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Which Language To Learn? 897

Posted by kdawson
from the future-proofing-the-skillset dept.
LordStormes writes "I've been a Java/C++/PHP developer for about 6 years now. However, I'm seeing the jobs for these languages dry up, and Java in particular is worrisome with all the Oracle nonsense going on. I think it's time to pick up a new language or risk my skills fading into uselessness. I'm looking to do mostly Web-based back-end stuff. I've contemplated Perl, Python, Ruby, Erlang, Go, and several other languages, but I'll put it to you — what language makes the most sense now to get the jobs? I've deliberately omitted .NET — I have no desire to do the Microsoft languages."
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Which Language To Learn?

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  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by r0ach (106945) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:14PM (#34218020) Homepage

    I mean, I don't see php or C++ going anywhere anytime soon....

  • COBOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:15PM (#34218026)

    Still in demand and it will not die.

  • by GaryOlson (737642) <slashdot@garyol[ ].org ['son' in gap]> on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:17PM (#34218032) Journal
    Industry constantly tells the Universities they need more C/C++ programmers for industrial systems. If all you are looking at is web based development, you are seriously limiting your options. I suggest a less restrictive filter on your search parameters.
  • by Cidolfas (1358603) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:17PM (#34218034)
    80% or so of all web-backend postings I see are PHP/Java/.NET or the like. The other 20% are all Python (usually Django, though I prefer Pylons myself) and Ruby. If you want to pick up another language just so you can be future-proof, go with Ruby. I haven't learned it yet (I do javascript myself, and use PHP or Python when I do backend), it seems to be a more common request than any of the others you listed.
  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:18PM (#34218036) Homepage Journal

    Yep, I still see lots of posting for people skilled in those languages. Also, if the submitter were serious about wanting to stay relevant and employable he wouldn't just automatically discount the .NET languages. There are more and more jobs available for skilled .NET coders. Tying one's career to ideology isn't always a smart thing to do.

  • What jobs? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wilfie (622159) * <wilf&linuxmail,org> on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:18PM (#34218040) Homepage
    "What language makes the most sense now to get the jobs?" What jobs?
  • by Pinhedd (1661735) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:18PM (#34218046)
    .NET development is taking off whether you like it or not. With oracle serving up a shitstorm over Java it's only going to gain more traction. Omitting an entire language and framework simply because it's developed by Microsoft is a pretty poor reason especially when it's gaining use in the very type of work you're looking for (web-based back end stuff). Honestly if you're looking for a job, consider learning C# and familiarizing yourself with the .NET framework
  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:19PM (#34218056)

    Yes, but being honest about your preferences can be helpful. I don't want to do .Net development myself either, or dig ditches, or clean toilets. There may be jobs in all three fields, but that doesn't mean they're for me.

  • Just a thought (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RNLockwood (224353) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:19PM (#34218058) Homepage

    Have you thought about one of the languages spoken on the Indian sub-continent?

  • Chinese (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asnelt (1837090) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:22PM (#34218070) Homepage
    I would go for Chinese.
  • by hinchles (976598) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:26PM (#34218120)

    I've deliberately omitted .NET — I have no desire to do the Microsoft languages.

    Poster obviously has no desire to be employed either. Love it or Hate it C# is pretty much the only langauge in demand by big business these days in the UK unless he's perfectly happy doing small freelance jobs etc which PHP is fine. Other languages he's mentioned are all pretty much unused apart from in the domain of nerds but certainly not by the majority of the companies recruiting. Ironically enough I reskilled from C# and other .NET oddities to PHP a few years ago purely out of personal preference.

  • Objective C (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drumcat (1659893) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:27PM (#34218128)
    Last I checked, being able to create apps with native hooks on the Mac platform is the hottest shit steaming right now.
  • Legalese (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte.drunksnipers@com> on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:27PM (#34218140) Homepage

    Win or lose, either way you'll earn money.

  • Just C. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:28PM (#34218142)

    No language is more universal. No language is more direct. It will never die. It transcends trends. It is the only decent language to me, having tried way too damn many in my life and always left wanting until I return to C.

    It is the perfect language. People might gripe that it's somehow "obsolete" or missing "modern" features, but to me, that's part of its appeal -- you get to do with it exactly what you need to do, and that is the essence of programming to me. Leaving too much to the language makes me feel powerless and less in control.

    I love C. If it was legal, I'd marry it.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bhcompy (1877290) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:30PM (#34218164)
    Except that ditch digging isn't preferable because you make shit money and do shit labor. .Net is no different than any language he current programs in those terms. It's not like he's avoiding assembly because it's too difficult to learn or doesn't have the greatest job prospects. He's just cutting off his nose to spite his face.
  • by ThatMegathronDude (1189203) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:38PM (#34218204)
    You need to drop the Microsoft hate if you actually want to be employable.
  • Re:What about SQL? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by royallthefourth (1564389) <> on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:45PM (#34218252)

    I think it's typically assumed that if you know how to program, you ought to be able to interact with a standard relational database. There's almost no prospects out there for someone who does SQL and nothing else...

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:46PM (#34218260) Homepage Journal

    Then you have just limited your career. But don't let me stop you, the rest of us want jobs too.

  • Re:Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:53PM (#34218326)

    The winner and still champion: Fast-food worker.

    I could take standing and waiting on people all day. I might even be able to handle the low pay by shacking up with 10 other people in El Barrio. The shrill BEEEEEEEEPs would push me over the edge. Ditch-digging would be a dream. Maybe somebody suggest a worse job.

  • .NET (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Chaseshaw (1486811) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:53PM (#34218338)
    If you knew .NET I'd have a job for you right now. Love it or hate it, MSSQL is still the fastest kid on the block, and its .NET reporting tools aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
  • Chinese (Score:3, Insightful)

    by microbee (682094) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @06:54PM (#34218344)

    You should learn Chinese.

  • by grcumb (781340) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:05PM (#34218430) Homepage Journal

    You need to drop the Microsoft hate if you actually want to be employable.

    Bullshit. I stopped supporting Microsoft servers in 1999, and I've never been without work. More to the point, all the best jobs I've ever had came after that point in time.

    It's not hate to want to be able to control all of the environment you're coding in. It's not hate to become sick of telling clients that they'll have to live with a bug until the next product cycle, because $VENDOR doesn't want to fix it just for them.

