Simon Willison’s Weblog

Does it still make sense to become a Java developer, or should I migrate to PHP or .NET?

My answer to Does it still make sense to become a Java developer, or should I migrate to PHP or .NET? on Quora

It sounds like you need to expand your horizons a little further. The best programmers I know these days aren’t working solely in Java, PHP or .NET—they may use one those languages, but they’ll also be getting stuck in to dynamic languages such as Python, Ruby, JavaScript or Scala.

If you take a look at the most popular languages for projects on GitHub you’ll see that JavaScript and Ruby are in the lead, with Python neck-and-neck with Java and PHP in 6th place: Top Languages · GitHub

Here’s a general piece of career advice: try to avoid thinking of yourself as a “Language X programmer”. Learning new languages is a great way of improving your skill as a programmer—learning Python will also have a big effect on how you program in C# or Java for example. The best programmers can pick up pretty much any language in a couple of weeks.

It’s also worth focusing on picking up related skills: SQL, HTML, unix administration, web security, network programming and version control for example. All of these are skills that will greatly enhance your career and help you land the most interesting development jobs.

This is Does it still make sense to become a Java developer, or should I migrate to PHP or .NET? by Simon Willison, posted on 30th January 2013.

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