It's so important to make the correct learning and career choices, and as a parent I've watched and helped and guided, somewhat, my own children to the best of my ability. But in a fast changing world, it's hard to know what advise to give to a teenager ... or his concerned parents ...
The following advise is carefully anonymised from an answer that I wrote recently - I thought it worth sharing. Any readers are very welcome to get back to me with queries
, though of course I can't open the offer of a couple of hours to talk it through to the whole world and his dog.
"""We used to run public Java courses, but finding that many smaller organisations are using Java for the wrong reasons, we no longer do so. It's pretty soul destroying to teach something that's not really the right tool for the job it's been chosen for ...
Java DOES have its uses. We continue to run private courses in Java deployment
(especially) and it Java programming
occasionally. It's a great language for companies who need big all-encompassing systems, such as the big banks and (looking near to you) folks such as xxxxxxxx in xxxxxxxx. Typically, programming there is done by larger teams of staff working together, and much of the development may be subcontracted out of the UK; that's probably why the call is for deployment rather than programming training.
Having said that, experience of learning to write "real" code provides an excellent experience and avenue on to other systems and languages for smaller systems, and from languages that are used as glueware to connect other elements together. Once someone's learnt to program in one programming language, second and subsequent languages become easier to pick up, and the experience of knowing several approaches to the same issues does huge wonders. Code can be written really well in the eventual target language, and you've got someone who is much more valuable / employable that a "I only know xxxx" person.
Where am I headed?
If your son has an opportunity to learn Java, and a real specific interest in that language for some reason, good for him. It won't be wasted time / money invested although it's likely to be an indirect route to his final career unless he wants to work within a big team as one of the Vodafones of this world. At Well House Consultants, we can't help with a public Java course for him, but he would be welcome to view / print out / use our entire material which is online at
and use our forum at
to ask questions occasionally. Both of these are free of charge.
a) These jobs will NOT all go offshore as there's a great deal of customer interfacing at design and maintainance time
b) Your son will be able to see practical results from this coding / programming efforts really quickly and this will provide much better encouragement to him than seeing only the longer term potential of other "large system" languages.
We DO offer courses in PHP
Associated topics are indexed underJ601 - Java Introduction 
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What is a JVM, a JRE, a JDK - components of the core Java Environment - (2009-09-26) 
Finding your java program - the CLASSPATH variable - (2009-04-02) 
Java CLASSPATH explained - (2008-11-26) 
Diagrams to show you how - Tomcat, Java, PHP - (2008-08-22) 
Trying out our Java examples on our web site - (2008-02-27) 
Training Season Starts again! - (2008-01-07) 
Effective Java training - the bootcamp approach - (2007-12-09) 
A Golf Club Decision - Perl to Java - (2007-11-01) 
Private Java Course - A customer's pictures - (2007-04-22) 
Java 6, Apache Tomcat 6. - (2007-01-21) 
Java oversold? - (2006-09-19) 
Programming languages - a comparison - (2005-05-20) 
PHP v Java - (2004-11-20) 
Training notes available under Open Distribution license - (2004-11-07) 
Release numbers - (2004-08-23)
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