Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Choosing Your Next Programming Job — Perl Or .NET?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the which-is-the-better-choice-for-a-developer's-career dept.

426

Trebonius asks: "I have just received two job offers in the same day. The first was for a job coding in Perl on Linux/UNIX platforms, for a small but very cool company around 120 miles from where I live. They play Half-Life together in the off-hours and the people I've talked to there seem very happy with the job and work environment there. I'd be making smallish web systems, and I'd basically have total control over the projects on which I work. They offered me 20% more than I make now. The second offer I received is for a huge nationwide company opening an IT office a couple blocks from where I currently work. They're an all-Microsoft shop — VB, C#, .NET, SQL200*, etc. I'd be a very small cog in a very large machine. They offered me 66% more than I'm making now. Benefits are essentially identical between the companies, so that's not a big factor. I'll also give the Perl company a chance to make me another offer, but what should the threshold be? How do you folks balance the desire for a fun job with the need to pay off debt?"

Most of my work experience is in Microsoft development, though not by choice. It was my first job out of college. In my own time, I run Linux, write in PHP, Perl, MySQL, etc. I don't like developing in .NET much, but I'm used to it, and the money's good.

How do I choose? The money issue is huge, of course, and I think I'd much prefer the Perl job in terms of development preference and work environment. However, I've got the impression that Perl web development doesn't have the future potential in the professional world that .NET has. A search of Dice shows a lot more .NET jobs. Would taking the Perl job hurt my prospects in the future?"

cancel ×

426 comments

.NET (4, Insightful)

cnowacek (936925) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782761)

Take the money and run, my friend.

Fun in work is important. (5, Insightful)

Neeth (887729) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782775)

Would taking the Perl job hurt my prospects in the future?
By asking this question it seems that you value prospects over fun in what you do. If that is the case, go for the .Net job. However. If you are a good programmer I don't think you have anything to worry about; you will be able to fit into any programmingjob now, or in the future. I'd go for the Perl job and worry about prospects later.

Think about the future (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16782785)

perl prospects: (near enough) Zero

.net prospects: Much better


I've never, ever, seen a perl programmer making a huge amount of money, but with .net senior positions and architect positions are common place.

Take the .net one - if you feel like doing perl you can do it in your spare time.

Go for the happiness. (4, Insightful)

NeuralAbyss (12335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782787)

If you wouldn't be happy in the .net job, don't take it. Unless you're in serious debt, it's better to go for the job you'd be happier in. Personally, I'd set the limit at a minimum of a 35% increase (as opposed to 66%) for the Perl job.

Do what makes you happy. It'll pay off in the long-run, and you typically gain more contacts that way for future jobs.

Tricky (4, Insightful)

not_a_product_id (604278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782795)

I suppose the 2 biggest things if I was looking at this would be:
Future prospect
Money
The perl shop sounds cool but from your research it looks like the .Net/MS stuff give you better prospects (but it might be worth looking into what kind of work you'll have - not worth it to make shitty changes to shitty code). The money depends on your situation. 66% would seem to beat 20% but if you're pretty happy with your current salary then it might not be such a big issue for you.
Got to admit - wish I had your problem (currently slaving away with Oracle Forms - shudder...

Choose your next elective surgery.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16782807)

Vasectomy, or frontal lobotomy.

Follow your heart (5, Insightful)

gnool (1005253) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782817)

It seems to me that your heart is set on the Perl job. Are you waiting for someone to give you permission to choose the lower paying job that you think you'd enjoy more? Life's too short, go for the Perl job, you know you want to :-D

Money != Happiness (5, Insightful)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782819)

For me, being happy doing my job is worth a lot. I've recently switched from a job that paid a lot, but the environment and management really sucked. Now I'm working part-time, making about 25% of what I was making at the other job but the environment is great.

Life isn't really that long, you need to do what makes you happy, as long as you are not starving. Going to a job you don't like every day is a mistake if there are more personally rewarding alternatives.

Personally I'm not fan of ... (4, Interesting)

hatrisc (555862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782843)

either platform, but I'd consider the PERL job way before the .NET job. If you're working in a computing environment you like and are in a good company, I'd think it's a much better situation than corporate nightmare on windows. Is the .NET company a place where you wouldn't be able to install software package A because their IT department is overworked and can't support all software?

Compensation is only a part (5, Insightful)

oakbox (414095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782849)

I have worked for large corporations (22,000 employee bank) and very small companies (12 people) and my personal preference is to work with small groups of people who are fired up by interests similar to mine and who are good fits personality-wise.
The big company was more financially secure, carried more prestige, and offered great and solid retirement options. On the other side, it was next to impossible to affect change, my contributions (while recognized in the form of raises and titles) didn't really make a big difference to the overall picture. Even coming up with a system that saved 1.2 million a year in expenses warranted only an 'attaboy'. Because, in a company controlling 60 billion in assets, 1.2 million isn't really that big a deal!
The small company offered much more freedom, personal responsibility, and allowed me to make a direct and substantial impact on the bottom line of the whole company. I was in direct communication with the owner of the company, not to a manager with a senior manager with an executive with an executive vp to the CEO.

Best advice: Play to your strengths and go with work that motivates you. You will spend about 60% of your life at work. You should spend that time doing things that motivate, inspire, and energize you.

- Oakbox

disclaimer: I am a programmer for career coaches :)

Yo (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16782851)

There's a thing called Perl.NET.

Re:Fun in work is important. (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782853)

You assume Perl programming is more fun than programming in .NET. This may be true for you but it's defintely not true for everyone. I like to develop in .NET and I like Visual Studio [1].

But I think that the main factor in determining if your job is fun is not necessarily the language and/or platform. It's what you're developing what counts. At home, I'm working on NXT#, a Mindstorms NXT library for C# [fokke.net] . It's a lot of fun and it would also be fun if I was developing the library in Perl. (of course then the name would be NXT@#__$! ;)

[1] Please don't hurt me, Slashdot crowd.

Why does money matter so much? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782863)

If you take the perl job, would your income be greater than your outgoing, after taking accoutn of loan repayments, rent, food, utilities and sufficient luxuries that you're content? If so, why do you actually want the extra from the .net job?

Decisions, decisions (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782871)

[ ] Perl
[ ] .NET
[x] Death by ooga booga

How bad is the debt? (4, Informative)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782877)

How do you folks balance the desire for a fun job with the need to pay off debt?

This seems to be the crux of it, at least to me. Debt can seriously limit your options, now and in the future. If the debt you refer to is significant, taking the higher paying job now and resolving that issue would probably let have more freedom in picking your workplace in the future. If you are debt-free taking a job for less money but which is more interesting is surprisingly more palatable than if the bank is knocking down the door :)

Would taking the Perl job hurt my prospects ... (5, Informative)

emilper (826945) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782889)

try to install a linux distribution for PCs without the Perl packages and see if it will work ...

as far as I can see, the demand is not great, but quite stable ... for better or worse, Perl5 is the next COBOL ;) meaning there are huge custom apps built with Perl that won't be replaced in a hurry

120 miles is a far way away (4, Insightful)

cornjones (33009) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782891)

You didn't mention how close the .net job was. 120 miles is more than 2 hours each way. That is brutal especially if there aren't public transport options. You didn't mention if you have the ability to move easily or if you are tied to your current living arragnements. This alone would make my decision.

perl vs .net? .net is more marketable in the corp world, there is no doubt about that. .net seems to be only picking up steam in the marketplace and there doesn't look like anything is around to unseat it in the forseeable future. Still, you could easily make a good career out of perl and open source and (generally) smaller projects. You stated yourself that the perl job seems to be more casual and closer knit group, hanging out outside of work and what not. If you are new to the area or don't have a close group that may be very valuable.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? master of a domain of programmers building large systems? go .net. Running a small internet/web consulting shop, doing various smaller scale web sites? perl will be fine. This job is most likely a stepping stone down a path. think farther down the path a bit.

