Bryan Sant bryan.sant at
Mon Feb 12 14:03:16 MST 2007

On 2/12/07, Andrew McNabb <amcnabb at> wrote:
> I think I completely disagree with the premise of this thread.  Maybe
> I'm just an idealist, but I think that you should love what you do.  I
> would much rather do something I love than get paid 50% more to do
> something I hate.

I do love what I do.  I absolutely love using Java.  I never once said
that I'm using Java because it pays well in spite of me hating it.  I
was merely saying that knowing a popular language such as Java doesn't
make you're job more likely to go away.  I was showing that the market
reality shows Java as the best possible language to be using right now
and for the foreseeable future.

> Obviously your job should be able to fulfill your economic needs, but
> that doesn't mean that maximizing your salary should be your only goal.

It's not my only goal, but it is a factor.  I would be unhappy in a
job where I made peanuts, regardless of how hip the technology might
be.  This is coming from a guy who is paid far less than market value
because I like who I work for and the work I'm doing.  So it's not all
about money for me.

> I can't honestly echo your statement that, "I'm very focused on the
> skills that will make me the most money now."  Obviously I want to
> invest in skills and stay employable, but that doesn't mean I can't do
> things I like, too.

But it would be sweet if the two coincided.  In my case I do love what
I do and the language that I use.

> Part of me agrees with your statement, "Only the cowards who are
> unwilling to learn something new when it is financially obvious to do so
> will continue to use an unpopular language (such as the COBOL
> programmers of old, or the Java programmers of the distant future)."
> However, part of me wonders if there aren't people out there who really
> love programming in COBOL.  I don't think I'll ever understand these
> people, but there's still work for them to do, even if it isn't
> lucrative.

Good for them.  But I do think it is a rare breed that stick with an
old technology because they just really like it.  I think most stick
with it because they can't stand the thought of walking away from the
time investment they've made in their current skill set, and they are
somewhat intimidated to learn something new.

> I think that we should constantly be learning, and we should be flexible
> enough to make changes when we need to, but I don't think we should base
> all of our decisions on making the most money.

I agree.  The opening of this thread was asserting that one was at
risk for knowing Java only.  This is not true.  It is financially
beneficial for someone to know Java (even if that is all they know).
That's it.  You're reading too far into my comments.  I'm making a
case that Java is a good language to know and there is LESS of a risk
of your job going away because of it.  I'm not advocating that someone
learn and use Java if it will make them miserable -- even if the money
is good.  I'm just saying there is good money to be made with Java.


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