advice on expanding my skillset...
Hmmm. I'm afraid there's a lot of "web developers" out there with your skills who were all laid off in the dot com crash and can't get any more work.
Better Than Being Unemployed...
thanks for those - I wasn't looking for a VB role, but a lot of the ASP job listings do mention VB so I think I need to put something of that on my CV to even get a foot in the door... Agencies tend to be a bit cautious about who they put forward as bad candidates reflect badly on them I suppose, so the more of the criteria I could meet the better it looks.
A lot of web jobs are going to mention VB, because it's most often going to be the language used to develop the middle-tier (and maybe data-tier) components of the application. I'd say, if they put it in the list of skills, you're going to be expected to be using it a lot -- maybe more than ASP.
Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
One of the problems web designers and programmers face is that they have to know both very low level details as well as domain specific knowledge. It's been years since the crash so you also have to expect more companies using packaged tools that let you customize to the specifics of the domain but have all that low level stuff already coded. Instead of just aiming to learn another scripting language or some strain of useless nothing to do with XML you must start to consider learning things like commerce server 2000 (e-commerce), Lyris (email marketing), or even SPSS (statistical analysis of web logs and activity logs) and the like. They all present large learning challenges. COmpanies aren't going to sit around waiting for you to code in CGI for a guest book or a URL redirector as much as they did in the past, they want results and analytics instead to help them do their job.
Depending on the kind of job you want, the VB experience expected of you may differ. Basically when you code in ASP or components.. there's a single flow, and some developers use global variables and do procedual programming.. if you can think in objects and can reshape include files into proper inheritable or instantiable/sharable classes you should be able to translate that skill using VB syntaxes. It's little things like that. If you got some CS schooling what you learned should apply in either C#, C++, Java or VB. VB has GUI, and gives you a better programming environment to write more solid throw away applications and in-house tools. It's bytecode compiled, relatively easy to move around to different servers (no IIS? no problem).. and that's probably why companies ask for it in your resume. It is very widely used (like Perl, C#, or Java).
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