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Java? - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
The thing is: Java just isn't as "cool" as it used to be. It's still a solid language, and there are lots of people writing good software in it. It's just not new and fresh. The "cool kids" are all off doing Ruby, Groovy, Scala and who-knows-what-else. Not me, at least not yet. I'm making a fine living doing Java development, and I'm still enjoying it.

However it's just not all that cool anymore. It's like calling yourself "MSExcel girl". That's a darn useful tool, it keeps all kinds of businesses afloat, and it's not easy to be great at it.... but there aren't a ton of bragging rights associated with it.

That said, one of the VP's at my company told a story last week. He'd been driving down the road and saw the JAVAGRL license plate. He thought to himself, "Now somebody that passionate about java should be working for us." So he followed the car, even though according to him it was going like 82 mph (note: I was only driving 77 mph), fully intending to follow it to its destination and give the driver a business card and/or an impassioned speech. However when he pulled up next to it, he saw that it was me and I already work for his company. So he stopped following me, and told me the story later.

I feel like it's time for a change. I've been javagirl for awhile, it's not as cool as it once was, and I don't want to get too stuck in a rut. However will ePaca or kAlpaca ever generate this kind of passion and stalking behavior that javagirl does???

Edit: I may have been unclear. I'm talking about changing my license plate, not my programming language!


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dagibbs From: dagibbs Date: March 31st, 2011 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)
I still mostly work in C. What does that say about me? :)
greyyguy From: greyyguy Date: March 31st, 2011 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I've always thought of myself as a programmer and instead of being passionate about a single language, I tend to be more passionate about the problem solving/solution creation process. At the risk of starting a language flame war, Java is just a tool. You wouldn't forgo using a hammer or a screwdriver because you like wrenches. And you wouldn't use a screwdriver because it is cooler than pliers.

And I certainly don't get passionate about Visual Basic, and would never call myself VBGUY. That sort of thing will get you ass kicked in some places. Or at least it should. But that is what I'm currently using, and it fits well with the sort of work needed. And the language isn't brag-worthy, but I like to think the work I do with it is. I would say the passion is yours in your work- not the tool you use.

Edited at 2011-03-31 04:52 am (UTC)
johnridley From: johnridley Date: March 31st, 2011 11:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Exactly what I came here to say. Anything on the computer is just a tool, just as the computer itself is. The reality is that though there may be some managers that get caught up in the "cool" factor and want to be "on the cutting edge," what the business cares about is results. The place I work for wouldn't care if I wrote the stuff in COBOL if it got the job done and was maintainable and someone besides me could pick it up if I got hit by a bus.

I use a language that fits the problem set. The main reason there are a lot of languages is not because all the ones invented more than 3 years ago suck, it's that there are a lot of problems to solve. Certainly there is some level of development in the science that pushes language growth, and sometimes you'll get a new language as a result of a religious war, but in large part new languages come about to solve new problems, or old problems in a new way.

Any competent programmer (which I'm sure you are) can pick up whatever language they need in a week or two well enough to bootstrap, and can get productive in a few more weeks. I wouldn't go out and learn a new language because it's supposed to be the new cool thing, but I'd learn one if it solved a problem that I had in front of me in a more efficient way than what I already knew. Even then though, it has to have a good ecosphere and has to be reasonable to expect others to pick it up if they have to support my stuff in the future.
From: nicegeek Date: March 31st, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think most good programmers with more than a few years under their belt start to develop a healthy "toolbox" mentality to programming languages. But with that said, I think it's also worthwhile to develop at least one language to the "guru" level, where you really know all the dirty corners, because that's what you sometimes need to debug a problem. It's not worth the time investment to delve into every language that deeply though, because you'd never use 90% of it.
From: tlatoani Date: March 31st, 2011 11:35 am (UTC) (Link)
On the other hand, that's a great story! (Of course, the place you're working might be the only place in the US that would do that, so you may not get a lot of benefit out of that kind of thing... ;-)
mrs_sweetpeach From: mrs_sweetpeach Date: March 31st, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I still say you stick with the current license plate. For those who know what java is, it's still cool. For those who don't, well they probably think you love coffee. And besides, it isn't as if you have to stick with the plate forever -- you could change it next year. Also, having a boss that followed you -- I wouldn't want him thinking you're no longer the woman for the job just because you changed your license plate!
jebra From: jebra Date: March 31st, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
No matter what you're coding in, you have a cool plate that makes people smile. I hope you keep it.
djinnthespazz From: djinnthespazz Date: March 31st, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is an absolutely wonderful story.
Talk about an ego boost!
mbumby From: mbumby Date: March 31st, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that's a GREAT story.

I'd add my voice to those who think you should keep it... but if it makes you feel like you're in a rut... then I guess I understand you wanting a change.

But if you change it to something that will keep you from having another such wonderful story, well, that would be a shame.
anderale From: anderale Date: April 1st, 2011 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
That totally rocks - you were just meant to work there. If you hadn't already your boss would have tracked you down somehow. hahaha. :)

Because of that, I don't know if you should change it and yet I do like the alpaca theme.
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