aleena something I have long-since forgotten; don't change your life to fit a job, find a job that fits your life.

RE: General Question on Programming Languages

Alt255 comments quite right, good common sense advice from bitflipper - hope we'll see her/him here again.

On subject of languages - would suggest that demand for RPG and COBOL will reduce after y2k issues resolved to levels below that of a coupl of years ago.

I predict that Java will take the Internet commerce field by storm. Don't forget - you heard it here first...


Mike Lacey
Cargill's Corporate Web Site

RE: General Question on Programming Languages

Just wanted to say thanks for all of the advice :)


RE: General Question on Programming Languages

All of the above comments are right on target. You must determine where your real interest lies.
I have been in almost every phase of programming since 1961 and found that for me, the dreaded
maintaince was what I enjoyed the most...the draw back is that nothing breaks until 4:59:59P.M.
or 2:30A.M.. Once you determine your interest then the languages will support that interest. Believe
it or not money is great at first but enjoying what you do will be come more important in the long run.
End of sermon. Be come good at at least 2 languages; great at one and knowledgeable in 3 or 4 others.
You can always learn.
Good luck with your career.

RE: General Question on Programming Languages

Like DoomDr said --> "You can always learn."

Keep in mind that you should always be in "learn mode". I've got a friend who has absolutely no interest in learning anything but COBOL, DB2, etc. He'll always have a job, but they won't be the most interesting ones. He's a nine-to-fiver, and always will be.

You'll probably run across some language zealots sooner or later (probably sooner). Just remember that each language has it's place. If the language has been around for more than 5 years, then there's likely a niche that it fills. I wouldn't think of programming reports in assembly, nor would I program an OS with RPG.

Something else to remember is that 75% of all programming problems are actually people problems. A friend of a friend was hired to automate a certain county's welfare office (names changed to protect the innocent). After looking over the design, he discovered there were no primary keys defined for the "person" and "address" database tables. A quick SQL query revealed one address as getting some 80 welfare checks each month. It turns out that a lot of the welfare recipients give false names and addresses, so there was no point in indexing on them. Likewise with using some unique ID number to identify the recipients -- the 'customers' would just make something up, so there was no point to it. But the federal regulations tied to various grants from Washington required a name and address! So, the information in the tables was worthless, but you had to have it anyway. In a situation like this, you shrug your shoulders, and just do what the customer wants.

Chip H.

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