The best thing to do is to take a couple of your close friends out tomorrow night and spend the evening getting loaded. Don't talk about this the whole time but bring up your concerns now and then. get good and drunk and when you wake up in the morning, you will know which way to go. the subconcious is a beautiful thing. seems odd but me and my friends have been doing this for major decisions for a long time now and i am still amazed out how well it works.

Management management management (2, Insightful)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782905)


Even coming up with a system that saved 1.2 million a year in expenses warranted only an 'attaboy'.

Okay, either:

1) Your manager [or your chain of management] was/were completely incompetent bozos, or else

2) Unbeknownst to you, THEY took the credit [with the higher-ups] for the 1.2 million in savings, and THEY pocketed the year-end performance bonuses.

Or maybe some combination of 1) & 2) above.

Tech, size, and culture (1)

Blue23 (197186) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782913)

For me, carreers are about long term goals.

The Perl shop - will you be happier there? Are you planning to move, and if so do youlike the area/can afford it? Does the company have long tem prospects? Will it likely stay this size, or grow. (Grow means more opportunities, but also that the culture may change.) Will you get to play with technology that interests you and has a future applications.

The Windows shop - same basic questions. Take out moving, add in how much you'll be working undr others/following corp standards - can you enjoy that, or be stifled by it.

I know that I've done startups, small, and mid sized, and they each have their bonuses. To make a sweeping generalization that has plenty of exceptions, larger companies give more stability, smaller companies give more opportunities.

You're in a good position - two employers competing for you. Figure out which will long term make you happy - which technology, culture, size, and company. And go for it with a passion.

Good luck,
=Blue(23)

I'd go with the fun (4, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782923)

Money is nice, but a pleasant life is better.

what are you earning?!? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16782925)

Use absolutes! Why are people scared of saying how much they earn?

Your company knows how much you earn, and it knows exactly what all
your colleages earn as well. If you share that information with one
another, you get the same kind of improvement to your economic
decision making!

Corporations don't want you to tell one another because they want
to be able to take advantage of that lack of knowledge to be able
to pay as little as possible.

FWIW I'm currently on ~ $30/hr for a part-time Linux kernel programming
job at a big-7 Linux company (Google, IBM, RedHat, Novell, Oracle, SGI,
Intel). I'm underpaid but hold no hard feelings against my employer because
they've been good and it isn't like they forced me to sign the contract. But
I think I'll ask for at least $120K for a full time position next year.

Worrying about strategic choices (5, Insightful)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782931)

My own personal and highly subjective opinion of this is -
don't worry too much about making strategic choices. I think as programmers, we all have a small nagging worry that one of the technologies we didn't pick is going to dominate the market, and cause our hardwon skills to become obsolete. But no matter how hard you study and try to keep up, that worry is never going to go away. If you pick .Net, you are going to worry that Java is going to continue its dominance, if you spend all your spare time mastering .Net, Java AND Perl to hedge your bets, well, it might be a new framework in Ruby or Python that all the cool kids are talking about next year. But if you are skilled enough, there is always going to be some jobs available in your favourite language, and you are probably going to pick up the new technology fairly quickly if you have to.

Pick a technology you like. If you get a job in it, fantastic. You are having fun, and you are earning money, and getting experience. Now, you can spend some time reading up on other languages, but if I were you, I'd concentrate on enjoying life.

Now, the remaining question of what to value most - the money or the job enjoyment, that you can only answer yourself, and is the very essence of an economic transaction.

Do what you LIKE, it's an investment (4, Insightful)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782933)

How do I choose? The money issue is huge, of course, and I think I'd much prefer the Perl job in terms of development preference and work environment.
I can't tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I did myself.

When I first started working, I was doubting between programming and network security. I couldn't find a job in the latter, so I choose a big company (Oracle). I invested heavily into Java (which is what Oracle does), but it wasn't really what I wanted. After three years, I went to look elsewhere.

I found out that when you've invested in some specific area, people start assuming that's what you want to continue investing in. Every recruiter, every interviewing manager had the opinion that I was most useful in the Java field.

But that's not what I wanted. After a brief stint as "just another Java developer", I found the job I wanted: programming C and Perl at an institute which develops instruments (like infra-red sensors) for climate and space research. However, it was very hard and based on my experience alone I shouldn't have gotten the job.

My advice: you should choose whatever you're most comfortable with, because it's an investment into your future. Others will say, "but, a good CS student can program in any language/environment". It's true, but that's NOT how most people see it who might have to employ you.

As for your debt: you can quickly pay that off by continuing to keep expenses as though you were a student. Don't start buying too expensive cars, don't buy crazy gadgets, don't invest in silly hardware, and make sure to get a girlfriend who doesn't have a hole in her hand (or at least, one who has a smaller hole than you have).

Re:Fun in work is important. (1)

Neeth (887729) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782941)

Ah no, I did not assume that. The poster mentioned he liked Perl better. I too do like programming in .Net, but then again I'd even like programming in my dead grandmothers underpands. Perl is imho a bit moribund.

My 2 pence... (2, Insightful)

Prez_n_Tenz (961802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782965)

If you can afford it, do what you like better. In the long run you'll probably make more doing what you like (it's why the rich get richer).

If not, take the money and run. Nothin beats cash.

Technology is largely irrelevant....just ask the guys who made a killing doing COBOL while everyone else migrated to C++.

Re:Go for the happiness. (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782975)

At first glance, I was going to disagree with this, but after thinking about it, I have to agree with the parent post. If you enjoy what you do it is likely that you will put in the extra effort and time to be very good at it, which will be noticed (eventually).

As for the debt, it is vital that you pay it off as quickly as possible. Once you see the results of a compound interest calculation, you don't forget it. Also, your commute is going to be a big factor; 120 miles is at least 2 hours drive time, which is time that can be put to much better use.

As with any decision, you have to weigh the pros and cons.
- sit down with someone whose judgment you trust,
- write down the good and bad points of each job,
- calculate how much each job will pay and cost - do the math,
- choose.

The commute is more of a problem than the salary difference; have you considered moving if you take the Perl job?

Why's everyone so negative about the .NET job? (3, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16782995)

Doing .NET is actually good fun believe it or not; assuming you can use c# rather than any of the others (VB comes to mind). Also, bear in mind that .NET covers a multitude of sins - WWW, WinForms, Pocket PCs - not just the web, so any experience gained from the job is transferable to a degree.

Freedom (4, Insightful)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783007)

You probably haven't thought of one thing: freedom.

In the large company, you will be locked to a regular user account. You won't get to install unapproved software (this includes your favourite text editors, browsers, music players, etc).

They might run some sort of software metering service, perhaps even keyloggers.

You will access the net through IE (which I'm sure is the official company browser), and their proxy might have half the net blocked.

You will probably be locked into using Outlook.

There will be all sorts of crap on your PC (since it's going to be a company-wide standard image); perhaps even something like McAfee AV, which happily chews away on 70-80 MB of RAM and makes things unbearable.

If your workstation is lacking RAM or other hardware, you're going to have to file a ton of paperwork and have it signed by 10 different people until you get the stuff half a year later... If you get it.

Also, it's very possible that your movement through the building will be monitored. Cameras everywhere, and your ID card will log the exact moment you get to work and leave it. Your lunch break will be exactly 60 minutes. You won't be able to go outside for a two-hour walk in spring if you feel like it and if you have nothing more important to do.

You will work with drones, not people. Mostly incompetent drones.

