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Employed only in little used proprietary languages?


Golden Member
May 6, 2013
I worked for a few years programming in the field of COM (Computer Output Microfilm). It was for a data management company that at the time in the mid 90s specialized in microfilm production machines and the software to run them. The company developed their own version of a language for COM which I learned. But after I was laid off with dozens of other people the language wasn't of much use in getting another job. Wonder if anyone else was stuck in a not very popular proprietary language rut like that if you lost your job.

The company tried to get the programmers to learn marketable languages like VB and C versions but only one or none of the programmers showed up for the free in company classes. I didn't go to them. I did brush up on some DOS and simple Unix shell scripts while there but never pushed myself to learn enough Unix to get another job in programming.

Which leaves a sizeable gap in time for what was I doing for the last 20 years while not being in the tech field. Except for a couple months designing a website for a small real estate organization in Html. Well it's been nothing special and I got by with notable assistance from my relatives. Edit: But this last paragraph probably belongs in another thread.
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Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2008
well I hope to never be in such a situation. I'm using C on embedded systems and C#/.NET on desktop so I should be good for now.


Sep 13, 2001
I was in that position at my first job out of school. The main application was written in C++ however there were plugins that users of the software could develop and we developed some in house too, and they were written in an in house scripting language that was based off of pascal.

After like 5 years I realized I wanted out and wanted to do more client/server type of development and I knew that the scripting language wasn't going to help. I didn't even put it on my resume because no one would know what it was. I did however put pascal, but I mean this was in 2010 and by then, pascal was old as hell already, so it's not like anyone cared about it anyways.

Now though I'm at a point in my career where I am language agnostic. I know how to develop and I know how to do it very well. I primarily do javascript with some java for server side stuff, but I've had to dig into other stuff when the time calls for it.

When I was talking with companies a year or so ago, they understand that too that at a point in your development career, languages are just another tool for the job to be done and they are easy for people to pickup if they know what they are doing.

That said though, there may be need for someone to come in and be an expert in a technology where they don't have 3 months for someone to become an expert in it, so obviously it varies when looking for jobs.