moving from prod support to java development?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Kluch, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. Kluch

    Kluch Member

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    Long story short, I currently work a production support job where I do some sql dba work (nothing intensive). Had a good friend tell me that his company is going to be hiring another java developer soon and was he wanted to see if I was interested in the opportunity. I'm no java developer by any means but I studied java a couple years back in school (I'm 26 now) and I'm very familiar with programming. My company is already paying for me to get some more training in sql to be a backup for our sr sql dba, thing is I really would like to move more into development in the future.
    I feel a bit conflicted as I haven't programmed in java for quite some time, but I'm confident that with the right practice and resources I could be a good candidate for this position. I also know I would be working closely with my friend as a fellow developer and he values our current connection.

    Have any of my fellow TGPers who are in development or IT gone through something similar? Moved from one area of profession to another? I'm just hoping it will be worth my time to dive back into Java... even from a future career standpoint.
     
  2. catpeople

    catpeople Senior Member

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    Knowing SQL won't help much in a traditional java shop, because java people love their abstractions and would rather learn complex crap like spring than write their own SQL. I know a lot of java data engineers who barely know any SQL.

    Java isn't going anywhere, though, so it's a good skill to develop.

    What kind of development would it be? Web? Data processing? Middleware? Java has such an immense ecosystem nobody is good at all of it and it takes a while to learn any one thing.
     
  3. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    You'll be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

    You already know the pitfalls of production support. With project work, you'll now be dealing with issues of missed requirements, scope creep, poor planning and general bureaucratic bumbling. It's going to be on you to make up for all of that by working long hours under great duress. This doesn't apply for all organizations, but it does for many.
     
  4. Kluch

    Kluch Member

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    Most of the devs at my current company understand sql so although it may not correlate at all if I change jobs, I know it may help me going forward.
    I need to get some more info on the job prospect. My friend said in the next year their company is going to be buying some kind of software (adobe maybe? can't remember) with a full java backend and my friend will be handling about 65% of the effort to configure it, the rest will go to the new developer. That's all I know so far. I figure in general java is a good language to (re)learn.

    I do indeed know the pitfalls of production... and it's one of the reasons I want to move from production. Many of my duties are troubleshooting applications I'm not even familiar with, I'd rather focus on a few things and get good at them.
     
  5. reganjeremy

    reganjeremy Member

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    If they are confident enough in you as a developer to give you the job then take it. It's hard to swim upstream so when you are given the opportunity I say take it. A lot of developers started in ops earlier in their career. I did oracle DBA and linux administration jobs in undergrad and it helped me a lot later in my career as a dev.
     
  6. Kluch

    Kluch Member

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    Thanks. I feel the same way.
     
  7. Kluch

    Kluch Member

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    bump for morning crew.
     
  8. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

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    It's funny because it's true.

    100 times this.
     
  9. Pat Healy

    Pat Healy Member

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    +1 more for this. Sounds like you'd like to spend less time on production, so this would be the right move. Not that you'll never get pulled into an escalation, but you'll spend a lot less time on production than you do now. And there's better long-term career potential in development, IMO.

    To stratovarius' point, the downside comes when you're 24 hours ahead of a release window, the functionality is off because the requirements were bad, and the systems aren't ready. At least you'll have enough technical knowledge to know exactly how to criticize the stupid DBA's. ;)
     
  10. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    I'd say go for it if the Java developer job is already being offered to you. Try it for a couple of years and see if you like it. If you don't like it, you could move back to the support side of the house.

    I learned SQL when I had to help investigate issues with orders/bills. While Java is my main thing, I've maintained my SQL skill because it's valuable to be able to dive into the DB to figure out what is going on with the data when you don't get the results you expect.
     
  11. forum_crawler

    forum_crawler Member

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    Go for it, Java development is not "Java" development, or rather, writing code in java is the easy part. The fun part is dealing with the wealth of technologies available to java developers out there.

    Java developers are expected to always be learning something new. We are always learning ways to leverage the new technologies available and that is why it is always fun. On the down side, if you are not the type to learn on your own time, you will find it very hard.

    SQL skills are always needed, regardless of the language you use to code.
     
  12. bayAreaDude

    bayAreaDude Member

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    I haven't made a move like that, but I have been doing Java dev for about 15 years and seen others who have. The one single biggest thing that holds back developers of any kind and this includes guys like you who came from a slightly different background is their design skills. Coding is easy and I honestly believe I could teach it to most people, but where the majority fall short is in properly designing the things they code. It's hard to learn this stuff other than by experience, but the best way is to study design patterns, which are particularly important in java. A guy who can't do this comes up with a complicated mess time after time that nobody can understand or maintain.

    Might as well get familiar with Spring at the same time - it's rare to see much plain vanilla java code that isn't heavily depending on frameworks and libraries and Spring is at the top of the heap.

    Agree SQL skills are a great asset unless you're not using a database, which might happen on a project or two, but it would be rare to not do any db dev at all. The dev's who aren't also good with SQL are really a weak link - I think they get work just because there are never enough developers, but when you can't handle what's going on in the DB, you're just not seeing the whole picture and not nearly as effective as you can be. I have interviewed java developers for years and always include database design and sql questions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015

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