Hi. Quick background of my skills: I'm a mainframe developer of 6.5 years - COBOL, JCL, VSAM, a little DB2, etc. I recently got laid off, and I want to use this new "free" time to upgrade my skillset and get away from the mainframe. I have done some development on my own in VB6 (2 small apps to manage my fantasy football stuff) using ADO, SQL, and an Access DB. Unfortunately, that will get me squat for a real job. Therefore, I want to get certified. The question is "in what"?
I have done some job searches for .Net and I really haven't come up with a lot of hits, at least compared to the more-established languages. Is this just because .Net is so new? What does the future job market look like for this language?
As I understand it, .Net competes with Java. Is this correct? I talked to someone the other day who expressed concerns about .Net's ability to intigrate so many different platforms. He seemed to think that Java is more stable and that .Net will have more problems. Is this correct?
I want to be on the leading-edge of the field, but I don't want to waste my time by learning something that won't be in demand in 5-10 years. It seems like there are tons of Java developers out there already, so I will probably have trouble competing with them for a job. .Net is still pretty new, though, so it will probably be easeier for me to get my foot in the door.
So, basically, since I am re-tooling, should I go VB .Net, VB6, Java, or something else?
My plan right now is to get certified in VB .Net. Then, I'll get SQL Server certified. I eventually want to get an MCAD, but I'm hoping these two certs will give me enough to pay the bills in the meantime.
Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for your help.