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Minimum languages for Employment

Posted on 2003-03-27
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I was wondering if I could hear some opinions on what the average amount of languages I should know in order to score a job, or internship. Right now I know HTML of course, Basic JavaScript, BASIC, some Cold Fusion, and I am learning PERL, Java, and more Cold Fusion.

The languages I figure I should know are: ASP, JavaScript, PHP, HTML, and XML.

How many jobs are out there that just program in one or two languages? I like Cold Fusion the most I was hoping to learn that and find a job programming mainly in Cold Fusion, how likely is this???

P.S. I hate Java, sooo complicated compared to ANY other language :P
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Question by:Grymlot
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Expert Comment

by:jetgrrrl
ID: 8222858
Hey Grymlot, am not sure about the job market where you are, but here (in Australia) it seems youve got to be an expert in every language to get a web job... :(

I'd suggest having a look at ASP.  The functionality is very similar to CF and if you enjoy that, you should like ASP :)

Good luck with your job searching and learning :)

Jet
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gator4life earned 100 total points
ID: 8223652
Hey Grymlot -

I am located in the United States, so my opinion is coming from the job market here.  In the U.S. right now, we are having quite a recession, and there are way more IT people than available jobs, so it takes a bunch to get a good job.  However, not all skills that are needed are technical ones.

As far as web languages go, you should know HTML (or better yet, XHTML [Extensible HTML]) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) like the back of your hand, so that you are fully proficient in the presentation model of content.

Then, you should know DHTML (Dynamic HTML), the DOM (Document Object Model), and intermediate JavaScript skills to take full advantage of user agents' functionality.

On the server-side, knowing either ASP or PHP will be extremely beneficial, since these are probably the two most common server-side scripting languages.  Unfortunatly, Cold Fusion has a very limited penetration in the market, since most companies already have IIS running on Windows NT or 2000 servers, and PHP is free.

In the world of web development these days, you also need to know a lot about how to handle data, since most web sites are now full-fledged applications.  Therefore, you will most definitely have to obtain some skills in this area.  I strongly urge you to learn SQL, so that you will be able to interact with databases through your server-side scripts.  Then, to be able to send data seamlessly between different technology environments, you will have to know XML.  XML is becoming the lingua franca of data communication.

Like I said above, though, job applicants need more than technical skills.  Look to show that you are team-oriented, that you have leadership potential, and that you have good communication skills (oral, written, and presentation).

Here is an excellent site that will teach you many of the basics of many of the languages that I mentioned:

     http://www.w3schools.com

Last, but not least, learn the standards:

     http://www.w3.org

Hope this helps and good luck to you!

gator4life
(chomp, chomp)
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Author Comment

by:Grymlot
ID: 8223974
Well, I do know basic CSS also, I forgot to mention that. But I guess I will look into learning some more advanced CSS and JavaScript. Also, I DO know basic SQL, I also forgot to mention that... I'll edit the question and add that in. I agree, SQL is a major part of it, querying databases seems to be the thing these days...

thanks... feel free to add comments people, I'm looking for as much feedback as possible.

BTW, I'm in Minnesota, near Minneapolis.
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Expert Comment

by:dg00756
ID: 8225487
I'd say learn everything you can.  You never know when it is going to come in handy.  I've landed some projects on the sole basis that I was one of the only candidates that new the language.  I've found the programming field in generally to consist more of learning what you need to know to do each individual project than learning everything beforehand and applying it.

Having a lot of background experience is very helpful as well so even if you can't land your dream job right off the bat, grab whatever you can get because the more experience you have, the better you look, the more consideration for the job you get, and the more you get paid (hopefully :)
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by:Binary1
Binary1 earned 100 total points
ID: 8241502
The languages you should "know" are really going to be more based on where you want to get a job or internship and what area you want to get the job/internship in.

If you are looking for Systems Administration you will definitely want to know PERL. If you are looking for a Database oriented position very strong knowledge of SQL is vital along with the DB specific procedural language (Transact-SQL, PL/SQL, etc.)

From the description of the languages you currently know and the ones you are looking at I would assume that you are looking for some kind of web developer position. For these types of positions companies usually focus on a specific grouping of technologies. I have not seen any positions looking for PHP and ASP programmers. HTML is usually a given requirement as is some JavaScript. ASP and Visual Basic are co-requirements many times also. XML is usually only listed as a requirement for positions requiring at least of couple of years existing experience.

I'm not sure what area you live in, or if you're willing to relocate, but I would suggest looking at the postings in one or more of the job sites, like HotJobs or Monster. This will let you get an idea of the requirements for a position along with what the position is required to do functionally.

I would recommend that you focus on a couple job co-requirement type languages and become proficient on those than trying to spread yourself across several languages and technologies and being only marginal with them.
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by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 9115294
This question has been classified abandoned. I will make a recommendation to the
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by:gator4life
ID: 9115394
COBOL -

I thought I provided a pretty well-rounded response here, so I would be happy to be considered for the points.

gator4life
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by:Programming_Gal
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No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:

Split between gator4life and Binary1

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

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