Coding for a living
byersa at automationgroups.com
Fri Dec 23 11:34:46 MST 2005
Sasha Pachev wrote:
> > Sure would be nice to code for a living though.
> I suggest using whatever spare time you have to contribute to some
> open-source project. Ideally, you want to have your own that you have
> created from scratch, as well as some bigger scale project to which
> you have contributed. Then prospective employers do not treat you as
> the "entry level" programmer any more.
I think it is basically a good idea to create or contribute to an
open-source project as a way to demonstrate interest and capability,
but, realistically, the opportunities for contributing to something
meaningful are few and far between. You can go to sourceforge and find
dozens of projects of the same genre; only one or two in each category
will get any real play.
The one area in which this is not true is in the creation of vertical
business applications. This is an area in which the open source
community has not made much of a dent, but it just happens to be one in
which there is plenty of need, and therefore plenty of money to be made.
But it would be foolhardy to go off and do your own business app from
scratch. Not only would it take longer than building on something that
already exists, but its value would be minimalized because potential
users would see it as unsupported and a high risk investment of their time.
Enter Open for Business (www.ofbiz.org). I have been programming for 20+
years and this is the best example of coding that I have ever seen. Some
Apache Software Foundation VPs have taken an interest in OFBiz and there
is a very good chance that it will become an Apache project very soon.
It is already of high quality - used by companies like British Telecom
and United Airlines. If it becomes an Apache project, very few companies
will be able to match the resources that will be brought to bear on
OFBiz. That is the true potential of open source, when the talents and
resources are focused in a way that rivals the largest companies.
After Oracle finishes its raid on the ERP sector there are going to be
very few competitors left. There was already a large gap in that sector.
OFBiz is both a framework and a full set of ERP modules. It is not a
trivial tool to pick up and learn - documentation is lagging
development, but spending time learning something that has value to a
business because it is a commodity would be a much better investment of
time than creating something from scratch. But I know of very few
programmers who see the value in following in someone else's footsteps.
I am not one to talk; it has taken me years to realize that the last 5%
of a project is what you never have time to do right.
In my mind, there is a golden opportunity for inexperienced programmers
who want to become proficient in the J2EE sector to team with
experienced IT worker who have domain expertise, but are not up-to-date
on the latest technology to produce vertical applications that are of
great worth. If only 2-3 teams of this nature were to organize in this
local, we could resurrect the OFBiz user group and we could agree on
vertical applications to tackle, identify what is already there in
OFBiz, find areas of commonality and work together on those. When we
were thru, there would be a type of brand applied to these products
because they would have a lot of common features and style.
I am following such a course with my brother and would be interested in
talking to anyone who is interested in the same thing.
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