    It is most definitely not hate to want to take pride in the work you do, and to be able to be sure of that, because it's source code all the way down.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wootest (694923) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:08PM (#34218452)

    Okay, I'll bite: C# is a good language that makes more progress and is more eager to grow modern capabilities than Java is. None of the two will go away overnight, and C# isn't the very best thing ever, but I don't think people would have any problem giving it the credit it does deserve if Anders Hejlsberg worked somewhere else than Microsoft.

    I personally mostly prefer to code in other languages than C#, like Ruby, but I'd much rather work in C# than in Java and that's not for a lack of trying. I use and love ASP.NET MVC, which is open source, patterned on Rails and all about the code, with no "insert control here" wizards in sight.

    I know that there's a lot of people who drag a grid view onto a Web Forms canvas, hook up the data bindings, bill you the licenses of everything in the server stack and three weeks' work and then can't actually fix anything because they don't know how to code. Aside from conceding that Microsoft has largely traditionally gone out of their way to supply these people with software, I call Sturgeon's Law []. Just please don't let that fool you into thinking that everyone who has touched or developed for a Microsoft product has the coding skills (and chair propelling propensity) of Steve Ballmer. If that's all they were capable of, I would be right behind you.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hal2814 (725639) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:10PM (#34218480)
    I've dug ditches for a living and built houses for a living and done grunt work for a kitchen installation company. Whoever is considering sitting around in an air conditioned office and cranking out .NET code "shit labor" has a severe reality deficit disorder.
  • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:15PM (#34218518)

    I intentionally tried to avoid MFC, and learned it anyway. I avoided .NET like the plague, and work moved me right back to the plague.

    Since .NET 2.0 it's been a stable API, and if you're going to do web or web/desktop development, it's a good thing to have in your back pocket. And I'm saying this as someone who intentionally avoided it.

    I picked up Prosise's MFC book so I'd know what MFC was doing behind my back, and I dropped wxWidgets once it became clear it was an MFC "port" - if you don't believe me read the wx history. I intended to stay classic MFC all the way, and learn something else - anything else (but Java, that's my ideology and just as unfounded). Qt and... whatever the dominant web language was in 2001.

    I write .NET for a living. If nothing else, you can be read-only with .NET like I am with Java. I can search for an algorithm and find a public domain or otherwise compatible implementation, and if it's Java I can port it in a few minutes and have what I need - whether it's .NET or C/C++, which is where I prefer to work.

    Learn .NET, even if you are working in a full open source shop. There are lots of open source programs available only in .NET, and a free compiler (not the GUI, just command-line).

    I don't have mod points, so I'm just backing up dreamchaser (49529). I can write x86 assembly (att or intel), C (K&R, C89, C99), C++, VB5/66, VB.NET/C#, ASP 3, JavaScript, VBScript (cscript and IE), SQL (MS and Oracle) and lots of others less proficiently... so it's not like you can't learn multiple languages. In fact, the more you know the better. I write better .NET code because I think in assembly when performance matters. I write better ASM code because I think in OOP when code clarity matters. Yes, I probably need mental help, but the more you know the better you will be. The more ways you can think about something, the more solutions you can weigh when you have to actually implement something.

    Here's the best part. Learn what .NET does *wrong* and avoid implementing that in your apps, or avoid using constructs like that in whatever language you get paid to use. Learning .NET has made me a better C++ programmer, far more than any other experience in my life. Both for the good parts and the parts that could be better.

    You'll want to learn to use ILdasm if you go this route, no question. Obviously my vote is .NET.

    Search sourceforge for stuff in .NET languages, C# is probably going to be more familiar, download the free compiler from MS, compile, make changes, and start reading.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:15PM (#34218524)

    Seriously. My life is made hell by one stupid microsoft idiocy after another day after day (I manage a server farm of Microsoft VMs). The fact that they treat their development community like crap (Classic VB, f'rinstance) and abandon products with... abandon doesn't help much.

    Despite this, that's where the jobs are and all the crabbing of myself and the development community hasn't changed that. I hated MS in 2000. I hate it in 2010. I expect to hate it in 2020. And it's not going anywhere. Profits are up. Like the air, it exists. And I'll still be cranking out C#,, or or whatever is called for.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EastCoastSurfer (310758) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:17PM (#34218538)

    I take the general view that if you keep yourself *good* at whatever language you choose, you will have a job.

    I agree with this, but in an even more general sense. If you are a good programmer then you'll always have a job. Language is largely irrelevant once you get into the larger groupings of languages. A good programmer is a good programmer regardless of the current tool they happen to be using at the time.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:18PM (#34218544) Homepage Journal

    No, he is simply deciding that these particular principles are more important to him than a slightly better job prospect.

    Oh I have no problem with that, I was just musing that it can bite you in the ass. In this economy if you're worried about your prospects it's probably best to keep one's options open. I can respect someone who stands on principle, but principle doesn't pay the mortgage. It's not like every time you code in C# God kills a kitten.

    Or...does he! *eeeek!*

  • by indeterminator (1829904) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:18PM (#34218552)


    Don't learn the languages. Learn the the paradigms.

    Once you know a paradigm, picking up a new language under that paradigm will be just "yet another language", and you can learn one in a week (or 7 in 7 weeks). Of course, it will take more time to actually become fluent in language specific idioms, standard libraries etc, but those are not rocket science either.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:20PM (#34218562)

    I've worked in various office enviroments for years as relatively unskilled labor, leaving for work in the dark, getting home in the dark, spending the entire day inside of a cold flourescent-bulb light enviroment that is always teedering on the edge of "full blown flu pandemic". Whoever is considering working outside preforming good honest work "shit labor" has a severe reality deficit disorder.

    Newsflash: the grass is always greener on the other side.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:24PM (#34218588)

    If you know Java, C++, and PHP for 6 years, and cannot pick up any arbitrary language in a weekend, then you should find another business immediately.

    You've clearly failed to grasp the concepts of programming.

  • by gstovall (22014) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:25PM (#34218594) Homepage

    I've always been puzzled about the focus on languages. A language is just a tool or a palette. The important thing is being able to design software in a clear and efficient manner. Languages can typically be picked up in a very short period of time. I understand that the people who only understand buzzwords are blindly seeking a particular match, but if they were smart, they would look instead for a person who was a skilled designer of software, rather than a person who knew a particular language.

