View Full Version : What language to learn

08-05-2005, 10:53 AM
I've been teaching myself C for a month now, I wanted to be able to code for a mud I play, I now have a good understanding of the language but have decided if I'm going to put all this effort into something it should land me a job as well. ;) So I've decided to step it up and move on to a more practical language but can't decide what would work best for me. I'm thinking c++ but am absolutely unsure what the companies are looking for in a comp geek.

08-05-2005, 11:03 AM
Java, PHP, C# and SQL are pretty popular.

08-05-2005, 11:54 AM
If you wanna get a job coding and you already have a grasp on C then try C++. Alternatively visual basic is very popular with employers due to the rapid nature of development in it as is delphi.

08-05-2005, 12:45 PM
While on the topic: does anyone know how popular Ruby has become with employers?

08-05-2005, 01:19 PM
Not very. It's still very early in development and it's having trouble catching on around the web because no hosts are installing the framework for it. Besides, it's not that much better than the alternatives (PHP, ASP).

08-05-2005, 01:27 PM
I see. I thought it was pretty good but then I havn't learnt about PHP or ASP :(

08-05-2005, 01:32 PM
ruby on rails is starting to gain a lot of traction. My web programming prof thinks its the next big thing but i hope he's wrong. I find python to be a better scripting language.

08-05-2005, 01:55 PM
Consider this discussion (although a very brief look into Ruby): http://forums.entropysink.com/showthread.php?t=641

08-05-2005, 02:12 PM
I've decided to step it up and move on to a more practical languageIt's amusing that you consider C to be an impractical language. If you were speaking regarding QuickBASIC or Pascal I'd understand, but C is the entire opposite of impractical.

In any case, I love and am in love with C++. Give it and Java some consideration. C++ has all the qualities you could ever look for in a soul mate.

08-05-2005, 02:23 PM
My opinions may differ from others, but I'd try to get a good range of languages - low level like C++, mid level like visual basic, and a scripting language like maybe javascript.

I find myself using all levels quite regularly. As long as you enjoy learning and using them, then go ahead.

08-05-2005, 02:33 PM
Since one language will never be enough for all your programming needs, you may as well learn several different ones which are aimed at very different problem domains.

08-05-2005, 02:41 PM
After debating about the relative merits of Ruby, can we talk about why vi is better than Emacs?

Zach L.
08-05-2005, 02:48 PM
Only after we discuss the impending return of COBOL.

08-05-2005, 03:27 PM
After debating about the relative merits of Ruby, can we talk about why vi is better than Emacs?I wonder if I'd be out of line to request that first we have a side-by-side discussion of the advantages and drawbacks of the Bourne shell versus the Korn shell.

08-05-2005, 03:28 PM
I've set the goal of learning a language probably C++ within 3 months, by the end of that time I want to be programming at a semi profesional level. I'm not certain how realistic that is, but I certainly can't forsee myself taking on the task of learning two or even three languages simultaneously. :P

Are there actually low level programming positions in the employment world? I've been looking through the classifieds in my state and all these companies want 8+ years experience and serious credentails.

entry level position is cool, but I dont want to be the preverbial mail clerk delivery guy :P

Zach L.
08-05-2005, 03:33 PM
Hmm... Depends on what semi-professional really means. The goal is very ambitious to say the least, but with focus, you can certainly be fairly decent in that amount of time.

Going from C to C++, note that one major difference is that a well designed C program rarely looks like a well designed C++ program (assuming a non-trivial program), so don't merely add on some extra syntax to your knowledge of C.

That said, good luck.

Rashakil Fol
08-05-2005, 05:07 PM
Don't forget to learn Lisp.

08-05-2005, 05:19 PM
Only after we discuss the impending return of COBOL.

heh, I just finished my COBOL modules this year. Then I went out the back and burnt all my books.

08-06-2005, 12:36 AM
Then learn Smalltalk.

08-06-2005, 04:06 AM
If you want semi-professional, you might check this site out: www.rentacoder.com

The best way to learn a language fast is to simply take a course at a community college. It isn't that much either - maybe $300 to 400 depending on the college. I know my local one has a current tuition of $65 per credit but when I took VB .NET there, it was only $40 per credit. Boy prices go up don't they? :(

08-12-2005, 12:46 PM
whats "Ruby" ?

08-12-2005, 12:58 PM
3 months is very ambitious indeed unless you have a lot of other coding experience behind you. While learning a language at school is definately a good thing, to become pro or semi-pro I really believe you must extend yourself beyond that.

There are many things that will never follow the course material, and you must be willing to extend yourself into other areas of thought to get things done. I have often found, once you leave the basic skill level courses behind there is a tendency to be rigid in the system. I've found too often in my own job where you need some real difference strategies to follow. Mind you, I am not advocating that you ignore the standards or very good rules you've learned but you need to extend yourself.

In any event, I don't think C/C++ in the near future will ever be "impractical", its already survived 30+ years in the comp industry, so it should be ok.

08-12-2005, 01:46 PM
whats "Ruby" ?

It's a scripting language - quite powerful, I like it.


08-15-2005, 06:36 PM
Personally, 3 months to semi professional isn't impossible IMHO. Once you've gotten really good in one language, others can come naturally. Having done VB,Python, and Java all of my life, I became "fluent" (OpenGL, BSP Trees, collision detection, mostly game programming related) in about two weeks. Now I can do just about anything I want to in C++ (within reasonable limits). If you are already a long time programmer, 3 months is not impossible.