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Journal FortKnox's Journal: Turning Away From Java.... My Job Move 53

Yeah, the icon really says it all here...

I'm moving to the .NET group from the Java group. The move was announced today and will be official in January.

Why in the hell would I make such a move? Well, I'll be happy to explain it.

I got the job at my current company about a year after I graduated. I came in at an 'associate' level. Didn't really know much Java or anything and it was taught to me through a few 'big projects' (where I could slip through the cracks of not knowing Java). I learned it and was swapped through several new projects for a while. During this time I really learned all the new technologies (struts, hibernate, spring, etc...), and really fine tuning my OO design and aspects of the full development cycle.
So what's the problem? Well, I was brought in as the 'kid'... low man on the totem pole, if you will. When I was swapping around in the projects, I worked with almost everyone in the Java group. Not only that, but there was the whole 9/11 thing and IT got hit and there was layoffs and the only guys hired where really senior level guys... so, although I didn't move 'down' in position, people were filling up the positions above me, thus pushing me down further in my group. What's funny is that I know a lot more than half of them now due to knowing all these new technologies that we are now using, yet I'm still considered the low guy.
My current assignment has 2 Java guys from my company that haven't worked with me before. The developer AND the architect both see me as a peer. What a great feeling it was. But its short lived because the group is almost like a clique. The senior level guys still see me as the kid.

So, I jumped forward and tried to make myself someone outside the group. I cross trained in new technologies that no one else in the group was interested, and the guy in charge of the cross-industry group noticed me. When he needed someone to go to the Adobe (see, I told you it was a big company) training in Chicago, I was chosen. I went with the guy in charge of the .NET group. Through the week some of my frustration came out and the guy was actually surprised. He and the cross-industry guy are good friends, and he said both of them really thought I had an immense amount of potential and the fact that I was on the trip showed them I really wanted to get ahead.
Anyway, I spent a lot of time working out training for the the stuff I did in Chicago for my own company (which only one Java guy attended), and was really held in high regard by the .NET guys and the cross-industry guys. Was nice to feel important and needed... But after the training, everything fell kinda off (which may be why I haven't been in the best of moods).

Anyway, I was invited to a meeting with both groups last week. Afterward I was pulled aside and invited into the .NET group. They need a java guy in there to help cross train the .NET people in Java because a lot of these new technologies and products that are being used in our industry are written in Java. A lot of companies that want these technologies are .NET shops. By having me, they can use me to create some type of communication between the two so that all they need to maintain is the .NET portion of these products. Plus, this puts me in high visibility and basically considered a senior level person in the group.

There is a disadvantage to this, though. The Java group, as I said before, is a bit of a 'clique.' When people leave they tend to get alienated from the group (a lot of the Java group are heavy Linux users... I'm moving over to the Microsoft group...). This is a big hit because I will still be using Java and stuff...
But, I was already considered the 'kid,' so its not that big of a hit, I suppose.

So there ya have it. I've made a move to improve my career path. Its considered a 'parallel' move in that I don't think I'll be getting a promotion, but I will be considered high up in the group and will be extremely valuable in the group.
Next stop, management position...
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Turning Away From Java.... My Job Move

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  • I never understood .NET, its basically java without the huge advantage of having a consistent, multiplatform runtime environment. The whole advantage of Java in the first place is that your code becomes OS and hardware agnostic. Why move enterprise apps to .NET, only to become tied to one hardware platform and one proprietary operating system?
    • Hate to tell you- but for companies heavily invested already in Microsoft, .NET does indeed have a consistent, multiplatform runtime environment. Stuff compiled for the CLR will run equally well on anything with a CLR engine, from Windows Mobile clear up to a high-end cluster of Win2k servers. NOTE however that I said heavily invested in Microsoft- AFAIK I've yet to see a CLR engine for any *nix. But I've seen just about every language imagineable come out with a compiler for the CLR- it's that good of a
      • .NET does indeed have a consistent, multiplatform runtime environment.