    In my career so far (I'm sure that many others have a much broader list), I've had to write software in: assembler (IBM mainframe, 6052, 8085, Z-80, 8051, Z-8, 68K, X86), BASIC, FORTH, FORTRAN (4, 66, 77), RATFOR, lisp, C, C++, PASCAL, PROTEL, perl, tcl, python. Java I've written a couple of example programs in, but have never written in it professionally. But I presume it is no harder to become proficient at than all the others. ADA is a good language; people are starting to realize the value of the rigorous protections it applies. But yeah, we were writing ADA code back in 1995, and it didn't seem widespread outside the military at the time.

  • Re:Really? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:29PM (#34218622)

    It's worth taking less money for something you enjoy. Otherwise you'll spend 40 years, 8 hours a day being miserable. When you retire are you going to look back and say that was worth it? The journey is what it's all about. Not the destination.

  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:30PM (#34218630)

    .NET development is taking off whether you like it or not.

    Sure it is, just like it was last year, and the year before. Get back to us when Microsoft actually rely on .Net and related technologies for their own flagship products like Office, so you know they won't declare those technologies obsolete when they want you to upgrade to the Next Big Thing like they did with Visual J++, Visual Basic 6, almost every database access technology they have ever published, almost every GUI API they have ever published, etc. The web technologies are looking like the next victims, given all the recent chatter about Silverlight and the resounding silence from Redmond where the defensive press releases are supposed to be.

    There are many languages you could choose to learn today. History teaches us that almost all of the good ones that don't come from Microsoft will still be around tomorrow. In fact, Microsoft are pretty much the only player in the game that does actively kill off popular mainstream technologies that are still in widespread use.

  • by CFD339 (795926) <<moc.htroneht> <ta> <pwerdna>> on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:32PM (#34218636) Homepage Journal

              If you want to be another common fish in a huge ocean, learn C# and sharepoint development. If you want to be hip and cool, but are willing to compete with low price coders from developing countries, go with LAMP development. If you want to be a big fish in a small pond and can self promote and communicate well enough to pull it off, pick something painful but useful to corporations ( Rational / Websphere / Oracle / Siebel / SAP development ).

    I do most of my client based work using Lotus Domino as a back end server and data platform. The development IDE is freaking horrible compared to visual studio or pure eclipse. The documentation is poor at best. There are a lot of workarounds you have to know. In many respects, it's a terrible thing to have to learn. HOWEVER, I've been doing it for a long time and am very very good at it. I'm never short of work, and I can accomplish things with it for my clients in less time and at less cost than any other platform I've ever found. I also use visual studio to build desktop applications, c++ to write custom modules for my Asterisk servers, javascript for web front end stuff, bash shell scripts for linux back end stuff, etc etc etc.... Right tool for the job and all that.

                  I know by writing that I'll draw a bunch of crap from cool kids that hate the platform I use to make a living, but I'm willing to bet most of them would trade annual incomes with me in a heartbeat if I gave them the chance. I've managed to have my own business for close to 18 years by focusing on what works rather than what's cool -- and by never letting myself be just another commodity programmer among a giant pool of people with similar (and frankly better) skills.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NFN_NLN (633283) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:33PM (#34218642)

    I've dug ditches for a living and built houses for a living and done grunt work for a kitchen installation company. Whoever is considering sitting around in an air conditioned office and cranking out .NET code "shit labor" has a severe reality deficit disorder.

    Try debugging poorly written Perl code - there is such a thing as "shit labor" even in an air conditioned office.

    If those are the only criteria used, then by your definition solitary confinement in prison would be a sweet gig.

  • Re:Really? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:35PM (#34218650)

    If you are a good programmer then you'll always have a job.

    Once you're past the recruiter bullshit, that is.

    I've had a recruiter asking me "When was the last time you've used STL?" (applying for a C++ job).

    I think he interpreted my amazement when I said "[silence]... mmm... in every piece of code I write..." as "he doesn't know what STL is". And I never heard anything from him again. I'm pretty sure he didn't know what STL was or he wouldn't have asked it.

    I'm sure this is not unique - you can be Bjarne Stroustrup and still be rejected for a C++ job by a clueless recruiter ("he said he invented the language... what a loser...")

  • by diskofish (1037768) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:58PM (#34218776)
    Makes sense. With the explosion of the web and internet, where do you think most of the jobs are? EVERY company needs to be on the web, and many companies need custom software for internal or external use.
  • by HappyEngineer (888000) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:59PM (#34218782) Homepage
    Don't get so emotionally fanboy about it.

    You only need one job. Web developers are needed by practically every company. I don't know what percentage of all that is Java vs C# but as a Java programmer I know that Java jobs are trivially easy to come by.

    In any case, objecting to C# is likely not an objection to C# itself. I personally think it looks like a great language. It's really objecting to all the stuff that's likely to come along with C# like Windows servers, IIS, VB scripts, IE only sites, Microsoft SQL Server, the attitude that cross platform development doesn't matter and a bunch of other crap that some of us don't want to have to deal with. If you don't have a problem with any of that stuff then that's your business. Don't blame anyone else for your eventual ulcers though.
  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @07:59PM (#34218786)

    There's a curious contrast between your username and the sentiment in your post.

    He's not going to be out of work if he chooses not to use .NET languages. There's plenty of other work. But if he does get a job programming using a tool he despises, then that's going to negatively affect the quality of his work - and that could be really career limiting.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kagetsuki (1620613) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @08:07PM (#34218842)
    Wow, I'm not a big Microsoft guy but even I have to admit .NET is pretty damn clean and has some insanely good business app tie-up stuff. Look at what .NET offers you and really think about how much time it will take you to re-code that in PHP and JS - then consider how much more flexible the .NET interface will be. Unless your client is using something that really wasn't fitting to .NET in the first place you may be digging yourself a very large hole.

    And if you know ASM then just learn some basic C and go into embedded development. Particularly ARM native highly optimized software is in extremely high demand and capable developers are far fewer than most other breeds.
  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @08:11PM (#34218860)

    I don't like .Net much. But I'm going to back you up and say you have a great point, and that obviously none of the other people have REALLY had to do full time manual labor for work. I have before college, and it was a huge motivator to finish a CS degree... All the people here are imagining frolicking outside on a 70 degree day carrying a single 2x4, and forgetting that pretty much everywhere has summer and winter too, and that a construction worker these days is going to be hard-pressed to find a job at all.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afidel (530433) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @08:16PM (#34218890)
    Shit labor is anything that makes you unhappy and/or fails to pay the bills. So long as you are happy and have your health, a roof over your head, and a full belly then the rest of it is just noise.
  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday November 13, 2010 @08:18PM (#34218914)

    No, he is simply deciding that these particular principles are more important to him than a slightly better job prospect.

