Same technology or multiple technologies

I don't know where to post this question, so I am posting it here.  It's not exactly a Java related question but career related question.

I am working in Java for the past 2.5 years. Mine is small company where there are different teams for different technologies. dot net team handles dot net projects, Java team handles Java projects and so on.
I have some friends in some big multinational companies like Accenture, Sapient, HCL etc. They tell me that they are never into any one particular technology. Sometimes they get work in C++, sometimes in Java, dot net or even testing. They say this makes growth faster.

I am really confused whats the best way to go for in one's career. Stick to one technology like J2EE and keep moving in different technologies.

Whenever I see an adv. in a newspaper it always says x number of years in a particualr technology. If one keeps on changing technologies like this, then experience in one particular technology will not be much.
sangeeta9189Asked:
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arun_vipCommented:
Hi.
It is better to stick to one field and concentrate on that. For example, if you working on J2EE then you have good exposure to the language. I have seen people who asks only one language and they drill you in that language. If you have time then you can study the related languages in your case it is Applets,...(Java tech.).
zzynxSr. Software engineerCommented:
At the university I learned Pascal.
1st job: I learned C at the job (5 yrs)
2nd job: I learned C++ at the job (5 yrs)
3rd job: I learned Java at the job (2+ yrs)

My experience is: whenever you know one language, it's not that difficult to learn yourself another one.
That's what you can tell to your next potential boss and try to convince him ;°)
bloodredsunCommented:
I would agree that real expertise in one area always wins out against general skills on many areas but I've always found the best combination to be to have 1 or 2 really strong skills, general skills in several other techs, some awareness of other technologies you will come across and an understanding of the business in which you are working.

>>Sometimes they get work in C++, sometimes in Java, dot net or even testing. They say this makes growth faster.
Either these guys are super-geniuses or their clients aren't getting the full value. If I want a Java developer, I want someone whose primary development language is Java not someone who has 3 years Java experience which means he used it for 6 months a few years back.

Don't underestimate the last one, having worked in both academia and in the commercial world (from new media to banking) the ability to understand the environment makes you far more employable.

>>Whenever I see an adv. in a newspaper it always says x number of years in a particualr technology. If one keeps on changing technologies like this, then experience in one particular technology will not be much.

You do need to back the right horse on this one! This can be seen by the uproar when Microsoft annouced that it was ending support for Visual Basic 6. Choosing a technology like Java or .NET will see you fine for a long time to come.

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sangeeta9189Author Commented:
Thanks for replying.

>>Either these guys are super-geniuses or their clients aren't getting the full value

They are definetely not geniuses and they say that their company is also happy with their work. That means the clients should be satisfied. I am also told this shifting in technologies doesn't happen only for new comers, even senior guys have to change technolgoies every now and then.
zzynxSr. Software engineerCommented:
>> they say that their company is also happy with their work. That means the clients should be satisfied.
That's possible. They shouldn't be geniuses or experts to please their company or clients.
But for me it's clear that you can't be a *real expert* in C++ AND Java AND .NET AND ...
sangeeta9189Author Commented:
>>But for me it's clear that you can't be a *real expert* in C++ AND Java AND .NET AND ...

Totally agreed. That was the reason behind asking this questition. Why do these companies do such a thing like shifting technologies of their employees when its a well known fact that one person cannot possibly be an expert in a  lot of technologies. Moreover all these are big names in IT so definetly they know what they are doing.

zzynxSr. Software engineerCommented:
>> Why do these companies do such a thing like shifting technologies of their employees
Well, apparently for them it's important to create people that know different technologies without being experts
sangeeta9189Author Commented:
Thanks for replying

Does it make sense to join one such company. I am working in a small company where i am totally into J2EE but I have an offer from Accenture. Should I not take the offer  as they may ask me to work in other technologies?
bloodredsunCommented:
>>Moreover all these are big names in IT so definetly they know what they are doing.

That's marketing spin. You only need to look at some of the recent big projects such as the UK inland revenue and EDS http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/07/04/revenue_acts_eds/ or the issues between Accenture and the NHS to see that these "big names" are having issues delivering the goods. I'm not saying that this is directly related to skimming from one tech to another but these consultants are people fresh out of uni as opposed to a real expert with 20 years experience and that makes a huge difference.

But as zzynx (our newest *genius*, check the rankings on the left) says "They shouldn't be geniuses or experts to please their company or clients." as you only have to be competent to please someone. To be any good, you need to specialise.

Yep, you also need to learn new technologies, you can't stay still in this market, but constantly evolving your skills but adding new ones that compliment your existing ones is the way to do it.
zzynxSr. Software engineerCommented:
>> Should I not take the offer  as they may ask me to work in other technologies?
It all depends on what you want.
If you're eager to learn some new technologies: consider taking it.
If you want to keep your focus on Java: stay where you are.

And of course: Don't forget there are lots of other criteria to (not) change working environment
;°)
sangeeta9189Author Commented:
Thanks everyone for replying.

>>Yep, you also need to learn new technologies, you can't stay still in this market, but constantly evolving your skills but adding new ones that compliment your existing ones is the way to do it.

I totally agree with  adding skills complimenting your existing skills. But what bothers me is one porject in Struts, next in C# and next Testing.
sangeeta9189Author Commented:
Thanks everyone for replying and sorry for the delay in accepting
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