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View Full Version : What programming language to learn.


josuff247
05-08-03, 10:55 AM
I know a good amount of VB6,
However have gotten much criticism that VB6
is not a real language.
While I have created many "real" programs for
my company with VB6, i want to expand my horizons.
Whats the best programming language to know
that will benefit my career as a programmer.

Feneant
05-08-03, 11:59 AM
The standard introduction lanquage in most universities now appears to be Java. It used to be C++ but it changed, don't ask me why as I've never done Java.

Nazgul
05-08-03, 12:44 PM
SQL

I know it's not programming per se, but it's really hot right now.
.NET's version of VB will also be worth it.

MikeMay
05-08-03, 12:48 PM
XML

It's more of a metalanguage (and markup language), but also pretty hot right now. I also second VB.net.

mmconhea
05-08-03, 02:56 PM
XML

LolaRennt
05-08-03, 03:47 PM
gwbasic ;-)

No, seriously, it depends on what you want to do.

Database development: SQL
Internet development: XML and its variants
"Normal" programming: I would suggest vb.net. As you have already vb6 experience, the step shouldn't be all that great.

Do not underestimate vb. Yes, hard-core programmers laugh at it, but it is amazing how many programs are being written in vb. It is a flexible language, relatively intuitive to use, a huge user base, a lot of help available on the internet, and, probably most importantly, many, many companies use it for in-house development. In short, if you know vb, your job-prospects are good.

LolaRennt.

jfoobar
05-08-03, 10:30 PM
Perl, because Perl programmers are just cool.

jrobinson
05-08-03, 11:20 PM
C++ and JAVA are very similiar.

I'd learn C++, then make the transition to JAVA.

I was a VB programmer first, and it took probably a week to make the transistion to C++. JAVA took about a day after that.

DivxGuy
05-09-03, 02:18 AM
Perl, because Perl programmers are just cool.You've obviously never had to work with substantial programs written in that language. :p

RD

duz
05-09-03, 08:41 AM
just because its trendy doesn't make it good
now be hardcore and learn assembly, so fun programming in assembly, no really it is

mmconhea
05-09-03, 09:38 AM
Lego Logo

CharlesC
05-09-03, 10:29 AM
Concentrate on learning the basics of designing in object-oriented design first.

After that I'd suggest VB.net. Really depends on what you want to do.

Front-end windows?
Internet apps?
Backend, middleware, database, etc...

jfoobar
05-09-03, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by DivxGuy
You've obviously never had to work with substantial programs written in that language. :p


You obviously don't know what I do for a living. :p

Shazam
05-09-03, 02:44 PM
XML is very easy to learn. However, it's not really useful unless you learn another language that you can parse the XML with.

C++ and Java only look the same. There's a lot of differences between the two, not to mention there's a grillion variations of C++ out there.

I'd start with either C# or Java. They are very similar. Then, depending on which language you learned, Windows Forms programming or Swing. Then, ASP.NET or Servlets/JSP for web development, and all that comes with this, such as JavaScript, CSS, and XHTML.

But before all that, I'd learn object-oriented principles and design first.

Beaver
05-09-03, 03:43 PM
I'll second the Perl recommendation! :)

But it definitely depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

jrobinson
05-09-03, 05:08 PM
has he decided yet?

something else to consider... what kind of programming do you want to do?

my opinion on programming languages... if you understand the theories and concepts, you just have to learn syntax, which isn't hard.

das Monkey
05-09-03, 06:41 PM
Heh ... XML's more a standard than a language (don't let the "L" fool you ;)).

As others have suggested, just learn something solid in OOP. If you know what you're doing (i.e. you're someone worthy of being hired), you'll be able to pick up any language fairly quickly as long as you understand the principles behind good programming.

As I said in your other thread, you should probably learn one main language, one server-side scripting variant, and one database variant to be versatile. You are already familiar with VB, so get a good VB.NET book, learn OOP, and start from there. You may as well then go ahead and do ASP.NET since the syntax will be familiar to you as well. .NET's pretty much killing the gap between VB's ease/speed of use and VC++'s power, so don't think learning VB.NET will keep you in the dark. You can learn C# if you like, but VB.NET will be almost the exact same thing with just a syntax you're probably comfortable with. Along with that, get some experience with SQL. mySQL is free and stuff, or if you have access to Oracle or SQL Server ...