    Oh I have no problem with that, I was just musing that it can bite you in the ass. In this economy if you're worried about your prospects it's probably best to keep one's options open. I can respect someone who stands on principle, but principle doesn't pay the mortgage. It's not like every time you code in C# God kills a kitten.

    Or...does he! *eeeek!*

    I agree. And there's nothing wrong with doing work that's not optimal in your opinion, but at least keeps the lights on, while simultaneously keeping an eye out for work that is more to your liking. It's not as if coding in .Net is amoral or illegal or something, not like selling your body to pay the rent (although some purists seem to believe that.) This is just his personal preference, a preference that he may very well find that he cannot afford. I'd rather not be doing Windows work myself, but you know what? I'd rather be employed than not, and besides, there are other aspects to a job besides the language you write in. In my case, I'm fortunate enough to have a great bunch of coworkers and a company that has good health benefits and retirement policies. Those count for a lot as well: a good coding gig is a complete package, not just your personal choice of programming language.

    Having been in this business since before it was a business, I tend to look more at results. Is the end product of what I'm doing worth the effort? Am I proud of what I've accomplished? Does my work benefit others in addition to me and mine? Maybe that's because I started out coding for the likes of the Rockwell PPS4 and the MCS6502, and have been through a lot of different projects, in different industries, on different operating systems in a multitude of programming environments. I also spent the better part of fifteen years working as a contact programmer, and in that world you take what comes along. You never know when the next contract will be approved, or if, so if you're wise you don't get too stuffy about it. Still, it did help that after establishing a reputation as a reliable developer, I had some of my bigger corporate customers designate me as their preferred custom software vendor for industrial projects: they would pass all incoming RFPs to me for evaluation first, and I got to pick and choose. That was kind of a high point in my career actually, but I had to work very hard to get there. The point is, if I had told them "I only work in these languages", I wouldn't have gotten that far.

    All languages have interesting aspects to their behavior, nifty features, unique drawbacks, and some are better tools for certain applications than others. I mean, I don't think of a screwdriver as being intrinsically superior to a pair of tweezers. For what each does, it does it well, and it doesn't hurt the user to know how to use both. The submitter sounds like something of a language bigot: I don't pay much attention to such people. "Oh, I wouldn't be caught dead working in that language. I couldn't possibly." If you love coding, you'll find something interesting in virtually any language, any project. A friend of mine once worked with a number of what he called "C bigots." These were guys that would spend three weeks hacking C just to put up a command button, and felt that that was only reasonable because, after all, the only real programming language was C. They wouldn't even consider anything else, and would laugh at the mere suggestion. Then C# came out ... suddenly they were huge fans of RAD and visual form design. My friend's comment? "Welcome to VB, you pompous assholes."

    A language is just a tool, something to be learned, and you can accomplish significant things in pretty much any language. So maybe it's harder with language 'x" vs language 'Y': think of it as a challenge.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @08:35PM (#34219034) Homepage

    Don't discount the outdoor trades so readily. The only reason I went office was at that time there was a glut of trades and an absence of office, so building estimating etc. rather than carpentry or electrical. Of course the office enabled me to get on early on computing that was the only real benefit.

    As for shit coding environments and good coding environments, that is tied to creativity and that has a real impact upon performance. If someone hates M$ and .net then it will cripple the creativity and their productivity will be terrible, fact of life.

    As for computer languages learning the new hotness is always a good idea so ruby and ruby on rails seems to be gaining popularity catch with that is, it's gaining popularity because it is easy to learn.

    Sometimes the older archaic languages can be more profitable (not many people left to maintain existing systems) but the reality is simply check the adds wanted and see where the demand is. A bit more geeky thing might be to check past history for the last 6 months to see how demand has changed. The other thing is location, some languages work better in some locations than others ie company type locations.

    The question seems to be more which language will replace Java and trust of Oracle zeroes out as they kill the language by having clumsy fools trying to monetise it.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @08:52PM (#34219138)
    Digging ditches can be honest, rewarding work. Coding in any programming language can give one a sense of purpose. Answering phones and filing documents can be a good job. They can also be personal hell shit jobs... it all depends on the people you work with. If you enjoy the company of your coworkers and would at least go up and say "Hi" if you saw them out of work rather than try to hide, that's a good sign. If you can trust that you'll get proper credit if you help someone with their work, chances are you'll enjoy working there. If you are given enough tools, time and freedom to finish the job, but also paced out with a workload that keeps you interested, it doesn't really matter what the task at hand is. If your boss is incompetent, chances are none of the previous will be satisfied. Inadequate management leads to a higher emphasis on short term gains than long term growth, so a corporate culture of backstabbing and cutting corners develops whether you are performing brain surgery, digging ditches, programming in widgetfu, stocking shelves or designing nuclear reactor safety procedures.

    That being said, learning another language just to put it on a resume is easy. Reportedly once you know a couple programming languages adding another is just a matter of a week or two to learn the fine points of the syntax and how to navigate the libraries. What you want as a prospective programmer is a portfolio of projects you have worked on. Don't just learn a language to have another bullet point on the resume... show that you can apply it to solve a real life problem. More importantly, try to take on a moderately difficult project with multiple specialized parts... team leadership experience will get you further than any three or four languages. The project doesn't even have to come to full fruition if you can show that your skills were improved and you learned lessons in the process. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to shoot for a management position, but you may become qualified for a job where you are given the freedom to show just what you can do, rather than a boss breathing down your back interrupting you from the coding zone every 25 minutes, changing specs last minute and then yelling at you when you can't release on schedule.

    That being said, it is up to you as an individual to determine what, if anything, requiring programming in .NET actually means about the kind of company you will be working for. And you might think you would be willing to take a $10,000-$20,000 pay cut to work at a place where your input is valued and you are given the tools that allow you to succeed, but really you end up making more money at those kind of places than you would if they were cutting corners left and right... because salaries and raises are one of the easiest things to cut off if they don't respect and value you anyways.
  • Re:D and Scheme (Score:1, Insightful)

    by zort (37229) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @08:59PM (#34219184) Homepage

    Clearly you didnt learn Perl, otherwise you wouldnt be calling it PERL.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shadowofwind (1209890) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @09:03PM (#34219208)

    I can respect someone who stands on principle, but principle doesn't pay the mortgage.