        Can you point me to where I can download the Microsoft .NET runtime enviroment for solaris, linux, or osx? Without an officialy sanctioned runtime enviroment that is cross platform, that portability of C# is useless. Mono is great, but they are in the position of playing catchup, whenever a change or new class is released.

        • Mono is probably a good solution for people who have written code on windows and want to port it over. I don't understand why people get upset about MS not writing a linux .NET version. They are a business and want to make money off their products... If they build a .NET version, that gives people less reason to buy a .NET server. 'Nuff said. If people don't like the MS platform, there are plenty of other languages out there. Of course, you're still going to have tons of vendors you have to deal with (ie
          • Mono is probably a good solution for people who have written code on windows and want to port it over. I don't understand why people get upset about MS not writing a linux .NET version.

            I'm certainly not upset with MS not providing a Linux runtime environment. I think it is a dumb move, since it could make MS a lot of money in the long run, but it would be inconsistent with the current MS party line of pretending, at least publicly, that Linux is not a serious competitor.

            I'm just explaining why .NET i

            • I'm just explaining why .NET is useless from a portability standpoint. Sure .NET is a great option for moving your windows projects, but people get the idea that is an option for cross platform enterprise environment, which it is not.

              I agree, it is not really a cross platform enterprise environment. It *could* be, but the reality is it probably won't ever. The fact that MS uses this as a selling point is a bit misleading.

          • Now if I could only get Virtual PC to boot Fedora.

            Try VMWare.

            1) It is much better about supporting non-Microsoft guest operating systems.
            2) They have versions that will allow you to use linux machines as hosts. (great if you want to run linux but still need access to windows only software).
            • Try VMWare.

              1) It is much better about supporting non-Microsoft guest operating systems.
              2) They have versions that will allow you to use linux machines as hosts. (great if you want to run linux but still need access to windows only software).

              I know VMWare kicks Virtual PC's butt and have been wanting to try it. My dilema is I get Virtual PC free through an MSDN universal subscription. So basically, I'd have to pay $$ for VMWare to use a legit copy.
        • Solaris, Linux, and OSX are not the only platforms out there. Neither is Windows single-hardware or single-platform to begin with. Like I said; for companies already heavily invested in Microsoft CLR is a good multiplatform solution that runs on everything from MIPS/ARM to Xenon (low to high) processors and hardware platforms. The down side is that until this .NET chip came out (why anybody would use a $199 chip instead of a $99 x86 clone motherboard with the same capabilities is beyond me), you needed W
      • think Microsoft is actually on the right track with the CLR- now if they could only rewrite windows to run in a CLR on a linux box, they might actually have something.

        Microsoft will most likely *never* do that because they don't want to endanger the server market. However, they are pretty friendly to companies like Ximian who created the go-mono project to do just that. They also created an Open BSD "reference" implementation that runs the CLR, but it is for academic purposes only. Let's face it, MS is
    • why .net. it is many things to many people - most significantly it replaces the horrible w32 api. and less significnatly is emulates (sometimes improves) a lot of features from java in the .net class library. meaning it is a lot easier to use a C# class in or If you are using windows anyway it is a huge jump.
  • Soon you will be visited by a squad of little penguins armed with pitchforks who will "re-educate" you. :-)
  • i'm happy for you. hope it works out the way you envision it.
  • Err... I mean Josh.

    I don't understand why people use .NET... but then again my exposure to it has been look at this pretty picture that says nothing(Look it's a component, they tie together, it's like OO!) and some literature that makes it look like MS's second Java. I'm a C guy, so we look down on all of you from our perches next to the tin god, while quietly cursing how much longer it takes us to craft things. Yes, we are better than j00. **

    In all seriousness however, your work environment and peer re
  • Hey, I'm glad you have finally seen the light!! .NET is a great platform and I think you will enjoy the developers a lot more. Many of them are former linux guys (myself included) that just got sick of all the *nix mindset.