If you can understand and become proficient at the principles of those three things -- how a stand-alone application thinks, how the web thinks, how a database thinks ... and how to make them all talk to each other -- you can pretty much pick up everything else when it's necessary. The fundamentals are what's key. If you understand the different paradigms, the different languages become little more than a change in syntax.

das

Seeker
05-09-03, 11:40 PM
It's the principles, not the language.

Learn OBJECT ORIENTED programming - whatever the language. Add pieces to that foundation.

josuff247
05-10-03, 07:35 PM
I think I am going to go with VB.NET
I already have the Deitel book, and I will learn from
there, since his series has helped me in school.

Where do you get mysql for free?

After VB.net should i move to Visual c++.net
or c#?

By the way, thanks for all of your replies.

das Monkey
05-10-03, 08:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE> Quoth josuff247 <HR SIZE=1>Where do you get mysql for free?<HR SIZE=1></BLOCKQUOTE>

Many web hosting services offer mysql databases at no extra charge ... or at least they used to.

<BLOCKQUOTE> Quoth josuff247 <HR SIZE=1>After VB.net should i move to Visual c++.net<HR SIZE=1></BLOCKQUOTE>

Really doesn't matter ... it's all the same thing. If you're going to learn a .NET stand-alone variant <I>in addition to</I> VB.NET, then I'd go with C#. C++.NET would probably be a waste of time at that point ... may as well learn to harness the added power of C#. Though, I'd take on a server-side scripting language first ... unless you know for certain you'd never need that stuff. It would be much more valuable IMO for you to know a combination like VB.NET and ASP.NET instead of VB.NET and C#/C++.NET.

das

mikehunt
05-10-03, 09:16 PM
wuss
machine code is where it's at :)

Originally posted by duz
just because its trendy doesn't make it good
now be hardcore and learn assembly, so fun programming in assembly, no really it is

mverleg1
05-10-03, 09:46 PM
Originally posted by DivxGuy
You've obviously never had to work with substantial programs written in that language. :p

RD
That's because there are no such thing as a substantial program written in perl. If you can't write it in 5 or fewer lines of code in Perl, it's not worth writing to begin with. If it's less than or equal to 5 lines, it's not substantial.

Dave99
05-10-03, 10:19 PM
http://www.mysql.com

Dave
Originally posted by josuff247

Where do you get mysql for free?

jfoobar
05-10-03, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by mverleg1
That's because there are no such thing as a substantial program written in perl. If you can't write it in 5 or fewer lines of code in Perl, it's not worth writing to begin with. If it's less than or equal to 5 lines, it's not substantial.

Something that will no doubt come as surprising news to every decent Perl programmer on earth. -ohbfrank-

mverleg1
05-12-03, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by JustinS
Something that will no doubt come as surprising news to every decent Perl programmer on earth. -ohbfrank- I always thought that the point of Perl was to look like obfuscated C code.

DivxGuy
05-13-03, 12:41 AM
You obviously don't know what I do for a living.Wow, if you can actually work with substantial programs written in Perl, you could have made a fortune at one of the companies I worked for. They had inherited a number of systems written in Perl that were so convoluted as to be unmaintainable, and I think they were so indecipherable that they couldn't even be ported to other languages.

RD

jfoobar
05-13-03, 12:56 AM
Originally posted by DivxGuy
Wow, if you can actually work with substantial programs written in Perl, you could have made a fortune at one of the companies I worked for. They had inherited a number of systems written in Perl that were so convoluted as to be unmaintainable, and I think they were so indecipherable that they couldn't even be ported to other languages.

RD

Well, the motto of the language is "TIMTOWTDI" (pronounced "Tim-Toady"), which is short for "There Is More Than One Way To Do It."