    You're not "standing on principle" unless you're willing to risk important things, such as the mortgage, to do that. Otherwise you're choosing expedience over principle, and any stated regard for principle is mostly posturing.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that. And of course even a principled person has to make choices between important things, and may reasonably choose the mortgage, particularly if they have children.

    But sometimes its better for kids to grow up in an apartment with honest parents than in a house with people who will trade their society's future economic health for temporary comfort.

  • Re:D and Scheme (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @09:10PM (#34219246)

    I'm going to assume that you know perl is not considered an acronym (anymore at least) and that you're just using CAPSLOCK as CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL.

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday November 13, 2010 @09:17PM (#34219280) Journal
    This is what happens when I omit the <sarcasm> tags. Sorry. No, I'm not interested in Miguel de Icaza's attempts to get Microsoft's patent-encumbered technologies into Linux - always one generation behind. That's not cross platform, it's just porting the chew-your-leg off environment to Linux so you can have that fun experience over there too. I'm starting to believe that stupid is contagious. No wonder why he doesn't want to learn the Microsoft stack. He doesn't want to catch it.
  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bhcompy (1877290) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @09:21PM (#34219318)
    No one ever said teaching was rewarding from the start. The reward is the public retirement, the overall benefits package, the job security, etc. I know plenty of teachers that have spent their whole lives teaching in one school or one district and are set for life whenever they choose to retire(and a lot of times they do not because they enjoy their work). I know absolutely no one that has worked their entire career at one company as an non-owner/non-founding employee. That's the benefit of being the 42k math teacher working 12 hours a day for 9months a year. And your wage is more than I made working the same hours doing entry level tech support 10 years ago. 42k isn't a "bad" wage, even in Los Angeles, especially in a profession where wages grow by union contract
  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shawb (16347) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @09:22PM (#34219324)
    The ones I've talked to always seem to be in good spirits... I think that's because after a week you get used to the smell and realize what society forced you to forget when you were in about second grade: poop is funny.

    I might go with veterinary technician at your local pound. Their job is pretty much to take care of abandoned pets for somewhere between a few days and a couple weeks. Make sure their medical needs are attended to. Advocate for individual animals to try to facilitate adoption... and in the end humanely euthanize about half the animals that come in the shelter. All while receiving derision from activists and the public at large, being attacked by the animals you are caring for, and making about as much money as someone on the Geek Squad. Oh, and that vet tech will also be cleaning up feces, looking at it through a microscope, and even learning to identify certain diseases by the smell. And then once summer comes... you start with the maggots and cuterebra larvae. And numerous litters of newborn kittens with no fosters available to feed them. And the countless extremely friendly, people pleasing, perfectly socialized dogs that will never be adopted because the media has spread the idea that pitbulls are inherently vicious.
  • Tying one's career to careful thinking is always smart. Do you really want people easily de-compiling your code? Microsoft is the British Petroleum of software. Eventually there will be impossible problems.

    Look, I'm not fan of .net (or the company) either - but dude, it's been around for a decade now; usage isn't declinging and just like any actively developed product every couple of years brings new improvements. It's great to say th ere will be "impossible problems" - but if we're realistic, we see they will be no more impossible than any others. As far as de-compilation: wait, I thought information wanted to be free. Yeah, I know that was a straw-man - it just slipped in. Anyway... you could say the same about any language that compiles to bytecode -- singling out Microsoft because you don't like their practices is just silly. (It's no harder or easier to decompile .net than java -- though interestingly the tools to decompile .net are more mature, it's true -- stilll obfuscation goes a long way.)

    A full, complete version of Microsoft's operating system, Windows 7, costs $300, about half the cost of some laptops.

    And an OEM version - readily available - costs < 100, so what's your point again? That some of the tools we use cost money? And this is a reason not to use them?

    Eventually Microsoft's abusiveness will cause an Enron-style breakdown, in my opinion.

    First BP, now Enron. Dude, really? I suppose I should be thankful you didn't throw a couple of "M$"s in there. Perhaps you could next detail a breakdown of what or the type of impossible problems we should be expecting. Until then, you're just a troll. And one that I'm feeding, at that.

  • by smash (1351) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @10:31PM (#34219638) Homepage Journal

    A full, complete version of Microsoft's operating system, Windows 7, costs $300, about half the cost of some laptops. Eventually Microsoft's abusiveness will cause an Enron-style breakdown, in my opinion.

    Your point being? If you're billing your time at $150/hr, that is 2 hours of work.

    People harp on about the cost of Windows, etc but in the real world it is often irrelevant if it saves a couple of hours of time.

  • by Jeremi (14640) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @10:55PM (#34219738) Homepage

    Most of Microsoft's own software is NOT written in .NET. There is a reason for that.

    Is it because most of Microsoft's own software was written before .NET was released?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 13, 2010 @11:07PM (#34219796)

    If only whitespace made as much sense to humans as as it does to computers... Haskell and Python might actually be good languages.

  • by the-matt-mobile (621817) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @11:16PM (#34219834)

    Get back to us when Microsoft actually rely on .Net and related technologies for their own flagship products like Office

    Nice little straw man you've built there. Sun never built Open Office or Solaris in Java, but you can''t be foolish to think that that was a vote of no-confidence in the future of Java. I'll judge .NET's success on two factors - employment opportunities and continued innovation and development from Microsoft. And let's face it - while a lot of copying and catch-up was done for the first few iterations of .NET, that was over and done with after the 2.0 release and ever since then MS has been blowing past everyone else out there. Visual Studio is arguably the best IDE out there, Linq was a total game changer, and ASP.NET MVC fixed the travesty that was the past decade of Webforms. The future looks really bright for .NET, and not so much for Java. But, things change quickly and I'm hoping that the Java community can pull itself together because MS does better when they are forced to compete.

  • Re:Really? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @11:32PM (#34219896) Journal

    Try working a shitty job and being broke and destitute. I have done that ... and close to that right now.

