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Re: (OT) "Learn one new language every year"? Yeah, right.

by periapt (Hermit)
on Oct 08, 2004 at 12:53 UTC ( #397629=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to (OT) "Learn one new language every year"? Yeah, right.

I agree with your assertion that 1 year isn't enough to do more than scratch the surface of a language. However, I also agree with the author that learning new languages add to your primary skill set. A new language provides the framework for exploring new ways to look at things. You may be using the term concept to represent this idea.

The atomic detail of assembly, the procedural nature of C, the set orientation of SQL, the macro focus of TeX have all given me new ways to look at problems that have paid off in my Perl programming. I don't think I would have developed these perspectives without the framework provided by these languages. I do most of my work in Perl and SQL but every now and then, I will try to solve a small problem using another language/tool just for the experience. It usually pays off.

I won't say I've learned a language a year but, it is amazing how much you do pick up a little at a time. Now that I think of it, the only language I have't gotten much out of is VB. I don't mean to knock BASIC you understand-I learned to program in BASIC-It's just that I don't think I've gotten much out of recent versions. I learned more from LOTUS 1-2-3 HAL than I ever have from Excel VBA (I know VB and VBA are not quite the same thing but the point is still the same).

The real strength I've found is to develop an approach that fits you and then grow that style to handle new and varied problems. ( a somewhat more expansive variation of zentara's one punch philosophy )

use strict; use warnings; use diagnostics;
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Re^2: (OT) "Learn one new language every year"? Yeah, right.
by hardburn (Abbot) on Oct 08, 2004 at 13:34 UTC

    The one thing I got out of VB: the idea of having two different division operators. One for integer division, and one for floating-point division. It seems like a really Perlish idea to me. Although it also seems to me that VB's type system ought to be able to tell if you're assigning to a float or to an int and Do the Right Thing. It doesn't make sense in even a nominially static typed language like VB, though it would fit right in with Perl.

    "There is no shame in being self-taught, only in not trying to learn in the first place." -- Atrus, Myst: The Book of D'ni.

      Pascal was like this: there was / and there was div.

      OCaml does that as well. It uses a type inference system with static typing, though, so it makes a lot of sense for OCaml.

      edit: Woah, I didn't notice the timestamps here at first. This response is a little late.

      print substr("Just another Perl hacker", 0, -2);
      - apotheon
      CopyWrite Chad Perrin

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