convince me

Michael Chermside mcherm at destiny.com
Mon Aug 5 21:01:21 CEST 2002


> Well, I'm 15 years old looking to have a future in programming.  I've
> been playing around with the basics of a few different languages (C,
> C++, Perl, Python, and Java).  I know I want to learn C, but as far as
> perl and python I'm trying to decide which.

I suggest you learn both.

Really.

It's not like there's a limited number of programming languages you can 
learn... in fact, the more languages you learn, the faster you are able 
to learn new ones!

At this point, I think focusing on what is marketable isn't the right 
approach. After all, the most marketable language out there right now is 
probably Java, which didn't even EXIST 6 years ago.[1]

Instead, I'd focus on getting GOOD at programming, learning a few 
languages would help, but working on projects (preferably ones you find 
fun) is the main thing.

So if you were going to get started, I'd recommend Python. Its syntax is 
simpler (and doesn't require 10 years of experience with Unix for the 
syntax to all make sense), and it is a language that will tend to "teach 
you good habits" (eg: it's got better object-oriented programming 
features than perl). But don't feel like you have to give up Perl...

-- Michael Chermside

[1] Somebody will probably object that it hadn't been RELEASED instead 
of not existing. Yeah, yeah... the point is still applicable.






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