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Recommendation for a new language

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Let me just give a little bit of background about myself. I have about 12 years of experience in IT and I started with mainframe stuff - COBOL, JCL, CICS, and all that good (or archaic) stuff. Currently, I work on consolidating life insurance products/policies from diverse systems into one system. I work mostly on back-end (mainframe/AS400 side). No coding, but consultation, project management, etc. This I do for various clients.
Lately, I feel like moving out of legacy systems to more server based or to front-end side of things. I am trying to decide what newer language will best suit my needs. It appears most bigger enterprises uses JAVA - I am guessing due to portability and being free(?). While some uses .NET - not sure if it is due to the controlled nature of this product. Again, please correct me if I am mistaken here. I would like to start of JAVA, but its vastness and constant evolution daunts me. But on the other hand, I am not sure if .NET will give me the edge in the job market. So, want to throw it out there and see what you guys have to say.
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post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Awaz View Post
Let me just give a little bit of background about myself. I have about 12 years of experience in IT and I started with mainframe stuff - COBOL, JCL, CICS, and all that good (or archaic) stuff. Currently, I work on consolidating life insurance products/policies from diverse systems into one system. I work mostly on back-end (mainframe/AS400 side). No coding, but consultation, project management, etc. This I do for various clients.
Lately, I feel like moving out of legacy systems to more server based or to front-end side of things. I am trying to decide what newer language will best suit my needs. It appears most bigger enterprises uses JAVA - I am guessing due to portability and being free(?). While some uses .NET - not sure if it is due to the controlled nature of this product. Again, please correct me if I am mistaken here. I would like to start of JAVA, but its vastness and constant evolution daunts me. But on the other hand, I am not sure if .NET will give me the edge in the job market. So, want to throw it out there and see what you guys have to say.

I would say that you have exactly the right idea. Java's popularity can be attributed to it's superb portability. .NET application, on the other hand, is becoming more and more popular-- especially with the advent of WPF and the cleaner ASP.NET picking up the web-based slack.

So I would certainly recommend looking at playing with C# and/or Java. In fact, the two are very similar in syntax. You'll be ahead of the game in either case.
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post #3 of 10
I would vote for .NET (C# or VB), but I'm biased that way because I am a .NET developer. It's a bit easier than Java and gets updated with new features a lot more often, and Microsoft's development tools are some of the best and most stable tools I've ever used. It's also easy to branch out once you've learned one area on the Microsoft side. Desktop, web, Silverlight, Windows Phone, and even Xbox 360 all use the same core tools and languages.

But it's not free. You can get express editions of Visual Studio for learning or hobby purposes, but for commercial software development you have to pay big bucks to get the Professional edition.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick response. I am going to expose my noobness on these newer language. If I want to jump on .NET, can I straight away start using that framework? Or is it recommend that I first learn VB or C# separately (as in stand-alone application using some sort of editor) and then start using .NET?
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post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Awaz View Post
Thanks for the quick response. I am going to expose my noobness on these newer language. If I want to jump on .NET, can I straight away start using that framework? Or is it recommend that I first learn VB or C# separately (as in stand-alone application using some sort of editor) and then start using .NET?
.NET is a framework, not a language... .NET encompasses several different languages, including: VB.NET, C#, F#, J#, L#, S#, etc. I'm sure I'm missing more.

By learning C# (or VB.NET, which I really don't think you need to bother yourself with) you ARE learning .NET. Are you perhaps talking about an IDE? (Visual Studio?)
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
More or less you are getting the point. I am not sure if there is more to the .NET framework than just learning the syntax of C# or VB. So, I was wondering if I should first learn C# to create some stand-alone application in an IDE (like you said Visual Studio). And then start using C# in .NET framework to create some web based applications. Or straight away start learning C# (or VB) in a .NET framework.
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Awaz View Post
More or less you are getting the point. I am not sure if there is more to the .NET framework than just learning the syntax of C# or VB. So, I was wondering if I should first learn C# to create some stand-alone application in an IDE (like you said Visual Studio). And then start using C# in .NET framework to create some web based applications. Or straight away start learning C# (or VB) in a .NET framework.
Oh, no. By using C# or VB.NET (not VB6, which is deprecated), you are already utilizing the .NET framework. So yeah, you're learning it off the bat.
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
I gotcha !! Sorry - took a bit for my little brain to register.

Appreciate all the responses. +rep to all.
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post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Awaz View Post
I gotcha !! Sorry - took a bit for my little brain to register.

Appreciate all the responses. +rep to all.
Not a problem.

If you are already an experienced programmer (which it sure sounds like you are) I highly recommend "Pro C# 2010." I believe it's the... fifth edition? The updated one with the 4.0 framework by Troelsen. Actually, let me just go find it for you.

Aha, found it:
Paperback, $38: Digital, $34:

It's a GREAT book. I highly recommend it. Good luck!
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you good sir. I will check that book out ASAP.
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