I started my career as a System/Network Administrator. I have a good knowledge of Windows as well as Unix/Linux OS's. For the past 1 and 1/2 years I am into software development. Quite well conversant with J2EE and Project Management. Now I look ahead and see everybody is talking about Web services these days which might just be a hype. Frankly speaking, I am at the crossroads and not able to decide which course to take, System/Network Administration or software development, though I am looking for a stable and a rewarding job (in terms of monetary gains). Please Advise.
From a J2EE point of view, Web services will be a part of the app server framework, and will be visible within the application domain as either JMS or some other message broker technology, such as CORBA or MQ Series. If you want to stay on the admin side, I would study technologies such as WebSphere, Systinet, iPlanet, Shinka and others. If you want to focus on development, I would look at Web services for Java tools, such as Systinet, Cape Clear or Glue. If you are thinking about branching out, there is always C# and our product, TierBroker, which is a scripted solution for Web services.
[Editor's note:] For another opinion, click here to read EAI/Web services Expert David Linthicum's answer to this question.