Joe Rinehart on Programming Languages

How do developers manage this type of stuff?

Simple: we don't learn the languages.


I focus on learning concepts that can be applied, at various degrees, across the languages.

Joe's article hits the nail on the head. And yet, many would-be employers of incredible programmers miss the boat because some specific acronym is not present on their résumés.

Tragic? No - let's not be melodramatic. But unfortunate? I think so.

  1. ”...many would-be employers of incredible programmers miss the boat because some specific acronym is not present on their résumés.”

    YOU’VE hit the nail on the head, Nathan. Given my last job fair, I find this situation even more appalling when it comes to companies which make detergents, have an IT department, and send a retard of a campus headhunter who scans your resume and asks you THE stupidest questions you can’t help but answer out of courtesy/mercy (and/or because you really want the job)

    “So… what’s your experience with Dreamweaver?”
    “Umm… I HAVE listed XHTML/CSS on there. The projects I’ve done so far are…”
    “Oh… you see… most of our online stuff is done in HTML.”
    “That’s brilliant!”

    I seriously couldn’t make this up.

    But again, people I know who’re following a kind of “List now, learn later” philosophy with acronyms are doing quite well… for now.
    Nik is the author. Mar 18, 08:55 is the time. <
  2. Nik, I really wish I could bring myself to pull out the “list now, learn later”, but I just don’t feel right about it.

    I think that this epidemic is more revealing of employers’ attitudes than we may have initially thought. Really, if employers saw the hiring process as investing in a person rather than expending a contractor, the résumé acronyms would be secondary. At best.

    This whole concept actually prompted the most recent addition to my résumé. The first thing that a reviewer reads, after my name and contact information, is the following:

    An established ability to learn and use technology as a tool to meet business goals and build customer loyalty


    “But where is JSP? We’re a JSP shop!”

    Followed in 10 years by:

    “But where is XYZ? We’re a XYZ shop!”
    Nathan Logan is the author. Mar 18, 14:04 is the time. <
  3. The whole thing seems ethically sticky, doesn’t it? Your reaction to “list now…” was what I thought of it initially. To me it was, to a certain extent, akin to lying. But again, what if you actually got an interview based on this acronym which you weren’t that good at and the questions posed were purely technical? There’s a limit to how much you can BS!

    But given the last job fair at my university, I was constantly amazed at how many people got at least a first interview due to this. A close friend was one of them. I asked her about this ‘lying’ business and what level of Hell she supposed she would go to for it. She replied that there was a reason she listed C# (in which she had little experience) alongside C/C++ (in which she had extensive experience). Java was no different, really.

    So it essentially came down to her self-assessment in being able to use the core concepts of one technical acronym to relate to the application of another that used the same. In this case, it was her thorough comprehension of OOP that would enable her to quickly learn and apply C# which could, therefore, be listed. XPath, for example, could not.

    Convincing, isn’t it? Of course, since everything’s somehow interrelated, there’s a limit to how much you can do this. But again, I guess that’s a personal, ethical judgement!

    And you are absolutely right about “investing in a person” (I’ll quote you in my next business class :)) although I’d imagine that’s something employers reserve for a higher level position, not for seemingly ‘blue-collar’ programmers…
    Nik is the author. Mar 20, 07:44 is the time. <