Viability of Java Programming as a Job

I get a lot of e-mail from readers asking whether I can tell them about their chances of getting a job using a particular programming language or skill that I write about. There are so many factors to consider in answering that question that it really is impossible to answer correctly or with any accuracy. Books, such as Java eLearning Kit for Dummies, provide you with a marketable skill that can potentially land you a job. In fact, The Importance of Finding Work post provides you with some ideas on just where you can find an interesting job writing Java code. I can also tell you that Java is both popular and important as far as programming languages are concerned. A recent InfoWorld article, Good news, Java developers: Everyone wants you, literally screams opportunity in the title. You can find further confirmation in the recent TIOBE index that places Java as the second most popular language in the world. All these indicators tell you that Java is a good selection for success.

Whether you can get a job programming with Java is an entirely different story. For example, there isn’t any way I can judge your skill at using Java, so there is no way I even know if you’re able to write applications. Being able to use Java to write applications is a prerequisite to getting the job, so only you know what your chances are in this area. If you’re honest with yourself, you know your skill level and whether you really do need more time practicing your skills before you go in for a job interview. Being realistic about your chances of getting a particular job is also important. If you try to get a leadership position with beginner skills, be prepared for disappointment.

If I could limit the criteria to issues such as job availability and your personal skills, I might be able to answer your question with some degree of success. However, the question is far more complex than that. A glut in people with basic skills could affect your chances of getting a job in a particular area. Likewise, if employers are looking for someone, anyone, to fill a position, you might get into a really good position with lackluster skills.

How you present yourself to a potential employer also affects the potential for success. Many highly skilled developers lack the kind of self-confidence required to get a job. The person in HR will see your interpersonal skills, not your ability to write code. Unless you have an in with the department you want to work with, trying to convince someone in HR to let the interview process go further could be quite hard.

I really do want you to succeed. So, I’ll continue to provide you with ideas of where to find work and the popularity of the skills that I’m helping you obtain. Unfortunately, my ability to provide help beyond these two areas is limited. In most cases, the rest is up to you. In keeping with the idea of preparing you as fully as I can to get that job of your dreams, I’m always open to answering your book-specific questions. Always feel free to contact me at