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Burn Your Life Down

Posted by editor on August 3, 2007 at 7:20 AM PDT

Where's your career going?

For my 40th birthday, my wife got into my e-mail address book (yes, we know each other's passwords... no keeping secrets around here) and recruited some of my friends from high school, college, grad school, and work to send in pictures for a Shutterfly photo album. As we went over it here at my parents' house, they asked what each of my friends was up to, and one of the interesting recurrent themes is how wildly variant most of our careers have been.

One high school friend worked in Sony's legal department, built up a war chest, then left to go back to music/film school to switch careers to TV and film scoring (he's currently doing music biz consulting on the side while he tries to get a foothold in the scoring industry). My predecessor here at, Daniel Steinberg, has been a radio DJ, a college instructor, a contract programmer, an author and editor, and now has a hugely successful podcasting career going (among many other gigs, he produces the Java Mobility Podcast). Heck, exactly ten summers ago, I had just abandoned a writing/producing career on the CNN Headline News evening shift in favor of trying my luck in the market for Java programmers.

It seemed like there was only high school friend I could think of who was doing the old-fashioned career of going to a big company when you're 23 (General Motors, in this friend's case), with the anticipation of staying there until retirement.

So, given that change is the only constant, where's your career going? Specifically, what do you want to be doing in the future, and what are you doing to get there? Ours is an interesting industry in that the demand for highly skilled programmers is at least as well-compensated as management, if not more so (surely I wasn't the only one who noticed this while listening to last week's Java Posse podcast, with Joe Nuxoll talking about his new sportscar, Carl Quinn talking about his on order, and Dick Wall boasting of a custom recording studio being built in his new house... "Filthy Rich Clients", indeed!). And because of the perpetual demand for developers, we have the option of sticking with development as long it suits us.

And all this career thinking and planning leads us to the latest Poll, which asks "What would you like to be doing in five years?" Cast your vote on the front page, then visit the results page for current tallies and discussion.

Our latest JavaOne Community Corner Podcast is j1-2k7-mtT06: The JENI Project by Frans Thamura.
Codenamed JENI, JEDI Indonesia is an integrated service for University students to learn, share and develop solutions using Java. The project includes implementing JEDI as the default curriculum with the addition of other popular frameworks. JENI is a project of the Ministry of Education, and supported by Indonesia Go Open Source (IGOS) Team, the Indonesia JUG, and Sun Microsystems. For more information, visit

Rememeber the decision to put JavaDB in JDK 6? Cay Horstmann finds himself unimpressed with its practical consequences, which he explains in today's Weblogs. In A Bundle of Joy - NOT, he writes,
"Today, I rant about Sun's blunder in their bundling of JavaDB in JDK 6. Executive summary: 1. Don't rely on JavaDB being present in the JDK. 2. A bungled bundle is worse than no bundle at all."

Terrence Barr checks in with
More on SunSPOTs.
"I blogged about SunSPOTs a few weeks back. The topic is actually heating up a lot these days [...] In the meantime, check out these videos about all the cool stuff people are doing with SunSPOTs."

Finally, Arun Gupta offers a web services tutorial in
wsHttpDualBinding - a non-interoperable binding
Based upon a user request, I'll explain why wsDualHttpBinding (a system-provided binding in WCF) is not an interoperable binding. This blog entry will explain the service endpoint code, client code, generated WSDL and the SOAP messages exchanged based upon the DualHttp Binding Sample that is bundled with the Windows SDK samples.

In today's Forums,
djroze reports from the fringes of classpath hackery in
Ignoring Bootstrap Classpath Entries (Custom Classloader?)
"I am trying to avoid a bug in the 1.5 JRE by loading at runtime a .class file (extracted to a directory) from a JAR file in a previous JRE. However, I'm having difficulty doing this at runtime after checking the version (I only want to load this old version of the class if the current JRE is 1.5). I can add the folder containing the class file to my classpath before the JRE itself under "Bootstrap Entries", at which point the program seems to load the .class file correctly and the bug is avoided, but I can't figure out how to load this class file explicitly at runtime. The problem seems to be that the URLClassLoader I am trying to use always checks if the parent knows where the class is, so it doesn't give preference to the external location (i.e. the location not on the classpath)."

Jonathan Kaplan explains Project Wonderland audio in
Re: Some basic questions about model and audio cell
The AudioCellGLO plays a sequence of audio files, for example the speech of a recorded avatar or a sequence of songs in the team room. When one treatment in the list ends, the next one begins. AudioCells can be linked into groups as well, so that all treatments in the group start at the same time. This is useful for recorded conversations, to make sure the talkers stay in sync.

Finally, Rafael Santos points out some ImageIO resources in
Re: [JAI-IMAGEIO] Need Information about how to read and write a TIFF image using java.
"There are some examples on that do simple TIFF I/O, and the mailing list archives probably have several questions/answers about setting different parameters related to TIFF variations. Helpful hint: in order to solve your problem you could tell us what happened with your previous attempts."

In Java Today,

ONJava has posted an Introduction to JavaFX Script by Anghel Leonard, which introduces basic syntax, looks at IDE support, and walks through the creation of a simple application. He writes, "JavaFX Script is a capable new language for the Java platform. With it, you can easily build rich, dynamic interfaces in much less time than you could build something comparable in Java with Swing and Java 2D."

The latest edition, issue 132, of the JavaTools Community Newsletter is available, with tool news from around the web, announcements of new projects in the community, and a Tool Tip on integrating ant scripts with your Maven 2 builds.

Hoping to finish a JSR that was launched way back in April, 2001, the JSR-113 expert group has posted a second proposed final draft of the Java Speech API 2.0. This ME-targeted API "extends the work of the 1.0 Java Speech API, which allows developers to incorporate speech technology into user interfaces for their Java programming language applets and applications. This API specifies a cross-platform interface to support speech recognizers and synthesizers." Compatibility with the W3C Speech Interface Framework is also one of the JSR's goals.

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Where's your career going?