    Anyway.. if you have questions about .NET you know who you can go to!! Being a java guy, you will probably be able to get up and running very quickly with .NET. Having good OO experience will also help a ton. I think the biggest challenges will be understanding a lot of the "microso
    • I figured you'd be the one to get ultra excited about it :-D

      Best part, I can get an excuse for my company to pay for me to attend a .NET user group in... say... northwest ohio? ;-)

      I'll probably get some of the training material and see what I can do from the start. Once I get into it, I may try to get .NET and DirectX working together for something fun to play with while learning.
      • I figured you'd be the one to get ultra excited about it :-D

        Hehe.. I must admit, I was actually shaking in excitement when I read it. :P

        As far as user groups go, there is actually a new .NET group that just started in Cinci (there was another one, but not as good). I can hook you up with the guy if you're interested in checking it out. It's definitely a great way to make some contacts and learn the new stuff coming out. Of course, you're always welcome to come to an ... and stay a night or two! :) []

    • Many of them are former linux guys (myself included) that just got sick of all the *nix mindset.

      What is the *nix? mindset?

      • What is the *nix? mindset?

        Not Microsoft. Microsoft mindset people don't like that.
      • What is the *nix? mindset?

        Do things right. Avoid kludges. Don't make assumptions about your environment. Avoid bloat. Separate logic from presentation. Code for portability. Don't assume you know better than your users -- let them tweak things to work they way they want. Yeah, I can see how you'd get sick of that. Not.

        • You forgot the part where documentation is for losers who don't have time to read the code.
          • (which isn't to say that Microsoft is great on that score either, but there are a LOT of negative things about the typical *nix zealot that they hide behind the positive things you listed).
      • A hate-on for anything remotely related to Microsoft.

        Duh! :)
      • Here is my illustration of the *nix mindset.

        When I was in college, myself and many other "linux zealots" were adamant against Microsoft. This was for good reason because they often had the attitude of doing silly things, forcing crap software on you, etc. MS is still guilty of this, but a lot of it is/was also in the "eye of the beholder". The perspective that *nix mindsets look at tends to be purely technical.

        Now days, I find that most modern day linux zealotry still looks at MS in the same way- and r
        • I can see what you're saying. Since I already respect Josh's talents, this doesn't apply to him, but my natural stereotype or first impression, from SO many RL examples, is to think of a pro-Microsoft person as fairly clueless. I've met so many MCSE's who can barely find the icon to open Explorer that you tend to lose respect for those who are so adamant about how good Microsoft is, regardless of how friendly they all are.

          I'm not saying this is justified or a good thing, but more of a perspective issue.
          • I'm not saying this is justified or a good thing, but more of a perspective issue. Perspectives always play a large role in religious battles and it takes a lot of effort to give the other perspective an honest look.

            Definitely- perception is a big part of it. Also, stereotypes/generalizations are there for a reason. There are MANY clueless MCSE's, and a lot of companies have been burned because of them. Sure, there are some MCSE's that are competent and actually know what they are doing. I'm sure there ar
          • I want to add that often these Microsoft types are not informed about alternatives. They are in the mindset "if it isn't Microsoft, it isn't good...Doubly so if the alternative costs nothing" Look, I can understand not wanting to use Linux, but I have met IT people that never heard of Firefox, Mozilla and heck, even, Opera. They just plain never heard of it.... you see, that is the problem.
            I think Microsoft attracts people that think it is "good enough if it works", instead of "the system has to be perf
            • Great point! I know that I find it a bit sad when a Microsoft kid comes up to me and says how PERFECT their software is. I've seen it so many times.

              However, OTOH, Linux is not perfect either and it has its problems, but it's just so damn well designed and definitely works a lot better in many cases as a server. It still has that mostly justified stigma of being difficult to use (initially). Also, the many distros tend to keep it fragmented. Knowledge of one distro doesn't guarantee easy transition to
              • However, OTOH, Linux is not perfect either and it has its problems, but it's just so damn well designed and definitely works a lot better in many cases as a server.

