Friday, August 03, 2007

java? ruby? .net? does it matter?

i've just read dan creswell's article on whether experience with a technology is necessary when recruiting, in reflection to amazon's new job posting, his main point being as follows:

Tech is for sissies - Concepts, principles, patterns, measurement, theory and so on are what matters.

i tend to agree, but do think it depends on the developer to an extent, as sometimes the list of developer's technologies can tell you their ability in the latter. Take a developer who has only programmed in c and hasn't read cs, you can pretty much identify they will need to learn oo.

joel spolsky's article discusses the problems introduced by fixed-technology schools, suggesting computer scientists graduate with just one technology under their belt.

… I watched as many if not most of the students just didn’t make it. The material was too hard. I wrote a long sob email to the professor saying It Just Wasn’t Fair. Somebody at Penn must have listened to me (or one of the other complainers), because that course is now taught in Java.

I wish they hadn’t listened.


i can vouch that this isn't necessarily the case as i read computer science at kent in the uk, a sun java campus, however we covered other language types in significant detail such as functional (haskell), distributed (occam 2), and ai (lisp), assembly, plus many more.

however, the points that both articles are making are very valid, and a developer who has a firm grounding in the principles and concepts of technology, whether it be via self-education or via a well-rounded cs degree, can turn their hand to any specific technology put in front of them.

to summarise, the way a developer thinks is by far the most important factor here.

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