Thursday, 19 June 2008

Learn a new Language

I started coding in Java at uni about 4 years ago and since then I have been very Microsoft centric. Recently I have been reading Chris Dalbys blog ( and bought my self a current cost meter, and am very very tempted to get a SLUG.

However I dont know Linux and really cant code in anything other than C#. So should I learn another language? If so which one!

  • Java: Know a bit but haven't touched in in nearly 4 years.
  • PHP: Again learned a bit at uni but not in any depth
  • C++: Did about 10 minutes at uni of this! maybe something to learn!
  • Ruby: Quite liked the idea of this dynamic language but was not totally sold on it!
  • Python: No nothing about python other than its a scripting language!

Last year I had a very interesting conversation with Dave Verner about Ruby on Rails and he said I should aim to learn a new language every year - at the time I thought he was a bit nuts, and he probably thought I was a lost cause - but I can see sense in what he was saying now!

I suspect Im going to try and learn a bit more about Linux so hopefully a language which will run happily in Java makes sense (though Im pretty sure all the above run happily under Linux).

Any suggestions??


cdalby said...

Hi Ross
Thanks for the link. As you may know, I have been heavily Microsoft centric for many years. I decided to try a few new things over the last couple of years. One of them was to dip my toe in the water of a phone system built on asterisk and linux, the other was php.

I have always had a probelm remaining focussed and enjoy the thrill of learning something new. My first programming language that I learnt was VBA, followed by ASP. I then moved onto Flash and ActionScript. I think it is good to keep options open and integrate the right tools for the job.

If you want to play with a slug, it is very well documented, just follow the links on my blog. I would probably try ubuntu to get my head around linux in the first instance. Install apache, MySql, php, phpMyAdmin etc.

A couple of months ago I learnt php when I built There was simply more documentation out there for using the twitter API. You'll probably find it is similar to C#. The major thing I found is that there is just alot more code examples out there, and is well documented by the community.

Glad to hear you got a current cost. We're using #currentcost when we talk about it on twitter. Keep up the good work! Chris

paulcc said...

Rails (and Ruby) is quite fun. It's fairly likely that a certain department will be teaching it in the second year soon. I taught it to MSc students this year, and it went very well. Come along to Super Monday Something and find out more.


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