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Programming Languages

By charl99s ·
Hi there
How many languages do you know? I must be honest I only master in one and that is Visual Basic. Reciently I went to the local Univercity where some of my peirs are doing their Bsc in Computer Science. They learn almost all of the programming languages that are out these days. I did not choose in doing multipul languages and myself desided to go the "whole nine yards" with VB at home. It has been about two years now and the things that I can acomplish with one language has really suprised me. The thing that I did noticed about my programming peirs is that they are in second year of programming going to to third and yet only cover the basics of programming in multipul languages. Sure it may be great to say to your mates that you know so many programming languages, but do they really know indepthly of each language. After my first year of persuing the MCSD cert with VB my peirs are astounded by some of the skills that only one programming language offers. I don't know what I amtrying to get across in this discussion. Maybe an employer would think twice about contracting a programmer with many languages or maybe I'm trying to say is know about other languages, but master your favourate. Thanks for hearing me out :)

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Many languages

by Boyarsky In reply to Programming Languages

Having a base in different types of languages
can be helpful too. This broad exposure
allows students to pick up new languages
faster and facilitates learning a specific
languages more deeply.

In programming, an important skill is to be
able to decide which language is best for a
given task. You may be able to accomplish
something in VB, but it may have been
possible to do it in 3 lines of Perl. How do
you know this, if you limit yourself to one
language?

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Multiple Languages

by asa1600 In reply to Many languages

Both are good points of interest and that is why I am currently also studying VB programming ( having FINALLY found an Advanced VB programming class ). My course of study is to finish Advanced VB, then take the Client/Server Programming VB. After that, I want to do the same with C/C++. All the way up through Client/Server programming.

Once I am finished with that, I am thinking of expanding over to Oracle DBA/Architect so that I know the best of both worlds, programming and database.

Any thoughts on that?

Thanks in advance.

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Jack of all Trades, Master of None?

by bstains In reply to Multiple Languages

One thing to consider is the environment you want to work in with your skills.

If you're in the "web" world for a lack of a better term, then you'll be lucky to have the time to ever totally master any language. The name of the game is flexibility and speed. Todays hot topic is tomorrow's legacy and you have to go with the flow.

If you're in a more "stable" environment, then the language choices are potentially different. You often have more time to master certain topics, etc.

Company size also matters. Large programming shops will often allow you the room to specialize and become master of your domain. Five people in a back room doing everything from admin to design and programming will, however, not allow the same freedoms.

I personally develop in Java, XML, HTML, JavaScript, Oracle PL/SQL, Perl, Korn Shell, ... and the list goes on. Have I mastered any? Maybe, maybe not. I have, however, went from Jr. Programmer to owning my own consulting company in 5 years and am able to charge several times the rate of "in-house" programmers. The reason? I'm flexible and never back down from the opportunity to learn something more.

Be aggressive, be confident and MOST important, learn from your mistakes. They'll always present themselves again! :-)

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Hammers/nails

by Rob Wolfe In reply to Many languages

I agree wholeheartedly. What is that hoary old saying?

"If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"

Language designers dont (for the most part) dream them up just for fun. There is a particular problem area in mind or they have experience in other languages and see how a new way of looking at the world (since this is what a language forces you into) could be useful.

Granted, some of these are more successful than others but I know for sure that I would not want to write a heavy bit twiddler program in Cobol/360 any more than I would want to write a reporting tool in assembler. A little extreme but you get the idea.

Personally, I would consider myself proficient (or better) in about 4 or 5 languages and I can "fake" my way through enough of a few more so that I can maintain the code that someone else has written.

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Up to date in the not-so-cutting edge

by RodBailey In reply to Programming Languages

I think there are two ways to look at your career path in programming. If you are or plan to be a consultant, then there is no doubt that the more languages you know, the more valuable you are. You will be able to find more opportunities with a longer list to offer. The question then becomes, how long will you keep each contract due to how good you are versus how good you told them you were.

However, another way to approach your career is to make fewer and better calculated jumps between languages. For example, while C++ is still a marketable language, it probably makes sense for a C++ programmer to now pick up Java. I myself am an Oracle developer. I am currently programming in an Oracle 8.0.5 database with Developer 4.5 tools. I switched into IT from sales/marketing only two years ago and so I only know SQL and PL/SQL and the related Oracle tools. I have decided to keep my concentration in Oracle but try to stay up to date with the versions. So, I have started an Oracle 9i database at home with Oracle JDeveloper and will try to start picking up some Java and learning these new tools. I'm just following Oracle's lead. At some point, Oracle may not be one of the leading databases anymore. In fact, relational databases altogether may start to transition to another technology. If so, I will adjust my path accordingly. The trick is not to jump at each new technology as soon as it comes out. Remember, businesses can't keep up any better than you can. There aren't many businesses really on the cutting edge. They can't afford it and they don't want to be guinea pigs. So there will still be work for some time in the not-so-cutting edge.

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milti Language Benifits

by christhedv8 In reply to Up to date in the not-so- ...

I don't disagree with any of the previous postings but have you considered the options of a mulit language program, use which ever language best achives the results all incorperated into a single program.

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