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What Computer Programming Language To Learn Next?

On Microsoft, Adobe, Flash, and Silverlight

After all these rumors on Microsoft buying Adobe, several people asked me what do I think of it,  and, of course the second question was (it’s always on the mind of every professional software developer), “What to learn next?”

To be honest with you, this news didn’t get me excited that much. If this will happen, it’ll be definitely more beneficial for Adobe products. With all my respect to Adobe engineers, I believe that Microsoft has a lot more experience in developing and RELEASING software than Adobe.  If this happen, Flash and Silverlight will control most of the video delivery market on the Web, and the weak motivation of turning HTML 5 into a standard will simply vanish.

Will Flash and Silverlight merge into a FlashLight? I doubt it. Both of these runtimes can live as good neighbors on every device including iPhones. I still believe that Apple will stop playing stupid and will let Flash Player on iOS – the sooner the better for them. Steve Jobs should do it at least for the sake of getting a standing ovation during his next year keynote when he’ll state that over the last year Flash Player has resolved its technical challenges and we decided to let it in. Whatever. Just do it.

Will I start studying Silverlight and the whole shebang that comes with it?  No. I’m a Java developer who spent the last four years of my life developing applications having Adobe Flex clients talking with Java-based servers.  And regardless of what some people say after recent actions of driven-by-lawyers Oracle’s, Java is stronger than ever.

I highly recommend you to give a close look to Java EE 6 – which is a robust and easy (I mean it) to use enterprise platform.  If Adobe will decide to move away from Java and cater to .Net then be it. But I’m staying with Java!

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

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