Why Python?

Roy Smith roy at panix.com
Wed Sep 4 07:30:57 EDT 2002

"Benjamin" <phncontact.libero.it@> wrote
>> i talked to a friend of mine, he told me that i should try php..

Learning new stuff is never a bad thing, but I'm not sure php is where I 
would go next.  While I've never used it myself, my impression is that 
it's really just a niche tool for creating dynamic web pages rather than 
a real programming language.  There is a lot to programming beyond the 
web, and I think you'd do better learning some more general-purpose 
tools and languages.

"RPM1" <rpm1deletethis at nospamfrontiernet.net> wrote:
> I think you should try coding in C.  It's used everywhere for
> everything.  It's faster than about any other language.
> Most other languages are written in C.  C is highly marketable.
> But best of all...
> You'll learn to *really* appreciate other languages like Python,
> Java, ...

I agree that learning C is a good next step if your plan is to do 
programming for a living.  For better or worse, it is the lingua franca 
of the programming industry today, and has been for the past 15 or 20 
years.  And, yes, it will give you a taste of a very different 
programming environment from Python.

After that, my guess would be at least two of C++, Perl, and Java.  
Exactly what you want to do will determine which.  If you goal is to get 
into e-commerce and the web, Java is probably a must.
Python is an cool language, but the unfortunate truth is that there just 
aren't that many paying jobs for people who know Python and nothing 
else.  Hopefully that will change over the next 5 years, but it's not 
assured to happen, and in any case will be a slow process.  In the 
meantime, hedge your bets.

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