Listening to music will probably be forbidden, thought you might sneak in some headphones and find out you don't hear your phone ringing when you have them on, and if you make the music quieter, you won't be able to listen to it from the phones ringing (catch 22).

(Disclaimer: I work in a large company. I do have admin access and unrestricted internet access, but I had to buy RAM by myself, and I'm still waiting for a new monitor - on my desk is an old 17" curved CRT.)

Don't forget to look at the risks... (4, Insightful)

john_lear (546251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783009)

The small company, while cool, has a lot of risks associated with it. Not least of which is that small companies tend to offer less security and coupled with the fact that you would have to move house, I would think long and hard about whether this all makes sense. If you did move and the Perl shop went down the pan in six months say, would it be easy to find alternative work in this new town/city? Or would you find yourself moving back to where you live now? Of course the bigger company will not be immune from 'downsizing' either. Has this happened at all recently? How do the two companies compare in terms of their financials?

Would you move (2, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783013)

You Mentioned that the other job is 120 Miles away from your current one. Assuming you live close to work, that is an extra 4 hours a day of Commuting! Much more if you live in a place like the Bay area where the average Highway speed is 35MPH.. If your not willing to relocate, or if the Perl Job is in a more expensive area, it seems like that would be a huge step backwards from having a life outside of work!

Re:.NET (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783019)

Agreed. Do .net for the money and prospects, but do the odd bit of Perl for fun so you can use it if you'd ever need it - say if there's a revolution or something.

Re:Why's everyone so negative about the .NET job? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783025)

I would personally choose the .NET last, but that's because I have, and am using..and i hate it.

The difference between big and small companies (1)

asdef (261823) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783029)

From my limited experience I have found that in larger companies the process of producing new code is much more important to the company than the code itself regardless of what language it is written in, whereas in smaller comanies the reverse is true. So my advice boils down to this, if you appriciate a strong software development process and enjoy having your work process being defined, go for the .net job. If you would rather have a more unstructured work process and environment (in more than one way per your original post), go for the Perl job.

Re:Choose your next elective surgery.. (2, Insightful)

James McGuigan (852772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783037)

Thats easy: a vasectomy means never having to worry about children. A frontal lobotomy on the other hand would be like having to program in VB all day.

Re:.NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783067)

Lets put some numbers behind this.

If he's making $50k(just an assumption):

Perl: $60k .NET: $88k

Thats a HUGE difference. Not just a few thousand. I'd take a fun job if it was only $3k to $5k difference. Anything above that and I'd take the money.

You can play games/write Perl in your free time, but the financial stability an extra $500/week offers you will make up in the long run.

Do you wanted to retire comfortable or when you are 70 yrs old and no one will hire you any more?

.Net job stability VS Perl job stability (4, Insightful)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783079)

One thing to consider is this - how often has perl been completely overhauled and replaced with something more or less incompatible with itself in the last 15 years, compared to how often the MS platform of preference has been completely overhauled and replaced with something more or less incompatible with itself?
Perl vs Perl vs Perl compares well to VB vs VBScript vs J++ vs VB.Net vs C# vs whatever is next
Remember that if you're going into the MS programming job, you're going to have to re-learn every new language MS comes out with to stay relevant to your job as they "switch over" to the latest greatest thing the marketing people have pushed on you, and some of them may only be there for a few months before you once again must switch over to the new latest buzz-word compliant new toy.

What you really need to ask yourself is, "Is the added stress of the impersonal environment and having to re-do all of my work in a slightly different language every 3 to 18 months worth the extra money?"
If the answer is yes, then go for the .Net, and remember to keep up with the latest MS programming languages or you'll be laid off as irrelevant. Big companies won't be bothered giving you time to train in whatever new system they want to use when they can always just hire a fresh batch of new graduates who only know that language.

Similar experience (4, Interesting)

DLG (14172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783081)

I preface this by noting I have been working in IT and data processing for 18 years now, with an uncountable number of clients at this point, so I have seen a lot.

Here are a few points:
Programming and technology is rarely the primary challenge in any job whether its a short term contract or a fulltime position (and my father who has been in the business for 40 years pointed out that there is no such thing as a short term contract or a fulltime position.) You can make a lot of money very quickly doing stupid work with annoying people. You can work very hard with a great team, and end up with very little to show. Commuting can be exhausting, relocations can be frustrating, and all in all things that start off well can turn bad and vice versa.

That being said, we no longer live in the world of working for the same company for 50 years. Consider it a learning experience one way or the other.

And lets be honest. A few years working in a big iron shop or whatever the equivalent is, using the enterprise standard, within an organizational structure is going to teach you a great deal about the industry, beyond the technical.

There are alot of variables. Flexibility of schedule, telecommuting, whichone is going to leash you with a beeper fulltime, which one is going to get you into new technologies, and force you to think for a living.

I recently got two jobs in the same week, one programming and one heading Network Ops and I had billed out the second one at considerably more, but chose the first one because the reason I had priced the network stuff so high was because I knew it would be more punishing and less rewarding.

Do I think, 'Hey the 100 bucks a day extra might be nice?' Yeah. But I have worked both type of jobs, and I noticed that when I get paid more to work in a miserable situation, it gets harder to save, since I need to spend the money I make on keeping me happy. While if I wake up in the morning and the only thing that bugs me is that it takes too long to get into the office to try out this new idea I woke up with, well.... You get my drift.

Again though, and its been said, there will be other jobs. You never know what happens. My dad became a VP for a bank after years as a consultant and they did an early retirement buyout in 8 months.

I went into my last long term contract as a database analyst and left as an expert in VoIP, having been fired by my new boss after 3 years of big raises, because he wanted to shift in his own staff...

Also, don't worry too much about languages. I have been in shops where they are gungho about .NET and I have been in shops where the last boss was gungho about .NET and everyone pities the 2 programmers who are still forced to work in that environment (and I am not dissing .NET really. I just mean that preferences change.)

Good luck! Congrats on having this as your difficult choices in life.

Look at it this way. (4, Insightful)

xutopia (469129) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783097)

In the Perl company:
  • hackers make technical choices
  • you use open and free software
  • you'll most likely have people like you who understand you
  • the projects you'll take on will have more chance to be difficult technically because the people giving you the work know what the languages and you can do

In the .NET company

  • business people make technical choices
  • the stuff you'll be asked to do will probably be simple (which means boring) because business people know as little as they can get away with of the technical side of things

I just left a .NET company to work for a php/perl/python/ruby company. At one place I had trouble getting up in time (had to be at work for 9am). Now I get up at 5 in the morning to get to work ASAP.

Think to the future. (1)

Rufty (37223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783105)

Perl's, well, a butt-ugly dinosaur. .NET, well, not quite as bad, as long as you don't try and do anything off the beaten track, otherwise your in real trouble.
So platform-wise, a slight win for .NET. What's your pain threshold?
Environment-wise, go with the small company. Cool workplace or dilbert goes live? I wouldn't even hesitate.
So, go with the small company and cope with perl until you can convert the heathens to ruby!

quality (2, Insightful)

namekuseijin (604504) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783113)

I'd go for quality of life: less coding, more freedom and some fun at the job.

Why would you want a job at a megacorporation in what will be probably a very stressful work environment and coding in one of those ironclad languages with layers upon layers of redundant abstractions and frameworks that in the end do exactly the same as ten lines of Perl?

money isn't worth it.

Re:Think about the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783123)

Really? I'm currently doing a massive amount of perl work, and it's going to be around and available for years and years. Of course, I'm replacing someone who got so stressed out in their job that they shot themselves in an airport parking lot... (and no, they didn't let me know that little tidbit until about a week after I'd taken the job.) If you're a perl person, you can always get a job replacing the last person to crack under the stress...

