Learning different languages

Roy Smith roy at panix.com
Wed Mar 8 01:00:23 CET 2006


Rich <rich at addr.invalid> wrote:
> Anyway, my question is: what experience you people have with working
> with different languages at the same time?

At one point, I was working with Perl, Python, Tcl, and C++ all more or 
less at the same time.  I just kept crib sheets handy, so I could look up 
syntax whenever I needed to.  Which was about every time I needed to write 
a for loop and didn't have an example handy in the same piece of code to 
remind me what I was supposed to type.

> I'm more thinking about Python, PHP, C++, Perl, Euphoria, which are
> languages I'm thinking of learning now.

This seems like a reasonable set (I've never heard of Euphoria; I'll need 
to do some google/wikipedia work tonight on that one :-)).  If you're 
trying to build a good resume, I'd probably add Java and/or C# to the mix.  
Of course, with a list that long, we're probably talking a year or two of 
study, unless you plan on doing the most cursory job on each.

> How is your experience with handling these paralell?. And what would
> you recommend - take one (or perhaps two) at a time, and then continue
> with the next? Or is it OK to go ahead with them all, at once?

I try to learn a new language per year.  Sometimes it's just a quick glance 
(I spent about a day playing with Forth last year), other times it's a 
deeper look with a serious project or two (those are generally ones with 
resume appeal, but not always).  In any case, I think one at a time makes 
the most sense.



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