    Believe me you wont care what language it is as long as you are out of that horrible situation. Be happy you have a job in a nice air conditioned office. Wanting respect and earning a paycheck can bring great happiness, creativity, and great productivity. What you acomplish is more important than the language you love. People are so spoiled today and a reality check for those unemployed from 2008 when the economy tanked to today will show it. I bet these out of work Linux programmers would drool to work in an office using VB.NET and not have to sell printers at Best Buy.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) on Saturday November 13, 2010 @11:39PM (#34219922) Journal
    SO you are saying C++ was wrong before the inclusion of STL?
  • by melted (227442) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @12:12AM (#34220054) Homepage

    Where I work, I currently do one interview a week. I only said "hire" twice in the last year or so. Truth is, 95% of people I have interviewed so far couldn't write decent code on the whiteboard if their life depended on it, in _any_ language. Your fear is misdirected. No decent employer gives a shit about languages in a job interview. They care about whether you can write the fucking code, in the laguage of your choosing, and whether you have experience in the areas you're applying for. I.e. if you bill yourself as a backend dude, they'll want to see if you know e.g. distributed systems, and have the backend mindset. If you're a frontend guy, that's another set of skills entirely, but still very little (if anything) depends on the language. You can learn the syntax in two days. You can learn the libraries and language-specific idioms / patterns in 2-3 months (if you're proficient in at least a couple other languages). It's not that hard.

    And if the employer makes the assumption right away that you _can't_ learn e.g. Ruby on Rails, to hell with them. You wouldn't like working there anyway.

  • Re:Python or Perl? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wonkavader (605434) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @12:17AM (#34220072)

    "but you'll need to learn python"

    What's to learn? You can teach yourself to be functional in it in no time.

    Languages have gotten so boring, these days. I know, the languages are the same, it's just the fact that we've learned all the new concepts and the only thing really novel in most of these languages is syntax. Know some lisp, some fortran, some pascal, some java, some groovy, some ruby, and what's left? Anything new under the sun? Any real new concepts? (Not just ranting here -- anyone with some suggestions?)

    We should be telling this guy to learn ARM assembler. At least that'll challenge him.

  • by FlyingGuy (989135) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <yuggniylf>> on Sunday November 14, 2010 @01:44AM (#34220346)

    Well said; however, the problem is the HR weenies who write job descriptions and then do all the "box checking" before you even see a resume more then likely.

    Someone who has programed in several languages for a long time can figure out pretty much any of the C clones that keep popping up like so many mushrooms on the lawn after the rain starts

    The best way I have found to just sus someone out is to take them to a conference room with a big white board and ask them to logically block diagram a system that has a database and a front end that imports raw data from outside sources, parses it into a standardized data model, manipulate the data and render it back in a form that is intelligible to Frank over in accounting. Making someone write actual code on a white board does have some value but the logic process that someone displays is far more important.

  • by gillbates (106458) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @01:47AM (#34220354) Homepage Journal

    The thing this recession taught me more than anything is that corporations have no morals, no ethics, and really, no just claim to fair treatment. They are not humans, and not deserving of anything more than that for which they pay. Not a dime.

    Corporations - particularly large, publicly traded ones - routinely use "the recession" as an excuse to treat their employees like dirt. Get off your high horse - bowing down to your corporate masters so you can "have a job" only screws yourself and your fellow employees. Do us all a favor and stop working - or at least demand the respect that you, a human being, deserve.

    The fact that the economy is in the toilet doesn't change the fact that you're a human being and deserving of the respect due a human being. If you think otherwise, well, you're just as much a part of the problem as the companies which exploit the poor economic situation.

  • by bidule (173941) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @02:11AM (#34220432) Homepage

    Lisp already exists.

    If Lisp did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 14, 2010 @02:14AM (#34220446)

    The language I enjoyed the most hands down has to be Perl, the community was awsome. (Hit a few YAPC events to meet them). the irc channel is almost always helpful now days (as aposed to the sarcastic replies you used to get).

    Perl/Catalyst for the win.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IICV (652597) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @03:25AM (#34220694)

    You do realize that there are other things teachers do outside of classtime, right? Like, say, meeting with parents, staff meetings (you know those things? The same kind of bureaucratic meetings you have in an office? Teachers have those too - they don't just disappear as soon as school ends), meeting with students, and of course someone has to run detention though you can grade during that.

    And then you're assuming that it takes a trivial amount of time to grade homework. It seriously doesn't. Most classrooms nowadays are pushing 30 students. Assuming he teaches five periods worth of class per day, that's 150 pieces of homework to grade. Assuming each piece of homework takes two minutes to grade (tip: it doesn't*), that's a full five hours of grading to do once a week, again assuming there's only homework once a week (in a lot of classes it's assigned more often than that)

    And then there's all of the bureaucratic busywork to do. There's all sorts of continuing education, advancing education (a lot of teachers are working on a masters in something or other, since free tuition somewhere is often one of the few perks of the job), and God only knows what else the administration comes up with.

    And then, when you're done with all that, you need to go over your lesson plan for tomorrow one last time, just to try and teach them a little bit better.

    *it probably averages more like five minutes even for simple math assignments - sure, marking something right is easy, and marking something wrong is easy, but what about partial credit? What about bad handwriting? These are kids who've just barely learned how to write a few years ago scribbling shit down in the few minutes between classes because they forgot to do it last night - it doesn't lead to legible handwriting

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elbobo (28495) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @05:54AM (#34221136)

    I worked doing manual labour, and really heavy stuff at that, for maybe five years in my late teens, early twenties. It was, on balance, just as enjoyable, if not perhaps more enjoyable at times, than being a programmer. It just doesn't pay well enough.

  • by melonman (608440) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:38AM (#34221238) Journal

    > Once you know a paradigm, picking up a new language under that paradigm will
    > be just "yet another language", and you can learn one in a week (or 7 in 7
    > weeks). Of course, it will take more time to actually become fluent in language
    > specific idioms, standard libraries etc, but those are not rocket science either.

    I know people who take the same approach to natural language. After all, Spanish and Italian are very very similar, aren't they? The reality with natural languages is that "all languages are the same" thinking enables you to abuse several cultures without actually understanding any of them.

    And I think that to a large extent the same thing goes for programming languages. For example, if one of your "paradigms" is "object-oriented", does learning Smalltalk really prepare you for making best use of OO in Java or C++? Or vice versa? The inventor of Smalltalk and OO certainly doesn't think so.

