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What Programming Language Should We Advise People Learn?

There is an interesting blog post here where the author offers advice on what programming language new software developers should learn/use. I went through all the comments and it's interesting to note just how heavily slanted this post and comments are on technologies such as PHP, Python, Perl, Java, and so on. The Microsoft stack (Visual Studio VB/C#, ASP.NET, & SQL Server) gets mentioned but not nearly as often as the others.

My favorite reply was posted yesterday (2/14/09) and basically said if you want to work in the corporate world learn things like C#, Java, SQL, and so on and if you want to be broke, learn php/ruby/python.

What are your thoughts on all this?

posted on Sunday, February 15, 2009 10:31 AM Print
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# re: What Programming Language Should We Advise People Learn?
Broken Chain
2/16/2009 11:12 AM
I believe that the price an organization will pay you for programming services is proportionate to the cost of the software used to create it as well as the cost of the hardware needed to support it.
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# re: What Programming Language Should We Advise People Learn?
Grant BlahaErath
2/20/2009 2:50 PM
If they can handle it, I recommend C++. After I used C++ for a few years, I found that there wasn't a single language I haven't been able to pick up and get productive in 8 to 10 hours. For example, I had to fix a bug in some Perl code once and I had never been in the code or ever used Perl. I had the bug fixed in 3 hours.

Unfortunately, C++ is hard, contains a lot of semantic overhead, and beyond the reach of many software professionals. It's still the only language around with the infrastructure for projects requiring 100+ engineers (simultaneous or over time) so if you are into big stuff, it's probably the only way to go. Most coders that I've dealt that learned PHP, VB, Javascript or Python can't handle complex object and component systems. Not only is there a lack of support for higher order abstractions, there just isn't much need for it in web app coding.

I'd also put a shout out for SmallTalk. I think every language I've learned borrowed ideas from both/either c++ or SmallTalk.

And of course, I use C# everyday. It truly is a great language.
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# re: What Programming Language Should We Advise People Learn?
hermanweb
4/27/2009 4:55 AM
i think VB because it easy to learn but powerful :)
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