Should Java developers learn Flex – mixed feelings

While majority of Java programmers are still in denial, once in a while I “m getting emails or comments on my blog like this one from yesterday: “Are there any deployments out there that use Flex for the RIA or this is still at the infancy level? rdquo;

Basically, this question could be re-phrased like this rdquo;Should I invest my time in learning this technology, are there any real (billable) projects going on in Flex? rdquo;, or like this: “I am a Java developer, and do not have too much time in my hands – do you recommend me learning Flex rdquo; hellip;

It “s not an easy question to answer ndash; I have mixed feelings. But first, let me define the term (I “m planning to submit this entry to Wikipedia): “Mixed feelings is when your mother-in-law gets into a car accident while driving your new Mercedes rdquo;.

I have mixed feelings because if you become a Flex programmer, you ‘ll start competing with me, and my rates will go down. On the other hand, if more people know Flex, more new projects will open up, and I ‘ll get more gigs. Last year I was working on two billable projects developing enterprise Flex applications, and on three Java projects.

If you look at, there is not too many real jobs with Flex yet, but guess what, there is fewer people than jobs. Consulting rates for people with Flex/Java skills are about 20% higher than for people with just-Java skills. We at Farata Systems are constantly looking (do not confuse with hiring) for good Flex/Java developers. BTW, your Java skills remain valuable and relevant, and Java still remains the #1 language for developing enterprise applications. But knowing something else in addition to Java can ‘t hurt.

Actually, you know what, just keep sitting on the fence for another year or two, while I ‘ll take care of my retirement using Flex.

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