These are all questions this InfoWorld article explores. Developers have enormous career prospects, but finding the right path, and the precise fit, can be difficult. Two of the most significant issues I think this article looks at are whether a new developer should focus on the big, multipurpose programming languages like Java and C++ that have been around a while or make en effort to learn the newer, more exciting ones, like FooBar or Dart, that may be replaced in a few years.
Should you get a computer science degree or certification on a particular product? Will a hiring manager think you’re too old or too young? Are you a talented but somewhat unstable “rock star” developer or a hardworking, reliable roadie?
Also noteworthy was the author’s mention of open-source programming experience being a potential plus in your job search. Since you won’t be bound by confidentiality agreements with open code, it’s easy to prove to employers exactly what you’re capable of.