Transition to Commercial Competency

IMHO I’m am a star in developing and leading Mainframe applications. And that was enough to keep me gainfully employed until last year.

Nevertheless, since 1995, I’ve diligently tried to achieve some semblance of competency in desktop and web languages including using O.O.P. and Patterns strategies. But, lacking opportunity to apply those literacies in a commercial environment, I have no idea how good I am – nor does a potential employer.

What would you do?

First thing I would do is begin to participate in the countless discussions all over the Internet about the various topics.

Use the proper terminology, for instance, I don’t anyone uses O.O.P :stuck_out_tongue: Just OOP/AOD/MVC/etc.

Seriously though, PHP is not difficult to learn, neither is HTML or JavaScript to make your applications AJAX-y :slight_smile: Start reading some articles/books and joining conversations.


Contributing to an open source project or two can really help also, with GitHub it’s even easier.

This should give your potential employers an opportunity to see your commitment to a long term project, and the approach(es) you’ve used to solve issue(s) you’ve encountered along the way.

build a database-driven web site

Look at job adverts and see what skills are being asked for.


Thanks for the terrific feedback

Perhaps I should have shared what literacies I presume to have. XHTML, CSS, mySQL and PHP5 I’d count among my strengths. In addition to my primary responsibilities for Siemens, I also wrote some VBA and applications for them as well as a project using Access linking Excel files. I’ve taken a leap at Javascript and gave up on Ajax.

Actually I have using php5, css2 and mySQL on a once very sophisticated and interactive family home page. (Facebook has replaced those pages’ utility for intra-family social networking).

I took a quick look at the GitHUB site. Looks to be a worthwhile pursuit, though not intuitively obvious before actually setting up an account with them.

Again, thanks for your responses.


If you do feel like giving it another go, the best resource I’ve found for it is Bulletproof Ajax. The online [url=“”]code and examples are a good resource too, although full understanding of what the examples achieve is best obtained in concert with the book.