Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Norfolk Tech Journal: Second Issue Out Now!

Trite as it may sound, I moved to Norfolk for love. I was working in London to pay for a flat in Colchester which I wanted because it was an easy commute to my job in London. My girlfriend, however, lived in Norfolk and I was travelling to see her every weekend. Clearly, the only logical move was to get a second mortgage, based on my London salary; jack in my job the instant that mortgage cleared and move to Cromer with two mortgages, no income and no job lined up.

My thinking at the time was that my wife (a zoo keeper) would find it hard to find work if she moved and I (as a senior java developer with years of banking experience, plus the conceit that that brings) would simply walk into a development job. I had overlooked one tiny detail: there are only about 8 Java shops in Norfolk. It was sheer luck more than anything else that landed me my current role.

I’m not sure if the dearth of Java jobs in the county is a reflection on Norfolk or on Java but what I do know is that we desperately need an injection of fresh talent into this county; it’s getting harder and harder to find people.

A large part of the problem revolves round the pigeon holing of developers. We shouldn’t be talking about Java Developers and C# Developers, we should just be talking about Developers. A good developer can pick up a new language in minutes and algorithms and best practices are largely language agnostic which can be applied anywhere. Even when idioms don’t translate well between languages a good developer will know this turning to Google which is awash with articles on “Language X for Y developers”. So why shouldn’t a good C# developer be considered for a Java role and vice versa? They are, after all, very similar languages. But it seems you must have X years experience in language Y and, for the ultimate irony, you will be interviewed about design patterns from a book on C++.

The second issue is out now and can be downloaded here.

Words: Dom Davis

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