This is both a blessing and a curse. As a programmer, it can be a blessing because there are many ways to accomplish the same goal, allowing a tremendous amount of flexibility compared to a very strict language like, for example, Python.

It becomes a curse when the consultant you hired to wrote some monster code for you and then leave uses a very obfuscated style making it very difficult to actually decipher what the hell he/she did.

There are lots of shortcuts in Perl...and shortcuts for those shortcuts...and in some cases shortcuts for those shortcuts.

jfoobar
05-13-03, 12:59 AM
Originally posted by mverleg1
I always thought that the point of Perl was to look like obfuscated C code.

And why would you think that?

Perl is very C-ish, because much of its basic design was adapted (and improved upon) from C. Hell, Perl is written in C. It also has structure and commands adapted from several other languages (more than you can count on your fingers).

Dave99
05-13-03, 08:05 AM
Isn't this typically called job security?

Dave
Originally posted by JustinS

It becomes a curse when the consultant you hired to wrote some monster code for you and then leave uses a very obfuscated style making it very difficult to actually decipher what the hell he/she did.

NotThatGuy
05-13-03, 09:01 AM
SQL: Currently Hot.
ColdFusion: Hot middleware (Used frequently with SQL)
.NET: Will be hot in the next 8-24 months

-pedagogue

CharlesC
05-13-03, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by pedagogue
SQL: Currently Hot.
ColdFusion: Hot middleware (Used frequently with SQL)
.NET: Will be hot in the next 8-24 months

-pedagogue It always makes me laugh when somebody says SQL is 'hot'. Hasn't it been around for about 25 years? It's had one hell of a 'hot' streak.

jfoobar
05-13-03, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by Dave99
Isn't this typically called job security?


You'd think so, but often it isn't.

Many large ande small corporations as well as public sector entities outsource a very large percentage of their in house programming to consultants and/or contractors who may or may not still be there when coding updates are required.

Also, it isn't unusual to have somebody who is now in the position you were in two years ago call you and ask you to update code you wrote way back when to solve a particular problem. I use to be a Tivoli systems admin for a large hotel corporation. When dealing with Tivoli, especially running on Unix platforms, some substantial knowledge of Perl and/or shell scripting comes in very handy. I left the position to do bigger/better/more interesting things within the same company but got mixed up in a political battle when my old group, now under entirely different management, wanted (insisted is more like it) me to come back and modify a bunch of old programs I had written. Needless to say, my new department head told them to stuff it.

There wasn't anything wrong with the old code mind you. They just wanted changes made to accomodate new features in the Tivoli Framework that had occurred since.

I am not a programmer by trade. I don't mean to imply that I am. I have just found Perl to be very useful in every job I have held for the past several years, and I have no doubt that my (to be honest) modest prowess in the language has added at least 10K to my current salary over time. To anyone that has any decent foundation in either shell (in my case, ksh) programming or C, it is also very easy to pick up.

I would dare say it may very well be the most useful language for anyone who is not a programmer by trade to know because it is so versatile. You can do OOP, Tcl/Tk, write hooks between elements that otherwise won't talk to one another, and most everything else. It is still the king of CGI and text manipulation.
It has also been ported to just about every computing environment that you can name.

llzackll
05-17-03, 12:33 PM
I suggest you read the books "The Pragmatic Programmer" and "Code Complete". For languages, I would suggest C++ for its universality. But it all depends on what you want to do. For me, C++ is my language of choice. I also try to learn other languages, but main is C++. If you want to understand programming at a lower level, I would suggest starting with just C, then moving on to C++. Yes, C++ can do everything C can do, but most C++ books don't cover the C way of doing things. Also, I read a lot of example code that is written in C.

But really, it all depends on what you want to accomplish.

Shazam
05-19-03, 12:42 AM
Hell, Perl is written in C. Umm, lots of programming languages are written in C/C++.

josuff247
05-19-03, 07:58 AM
Probably a mistake, but I am trying to teach myself vb.net and C# at the same time.

jfoobar
05-20-03, 02:29 AM
Originally posted by Shazam
Umm, lots of programming languages are written in C/C++.

Umm, I know. I wasn't implying otherwise.