Re:Think about the future (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783141)

You forgot the "Job Interest" factor, which is about 0 for the .Net job, and about very high for the Perl one.

I, for one, would probably pick the Perl job. I'd much better work in a cool environment and have an interesting job being actually part of something than having a shitty job in a crappy environment, even if it pays more.

Re:Why does money matter so much? (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783157)

The future? It's wise to save just in case anything unexpected happens. And if you're lucky enough to not have anything happen to you for your entire working life, it's extra money to do things when you're retired.

Re:My 2 pence... (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783163)

Nothin beats cash.

I fully disagree, if I spend 60% to 70% of my waking hours at my job, I do want to like it (the job itself, the environment, the management, ...), because I sure as hell don't want to hate what i spend more than 9h/day doing.

This is more important than money.

Money is just a convenience, liking what you do is a sanity requirement.

Balance (4, Insightful)

noz (253073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783167)

Two tradeoffs exist: income; and career vs fun.

Income: if you do not need the money, then you do not need the money. Three hours work pays my weekly rent (and I am not earning executive dollars) because I am comfortable in a smallish flat near (not on) the beach.

Fun vs career: there's a lot of crap about how cool is required in a job (*cough* Google *cough*). Work is survival for almost all people, and any child of immigrant parents knows the discipline they had to endure shit jobs.

If you need the money or a stronger career path, take the 66% increase. Either way, two job offers is a lot more than most people have. Good for you.

Re:.Net job stability VS Perl job stability (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783173)

Not true. .Net is only a set a libraries and a sandbox for running CLR images. The only new language Microsoft have introduced is c#, which is the preferred language for developing in (as it was written for the .NET framework, and so doesn't come with any 'legacy baggage' like many of the others do).
Because of this fact, it is entirely possible to write .NET code in any other language - as long as it boils down to MSIL code at the end. For example, check - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_.NET_Langua ges [wikipedia.org] - there's over 40. This means you get to use pre-written .NET libraries for your app in whatever language you feel the most comfortable with. You can even use Perl if you really insist.

In conclusion, .NET apps can be written in almost any language, but Perl can only be written in Perl. // todo: insert witty comment here

Re:Do what you LIKE, it's an investment (1)

Daytona955i (448665) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783201)

I would like to second this. When I graduated, job prospects were few and far between (mostly because of the economy of the time and me being a new graduate with little experience). So I tried to get an interview for pretty much any IT job that I was remotely interested in. I got a job with a company that did Oracle Forms, not what I wanted to do. After that, I got tons of emails from recruiters for jobs that did Forms development. Fortunately I found a company that does PHP/mysql development which is more what I wanted to do. (Though really I'd rather be using Python or Perl)

I've been pretty happy here so I haven't updated my resume in a while or anything but I bet if I do, I'll get a lot of emails about PHP/mysql opportunities. So go with what you enjoy, personally I'd sign up with the Perl shop in a heartbeat over the .NET group, especially because it sounds like you'll fit in with the group better.

of jobs and money (1)

orabidoo (9806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783235)

As long as your subjective level of "needs" are comfortably taken care of, money is not really very relevant to how happy either job will make you. Trying to outguess the future is even less so.

Choose what you'll enjoy, and keep your mind flexible. If you plan to stay in the tech field, keep learning new interesting technologies. Focus on what's interesting, and you'll easily be able to pick up the not-so-interesting stuff that the industry keeps throwing at us.

As for debt... maybe it's a cultural thing (I'm European), but I've never seen the logic why regular people, outside of exceptional difficulties or circumstances, would ever want to be in debt. Just spend the money *after* you earn it, will save you from heaps of trouble.

I want that Perl job... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783239)

We all know which of these jobs we'd prefer and offshoring .NET development is practically a selling point of the Microsoft platform. 120 miles is a long commute so I might be tempted to take the .NET job and keep looking for something non-soul-destroying; just like every other non-executive corporate employee.

Re:Think about the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783249)

I'd like to add one more view before you decide: if we are talking about improving a professional carrer and not religious wars, .net is a extremely good workbench. There are a lot of interesting things around it, not stricly related to MS (Mono, Iron Python, Mobile services) ...

During the past 18 months I got the opportunity to work with the whole platform, and I can attest I've not only seen in action some of the IT buzzwords in an easy to learn way (Web services, UML, XML, XSLT, AJAX, etc.) but I'm gaining a complete view of what means builing, maintaining and upgrading an information system ...

This does not mean I could not have gained it in Perl, Php, of whatever else, I'm only saying in .net you got these "for free", it's almost "inevitable" to shift its own professionl perspective.
Yes, you could work with new tecnologies in Perl too, but frankly I don't know if Perl offer is so easy to learn.

I started my professonal carrer in an hosting company, a sector where perl is king, Yes perl is powerful if you have amounts of unmarked text to parse, but when you let this format you begin to have very good alternatives.

I've never heard of a CRM or ERP or a SCADA built in perl, you could argue CRM is fuff or something similar, but I'm not talking about usefulness of software build in one platform or another, I'm talking about builing a rather complex software system.

Try to approach .net in a professionl way, not as script-kiddie, you will learn a lot, not only as technical knowlodge but as approach and vision in software systems ... and don't forget, .net is not "for life", you could always switch back.

 

Money/Fun (4, Insightful)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783255)

Part of the answer lies in your life situation. For me, (married, two kids in school, wife in school), it would be a total no-brainer - the closer job with more money. I could use the money and I wouldn't have to move my family.

However, if I were 25 and single, I would definitely go for the hip/more interesting job. Control of your own project is much more important, overall, than the specific technology you are using, because it gives you an opportunity to look at the big picture issues - architecture, design choices, hardware constraints, etc. That will serve you very well in the long run even if you later end up using another language.

Distancing ourselves from MS as fast as possible (2, Interesting)

xtal (49134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783259)

We're a small shop. If I can write code once, on a stable platform, and keep it away from Microsoft's API of the week - great. Whenever possible, that means web-based applications. For things where that is not practical, and that is getting smaller, I have had great success with Python as a application environment. Compiling natively provides good speed, and with the toolkits out there it's easy to jump across platforms.

Java offers similar advantages, but I find the GUI code overly complicated for what I want to do.

The answer is different depending on what you want to do, but this is a trend I am noticing more and more.

perl or .net? both (2, Insightful)

cucucu (953756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783271)

Go to the .net job, earn more money and convince them to introduce IronPython. Then you'll have the money and resume of .net, and the geekyness of open source dynamic language.

You can also make great career advances by showing them how they get more productive with Python and being their guru.

Just writing more C# or Perl lines will not take you anywhere. Try to make highest impact and leave your personal mark on the job you do.

Re:.NET (1)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783303)

Your duty to yourself and your family is to maximize your earning potential. Not to play Half-Life in your off hours. Every company I've seen that does that (play games, etc.) tends to not be the most focused as far as management, goals, and the like. I could be entirely wrong about that.

However you also need to look at long term viability. Which company is more likely to be there in 5 years, so your 401k matching doesn't get yanked (the matching part that isn't vested). Not to mention the possibility of losing your job when there aren't several offers due to the company failing.

A good environment at work is important. You must take that into consideration.

There are a bunch of people on the internet willing to play Half-Life as well.

Which one has opportunities to move up as well? You don't become a CIO by coding all the time.

Look at your long term goals and see how you can achieve them. You shouldn't need to ask people on slashdot which job is going to put you closer to attaining your desires, be it retirement, fun work environment, or whatever is important to you.

Look closely at the health insurance too. Benefits may look the same on the surface. Bigger companies usually have better policies due to their size/budget. Your out of pocket may be very different. Companies with shitty health plans don't advertise the plan is shitty when hiring.

