I’ll have to start working again once I leave University and I’ve been trying to determine what role I would apply for once I complete my degree. My previous skills have been in the realm of Linux systems development. But I think these skills are mostly out of touch with where the industry is heading.
Active employment in C development is available only for programming in embedded devices, systems development roles such as kernel implementation, or perhaps the maintainance of legacy systems.
I never involved myself much with the web or more modern languages as Java, though I did have a spurt at one point learning Python, and some PHP which I’ve completely forgotton. But times are changing, and I figure my best bet is to learn Java or C# in the next year.
I truely believe languages as Java and C# can be far superior than C/C++ for application programming. The kernel would be one of the last bastions for C or C++. Systems and Application development was blurred for some time with both factions using the same languages, but today they are becomming distinctly seperated.
Java or C#? I haven’t decided, so I started downloading packages for both. As broadband (512kpbs) was enabled at my home yesterday, I was able to download the things necessary to start a development environment. The requirements are that the software I download is free to use.
- The Java Software Development Kit (SDK) – ~65M for the j2se jdk, from the sun website.
- The Java Development Kit (JDK) – ~140M for the j2ee sdk, from the sun website.
Both the SDK and JDK were necessary for me to install the NetBeans IDE (see below), or at least I was required to install the JDK even though the SDK was installed prior.
The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is which is required to use Java as an end user, is also supplied with the JDK. I did not know this until after I downloaded the JDK. The installer asks if you want to reinstall the JRE. I chose not to.
- NetBeans IDE (Integrated Development Environment) – ~55M, from the netbeans website, but the sun website has a newer beta version available also.
I also downloaded Eclipse (~135M) which is another Opensource Java IDE, but it requires too much memory to perform well on my machine. I suspect that Eclipse is superior to NetBeans, but I’ll need confirmation.
- The .NET 3.0 environment – ~50M from a custom windows update.
- SharpDevelop – 8M from the SharpDevelop website.
It should be noted, that almost certainly better than SharpDevelop, and just as free (but not open), is Visual Studio Express for C#. This is available from the microsoft website, but is a much heftier download.
Thats my environment. I was able to run HelloWorld in both Java and C#. For real projects, the utility of that environment is uncertain.