Well that didn't quite go as planned! :-(
Long story short, I've been "let go". Turns out Rosetta Stone needed more of an ActionScript guru than I was able to turn into over the course of about ten months, starting from scratch. Of course, it didn't much help that they refused to send me to training on it. Reading AS books and following AS blogs in my spare time, listening to AS podcasts during my commute, and asking my colleagues about their approaches when writing or analyzing AS, was not enough to make it "click" for me. Oh well.
Now I'm trying to turn that into a BID -- Blessing In Disguise -- by getting back to trying to land work in modern languages with a bright future (which I don't believe ActionScript has). You can help by checking out the Availability page on my main web site, and telling me about suitable opportunities.
A bit of background:
I learned Java on my own time, expense, and initiative (the same way I learned many other things), back around 1997 or so. But, I didn't push hard enough to land serious work in it. Sure, I used it on my own, and got little snippets of work here and there, like a target for the static analyzer at Secure Software, and modifying a JSP page at BAE... but nothing "real" that would get me "street cred" in it.
Now look at the job market. Java seems to be about 3/4 of the job ads around here... and even the simplest of them, other than for freshouts, demand five solid years of recent hands-on enterprise-level (read: paid) experience in J2EE, with all the "trimmings" like Hibernate, Struts, Spring, and so on. Those of us who aren't fresh out of school, and haven't had significant Java experience yet, are effectively locked out of ever getting it. (Unless of course we luck into a very open-minded employer, but those are a rarity -- especially with the now-perennial surplus of Java coders.)
So much for Java. Now let's look at Ruby.
Ruby is new enough that companies are having a hard time finding people. (Of course, that doesn't stop HR from insisting on years of experience, but as always, the best way is to bypass the drones with their checklists of words they don't really grok.) It's highly productive, with much less boilerplate than ActionScript, never mind Java. Even aside from Rails, it's taking off like crazy. And... it's very easy to learn. I learned enough in one hour to do the "homework" Comcast assigned after the interview. This means we may soon face a perennial surplus of Ruby coders as well.
I missed the Java boat, and don't want to miss, if you'll pardon the expression, the Ruby yacht.
(No, I didn't make that all up just to use the pun. But it was there, and those of you who know me, know that that means I just had to use it. If you don't get it, click here.)
To reiterate the main point, you can help by checking out my consulting web site, and telling me about suitable opportunities.
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