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Last Post by JamesCherrill
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Good programmers don't limit themselves to 1 or 2 programming languages. Those who are most employable are those who know a number of them, and can learn more as needed. I started with 8008 assembler, moved to dBaseII, BASIC, C, SQL and PL/SQL (a dialect of ADA), Dibol, C++, back to 8086 assembler, Java, PHP, numerous scripting languages... and I have been working steadily for 30+ years as a software engineer.

That said, Java is in common use these days, especially for mobile applications. Most mobile phones and tablets use Java or Dalvik (Java with a different virtual machine code, but same source code). Everybody where I work is Java competent since it is the basic programming language for our mobile phones (I work for Nokia) and in many of our server applications. C++, Java Script, and PHP are also in common use here.

My advice is to learn C and C++. Those are the foundations for many other languages. I consider Java as C++ with training wheels, and PHP is C++ with just enough differences to drive one to drink! :-) Employers who are considering you for a programming position will look at the C/C++ skills as fundamental, mostly understanding that being competent in them means that you will be able to get "up to speed" in Java and such quickly.

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The next 10 years? No.
10 years ago who predicted iOS or Android?

But many large companies have huge investments in Java (especially Java/EE) and those systems will be around and being updated for a long time. In the long term there's a massive trend away from low-level low-productivity languages to high-level high-productivity languages and tools. Personally I would not advise C or C++ unless you want to write device drivers. JavaSE or C# is the lowest-level language I would consider for most programming jobs, but the future is increasingly with tools like PSP, JSP, DHTML, RUBY, AJAX etc

Don't get too fixated on languages - if you know one current language you can quickly learn another. It's the API or toolset (Java/EE API, .NET etc) that takes years to learn well, and when you change you have to start again.

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