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Programming Languages (what next?)

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Lokire, Jan 16, 2012.


  1. I'm sure there are some experienced programmers / coders / software developers / geeks / etc, around here.

    I know this is a completely subjective and open-ended question, but what are your preferences as far as programming languages (and what kind of applications are you building with those languages)?

    I'm starting to get more serious about learning to code and wondering what languages I should add to my repertoire. I started on VBA about a year ago (since it ties in to Excel, which I already use professionally every day) and am pretty comfortable with that now. Then I read through a book on C (seemed like the foundational language to learn and build off of) and I have a decent understanding of at least the basics there. Reading through a book on C++ now, to get into more of a modern OOP language.

    After that, I'm not sure. Ruby is popular where I work. As is Python and Perl. I've been told by a handful of people that Javascript is the way of the future.

    Not sure what I want to do exactly. That's part of the problem I'm sure :p

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. I don't like Java but most universities use Java as their introduction language as it's a nice bridge between C/C++ and scripting languages.
     
  3. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Figure out what you want to do first... do you want to pursue a career as a coder? SDE? In what field specifically? Do you just want to have fun with it? Once you have that narrowed down, then you can start picking what languages to go after.
    You say that you've "read through" a C and now a C++ book - are you actually doing examples and problems? Making your own problems to solve and things like that?
     
  4. Yes, I've written C and C++ programs to solve real-world business questions / problems at my job. And I've done various exercises from the books. Currently, I mostly stick to VBA though because of how it readily integrates with the Excel platform and data, which I already have tons of experience with. Have written about 20k lines worth of VBA code for my job. Love VBA, but obviously it's geared towards Microsoft applications, which can be limiting.

    I don't know that I want to be a full time SDE, but I would like to be able to code my own applications, and be able to read/modify existing code to supplement my career (I'm in a 'Data/Business Analyst' field currently). Inventory management, forecasting, capacity analysis, data warehousing/mining, reporting, tool automation, supply chain optimization, data visualization...these would be general interests that have to do with my career.
     
  5. PrietoBass

    PrietoBass How does he do that?

    Apr 16, 2009
    Don't bother with C/C++ unless you want to get into low-level device programming.

    If you want a well paid job in a business environment, learn .NET, or some of the popular J2EE frameworks (Java driven). Do you have any idea how many jobs are being outsourced to India, etc because they can't fill those positions with local (don't know where you are, I'm assuming) American talent?

    One thing to keep in mind if you want to get into coding is that today's hot stuff is tomorrow's legacy. With today's ever shortening technology cycles, that means you'll always have to keep pace... or risk being left behind. The pay can be VERY good.

    Best to you.
     
  6. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Well, you're on the right path with C/C++. Java would be good as well to add on, and should be easy to pick up if you're comfortable with C/C++. If you want to get into web app, learn JavaScript, PHP anld Ruby IMO. If all of the information you listed if provided to you via a database of sorts, learning SQL can help big time, though not a "programming" language.
     
  7. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Right... because that's the only use C/C++/C# have. :rolleyes:
     
  8. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    It really depends on the Type of development you want to do.
    There are many different kinds.
    Here are a few:
    - Operating System development
    - Device Driver development
    - Embedded System development
    - Native app development
    - Web app development
    - Back end development - services

    The tools and frameworks for those segments vary widely.

    Now, outside of that, if you just wanted suggestions on
    some core skills that are important to have, you should learn:
    - VB or C# .NET
    - Java
     
  9. Ah yes, already an 'expert' with MySQL and Oracle SQL - use them every day - Petabytes worth of databases to 'play' with :)
     
  10. Yep, game developers writer most of the time drivers, same with app developers, plugin writers, library coders and so on. The whole world is full of device drivers that pretend to be apps!
     
  11. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Every game I've been involved with has been written in C++, except for a few mobile ones. This includes PS3 and Xbox 360 games, as well as PC games. I know one studio was trying to write theirs in XNA and hit a lot of brick walls. Otherwise, it's pretty much industry standard there to use C++, and for good reason. Every aspect of the game is in C++.
     
  12. That's what I tried to convey, too. C++ and templates. So if someone wants to enter the gaming industry, they better learn C++.

    But what do I know, I used to port CFront to Unix systems....
     
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Whatever happened to Fortran II?
     
  14. I'm sure it's in use, same with Cobol. And APL.

    Me, I like Objective-C the most as you have the best of both world, statically typed and a dynamic runtime. Plus compiled, but with all those JITs today that's getting less important.
     
  15. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Let's just have him learn COBOL, CICS and DB2 while we're at it :D
     
  16. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    How about Novell and GroupWise too. :)

    -Mike
     
  17. Every three years' or so there's this new computer language that will do miracles, save money for the companies and even a kid could write an operating system using it.... Seen this happening over and over. Also the pundits have finally stopped predicting that C will die.
     
  18. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Stopped being used around the same time they stopped using vacuum tubes in televisions. :)
     
  19. PrietoBass

    PrietoBass How does he do that?

    Apr 16, 2009
    Well, to be honest, you are right. I will agree that there are multiple ways to skin a cat when it comes to coding.

    I got the impression, based on the OP's post (Excel, Ruby, Python, Perl) that he'd be better served from technologies more suitable for business environments.

    True, lots of OS and Unix stuff is written in C. I believe RDBMS like Oracle are written in C. So, limiting our scope to Oracle for example, if you want a shorter path as a developer in a business setting you'd be better served by a language like PL/SQL than with C.

    C/C++ gives you a lot of power. Most of the time you'll have to write a LOT of code, which is why most of the time you'll be using some sort of 4GL language in a business setting rather than C.

    But I take your point, and you're right. C/C++ has many more applications than what I implied.
     
  20. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    I think those days of people focusing on languages are largely behind us. Now every coupla years it's about the latest new Framework that will change the world.

    I Still spend a great deal of time looking for tools to do some basic development with less code. The RAD wave had the development industry in the right direction - but it largely didn't deliver. Most of those tools failed, but, yet, I spend time regularly looking for the next one that doesn't suck.
     

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