career prospects question, if i may
I'd love to get some wisdom from industry veterans on potential career directions down the line.
Having written static website content for years, and fiddling with Perl-based modem scripts as a teenager, I decided I far preferred development/programming to IT support, which I had done for a while. So I sought out, like many, to learn dynamic languages, first starting with Microsoft ASP, then eventually moving to PHP on linux/web which I have now been using for a while on/off professionally, and will be programming day to day for a while to come.
Having the passion/aptitude for development and the desire, my 3-5 year goal is to become proficient in at least one more relatively ubiquitious language, namely C++, to move towards system/desktop programming. I hesitate towards C, simply because I most likely will not be writing OSes for a living. While being a fast, compiled, expressive, versatile, and close-to-the-metal "platform" - all things that are attractive to me - it seems that C/C++/compiled is giving way in the marketplace to all the web-based, proprietary, partially-compiled, or downright interpreted languages like C#/Java/Py/Perl/Ruby, etc ... I know why this is the case in general - probably having to do more with economic pragmatism and the immediate bottom line, than elegance - I suppose you could call me a purist of sorts. I also understand everything people say about "you shouldn't learn a staticly-type low-level language after learning a dynamic/interpreted language because it leads to bad coding habits", etc, etc. I don't believe that for myself, because I love what I do and have an understanding for the underlying logic. I say, jump into some open-source projects and go for it!! right??
I know nobody can necessarily predict the future. I hope to get some reassurance and your thoughts from a wiser point of view than my own.
Will compiled C++ development be around 5-10 years from now? Many say ... there is a really small market for desktop programming, and it's not a smart career path, etc, etc, etc. I don't buy it - I think the web ("cloud") development/computing paradigm is just a cycle - as more people are also seeing the advantages to hosting your own data and applications in a business environment. Apart from doing open-source projects, operating systems, or low-level programming, is C/C++ a smart career path down the line for a purist such as myself?
To put it simply, with passion and drive, can I reasonably expect to make a jump to a career in the C/C++ family world of development in 2-3 years?
Am I asking the right questions?
Does my question make sense?