    I spent some time a while back trying to explain Scala to a Java programmer. His response was "It's just like Java." Well, Scala *is* just like Java, as long as you ignore the huge and central features that are not like Java. When I started to show him those features, generally in a "replace a page of code with one line" sense, his response was "I don't like it", and that was the end of the conversation. That, in practice, is what "learn 7 languages in 7 weeks" looks like.

    My defining experience in this context was observing a government contractor whose preferred language was FORTRAN, who was told he had to code in Lisp. I would not previously have believed that it was possible to write Lisp as if it was FORTRAN, but that contractor proved me wrong. And, to be fair, I find that I have to make a conscious effort not to write C++ as if it is Lisp, eg "everything on the stack and screw the efficiency".

    "7 languages in 7 weeks" only works if you stick to programming with the features that can be found or kludged in just about every language. Nowadays that's going to mean procedural code with loads of variables and a bit of OO for accessing libraries. It works, but it's a recipe for terrible, terrible code. But, hey, it will be equally terrible in 7 different languages!

  • Re:What about SQL? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cytotoxic (245301) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:42AM (#34221250)

    I think it's typically assumed that if you know how to program, you ought to be able to interact with a standard relational database. There's almost no prospects out there for someone who does SQL and nothing else...

    They actually have titles and everything. They are called DBA around my shop. The good ones are like old-school unix guys who wax poetic about their favorite shell script and kernel optimizations.

    If you are a PHP or other front end developer who creates SQL to power it, you are very, very likely not a SQL master. A good programmer with experience can create SQL databases and queries that work well. His code will be amateurish and inefficient to a good DBA. They do the same thing OS programmers do, delving into the deep inner-workings of the database engine to find all the little tricks, optimizations and security gotchas.

    Good DBAs tend to be more math oriented personalities than the larger developer population. Probably because they have to live in a world dominated by set theory and complex logic.

    BTW, if your experience with DBAs is a bunch of Microsoft Certified Professionals who are proud that they can create a stored procedure to fill a ticket - then you haven't been working with a good DBA. Those guys are the equivalent of the "web developer" who can use the GUI development environment to put a couple of forms together. A good DBA will take that query that you spent two days optimizing to get from 15 minute run times to 2 minute run times and get your results in milliseconds. Often the optimizations they make won't even seem logical to the untrained - until you watch how much faster they run. They are able to do this because they've spent years focusing on one platform.

      Still don't buy it? Ok, a quick example. One of my analysts was faced with a set of tasks that was taking too long and causing application timeouts. These tasks involved importing and parsing millions of rows and then joining to many tables of tens or hundreds of millions of rows in a highly transactional environment. After banging his head against the limitations of the database engine for a week or so, he finally decided that he needed to expand the functionality of the engine. So he added a couple of customization DLL's to the engine (written in C#) to add two new commands with the features he needed. He was able to get an already well-optimized run time of two minutes down to about 35 milliseconds. Oh, and my team is already finding lots of other places to use the new features he added, knocking a few percent off of the CPU load on the server and improving response times.

  • Re:Really? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 14, 2010 @06:46AM (#34221260)

    I must disagree partly on that. A good programmer will always use good practices and program cleaner than a bad one. He will be faster up to speed in any language.

    But the difference between a good programmer and an excellent one is the experience in a language. It takes a lot of coding in the language to know the little dirty gotchas. Same for libraries, it takes a good deal of programming and interaction with the community to know which libraries exist and how to use them.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BeanThere (28381) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @07:50AM (#34221462)

    C# is not a beginner or medium level language. It requires great skill and some of the best C# programmers I know were originally C, C++ and Java developers.

    Sigh, you didn't really read what I wrote properly, or you don't understand the complexity differences. Being *good* at C# requires great skill, sure. I'm not taking that away, and I have met some very good programmers who simply liked .NET. Being mediocre at it requires very little skill though. The entry level is much lower than C++. That's the whole point of it, it's by design. It's easy to ignore some of its more advanced features, like reflection. You don't have to understand things like pointers to start writing applications. My main language is C++, but I am doing a project in .NET at the moment. Sorry, but it is an absolute breeze compared to C++.

    While it true that there are plenty of bad C# developers; that is pretty much the same in all languages.

    Nope, the proportions ARE different for the simple reason I stated, C++ is far less *forgiving* to newcomers. With .NET, you can open the development and start coding without much difficulty. With C++, unless you know what you are doing, you will struggle to get your programs to compile, and this will continue for a long time until you become good. The typical 'first experiences' in C++ are 'I can't get anything to compile', even for someone good at another language, like .NET. Whereas if you are good at say C++, it's all downhill from there; a good C++ programmer will get up and running quickly in .NET. A 'bad C++ programmer' won't last at all. And to be a good C++ programmer, you practically have to have an understanding of what assembly language the compiler generates. C++ has been jokingly referred to at times as 'the most advanced assembly language'.

  • by abulafia (7826) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @07:57AM (#34221486)

    Pick a direction.

    If you like web dev, don't look at a language, look at a path. If you want to stay relevant in the front-end coding, Javascript, getting good with HTML5, and one or more of the various things that feeds both (Python, Ruby) is good. Do it via learning some widely used package of functionality. Write something missing, and release it (Django tagging system, with a Canvas tag cloud?) Having released code makes you much more employable. On the back end, well, Python or Ruby + knowing the oddities of one of the NoSQL tools is nice. (And by "knowing", I don't mean read the O'Reilly book, I mean put them under pressure and see how they fail.)

    If you want to become a better programmer, learn Lisp. Really, no shit. It changes how you look at things.

    If you want to become a better programmer, but don't want to invest in Lisp, pick pick up a functional language, like Haskell or ML. But do Lisp first.

    If you hate the idea of either of the above, get better with your current language of choice. Write an ORM, or a templating language. Nobody will care, but you'll learn why everyone hates but still uses the ones we have.

    Learn Objective C, or the Android API, and write something for a phone. We're just past the "here's my todo list, here's my Tetris clone" phase, and it is new territory, and one of the few genuinely interesting things to come about since the mid-90s. If you show some initiative, you can land a safe spot doing this. By about '15, I expect most folks to have a smart phone and be sorted as to expectations, so that's about three years to get good at things and maybe do something interesting to set yourself apart, at the most.

