About me President F1 Technologies Working in Xbase Languages for the last 19 years
Not a Hater Work in Microsoft products all day, every day Use all MS operating systems Love VFP, Frontpage, SQL Server Many friends & contacts at Microsoft
Agenda VFP’s Future Is Limited Extending Opportunities for VFP Pros & Cons of Various Other Languages The Job Market for Developers Other IT Jobs
VFP’s Future Is Limited Microsoft is not making significant investment in development Microsoft is not making any investment in marketing A product not marketed by its own manufacturer cannot succeed long term Job Opportunities are limited
Extending Opportunities for VFP Keep your current customers happy Vertical market software Get into web development Participate in VFPX Increase your exposure Sell business solutions, not technology Be willing to do maintenance work
A Language is a Language Most business needs can be met in any programming language “Religious” wars are silly and a waste of time “Advocates” have ulterior motives Many (maybe most) features often go unused
.NET Pros Definitely where Microsoft wants you to go today Like buying IBM in the 80s Big Job Market Lots of Opportunity Cross Platform (Linux workalikes?, .NET compact framework) Highly capable, tons of features Lots of tools, frameworks, publications, etc. available Can Interop with VFP Desktop & Web
.NET Cons Steep Learning Curve Constantly Changing Little Regard for Backward Compatibility Steep Competition for Jobs Geared towards teams, not individuals Not as productive as VFP Immature 3rd Party Market Shrinking Job Market?
Java Pros Backed by Big Companies such as SUN, IBM & Oracle By Far the Largest Developer Job Market Growing Job Market Lots of Opportunity Cross Platform (Linux, Unix, Phones, PDAs) Lots of tools, frameworks, publications, etc. available Highly capable Mature 3rd Party Market Backward Compatibility Desktop & Web
Java Cons Steep Learning Curve Most development is not on Windows (Unix, Linux) Steep Competition for Jobs Geared towards teams, not individuals Not as productive as VFP Desktop apps are generally slow, Java is primarily geared for the web.
C, C++ Pros Makes learning anything else easy No limits Lots of opportunity Cross Platform Cross Vendor Lots of add-ons, frameworks, toolkits, etc. Desktop & Web Not going away
C, C++ Cons Steep Learning Curve Low Productivity Not really for business apps Makes your brain hurt
PHP Pros Open Source Cross Platform Backed by large vendors such as IBM & Oracle Tons of tools, frameworks, publications, etc. Widely Supported Cross Platform Rapidly Growing Job Market Easy to Learn Backward Compatible Commercial Compiler available
PHP Cons Open Source Smaller Job Market Most development is not on Windows (Linux) Not as robust as .NET or Java Low Priced Competition for work Web Only (at present)
PERL Pros Open Source Large, Growing Job Market Cross Platform (Windows, UNIX, Mac, Linux) Tons of tools, frameworks, publications, etc. Easy to Learn?
PERL Cons Open Source Older Technology (around since 1987) Not as robust as .NET or Java
Python Pros Open Source Easy to learn Growing Job Market DABO (dabodev.com) Cross Platform Desktop & Internet Fair # of Tools, Frameworks, etc.
Python Cons Small Job Market Limited Opportunity Not widely used for business applications Fewer Tools, Frameworks, etc. than many others No major corporate backing
Ruby Pros Growing Job Market Exciting Possibilities VFP Like (& Beyond) Productivity Cross Platform (Mac, Windows, Linux) Ruby on Rails is rapidly emerging Easy to learn Totally free Open Source Internet & Desktop
Ruby Cons Open Source No large corporate backing (although it’s used heavily by Google) Seems that most developers are on Macs Very new Job Market is very small No real IDE & Limited Tools (although that’s part of the appeal) In its infancy for desktop apps
Database Jobs Database Jobs Share Growth % GrowthSQL Server 23,127 34% (1,384) -6% Oracle 41,425 61% 3,264 8% MySQL 3,253 5% 649 20% Sybase 3,870 6% (333) -9% DB2 7,365 11% 706 10% Total 67,805 100% 2,529 4%
Other IT Jobs Project Manager Network Engineer Systems Architect CIO/CTO
What You Should Do Make a business decision Where will you get the most ROI? How can you deliver the most value to your clients? Start to learn other technologies now Read Get Tools, especially frameworks
Don’t Be a Hater! You’ll Go Hungry Employers & Customers like optimism Make Informed Business Decisions
Summary It’s possible to be gainfully employed in VFP for a long time There are opportunities in a lot of other technologies .NET should be given very strong consideration, but it’s not the only thing out there. Make decisions that are right for you
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