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    Need career advice.


    Hi Everyone,

    I work in the Silicon Valley and have 5 years of experience in product development. Throughout my career I've only worked on low-level kernel programming in C. I am very bored of what I do and am looking for a career switch, and feel like moving to front end application development. I have absolutely no experience in this domain and had a few open-ended question to get me started.

    (1) How is the industry for application development in general in terms of job security, growth, demand, and compensation ? Somehow in my industry I always felt very secure. And I always felt that if I get laid off, I will easily find another job. Is it the same for application development ?

    (2) What kind of application development should I look to do ? Mobile apps, web apps, or desktop apps ? Again, I'd like to do something which is the best option in terms of job security, growth, and demand in the industry. Something which has a good future.

    (3) What kind of programming languages should I look at ? I keep hearing about PHP, Python, Java, Ruby on Rail etc. Which one of these has a good scope in the industry ? Should I do front-end apps development of back end server coding ?

    (4) Compensation wise, does an application development position offer the same salary as a systems/kernel developer ? Is it less or more ?

    (5) Can you name a few good startups in San Francisco that I can apply to ? I am not looking for very early stage (because it's risky from a Green Card perspective). Something which has 40-50 employees will be ideal.

    (6) Any advice in general ?

    Thanks..!
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    (1) its probably the same , the only difference is that with many companies hiring people to work online from mature economies with much less salaries.

    (2) people who do that stuff should know about everything, you will notice that a programming language like C# can be used to do websites, windows apps, linux apps, mobile apps

    that does not mean that you will not specialize in something, but general knowledge is very important.

    (3) it depends on were you are looking.

    (6) take the move very slowly, do not rush into anything.
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  5. Sarcky
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    Speaking as a mod of the PHP forums...

    1) Depends on physical location, but your physical location should be no problem.

    2) If you're skilled, yes. Application dev is growing strongly.

    3) PHP is far and away the most popular for web, though other languages are trending upward. For desktop apps, C# and Java will keep you in the "enterprise" space.

    4) Depends on the company. If you work for an ATM manufacturer, the website guys won't get paid as much as the kernel guys. If you work for a social network, the web guys will be paid a lot more. People are still throwing money at web developers in a startup culture.

    5) Look for interesting movement on sites like Y Combinator, and (to a lesser extent) blogs like boingboing. I know a guy who just got a job with Sifteo, they're a decent sized startup in your area.
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  7. Type Cast Exception
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    >Can you name a few good startups in San Francisco that I can apply to ?

    No, I can't (Well there's always Zynga) but keep in mind the East Bay (Oakland, Walnut Creek, Pleasanton) and the South Bay (San Jose, San Mateo, Redwood City). San Francisco is an expensive place to run a business, much less "starting up" one. It's not 1997 anymore.
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