Income + Retirement (matching) + Healthcare (insurance) + Time off (vacation/sick)

Weigh it all, and good luck.

I work for myself, btw. 60-80 hours a week but flexible beyond description. I'd rather make 30k/year and be free from the bullshit of bosses than make 120k/year and deal with stupidity. Now when things go poorly, the only boss I can blame is myself.

Ciao!

personal decision (3, Funny)

colonslash (544210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783325)

I think you should take the .NET job. You obviously have trouble making personal decisions - with the extra money you can get a personal shopper to buy stuff for you and a butler to dress you.

.NET vs Perl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783351)

You're comparing a job working with a leading development framework that pays more in what's likely to be a more structured environment VS writing small web apps in a scripting language and with a mysql backend, in a location far away, where they pay far less. This may be a case of you hating professional software development :)

Life is too short to work for large companies (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783363)

If you've not worked in a large company then you won't know about this, but it should be part of your assessment.

Large companies work to a process model, and those processes are designed by morons. Well-intentioned morons, but morons nevertheless. Your life will become a never-ending battle against "the system", instead of about doing useful, sensible, and fun things with technology.

And life is simply too short for that corporate bullshit.

If you choose the big company, don't say I didn't warn you. :-)

[PS. Being freelance, I've worked for 9-12 months at a time within a *LARGE number* of companies, and the above is true everywhere. The only thing that varies is the extent of the malaise, but it's general.]

Re:.Net job stability VS Perl job stability (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783367)

VB != VBScript != J++ != VB.Net != C#.

Furthermore, C# is an ECMA standard and given the amounts of time and money MS has invested in evangelicalizing .NET, C# is here to stay. I've been working on it for 4 years and I don't see C# going away anytime soon.

Re:Freedom (1)

Lissajous (989738) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783395)

I can't work out if you're trolling or not, but if so ... sucks to be you, doesn't it? I'll assume for the sake of the original poster that you're not, and that he may take some of what you say to heart.

Not all large companies are like this. Disclaimer - The one I work for has over 15K employees worldwide.

I have my favourite text editors installed, along with music players etc. I can install games on my work machine if I so choose (ok - I'm in gamedev, but the point does still hold).

My workstation doesn't lack RAM.

I had a noisy hard drive, spoke to IS, and a new one got installed in my machine a couple of days later.
I started getting a little RSI in my wrist, so asked for an ergonomic keyboard, and a couple of days later I had a shiny new keyboard sat on my desk. I'm typing on it now, in fact (yes - from work!) and I'm doing it in Firefox.

Yes all traffic is going through our company firewall. No I don't have IM at my desk (sucks to be me). Yes, some sites are blocked by our firewall, but no we don't get a ton of spyware popups hitting us right, left, and centre. I also don't get a ton of spam coming into my work email account (apart from those damned pesky stock ads). Our company has some highly sensitive documents on it's intranet, and these security policies are a fact of life here. Could they re-engineer the firewall to give us IM at the desk? Probably but it's not important enough for me / us to make a huge issue out of it.

My lunch break is not exactly 60 minutes...it's normally about half that, but that is my choice - I like to come in late and leave early, and they're cool with that. Could I go out for a 2 hour walk in spring? I doubt it...it rains too much in Denmark for that ;-)

I don't work with drones...believe it or not my colleagues are actually people, and not incompetant ones. I wonder if your colleagues hold you in as low regard as you hold them?

I listen to music normally through headphones, on account of one of my colleagues not sharing the same taste in music to me, and wanting / needing to concentrate. It's called consideration.

I also know that I'm gonna get the paycheque at the end of the month. I don't have to worry about if sales has pulled in enough revenue to cover it. I don't underestimate the freedom that this gives me.

If you don't like it where you are then get the hell out of Dodge. Go work for a small shop. Start up on your own. Whatever. Or try a different large company and see if the freedom you get is different to the freedom you have now. Just don't tar all corporations with the same brush.

Now I'd better get back to work before my boss catches me slacking off on /.

It's your life, not just a job (3, Interesting)

Peregr1n (904456) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783415)

You spend a third of your life at work (and another third asleep, so essentially half your waking life). Don't you think being happy is more important than money? Unless you think more money = more happiness. Personally, I haven't experienced anything to justify this theory.

Re:Freedom (1)

Lissajous (989738) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783419)

I can't work out if you're trolling or not, but if so ... sucks to be you, doesn't it? I'll assume for the sake of the original poster that you're not, and that he may take some of what you say to heart.

Not all large companies are like this. Disclaimer - The one I work for has over 15K employees worldwide.

I have my favourite text editors installed, along with music players etc. I can install games on my work machine if I so choose (ok - I'm in gamedev, but the point does still hold).

My workstation doesn't lack RAM.

I had a noisy hard drive, spoke to IS, and a new one got installed in my machine a couple of days later.
I started getting a little RSI in my wrist, so asked for an ergonomic keyboard, and a couple of days later I had a shiny new keyboard sat on my desk. I'm typing on it now, in fact (yes - from work!) and I'm doing it in Firefox.

Yes all traffic is going through our company firewall. No I don't have IM at my desk (sucks to be me). Yes, some sites are blocked by our firewall, but no we don't get a ton of spyware popups hitting us right, left, and centre. I also don't get a ton of spam coming into my work email account (apart from those damned pesky stock ads). Our company has some highly sensitive documents on it's intranet, and these security policies are a fact of life here. Could they re-engineer the firewall to give us IM at the desk? Probably but it's not important enough for me / us to make a huge issue out of it.

My lunch break is not exactly 60 minutes...it's normally about half that, but that is my choice - I like to come in late and leave early, and they're cool with that. Could I go out for a 2 hour walk in spring? I doubt it...it rains too much in Denmark for that ;-)

I don't work with drones...believe it or not my colleagues are actually people, and not incompetant ones. I wonder if your colleagues hold you in as low regard as you hold them?

I listen to music normally through headphones, on account of one of my colleagues not sharing the same taste in music to me, and wanting / needing to concentrate. It's called consideration.

I also know that I'm gonna get the paycheque at the end of the month. I don't have to worry about if sales has pulled in enough revenue to cover it. I don't underestimate the freedom that this gives me.

If you don't like it where you are then get the hell out of Dodge. Go work for a small shop. Start up on your own. Whatever. Or try a different large company and see if the freedom you get is different to the freedom you have now. Just don't tar all corporations with the same brush.

Now I'd better get back to work before my boss catches me slacking off on /.

Misleading title (2, Insightful)

StrawberryFrog (67065) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783437)

The title "Choosing Your Next Programming Job -- Perl Or .NET?" is totally misleading. It's clear to you and to me that your deciding factors are, in order:

1) Fun: social/work environment, large/small company considerations
2) Money: Salary and benefits
3) Toolset: perl or .net.

Having said that, you can do worse than c#. I even prefer it to perl, the syntax is less of a mess. But your mileage can and will vary.

Flip a coin... (5, Insightful)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783461)

... and see if you're happy with the result. If not, switch.

66% more gain, 666% more pain. but think it over (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783465)

Think about it this way. For the extra +66% they might throw you, (+46% more than when you take the
Perl job) you're also getting +666% more pain.

+222% more useless meetings
+222% more pointy-haired boss interaction
+222% more hassle and frustration (remember you're working with MS-crap...)
=====
+666% GRAND TOTAL

However, my real advice to you really is to not accumulate any debt in the first place
if you can avoid it. Debt is part of the slavery we're in and see what debt is making
you think about... I'm sure you would laugh at the idea of taking on a Microsoft project
if you weren't in debt. Maybe you can "work" your way out of it with doing the more
interesting project of the two and at the same time save some money on _sensibly_
reducing any "lifestyle expenses" (premium channels, subscriptions, convenience food,
etc... the usual culprits). Whatever you do, of course, don't go overboard and get the
Microsoft project _and_ reduce your life to a bare minimum at the same time...

