Hi there, terribly confused how to get going with a career in programming.

I have basic knowledge of Java programming principles, and I understand to some degree the object orientated aspect of the language also. My question is where to go now? Or what else to learn?

Here are some of my thoughts on which direciton I might go, but there is a ton of stuff I just do not understand yet, and I feel so overwhelmed.

Option one:
Switching over to Javascript to do web development, and maybe move onto web applications using the MEAN stack.

Option two:
Focus on pure andriod development, since it uses Java whose syntax I am familiar with.

Option three:
Continue developing my Java skills, but what to do with them? Is Java used for web applications a lot? What is the next step in developing your Java skills after you have the basics down?

I see that Javascript is popping up everywhere, should I just learn javascript?

I am possibly interested in creating mobile applications, or some entreprenurial web stuff, I am also interested in Audio / Sound Design. I am just mentioning these interestes incase someone thinks of an avenue to go down with programming that I may not be aware of.

So I basically need someone to tell me, just do this, and keep at it, and you'll get there. Right now, I am just overwhlemed about what to do, and focus on. I pick one thing one moment, and then I see courses in this that and another thing, and I just get bothered by it all, and do nothing. :)

Many many thanks for the time you have taken to read this - and thanks ahead of time to those who are so generous to take your time to respone.


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If you know Java then JavaScript is just like a children's version of Java and you can pick it up in no time at all. Do that anyway, becuase Java at the server is so often used with JavaScript at the client. Java is absolutely massive in the web server market, and developers are in demand, but I doubt that you will find practical uses for Java at the server unless you get a job with a large company using that technology. How do you feel about being a pawn in some megacorporation, with the frustrations and the opportunities that implies?
Android, on the other hand, is perfectly OK for a single developer, and a far better place for anything Audio. If you're lucky it's perfectly feasible that you could develop and publish your own successful app on the store and make some money. Anyway, IMHO it's a lot more fun working on android apps than some part of a server project.
... but others may disagreee...

Here's the thing. You can't survive by specializing today unless your employer needs such a thing or you are running as the lead on some system that will pay your way for years.

My last big app involved C#, HTML, plain C, Android, XML, Maven, Visual Studio, CSV files and more. I did have a recent grad and they wanted to slim it down to just Java and XML but there was no time or budget for that. At times he looked like he was a passenger on a jet during a 10G turn.

So keep learning, get exposure to language after language and system after system. Don't get hung up on any OS or language like some do and you'll do fine.

Don't just start by writing code. Yes, that is important, but more important is analysis, design, and systems modeling. Know what you want to do, in detail (analysis). Model it so that what you are thinking is expressed in concrete terms. Then, design of the system components, using the model to understand their relationships and interactions. I find visual tools very useful for this. Myself, I use Enterprise Architect (Sparx Systems) since it is a full life-cycle engineering tool that lets you turn models into code, and vice-versa, and is not too expensive (about $200USD for the professional version). It will generate and reverse engineer C, C++, C#, Java, and other language sources as needed.

And no, I am not a Sparx representative! I have been using it for about 10 years now though.

but there is a ton of stuff I just do not understand yet

No matter how much you know and how long you have been working in the industry this will always be the case. A knowledge of design concepts and and good workingh knowledge of at least two languages is crucial but equally as important is an ability to learn new skills as the technology changes. The most important word in the above quote is the word, "yet".

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