Arguably the Best Build Tool Ever
I never liked the syntax of GNU makefiles. I used a shell script to build C++ projects from scratch instead of `make`. When I was hired as a Java developer, one of my tasks was to get familiar with the build process since I would be responsible for making any changes to it. So I had to learn about some tool called Ant, which was described to me as `make` for Java. Well I wasn't too thrilled with this idea since I hated `make`. However, within 5 minutes of sitting down with an Ant book and reading sample Ant scripts, I was hooked.
Ant is the killer Java utility. A must-have for any Java project. It takes a few minutes to create a basic build process using simple XML scripting. Ant shines with it's file set support so you can use wildcards to include or exclude certain files during a process. There are an abundant amount of tasks that can be used in Ant, ranging from FTP, Telnet, E-mail, CVS to JSP, EJB, RMI, and J2EE. Many Java utilities suitable for a build process such as JUnit and JProbe can be used within Ant.
Ant has really made my job enjoyable!
Lately during interviews and screenings for a potential interview, many employers have been asking me salary requirements. This is kind of a dilemma sometimes. I have no work experience, but I did tons of projects during college and as a hobby along with being involved in a college computer club. I've been telling them above $30,000 annually, but I am lowballing it big time as if I'm putting down my own skills. On the other hand, it's a bad economy and there are plenty of people looking for work that do have work experience. So if I ask for too much, they can easily dismiss me and go with someone with work experience. Any suggestions?