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Programming career path...


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I am in the process of wrapping up my degree in Information Systems. I have had several classes in different programming languages C++, Java, VB.Net, C#. I enjoy working with each of those languages, but I am trying to find which language is the most popular among today's businesses. My primary concern is getting a decent job once I am done, but I think that it would benefit me to improve my skills in 1-2 languages.

What are your thoughts as to where to focus my skills?

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Out of that list, VB.NET is the only one of dubious use.

C++ is obviously still used extensively, Java and C# probably just as much, I've often seen them used together in systems as well.

To extend your abilities, you might want to learn a more scripting language, maybe something from the 3 P's (Perl, PHP, Python).

To go even further, there's then functional programming languages such as Haskell and F#, moving in further forward you then have logic languages like Prolog.

Learning a language from each of the 4 paradigms definitely helps improve programming abilities.

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Well, I am majoring in information assurance and forensics at Oklahoma State University and Tulsa University. So far I have to be proficient in all the languages you described.

One of my instructors put it to me this way she said that I would have to create my own IDS for example to show how proficient I was in programming.

As for just Information Systems, the one that stands out the most (to me) is C. That keeps on getting that stressed a lot.

Just to clear things up a little, what type of Career were you looking for? and Are there any companies that you had in mind?

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Out of that list, VB.NET is the only one of dubious use.

C++ is obviously still used extensively, Java and C# probably just as much, I've often seen them used together in systems as well.

To extend your abilities, you might want to learn a more scripting language, maybe something from the 3 P's (Perl, PHP, Python).

To go even further, there's then functional programming languages such as Haskell and F#, moving in further forward you then have logic languages like Prolog.

Learning a language from each of the 4 paradigms definitely helps improve programming abilities.

Thank you. That gives me something to think about.

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Well, I am majoring in information assurance and forensics at Oklahoma State University and Tulsa University. So far I have to be proficient in all the languages you described.

One of my instructors put it to me this way she said that I would have to create my own IDS for example to show how proficient I was in programming.

As for just Information Systems, the one that stands out the most (to me) is C. That keeps on getting that stressed a lot.

Just to clear things up a little, what type of Career were you looking for? and Are there any companies that you had in mind?

I am not looking at any company in particular, though my wife and I planning to move to Denver within the next two years. I don't know exactly what it is that I want to have as a career, but I enjoy programming. Developing, updating and trouble shooting applications is something that I find enjoyable.

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All good advice. Obviously any place you interview will have biases so it's goo to be a an all-arounder at this point.

I'd definitely recommend experience with C and C++ as they are probably the most dangerous languages (both security and fragility) out there.

Scripting languages are hot, incorporating a lot of the java/c# type runtime support so garbage collection and reference handling are important.

It's still probably a bit early for functional languages in the real world but knowing how they work would be good for interview time.

Just be VERY careful exhibiting any love for any one type of language/environment during an interview. If you go into a Cobol shop and start preaching Haskell, remember the words "Would you like fries with that?" because that's what you'll be saying every day!

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Anything .NET is a great start (VB.NET, C#.NET, or F#.NET <-- isn't out yet). A lot of companies are hiring .NET developers and they are compensated well. Another language to consider would be C++ or OpenLink. These languages are very high in demand right now. Just some food for thought.

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