perl.j has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Fellow Monks,

I have been thinking... there are tons of different language out there. I know that Perl is powerful, but what else is there? What do you think is the best next step to make after Perl. I've been working with C++, and it's pretty good. But what else is there that is comparable to Perl.



Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Possible Next Steps
by johnny_carlos (Scribe) on Oct 27, 2011 at 19:53 UTC
    It may help to reduce the scope of your question, it's pretty broad. And define what you mean by comparable to Perl: another scripting language? text parsing? web programming? speed?

    For myself, I approach things like this by figuring out what my goal is, then the path to get there is more clear. For example, if my goal were to get a job in mobile computing. Then the languages are Obj-C(iPhone), Java(Android), HTML5, CSS, and jQuery.

    That's just an example. What is it that you want to do?

Re: Possible Next Steps
by CountZero (Bishop) on Oct 27, 2011 at 19:59 UTC
    I studied several computer languages, beginning with COBOL in the 1980s, then various versions of BASIC and now Perl with various little excursions to other languages (FORTRAN, APL, ADA, Pascal, Forth, Assembler, C, Lisp, ...), but I never considered it as a form of stepping stones to some "higher" language.

    Unless you have a very clear idea what kind of language you need for your job, I'd say you just learn a language that catches your fancy.


    A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a string of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little or too much, neither needless loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity." - The Tao of Programming, 4.1 - Geoffrey James

Re: Possible Next Steps
by Util (Priest) on Oct 27, 2011 at 20:25 UTC
    Tom Christiansen:
    A programmer who hasn't been exposed to all four of the imperative, functional, objective, and logical programming styles has one or more conceptual blindspots. It's like knowing how to boil but not fry. Programming is not a skill one develops in five easy lessons.

    If "functional" is an alien style to you, I recommend a pure language, like Haskell. It will reshape your thinking about programming, without actually making you want to leave Perl for your day-to-day work :).

    Update: Changed from Why I like functional programming link to the "Haskell" recommendation
      I actually just looked at Haskell for the first time. It looks great!
Re: Possible Next Steps
by ww (Archbishop) on Oct 27, 2011 at 20:55 UTC
    Comparable? Some might say Python or Ruby... but is "comparable" what you really want, or would the depth of your knowledge be better served by something that is "distinctly different" instead?

    FWIW, I might suggest that with C++ and Perl "in the bag," you might wish to study something truly different, such as ASM, or a declarative language like SQL (yes, it is a language!).

Re: Possible Next Steps
by Util (Priest) on Oct 27, 2011 at 20:39 UTC

    RosettaCode is an excellent resource to answer the question for yourself by exploration.

    Pick a well-represented task, like Top rank per group, and try to follow each line of the solution in each language. When you don't understand something, check the documentation for the language. When that fails, ask for an explanation of the mystery line in some forum of the language's users.

    When you are done, you will have a sense of how much you had to stretch your brain to use the language, and whether you are interested in learning more. You will also know the quality of the language docs, and just as important, how receptive the language's community is to someone of your knowledge level.

    Whatever you decide, please return someday to tell us how your adventure unfolded.

Re: Possible Next Steps
by Ratazong (Monsignor) on Oct 28, 2011 at 09:06 UTC

    Dear perl.j!

    This depends on your needs. You should have a look at the excellent answers in the following thread: Next Language to Learn

    Have fun learning! Rata
Re: Possible Next Steps
by Anonymous Monk on Oct 27, 2011 at 20:49 UTC

    I know that Perl is powerful, but what else is there

    The internet

    Hunting game:
    humans, women or men based on your preference, celibate and cannibals need not apply

    Some call hunting "life"