Language not that big of a factor (5, Insightful)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783469)

Believe it or not, language is not that big of a factor in whether you like your job. As proof, I offer that I've been working 2.5 years in a ColdFusion job, and while the language feels like I'm trying to perform surgery with rusty tools, the work is interesting and challenging.

Here's a few questions, and my advice based on their answers:

1) Are you young? Take the higher paying job and work like mad for 5 years while living like a pauper (small apartment, used car which you paid cash for, but wide broadband and good computer). Your time in the cubicle farm will be rewarded with getting home and being able to go frag someone. You'll either pay off all your debt, develop a huge savings, or some combination thereof. This will establish the financial stability today which can permit you a lot more freedom in your job choice in a few years. This is the path I'm going, and I'll have my mortgage paid off 3 years from now (5 years after I opened it).

2) Are you willing to relocate? If not, you do NOT want that Perl job no matter how good it looks. 2.5-3 hours of driving a day will sap way more of your life than working in a corporate environment. Every single day you will arrive at work tired, and every single night you will get home exhausted. I drive 1.5 hours now, and this is absolutely my upper limit. Something most folks don't really think about is that they get errands done during the week, which I don't have time for even with my (short compared to yours) drive. That means my weekends get sapped up getting stuff done which most people get done during the week. Opportunities for relaxation become few and far between. During the week you'll get home from work and just crash on the couch until you fall asleep, exhausted. My drive takes more out of me than my work day does, by a long shot.

3) Do you have a wife and/or kids? You're going to want to take the job which provides sufficient financial stability, while giving you the most time with them. If not, refer again to question 1.

4) How many hours are generally worked by the employees of each location? I've seen small companies which generally work 40 hours and no more, and I've seen big companies which are this way. Also I've seen small companies which expect each person to put in 70-80 hours, and I've seen big companies which expect each project to meet its deadline no matter how unreasonable. Total amount of free personal time is way more important than how much you like the work you're doing.

5) How busy are the people at each place? Too busy as in #4 is bad, but too slow is just as bad. Nothing is worse than trying to muddle through another work day with nothing to do, and nothing interesting to keep your mind occupied, while you surf work-friendly sites such as Slashdot, and hope your web usage doesn't get high enough to raise eyebrows. This will actually lead to a state of mental apathy which is very hard to shake, and which can seriously cripple your career for years. We've had people like this, and have had to get rid of them because we could never depend on them to get anything done in a reasonable amount of time even though once upon a time they were firecracker developers. 3 or 4 years in a job like this can ruin a developer, sometimes forever.

I hope these thoughts help. Largely they're based on my own personal experience, but to some extent they're also based on having been a developer manager for a firm which contracts most of our people out to other companies (hence my experience with point 5).

Re:Decisions, decisions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783483)

SNOO SNOO!

Re:Fun in work is important. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783485)

Fun in work is a "nice to have", but it's hardly required or such. And no matter what the job is, most of the time something ends up sucking - if it's not the job itself, then it's some a-hole coworker, or retarded boss, or workplace politics or something else.

Personally, I'd go for the .NET job. He already knows the technologies, there is far more employment in that field, the experience looks good on a resume, it's a really nice set of technologies to work with - a set of nice languages, excellent dev tools, a good framework and all (.NET 3.0 went final a couple days ago - lots of very cool and exciting stuff like WCF and WPF!) It's in a larger place (likely more "stable" than some startup or small shop - job security), and to top things off, it pays more (likely better benefits too)! Sounds like a no-brainer to me. I have no idea how he could possibly prefer junk like PHP (see http://tnx.nl/php [tnx.nl] ) as it sucks horribly.

Even if the job isn't like going to a party every morning, that ~50% more can pay for a fun trip down south or something (fun), and also pay the mortgage/credit cards faster, put money aside, etc. Total no-brainer.

My personal feelings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783493)

Balance in ones life is always important. Prospects are all well and good but if you are not happy then no amount of money will fix that problem. Issues and pressures on ones personal life are a hell of a lot easier to cope with if one is happy with what they do to get by. I personally have made the decision to take less to get more in the past and would not hesitate to do so again if the situation presented itself. Its cliché I know but money ( an potential money from future prospects ) is not everything and it definitely cannot buy happiness.

Are you pulling our leg here? (1)

asb (1909) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783507)

I get the feeling you are trying to pull our collective legs here. It is hard to imagine a person who knows both Perl+Linux and .NET would have to resort to slashdot for this kind of advice. But anyway, here are my 0.05.

If you are a young person (assuming so, because you are considering joining a small Half-Life-playing Perl-using Web-programming company) go for Perl and Linux. Enjoy it as long as it lasts, because it will be much more fun than white collar work at a .NET corporation.

But if you are an older person like me, who has children and a career to look after, go corporate. Just be patient because corporations are slow and good things come to those who wait.

Rank your priorities (1)

hazem (472289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783539)

There are a lot of factors. One way to do it is to make a list of your priorities in life and then rank them. You can then do a simple "which best meets the top priority" or you can assign some kind of weighting and rank each choice on how it meets all your priorities. Only you can come up with the list of priorities and the value of each.

Some ideas:
Better commute: 10 points
Paying off debts: 20 points
Control over work: 15 points
Enjoyable work environment: 15 points
Staying in my house: 30 points
Future Job Prospects: 20 points
Opportunities for Advancement: 25 points

etc.

So now you have that raking of priorities. You can then assign the points from each priority to each job.. all or nothing, or distributed:
Debts (Job 1): 15
Debts (Job 2): 5

It's not perfect, but it gives you an analytical way to consider the things that are not easily tangible such as salary1 vs. salary2. But also trust your gut. If you "feel" you're leaning towards one job when you "think" the other would be better, try to figure out what is leading your gut.

In any case, it's a good problem to have - to choose between two pretty good jobs. Make your pick and don't look back.

commute time (5, Insightful)

rrcjab (1024983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783551)

one thing you can not buy is more time. It wasn't clear to me whether you would actually try driving 120 miles each way, or whether you would move closer, but if it's the former, that's about 1/4 of your waking hours you'd be spending in the car. I did this for a year. It sucked.

Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783573)

The only asset you have is your ability to make income. Either through passive means like investments or through your job. Take the raise and see how it goes.

I work in the .NET world and I like it. There are some really cool technologies coming down the pipeline (like windows workflow and linq), plus there are some decent open source projects too (nunit and nhibernate, for example) which you can leverage. I've also worked with Java and Perl too. Right now, I'm in .NET. Three years from now maybe I am programming in Ruby or Python or who knows what. Don't sweat that.

The main thing to worry about is what you will be doing. A lot of the Federal government work is simple CRUD-based web applications, which get old. And a lot of the large companies in the US do that type of work. I've done those, and they suck. But if you can get on some cool projects, you can leverage some of the cool things about .NET like reflection, threading, etc. Then it becomes fun.

Stay away from the Perl shop, or try to convert... (1, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783583)

I'd either stay away from the Perl shop, or join up and try to convert them to another platform. It will come back to haunt you in a few years when you have to support a mess of spaghetti.

Perl is a great language for lots of things, but as someone with lots of experience with Perl, Ruby, Java, PHP, .Net, and even C for enterprise web applications, I would say Perl is far from an ideal choice for enterprise apps today.

True, it is possible to write great apps in Perl. It's also great for simple small quick apps. But it's difficult to impossible to keep code clean as the app grows to a larger scale (think above the 100,000 LOC mark). It also has a very poor object model for encapsulation.

Personally, I am a big Ruby fan nowadays for web apps. A very close second on my list is Java.