    If all you care about is shooting for the center of mass, learn either Microsoft or get good with PLSQL + the weird crap Oracle makes you do to bundle Java up for database deployment. I don't know what Microsofties do, but if you get good with server-side Oracle code, know your shit with performance issues, memorize various oerr codes, and can parrot back whatever whitepapers Oracle released recently about X And The Enterprise (you know, Private Enterprise Cloud Computing, or whatever), you're very employable. Bonus if you've lived a clean enough life to get a security clearance. Check your ego with the receptionist and pee in this cup, please.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by terjeber (856226) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @07:57AM (#34221490)

    You're not "standing on principle" unless you're willing to risk important things

    At the same time, there is a huge difference between standing on something on principle and being a hard-headed ignorant religious fool. He is a hard-headed ignorant religious fool.

  • by obarel (670863) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @09:17AM (#34221854)

    And syntax isn't everything.

    Recently I had to look at some Java - I can deal with the syntax, but I was absolutely sure that there's something that already does what I needed to do. The Java library is huge, so it's not just a case of "how to write a loop". If I want to connect to a database, I need to read what's the common way to do it. Of course there will be 3-5 different ways, with proponents claiming that each way is the right way. So you have to start reading articles and blogs, play a little with the code, and form an educated guess (and after a day of looking at the language, it's almost certain that you can't even tell if the examples you're looking at are sane or not).

    I could read a Java book and pass an exam about the syntax, but I would not pass a (reasonable) job interview without a few years of learning the libraries and the idioms.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @09:59AM (#34222142)

    Not to mention, nobody ever says "Someone has a case of the mondays". Shit, no, man. I believe you'd get your ass kicked sayin' something like that, man.

  • Puzzling (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tthomas48 (180798) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @10:07AM (#34222202) Homepage

    I'm puzzled by what you mean by "drying up". I'm constantly seeing Java and PHP jobs. Granted I'm in a tech hub (Austin), but there are tons of unfilled jobs. The fact that Android runs a java variant puts Java even more in my demand. I'd suggest adding Objective-C and Javascript and you'd have pretty much every current desirable tech skill.

    Have you considered that the problem isn't your technological skills, but where you live?

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Sunday November 14, 2010 @12:08PM (#34223160)

    get real and face a few facts.

    Something .NET proponents seem unable or unwilling to do. Most .NET apps would be better written as web apps and the remainder in C, C++, ObjC or something like Vala (I think Mono can do AOT compilation -- yet it's still a poor choice). Welcome to the real world where few except "pompous asshole" "language bigots" are placing long-term bets on the .NET platform.

    I wasn't promoting .Net, and in fact I'm not a .Net proponent. I was just saying that limiting one's knowledge of one's own field isn't always a winning move. That's especially true when economics are a factor. I'm glad that you are able to work in the language(s) of your choice, and maybe don't have any real economic considerations to deal with. The rest of us don't live in that perfect world (I know I don't ... I have people whom I care about, and who depend upon me.) And, as others have pointed out, .Net is, like it or not, popular in the corporate world and if what you need is a job, you do what you have to do. Maybe, if you're a Unix/Linux/Solaris guy you get to work in an environment that suits your personal preferences/prejudices. Or, maybe you have bills to pay ... and you don't. That's life. It's not right or wrong, it's just the way things are.

    There are a lot of people that have decided that their way of looking at the world is the only one, and don't accept that their might be another way. Maybe not a better way, necessarily, although "better" is a loaded term at best. That's true of any of the major camps: .Net, LAMP, you name it. If you took anything away from my post at all, it's that I believe that steadfastly refusing to look at what the other side has to offer is nothing but self-justified, willful ignorance. Even if after studying another approach you still find it wanting, well, one should know thine enemy.

  • by FlyingGuy (989135) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <yuggniylf>> on Sunday November 14, 2010 @12:12PM (#34223198)

    You cringe? Interesting... It is ONE char and only one.

    When I am coding I there are times when I just drop a quick test into the left hand margin because it is visually a "sore thumb" that sticks out and is unmistakable as something that should not be there and if it IS there then it requires immediate attention.

    While Python is a very nice C Clone they really fucked it up with this bit of stupidity.

  • by FlyingGuy (989135) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <yuggniylf>> on Sunday November 14, 2010 @12:22PM (#34223284)

    ...despite not strictly needing to!

    Hit the nail right on the head my friend.

    All the dogma about dynamic languages giving the programmer the freedom to build like their imagination wants to goes right down the drain when the language designer imposes their layout style on the people who would use the language.

    I wonder how many lines of cruft could be removed from the parser if it did not have to manage indentation?

    Python is no more nor no less elegant then C since it is just a C clone. I like you have been doing this shit for too damn long but I gotta say I have never really had a problem returning to well written and well commented C code.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ultranova (717540) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @12:22PM (#34223286)

    I've dug ditches for a living and built houses for a living and done grunt work for a kitchen installation company. Whoever is considering sitting around in an air conditioned office and cranking out .NET code "shit labor" has a severe reality deficit disorder.

    If you have the strength for it, digging ditches is fine. You spend the whole day outside, get plenty of exercise, and have an SI-standard unit (meter) to measure your accomplishments. You're also free to let your mind wander anywhere you please while your body moves on autopilot.

    That said, if you don't want to dig ditches, cranking out .NET code might not be the smartest career move, since the skills you acquire are tied to a single company and their fortunes and decisions. Microsoft does not deal in good faith. If they invented .NET, they did it only to tie people to their platform. If they allow Mono, they allow it only to snare people to a trap before they spring it (sue Mono to oblivion). If you've spent the last 5 years cranking out .NET code when they do, you're going to have serious problems competing against the guy who's spend them doing Python or C++.

    Now excuse me, but my shovel needs polishing.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Sunday November 14, 2010 @12:49PM (#34223518)

    Your comment doesn't make much sense. Python and Perl really are sort of on the same level in functionality/performance characteristics...

    Agreed (from what I've read about Python). Perl is a bit more prevalent and has a longer history, meaning there may be more people/places using it and there's more code out there (not just CPAN).

    From a functional point, if you know one you don't need the other, but if you don't know either, I'd suggest Perl. I know there's a little religious waw between the two, but it seems silly. That said, I think the white-space delimited block syntax in Python (and other languages) is really stupid. I know you Python people will chomp at the bit about that, but I'm right about this, Guido is a snob about this, and you know it - let it go. Anyone who's had their Makefile blown because of a lost tab, or bitched because X converted tabs to spaces in a copy/paste knows what I mean - and yes, get off my lawn :-)

Serving coffee on aircraft causes turbulence.