Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What programming languages should you learn?

Gentle reader,

Assuming that you are an aspiring computer programmer and you are interested in working with web sites, what languages should you learn?

Rather than drone on and on, here are my suggestions:


1) Java

If you have Java under your belt, you have THE most popular language in Corporate America today. That speaks for itself in terms of potential job opportunities. Java is also similar to C# so you can position yourself favorably for a C#/ASP.Net position, assuming you can convince the hiring manager that you can learn reasonably quickly.

2) Javascript

This is indispensable nowadays - you will seriously limit your chances if you don't know javascript. Most people try to squeak by and just "sort of know it". Do yourself a favor: learn it thoroughly. It is in itself a very interesting language.


3) Python

Very useful for system administration (and much much more!). It has replaced Perl as the "scripting language du jour" and is extremely useful - and fun to use as well!

If you have mastered those, I would suggest:

C, and then C++

Many "serious applications" use those languages (e.g. the firefox web browser). Learn them, at least know enough to read code. Be warned: learning C++ is painful for many people.

And then - whatever takes your fancy. As someone once said, you should learn as much as you can, because it all sort of fits together.

Happy programming!

-Buford Twain

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