Just my $0.02

Re:120 miles is a far way away (1)

sweede (563231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783593)

Actually he did.
The second offer I received is for a huge nationwide company opening an IT office a couple blocks from where I currently work

and depending on where the guy actually lives, 120 miles could be a 3 hour commute (kind of like my 15 mile drive is a 45 minute commute)

Perl (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783595)

Perl is like being molested by your uncle. There's something off about him, but everyone regards him very highly, so you trust him, and then on a family camping trip out at Montauk Point he takes advantage of you. Years later, you accept and acknowledge what happened, but you still refuse to believe that he's scarred you, because that would put him in control, not you, and the last thing you want is a molester in control of your life -- but your denial doesn't make it the truth. You want to believe that deep down inside, Perl is a good person, and you see that Perl has very redeeming qualities, but you sit down to try and program Perl and all you can think of is that camel's hard, throbbing cock.

Re:My 2 pence... (1)

Prez_n_Tenz (961802) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783599)

You don't have to hate what you're doing to make a bit of cash...in fact it's contrary to the point.

I'm just suggesting having a bit of cash opens up a lot more opportunities that not having a bit of cash.

While being rich doesn't guarantee happiness, neither does being poor.

Guys who are good at IT (and have some communication/personal skills) can do pretty well by being a bit flexible and most of us continue to work at it even after having enough money simply because we enjoy it...

Re:Freedom (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783619)

"In the large company, you will be locked to a regular user account. You won't get to install unapproved software (this includes your favourite text editors, browsers, music players, etc)."

You sure seem to know a lot about the large company considering the article never names them. I've worked for one large company and I found the opposite to be true. There was "approved" software we had to run but the approval process usually involved sending an email to IT and asking if it's ok. We used Symmantec Corporate for AV which I hardly noticed. I was set up as a power user but if there was anything I needed Admin access for, IT would come down and help me. We weren't nearly as locked into a mail client as I am now with Outlook at a much smaller company. And after my first day or so on the job, they let me make a backup image personalized to my settings. Oh and as far as hardware issues, there was some paperwork to fill out to get new hardware but that's what our Office Manager's Assistant was there for. The only reason I left was because my Tech Support/Development job became a lot more Tech Support than Development. The environment was great.

Just because you had (or know someone who had) a bad experience at a big company don't assume they are all that way.

Re:Why does money matter so much? (1)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783621)

I don't want this to come off sounding snarky, but most young people (I do not know if you or he are 18 or 80) don't think about the future. You will eventually retire (if you live long enough) and you will cease to have an income. You will be living on what you have saved and invested while you were working. Making more money does not have to mean enjoying greater luxuries now. It can mean that he lives exactly as he is currently living and socks the difference away towards retirement (or saving for college for his children should he have them).

The trend I'm seeing among the people who respond on the "take the perl job" side seems to be that as long as he breaks even and he enjoys what he is doing, everything is great. That is true for the immediate future, but it implies that there is no value in saving and investing.

I am not near retirement age myself, but I work for a company where many of my co-workers are. I am seeing first hand what they are facing. They have doggedly stuck to COBOL and the mainframe and have done well for themselves until now. Now our company is moving away from the mainframe, and they are all in a very scary situation.

Managing a programming career today is a bit like surfing. You have to keep scanning for the next wave or you will get stuck. There are lots of waves, but some will take your farther and faster than others. You have to decide for yourself which wave to ride.

There are very valid reasons to choose either the perl job or the .Net job, but no one can tell you which set of reasons will work for you.

I guess you could pretty well summarize them like this:

The Perl Job:
1) Original Poster expressed the feeling that he would prefer developing in Perl
2) Smaller company usually means greater personal responsibility
3) Playful environment
4) Lower pay
5) Fewer companies hiring this skillset.

The .Net Job:
1) OP doesn't feel coding in .Net is as much fun for him
2) Larger company means less personal responsibility, but can also mean more free time and less stress
3) More business focused environment
5) Higher pay
6) More companies hiring this skillset

.NET vs Java (1)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783683)

I am not very familiar with the .NET framework (I've had my head stuck in PHP for the past five years). Can someone please clarify which .NET language has the most promising employment prospects? Looking at a Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] , I see that C# is the flagship, but there's no mention of ASP. Isn't ASP used almost exclusively for web development within the .NET framework?

I've decided I would like to pursue another language outside of PHP, and it's a toss up between .NET and Java. Except I'm confused about the whole .NET thing. I've never been fond of Java, so any wisdom regarding .NET (and vs. Java) would be very much appreciated!

Who stole the Slashdot threading? FIX BUG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783691)

This is totally unreadable. Fix the bug now!

PHP or even Java (1)

@madeus (24818) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783731)

I strongly suggest thinking about going for positions based around PHP (perferably somewhere doing OO based PHP5) - as these days PHP is much more commonly sought after as far as web site design goes and it's similar enough that's it's easy to learn and you can maintain your Perl skills at the same time (and I imagine most places that would welcome both). I'm sure there are certainly people who are going to advocate you go for positions with something like Ruby, but I would say it's not mainstream enough yet and it's safer to stick with something more common if you're looking for reliable work.

If your looking for steady employment you could also learn Java - demand for Java developers of all levels of ability is still very strong, though it is more of a departure from something like Perl (it's actually pretty close to doing good OO PHP5 though). Java development can be a bit dull though (based on the sort of environments it tends to get used in) and because it's so verbose you need an army of people to write reasonably complex applications with it (not that I don't like it). JSP development is another option, but seems to be less popular than PHP these days (something I think is for the best if I'm honest).

There is a lot to like about .NET itself, but I would have some trepidation about it on the grounds that a lot of Microsoft technology shops have some really awful developers and working in an environment with a bunch of numpti's can really drive you insane (something I would say that is also true for some Java shops - more so than most Perl/PHP/Unix houses, but obviously they are not guaranteed to bad developers either, I've just found them to be not quite as bad overall). If the guys seem like the stand up sort who have decent experience then I'd certainly consider it though!

As far as what not to look for, I would advise staying clear of anywhere that runs PHP on Windows or does much in the way of ASP (especially if they are using Vistual Studio to create ASP sites - you'll go mad inside a fortnight with that). Those two things are defiantly bad mojo in my experience, YMMV. :-) Oh and I'd pay attention to any bad vibes you get in an interview! If you are a bit suspect or slightly irritated by something in the interview I'd move on (it may be better to wait a few weeks for a job you reall want).

Re:Freedom (1)

Siberwulf (921893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783733)

This is really kinda on a case-by-case basis. I work for a company which has an office in Dallas, New York City, Philly and Clevelend. We're considered a "large company" by all accounts, yet we have freedom. Over 20 people have Itunes installed, I have personally requested 3 LCDs to work with (which is not the norm). We do play Quake 3 at lunch, which is nice. Tuesday after work is AoE III for a couple hours. Since we're a web company, you're free to choose your own browser, whether it be IE, FF, Opera or even Safari. (We have a few mac users too).

So, I'd say not to listen to the "large is bad" type posts, and do some more looking at the community you'll be getting into at the larger company.

And for the record, I'm C# all the way. Its gotten me every job I've had so far (since i'm a yewin)

Re:Look at it this way. (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783739)

I just left a .NET company to work for a php/perl/python/ruby company. At one place I had trouble getting up in time (had to be at work for 9am). Now I get up at 5 in the morning to get to work ASAP.

Whereas with a 120 mile commute, the OP will be getting up at 5 in the morning just to get to work by 9...

