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ERP Programmer and sick of it

Anyone has been in the same boat.

I would like to switch to Java or something sexier,
any tips/advices are more than welcome

Depressed IT Boy
Monday, January 7, 2002

I understand your situation. I was a C++ programmer at a company (the only one...) when they decided to switch to SAP. They sent me to ABAP class along with the rest of the programming staff (RPG programmers on an AS/400). I had a job interview for my next job on the Thursday of the week I was in class...

As to how to get into something else, the best way is to work at a job where they want you for your current skills but will let you do projects in your desired area. It's best to have some knowledge/experience (or at least a class or two) with the skill set you want to go into.

Also, don't choose a new area because it's 'sexy' or 'hot' - that's a sure recipe for disaster. Instead, find out what has good long term survivability or has skills that can be applied to other areas. Also, stay away from proprietary languages/tools (this time).

Jeff Pleimling
Monday, January 7, 2002

I concur about staying away from proprietary tools/products.  There is no better way to put your future at risk.  If your future in IT is tied to the success of a single software vendor, you're probably not going to have a long-lasting career (I say this knowing that SAP has been around for quite a while).  Nothing lasts forever.

Develop your skills around tools that work across multiple platforms and/or embrace open standards whenever possible.  I'd recommend building skills in C++, and perhaps looking at the .Net platform/C#.  These new technologies are as open as anything that has ever been done by Microsoft, and there are going to be no shortage of opportunities to convert legacy MS applications to the new platform.

Monday, January 7, 2002

I am 31 years old.

Do you think that my career as a software engineer is pretty much screwed since I have been stuck 5 years into this ERP business ?

Depressed IT Boy
Monday, January 7, 2002

No way is your career over! There are always ways to expand your technical knowledge/job opportunities.

A little story. At one of my jobs we hired this older (60+) woman as a Tandem consultant (old Guardian OS). We were mostly a SCO Unix shop, but did have a Tandem for batch processing.

Talking with this woman was like taking a walk through the history of computing.  She kept herself current (and highly employable) by keeping current on what the industry needed. Seeing that Tandem/Guardian was on the outs, she trained herself on Unix (and politely using us for assistance) enough at our shop that here next assignment was on Unix.

Part of her employability, even without a lot of Unix experience, was her 20+ year knowledge of manufacturing system. That really the key - leveraging what you already know to get to where you want to be.

OTOH - I've known some guys who stick with the exact same job/skill set for 20 years and have then realized that they haven't learned anything new in years and are now in real trouble if their current job dissapears.

Jeff Pleimling
Tuesday, January 8, 2002

I am on the right track.

I am getting a job interview soon :-)

They need my ERP skills and offer cross training to VC++

They're into solution for retails ..

I do not know much about OO programming,
is there any pre-requisite in order to learn VC++ ?

Depressed IT Boy
Wednesday, January 9, 2002

On learning C++:

It does depend on where you are coming from. Many C++ books assume that you are fluent in C, and many books also teach C-like C++. I wouls avoid any book or course that claims to teach you C/C++, as modern well-designed C++ is very different from well-designed C.

A could source of book reviews is (the list of highly recommended books for C++ beginners is at )

For C++ the language (as opposed to the many libraries and technologies that come alongside VC++ - you will probably need to know both) I would recommend starting with "Accelerated C++" by by Andrew Koenig & Barbara Moo.


Tim Sharrock
Wednesday, January 9, 2002

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