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#1 oneshot2shots  Icon User is offline

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What programming language to learn

Posted 31 July 2013 - 06:34 PM

I'll bet a lot of people rolled their eyes at the title.

My question is not what programming language to learn, but does it matter? Aside from the fact that if you learn a language like C you can transfer to another quite easily, is there anything that one language can do that another can't? I've been in computer science for 10 months now, and php seems like the ultimate weapon to do just about anything. I was going to learn PERL because its so cool but whats the point, of going to the trouble of learning a language when there are few things one can do which the other can't? I know I'm probably wrong on some level(there is surely some reason companies use Java instead of php to develop software, even aside from speed) but for developing cool aps, scripts and personal software, there is no real reason to learn other languages except to increase knowledge. From a pure "doing cool stuff on a computer", perspective, there is no real reason to learn the more intricate languages, unless you are working or collaborating on something big, correct? Is there a reason that php now falls into the web development category, with python, ruby etc classed in the scripting language category on many forums?

Another question entirely unrelated, is there such a thing as "code-eye" in software development? In architecture there is cad eye, where people find it hard to switch off after dealing with abstractions all day long. Do software developers have a hard time separating leisure, or do you have to make work your leisure if you want to get involved in the industry?

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#2 salazar  Icon User is offline

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Re: What programming language to learn

Posted 31 July 2013 - 09:43 PM

In a way it kind of does. Certain languages are better at other languages in certain. One can't really say that there is a "master of them all." If your into web development, then php or popular "web" languages are a good choice. They offers many features that make it more suitable for developing web sites then say a language like C++ or Java. However, if you like game development then the speed performance of C++ may be best. Moreover, if your into system administration, then pearl might be the best option. So, you should decide what you want to do, then choose one in those categories and stick with it.

I don't have that much experience in software development, so I can't really answer your question on developing code eye. But seems interesting. Never heard of it.
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#3 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: What programming language to learn

Posted 01 August 2013 - 08:24 AM

Learning functional paradigms has helped improve my Ruby and Java code dramatically.
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#4 Golossos  Icon User is offline

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Re: What programming language to learn

Posted 02 August 2013 - 12:40 AM

From what I understand, PHP is the norm of the web in terms of scripting (I was told PHP makes up about 60% of the W3). There is not individual that is a master of all the languages. However, once you pick up one language, you can adjust to the slight (and not so slight) syntax changes of other languages.

Depending on the dev, our coding is our leisure (granted, I am a novice but especially enjoy those "aha" moments). The language of choice really ultimately depends on what you want to do. Usually, larger corporations may depend on .NET (Visual Basic, C#, etc) while smaller companies may use open-source (PHP). It does not hurt to explore other languages however.

A little bit of dabbling in SQL also helps, especially in dealing with PHP. They are supposed to go quite well together.
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#5 Witchking  Icon User is offline

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Re: What programming language to learn

Posted 02 August 2013 - 03:28 AM

PHP is not some kind of be-all end-all of software design, in fact it's anything but. It may be decent for web development, likely owing its apparent popularity to a low barrier to entry, but not in a million years would i use it for anything else.

http://me.veekun.com...-of-bad-design/
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#6 salazar  Icon User is offline

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Re: What programming language to learn

Posted 03 August 2013 - 12:15 AM

View PostWitchking, on 02 August 2013 - 03:28 AM, said:

PHP is not some kind of be-all end-all of software design, in fact it's anything but. It may be decent for web development, likely owing its apparent popularity to a low barrier to entry, but not in a million years would i use it for anything else.

http://me.veekun.com...-of-bad-design/


Don't you mean "high barrier to entry"?
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#7 Golossos  Icon User is offline

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Re: What programming language to learn

Posted 03 August 2013 - 12:23 AM

View PostWitchking, on 02 August 2013 - 03:28 AM, said:

PHP is not some kind of be-all end-all of software design, in fact it's anything but. It may be decent for web development, likely owing its apparent popularity to a low barrier to entry, but not in a million years would i use it for anything else.

http://me.veekun.com...-of-bad-design/

I am getting a good kick out of this... Long read though. I do admit PHP has some quirky syntax for a scripting language albeit coming from a fellow novice.
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#8 ishkabible  Icon User is online

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Re: What programming language to learn

Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:48 PM

@OP: I'll tell you what I tell everyone. Pick the language that is farthest from anything you've tried before; by doing so you will learn the most. I generally recommend Scheme/Lisp, Haskell, and Prolog as they are mind blowingly different from most mainstream languages. Prolog is perhaps the strangest as it is truly declarative. Haskell has no state and is lazy. Laziness has the effect of making order of evaluation unpredictable. Scheme and Lisp of an austere syntax and are the poster children of meta programming. They are also functional languages like Haskell. Assembly is also a nice eye opening experience so I'll add it to the list. Moral of paragraph: go radical or go home. Also a high level language that is not garbage collected (i.e. not assembly) is a good thing to know about. C/C++ for example

if you can cover all of those basis plus a language like Java or C# and a language like python or ruby you'll have a very broad knowledge of programming languages and all the languages in between will have familiar aspects to them.

@salazar: no he dosn't. PHP is a weird fucked up language if you ask me but it's pretty easy for people to get started. It's like legos, I can give a 3 year old legos and he can build something with it, that doesn't mean I want to build my house out of legos. It's like a really sweet wine that wine snobs would be disgusted with but uneducated hicks would think was the best of the best. It's like Velveeta cheese. Sure it's cheese, sure it's cheap, sure it's popular, but are there much better more thought out cheeses? yes, yes there are. I could go on, I basically hate PHP. I had to use it at my first programming job...never again.

I can't stress enough how strange and fucked up a language PHP is. As someone interested in programming languages it is the single biggest moral crusher I can think of; it's horrible and yet it's one of the most popular languages in existence. It goes to show that advertising has more to do with language success than merit. Java is not a particularly interesting language either but it's seen wide spread use. Java has the JVM and isn't a completely horrible language (although I would argue it's first versions WERE completely horrible). Java was able to turn it's popularity and success to advances in the language and infrastructure around it; this makes Java ok in my book. PHP hasn't done this; PHP 5 just made it more fucked up if ask me.

I'd also like to point out that I keep saying "fucked up". I don't generally sware; when I do it's to make a point. I can think of no other phrase which better conveys my point. so I'll say it again; PHP is fucked up.

This post has been edited by ishkabible: 07 August 2013 - 10:05 PM

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