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I'm in my fourth year of a Bachelor's in CS, and I've been looking through the job market. I've noticed that it's only very rarely that the technologies I'm acquainted with match up well with what's marked as needed on job postings. There tend to be lots of arcane acronym technologies which I've never heard about, and googling them tends to lead me down a nest of even more opaque jargon.

Is this something I need to be studying in my free time, or do people normally learn these things on the job and then specialise thereafter? Is it worth applying to jobs even if they are listing technologies I've never heard of before?

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    like what for example? – Kilisi Sep 19 '16 at 20:32
  • Is it worth applying to jobs even if they are listing technologies I've never heard of before? - no, because if you can't demonstrate where you've used those technologies in your resume, then you will be passed straight over. – HorusKol Sep 19 '16 at 22:43
  • Is this something I need to be studying in my free time, or do people normally learn these things on the job and then specialise thereafter? Yes to both – HorusKol Sep 19 '16 at 22:43
  • ls;dr: People learn continuously on and off the job, or they don't survive in the job market. You can apply for any job, but if they are looking for someone who already has those skills rather than someone who can learn those skills you'd probably not get an interview. – keshlam Sep 20 '16 at 3:00
  • You're going to learn something like 80% of the actual technology on the job or on your own time. School gives you a base and perspective to build off of. Own time vs on the job tends to vary from place to place, and the level that you're going in. Entry level / beginner jobs will be ok teaching you. Senior level positions will generally expect you to know how to use the tools before you step into it. – Ethan The Brave Sep 26 '16 at 15:54
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Daniel,

You have to look at all these postings and examine a few things:

  1. Current trends.
  2. Technology "clusters". For example, any Angular, jQuery, or Typescript development implies an understanding of Javascript.
  3. What the acronyms mean.
  4. (For a developer) If you don't grasp bigger-picture concepts like client-server, multi-tiered development, web services, SOA, and REST, as of the current market out there, this will be to your detriment.
  5. What interests you? Certain technologies might put a lot of money in your pocket, but it's not rewarding if it's boring as hell.
  6. What's going to be around for a while (i.e. how much support the technology has) because it's pretty stupid to wrap one's self up in something that will become obsolete quickly.
  7. Your own ability to integrate these technologies and actually make them useful. Some people just don't move that fast.
  8. What you can learn at low or no cost. Some technologies are just astronomically costly if you consider trying to teach yourself.
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I actually develop my skillset continuously based on the technological requirements of the jobs I'm interested in. This keeps me fresh, I learn new techniques all the time, and prevents me from eventually becoming obsolete in the workplace. Yes, it's possible to get hired if you don't know X, Y, and Z, but a company would usually prefer someone who has those skills. Most of the time it's because these technologies are actively integrated into their tech stack and they need someone who can work with them. That being said, I wouldn't assume that you need to be able to teach a class on whatever technology it is, just be able to grok how the tech is currently structured and be flexible enough to work with them regardless of how many hours you happen to have put into that particular language or skillset. For me, the biggest thing is to be able to have a comprehensive knowledge base of concepts and be able to recognize their syntax and implementation across multiple languages, even if you've never seen the language before.

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