Looking at 10 Technologies that Will Help You Stay Employed

by Simon St. Laurent

Related link: http://www.devx.com/devx/editorial/10244



Top ten lists are both fascinating and dangerous. A. Russell Jones, Executive Editor of DevX.com, put up a list of "The 10 Technologies that Will Help You Stay Employed". It's a pretty good set overall, but it's also interesting to consider the order he chose.



I'm always happy to see XML at #1, although the original article may have done that for some of the wrong reasons. (SOAP is really Web Services, not XML.)



Just for fun, and staying inside that list, here's how I'd like it to look: (The numbers are from his original list.)



  1: XML
10: SQL
6: Regular Expressions
3: Object-Oriented Programming
7: Design Patterns
4: Java, C++, C#, and VB.NET
2: Web Services
5: JavaScript
8: Flash MX
9: Linux/Windows


Information/data is at the core of all of this from my perspective, and I'd put XML and SQL at practically a tie, since they both reflect practices that are good at different kinds of data. From my odd perspective, people who have a deep understanding of data structures are more important for building lasting foundations of successful projects than people who know how to manipulate those structures, and OOP has really blurred those distinctions (I think for the worse). The apparently infinite longevity of some SQL databases as applications come and go seems to make that clear. (Most RDBMS systems have their own data/processing blurs, of course.)



Regular expressions are kind of an inflection point between data and programming, and seem more and more to me like a key tool for pretty much any kind of information processing.



Moving beyond that is the general programming notions you need for manipulating the information and building interfaces - OOP, design patterns, and then programming languages. Web Services feel to me much like an offshoot of programming than they feel like an offshoot of XML, so I'd really only be interested in people who had a grounding in the pieces above it. JavaScript seems to be fading, though it's still important super glue. Flash MX and Linux/Windows are interesting/useful stuff, but I'm not sure I'd ever want to hire a programmer who didn't know the other pieces first.



In what I see and hear of supposed reality, I'd guess it looks something more like:


  4: Java, C++, C#, and VB.NET
3: Object-Oriented Programming
2: Web Services
7: Design Patterns
1: XML
8: Flash MX
10: SQL
5: JavaScript
6: Regular Expressions
9: Linux/Windows


Employers seem to value programming skills most of all. Web Services is a hot phrase, though no one really knows what lies beyond the acronyms. Design Patterns makes it sound like you know what you're doing, but I don't see it listed that often as a required qualification.



XML is still up there, and likely to turn hotter as Office 11 and Open Office churn out a lot more XML, but it's rarely given the prestige that "real programming" has. Flash MX is doing pretty well in the market despite my hopes. SQL is still critically important though hardly 'hot'. JavaScript seems to be dying slowly, at least in respect. Regular expressions have never really gotten the recognition they deserve, and Linux/Windows seems like one of those really foundation things developers should have before applying for jobs for any of the rest. (Mac OS X may appear there someday as well.)




Have your own order?


3 Comments

anonymous2
2003-01-13 00:43:05
stay employed
the original article had stay employed in the title, perhaps it was meant that knowledge of regular expressions, xml, design patterns etc. would help you stay employed because they would help you to complete the projects you had on time, do good work etc.
anonymous2
2003-01-13 00:50:41
knowing xml
I always wonder, when I read stuff like this, what is meant by the word "know". You're supposed to know xml and its related specs, dtds, xml Schema!!, xslt, xpath, and I believe he also mentioned the DOM of course. I don't think he mentioned SAX did he? Anyway, if someone came and told me that they knew these things, as well as perhaps several programming languages, especially a relatively new one like c#, I might assume that they knew some of the things and knew of the others. That is to say I strongly doubt expertise, which is what I mean when I say I know something, in all of them.

2006-03-24 19:17:41
The apparently infinite longevity of some SQL databases as applications come and go seems to make that clear.


what's meaning?