convince me

jerf at jerf at
Wed Aug 7 01:58:38 CEST 2002

On Tue, 06 Aug 2002 11:48:09 -0500, Kyle Babich wrote:
> I would rather be devoted to one or two languages than know a little
> bit of everything and a lot of nothing. 

This is a common misconception, but learning languages doesn't work that
way. Learning one language will leave you knowing a little something about
something. Learning several will be better.

Learning multiple computer languages is very much like learning multiple
human languages; the first couple are hard, but they get easier over time.
The ability to pick up a new language and use it to its full advantage
swiftly is extremely valuable.

That said, now is not the time to worry about that. Python is an excellent
choice, because learning how Python works will make Java very easy to
learn and understand, even better then coming from C++. (I experienced
this.) Python is an excellent first language. Python is a *much* better
language then Perl to start with, because Python will teach you very few
bad habits, if any.

But you don't need to agonize over the decision... it's not a life-long
commitment. A couple of years from now, you should learn another language,
depending upon your needs for the time. I'm on a one-a-year or so schedule
right now... not really a plan, that's just how it's working out. 

(One advantage of doing that is you learn a lot of langauges and can then
decide which to use. Python's a keeper. VBScript is a "please god, no
more!". Javascript is tolerable. Java is a good language wrapped/buried in a
really, really annoying one. Right now I'm doing Perl for my job, and it's
so-so... but I'd really recommend Python right now.)

More information about the Python-list mailing list