How to transition from skillset to skillset
I have 13 years in the mainframe IT industry. Good times. Now however, I want to transition over to something else, preferrably PHP web development. It is not an easy transition; my resume is full of mainframe stuff, with the only evidence I know any PHP is a website portfolio.
I recently got an interview. The guy's title is "Director of Interactive Technology". The jargon he used had me stammering for the right thing to say-- I realized I was not prepared for that interview.
I don't intend to misrepresent my abilities, but I am confident I can quickly pick up on jargon and I can relate it to my own experience. So, can I ask for some input here?
1- Enterprise. My interviewer kept referring to his shop using PHP as an Enterprise solution. A few years ago my employer changed the name of their monster IBM mainframe to "Enterprise Server", so I have a different perspective here. Does it just mean "large scope"? "Big mamma projects"?
2- Interactive Technology. Is this what we old timers call "front end"?
3- Framework. My interviewer talked about a custom framework they were working on, but they were also using another framework and they hadn't decided what to do you. Is a framework essentially an IDE? What are examples of frameworks? Is Zend a framework? Or would the Zend Studio be a framework?
4- Any other advice for me? If someone knows of good reading material comparing the procedural paradigm to the oo paradigm, that would be great. I understand oo in the abstract, but when it comes to sitting down and coding something I'm like water-- I follow the easiest path, and procedural programming is easy. I'm also going downhill fast :)
If I didn't know better I'd say these are just fancy words put together to make the thing you want to say sound more sophisticated... like saying things in latin.
i wouldn't label it as jargon --> jargon refers to well defined terms that people that are in the bizz all comprehend and use with the same meaning. like 'normalized database', 'recordset', 'persistent connection', 'bug' etc. And you realy need to know your jargon to be able to efficiently communicate with other people in the bizz.
here this guy is just using (at best) some company-specific terms.
if somemone is using such vague/ambigues terms, i just ask them what they actually want to say, in a non-confrontational way of course. people that ask clarification are, in my opinion, at least interested and in most cases will be confident enough in their own ability to have a serious talk about the subject (after possebly picking up some new stuff).
i often will also rephrase their comments/questions/etc to make sure i'm on the same page (and to let them know i'm following what hey are saying).
of course, you can also mix in a few vague terms yourself. Like "We use a human interface to generate most of our code."
i think that the worst think you can do is pretending you know what they are talking about. I would never hire anyone that doesn't ask clarification --> in most cases, such employees start on tasks without fully understanding what is desired.
you should definitey read up (and experiment) on OO. Googling for 'PHP OO tutorial' should bring up enough for you to start with, but the main thing is that you read a lott of code (not from 2-page tutorials, but pick a class from www.phpclasses.org or so and read through the code + look up everything you don't understand in the manual) and write some classes yourself.
as for the transition from one skillset to another --> what sort of mainframe stuff did you do? is there a lott you can reuse?
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