                Weird, I hear this all the time. I actually spent an entire semester this last year studying the design and implementation of the Linux kernel and I had a completely different impression. The code itself seems poorly documented and overly optimized for speed over supportability. So much of it seemed very "hacked" together. It didn't give

          • My natural stereotype or first impression from SO many RL examples is to think of a pro-Linux person as fairly clueless. They have little to no experience writing real application or running actual servers in a workplace. They're usually complete social misfits who don't know how to communicate and hate Microsoft since the last time they used Windows (probably around 1997) it crashed on them during a boss fight in their favorite game.

            We can go back and forth on this if you like :-)

            • That is very odd experiences you've had. I've never ever met a pro-Linux person that was clueless and often, they were the best programmers I've ever met. In my graduate studies at school, in my practical experiences in the industry, etc. Of course there are VERY smart pro-Microsoft people too; however, one who is experienced in Linux as well as Microsoft products tend to me much more technologically savvy on average.

              Frankly, I think you're stretching the truth or you've met some strange people.

              Some of
              • I'm being completely honest with you. Most of the guys at school who use Linux are complete idiots. They use Linux because it's the cool thing to do, not for any technological reason.

                I've dealt with far less Linux people professionally though. The few that I have in my shop are much the same, they can repeat the things they've heard on Slashdot about Linux, but they simply aren't technological people.

                Most of the people I've known IRL who talk up Linux are, at their core, Microsoft haters. They've

  • In a situation like this, how is it decided whether the Java guys or the .NET guys do the project? Is it that architects look at the overall problem and give the job to one side or the other or do clients demand Java or .NET?
  • Wow, congratulations! As someone in a slightly similar position (trying to work my way up the food chain) I'm really happy for you.

    Don't worry about alienating the java-tards; as long as you produce quality they can't say shit about you.

    I've been doing the same thing as you- trying to get my name out there and work with as many different groups as possible. Its not that I'm considered low man on the totem pole in my group, its just that my group is 10 people on a project that was a major black-eye and l
  • I've been playing with ASP.NET and stuff too. Hell, I'll write in just about any language. Best tool for the job, I always say.
    • Of course the best tool is almost always NOT Windows (it's more of a "thing" than a "tool" anyway), unless you're playing games or teaching Grandma how to use the internet. :)
  • Hope you like your new job...even if it does tilt the balance towards evil and what's messed up in the computer industry! ;)

    To offset it, I'll replace 3 more Windows servers this week with BSD boxes.

    Seriously though (well, not about the Windows servers, they ARE history), congrats and enjoy! :)
  • from an interview with Scott Adams [], that reads (paraphrasing):

    The cream always rises. Sometimes it has to rise in another jar (company).

    I find it interested about your .NET, and frankly have been puzzled by its (perceived) popularity. What I realized is that .NET pretty much made it easier for the VB guys to get their hands on a more powerful language, but pretty much screws everyone else with reduced functionality. There were/are quite a few VB programmers, but like most "web developers" have limited/f

  • My guess is, you don't know it yet, but you'll be getting some sort of a promotion (or at least a raise) as well :)

    Best of luck!

    • My review comes in mid Feb, so I'm guessing that, yes, I will be getting a promotion and raise at that time... but we'll have to wait and see.
  • Sounds like you could have the best of both worlds... and you will eventually even get to complain about the worst of each world. At that point, you will know too much, and the squirrels will have you eliminated. But have fun until then...


  • As a Java guy, a senior one who actually pushed the technology at my company, I have to say that. Of course, I do wish you well. It's a bit sad to see talented people go join the dark side, but I understand it's important for your career.

    After all, nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM^H^H^HMicrosoft :-)

  • I've been a student tutor for seven straight semesters. My major goal in this lab is and has been to become a "professional tutor," a part-time assistant administrator to the lab. They also are the ones that teachers turn to when looking for substitute teachers. And substitute teachers tend to go on to be adjunct teachers.

    I've seen a couple of student workers become professional tutors after a single semester as a student worker. Yet I feel I know more about how the lab and college work than any of the

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken