Hi,
I've done my bachelors in Computer Science and was working for the past 2 and a half years in PHP and MySQL. Now I'm planning to change my career path to IBM Websphere Administration. However, changing directly from PHP to Websphere seems quite impossible. So I've planned to take up Java course and get the concepts of Java and do some practicals. After that, I would like to know, how I can get into a position as Java developer in a company, since I'm workin in the PHP for the past couple of years and one more will also be added in PHP. My target is to reach Websphere Administration. I'm planning to shift from PHP to Java. After that, I'll work as Java developer for a year or two and finish the WAS Certification/Training and then opt for Websphere Jobs. I would like to know if practically it is possilble to change my career like this and reach the target of Websphere Admin. I'm from India and I'm 23 years. I would like to get into webpshere administration atleast within next 3 to 4 years. Is that possible? What are the stuffs that I should do from no to reach this target. Guide me in detail.

-- Thanks in advance.

Dear Ronald, this is my first year of computer science, in my own experience of 2 years as a PHP developer and 1 year of JAVA:
If you know how to use PHP as an OOP (Classes) this will skip a big part of learning JAVA.
However there are some differences in declaring variables and functions and some other declarations and getting and importing information ...
Since I have accomplished the first year in learning and practicing JAVA, I can tell you that JAVA is more detailed and direct (you have to specify each function and variable if it's an integer or string or etc...). But personally, I didn't find any difficulties in learning JAVA, since almost every chapter I was able to link it to a chapter in PHP. Only the way of writting differ.
Brief, I recommend you to start and within less than 3 years of practicing java (REAL PRACTICE AND DISCOVERING) you will be ready for any position.

Good Luck

If you have got a Computer Science degree, you should not have a problem picking up any computer language. The reason is that you should have learned fundamental concepts & algorithms from school. The only difference between languages is syntax. Advantages, disadvantages, or related technologies are irrelevant to learning a language.

When you said "shifting from PHP to Web Sphere Admin is impossible," I kind of understand because both require different knowledge and skills even though they are being used in web development. The latter is much bigger though.

Do you have a job that work in Java right now? I am not sure you would be able to be fluent in many Java technologies in a short time (3-4 years) because you need quite vast knowledge in Java. Different version of Websphere supports different version of Java as well.

Anyway if you want to get into a big company (that can afford Websphere), I would suggest you to start networking now. I do not know how the IT field in India, but it seems that networking for IT field is very important in the U.S. If you have excellent skill but know no one, you will have a very difficult time to land a job. If you have excellent networking skill but do OK (or even bad) in your programming skill, you can still get a job (though you may be fired later on if your programming skill is really bad). That's what from my experience from other people around me... Just my two cents.

Thanks for your reply @cmps. I haven't worked much with OOP in PHP. However, I have good understanding of OOP concepts likes classes, objects, Inheritance etc. I've started learning J2EE from IBM Career Education and I'm planning to do Rational Application Developer for J2EE certification in the next few months. I agree that if I'm good in OOP concepts its easy to understand Java. I've seen that. I'm able to easily understand some basic Java concepts like interfaces, threading, inheritance etc. Actually, I'm planning to start learning the Spring framework once I'm done with the basics of J2EE like servlets, jsp etc. This year I will be working with PHP in a company. My plan is to get into a Java developer job exactly next year by this time, telling them that I have one year experience in Java development. So my target is to finish learning Spring framework within this year. I hope I will be able to make a caree shift from Java to Websphere in few years like 4 to 5 after working in Java for at-least 3 to 4 years.

-- Regards

Thanks for taking time to reply me @Taywin. I agree that to get learn about Java, it takes more years of practice. I've already started with the basic concepts of Java. Since I have decent understanding on OOP concepts, I find it easy to undertstand the basic concepts like threading, interfaces and othter related concepts. I'm quite motivated to see that Java is not so difficult if we are good in understanding hte OOP concepts.

My aim to get into a websphere Job atleast in 4 to 5 years after working in Java for atleast 3 years. Another thing it, I heard that to be a Websphere admin, once doesn't need to be a very good Java developer since the WAS administration involves deployment, installation and etc and not development. So I hope that if I work as a Java web developer for atleast 3 years I will be able to get into websphere job by mentionining that I have a year of experince in WAS administration in my resume. Because I think without mentioning that I have 2 year experience in WAS administration , I won't be able to make a career change from Java to WAS admin. I'm planning to do that same for PHP to Java career change since people are always choosing only the cadidates who have atleast a year of experience in the required technology.

Regarding Java web development, I'm planning to start learning spring framework once I'm done with the core concepts of Java. For PHP I'm learning Codeigniter framework. I've already installer "Websphere Application Server for Developers" from IBM website which is a free edition for developers. I will slowly start learning that usind the ebooks from IBM redbooks website. And it looks that Java and Websphere are paid lot more compared to PHP people...

So, I hope that I will be able to make a successful career change from 3 years of PHP development to 3 years of Java development and then to Websphere, atleast within a period of 6 years.

-- Regards

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