One thing to consider (3, Insightful)

ceeam (39911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783741)

The amounts you talk about on interview may be nothing like you really get. On my pre-last job I settled on one thing and then several months later boss decided that he should cut in by a third and pay the difference as bonuses (theoretically even more than it was before, yeah, right). Of course bonuses only applied if boss was happy. And when you are a "small cog".... Well, you can go down depression road pretty easily. And climbing back may be a bit toughy.

Re:Decisions, decisions (1)

Frightened_Turtle (592418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783761)

[x] Death by Snoo-Snoo!

The future of .NET (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783767)

Look at the lifespan of Microsoft's "this is really it, this is the target platform" specs. DOS, Windows, OS/2, Win32, NT, MFC...

How long has perl5 been out there?

What's the carryover from perl4 to perl5? How does that compare to, say, the carryover from MFC to .NET?

What is a reasonable expectation for the time between now and then next major overhaul that drops .NET in favor of something even buzzwordier?

Developing for Windows is the upgrade treadmill at its finest.

Re:Freedom (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783781)

Spot on. Two years ago I took a very high paying contracting job for working on AIX/Linux. The guys I worked with were great but the company was a huge bloated entity and everything moved at a glacial pace. Security rights, Room access, internet access policy, workstation policy, were all huge pains in the ass for me, enough so that the first week was when I decided I was outta there within a couple of months. My previous job allowed me to run my own linux workstation and work at my own pace.

Fortunately, about 30 days in I got a job offer from another company and I took it when my notice was up. I went back to being able to run my own w/s, not worry about security rights on my machines, etc. I still have to worry about a lot of building security, but that comes with the territory. I must say that despite how trivial control over your w/s sounds, I found it to be paramount to my ability to work efficiently and happily.

Re:Why does money matter so much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783791)

If he had it, he could:

A) Increase the outgoing (more or better luxuries, maybe better food, maybe even a better place to live)
B) Save for the future
C) Both

Why ask us? (3, Insightful)

Carik (205890) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783813)

We can tell you what we think, but you're the one as has to make the decision in the end...

That said: I would much rather make less doing a job I enjoy than get paid a lot for doing something I hate. Does the lower paying job cover your bills? Will it allow you to build up at least a little bit of a reserve? If you decide to move, will you be able to afford living nearer that job, and if not, will you be able to afford to commute? Assuming the answers to all of those are "yes," I'd take the job that pays less but looks like more fun. Don't buy into the American "money is everything" mentality -- money does you no good if you're miserable.

Go with the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783823)

I worked in a small shop for a while. Great people, and every once in a while nerf gun wars would break out. I took a substantial pay cut to go there, and it was worth it for the first year. After that, the missed paychecks and other startup woes grew tiring. So I'm back in the corporate world again.

I realized that money does allow you to do things that you enjoy. I love technology, but tech is expensive and without the money you'll resort the ultimate example of a pathetic geek: Reading the arstechnica and hardware review pages and drooling over the new graphics cards that you can't have because you're on a budget.

In the corporate world you can barter some of your ideals and dreams for a bigger paycheck; we all do that to an extent. It's work, however. Whether you're in a 5 man shop or a multi-national, it's still work. Perl can get as tiring as .NET after the first few months. Perl becomes work. The startup .com shenanigans become tiring too, especially when you're trying to write code.

Plus, working at a corporate behemoth does not preclude you from doing cool things. We have LAN parties and wonder of wonders, friends outside of work who we can frag (in both senses of the word).

Another option is to start your own company... Probably make as much doing that as anything else...

KL

Re:.NET vs Java (1)

Siberwulf (921893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783825)

ASP.NET is really the use of C# or VB.NET in web development. You couple this with HTML, CSS, etc.

Re:Decisions, decisions (1)

szo (7842) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783833)

Good choice, but first, here's some .NET!

Re:Don't forget to look at the risks... (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783847)

I don't think you should be scaring him with the small company stuff. What really should be brought to attention is his age and ability to face risk. Is he middle aged and ready to "settle" at a job that pays pretty good, has pretty good benefits and take the small risk for the small reward? Or is he willing to take a shot at some small company that may be ready to blossom? If it does blossom, is he one of the guys that will be sticking around? Will he get to be paid handsomly if it starts taking off? There's a huge risk there, but there's also considerable return if he plays his cards right.

Perl, Linux, small business, and a little php late (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783859)

Choose this pal.

This area is a booming area, and it will boom continually as it is being adopted as the basis for open standards, and open business. heck, oscommerce is becoming a genre of 'programming' by itself, with oscommerce coding specialists out there.

this avenue will guarantee that in future you will be able to choose from hordes of similar job offers, WHEREVER you want. and you can do contracts over the internet too, more than .net route.

.net is generally preferred by big companies or businesses, which, by the nature of business are smaller in number than small businesses. this limits the job offers in number, and you will have less options. and i bet in such positions work stress will be higher, as these companies tend to be in a corporate manner due to their size.

go the perl way buddy. apparently this is gods' gift to you. go and play half life after work hours.

WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT MORE ?

Re:120 miles is a far way away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783863)

You don't need to get drunk to realise less commute = good.

Re:Stay away from the Perl shop, or try to convert (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783899)

True, it is possible to write great apps in Perl. It's also great for simple small quick apps. But it's difficult to impossible to keep code clean as the app grows to a larger scale (think above the 100,000 LOC mark). It also has a very poor object model for encapsulation.

Perl does a poor job of protecting the code base from bad programmers. This is true. There are also modules which extend the language for better class behavior and isolate code, especially in web development. Think Amazon using Mason.

The trade-off is massive productivity per LOC. Even Microsoft had to argue with IBM about LOC's being a meaningless measurement of complexity.

Personally, I am a big Ruby fan nowadays for web apps.

Ruby's a great language, but hardly performant for high-volume web apps - yet.

A very close second on my list is Java.

Clearly the best choice for making the programmer behave and getting decent performance out of a system; the object model is at least well-defined and the class library is rich in certain areas. All these speak to its popularity.

But without knowing what the job is, it's merely hubris to suggest that the company switch platforms. There are plenty of things Java and Ruby can't do, especially if they're using mod_perl handlers extensively.

Re:Tech, size, and culture (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783909)

Long term goals are important, but it's also about personal happiness right now too. Either way, I think he'd be better off taking the Perl job. As long as he's making enough money either way, then I don't see a problem with taking a lower paying job, if he thinks he will enjoy it more. The biggest thing he will probably notice between people working on Perl and people working on .Net, is that in .Net there will be a lot more idiots. The only people who know Perl, are the people who have a passion for programming, and learned it on their own, and find it fun. In the .Net world where I work, I see a lot of people who are "MS Certified" and all that junk, yet don't even understand the basics of programming. A lot of my friends who work with .Net see the same thing. So, I don't think it's an isolated issue. That said, if your just a small cog in a giant wheel, nobody will notice if you come in at 9, work until 5, take an hour for lunch, and two 15 minutes breaks. In the smaller company, they may expect that since they are so "fun" that you will want to work extra hours just because you love it so much. If you have kids, working those extra hours, or even being expected to stay after work to play video games may not be what you really want to do.

Balance of inner duality (1)

Maljin Jolt (746064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783915)

Pick the Linux bazaar one until Microsoft cathedral shop offers 666%.

Re:.NET vs Java (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 7 years ago | (#16783937)

ASP is a container, NOT a language. In previous versions of ASP, it defaulted to running VBScript, now you must explicitly specify the language. VBScript is still supported, but C# is now 'flagship', and is the basis for much of the new code coming out today. Of course, with so many developers (and code) coming from legacy ASP, VBScript is still going strong.

Re:Do what you LIKE, it's an investment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16783955)

and make sure to get a girlfriend who doesn't have a hole in her hand (or at least, one who has a smaller hole than you have).

If I had a hole in my hand, why would I need a girlfriend?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...