lucky3 has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hi All, Currently I know java. I am planning to improve my servlets and JSP skills. In my job - I also use perl. So I also want to improve skills in this and acquire new skills. Based on what I read from forums I am thinking to learn PHP or someother scripting language aswell as Perl itself may not be much useful as career option. Am I wrong here? Do you think Java, perl and PHP make a good career choice? Or do u suggest to replace PHP with ruby/python/some other language? Please all try to respond. It will be useful for my career. Thanks a lot.
  • Comment on PHP or Python or other language? which is better career choice along with Perl and Java?

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Re: PHP or Python or other language? which is better career choice along with Perl and Java?
by moritz (Cardinal) on Apr 09, 2010 at 13:24 UTC
    Based on what I read from forums I am thinking to learn PHP or someother scripting language aswell as Perl itself may not be much useful as career option. Am I wrong here?

    I've had fun and good payment while working on a Perl job, and got another attractive offer for a full time Perl programming job. So for me Perl was a good career move.

    Whatever you learn will likely be good for your career - but it really depends on what you want to do in the long run.

    I can't recommend any specific language to you, but I can point out that lots of glue technologies are also worth learning, and may even be more "universal": Whatever programming languages you write your web applications in, you will certainly benefit from a good knowledge of HTTP, HTML, CSS, Javascript, security concepts like XSS and XSRF, and maybe things like SQL.

    Perl 6 - links to (nearly) everything that is Perl 6.
Re: PHP or Python or other language? which is better career choice along with Perl and Java?
by cdarke (Prior) on Apr 09, 2010 at 14:09 UTC
    Do you think Java, perl and PHP make a good career choice?

    Not if your career is a doctor, or car mechanic, no. Seriously, it depends on what you want to work on. If you are going to work on web applications then PHP might be a way to go, but if you are working on massively parallel proccessors and numeric modelling then FORTRAN would probably be more useful.
    You already have a reasonable mix. Java people tend to like Python, and there is a Jython (although it lags behind CPython). PHP syntax is superfically similar to Perl, so is fairly easy (if frustrating) to learn. Honestly I wouldn't bother unless you have a need.

    Looking at job vacancies then C# might be a safer bet, and it is only Microsoft's version of Java after all, isn't it? If you are looking for pastures new, then learning relational database theory and SQL often comes in handy.
Re: PHP or Python or other language? which is better career choice along with Perl and Java?
by starX (Chaplain) on Apr 09, 2010 at 15:49 UTC
    I feel like I've been telling a lot of people this lately, but the best answer to "what should I learn" is almost always "to be a better programmer." Most of the skills that make a good programmer are not language dependent, and even good styles of programming for specific types of languages (OO vs. functional) are exportable across their families. Just about everything you'll learn in Perl Best Practices applies to Java, C, PHP, and the flavor of the month five years from now.

    So first and foremost, learn to be a better programmer. You will then find yourself in the position to quickly be able to pick up the basics of a new language, and just as quickly work your way through whatever special topics you need to address. In an industry where just about all of the specifics that you know right now will be obsolete by the end of the year (whether you know it or not), that sort of flexibility and confidence grounded in ability to say "yes I can" is the most important skill to have.

    Cheers!

Re: PHP or Python or other language? which is better career choice along with Perl and Java?
by Ratazong (Monsignor) on Apr 09, 2010 at 13:24 UTC
Re: PHP or Python or other language? which is better career choice along with Perl and Java?
by sierpinski (Chaplain) on Apr 09, 2010 at 14:36 UTC
    The best thing you can probably do is find something that you enjoy, then try to become an expert at it. Perl is alive and kicking, PHP and other web technologies are alive and kicking, pick something that you enjoy doing, so when and if you get a job doing that, you'll actually like what you're doing. Is there any point learning something that you hate, only to get into a job doing something you hate, but you must do it because you get paid for it?

    I don't think learning Perl is ever a bad choice, and according to the job postings I've looked at recently, knowing Perl and one of the shells (like bash or ksh) are listed there quite a lot under the 'desired qualifications' section. You might not know one of the 'required' technologies, but if you're a Perl expert, that can make up for a lot of other missing skills.
Re: PHP or Python or other language? which is better career choice along with Perl and Java?
by Arunbear (Prior) on Apr 09, 2010 at 15:40 UTC
Re: PHP or Python or other language? which is better career choice along with Perl and Java?
by Xilman (Hermit) on Apr 10, 2010 at 07:33 UTC

    This may not be what you asked for but I'm going to tell you it anyway: as long as you are a good programmer and as long as you can write in at least a couple of modern languages, it doesn't matter very much what language you learn next.

    In my experience employers are looking for intelligent people with a good general knowledge and the ability to learn new stuff quickly. A programming language is just a particular type of stuff from this point of view.

    Also in my experience: I didn't really know Perl when I applied for a job which required Perl programming. I got the job and I quickly learned Perl.

    Executive summary: keep learning all sorts of stuff and sell your intelligence, ability to learn useful things quickly and then to use them in practice.

    Paul

Re: PHP or Python or other language? which is better career choice along with Perl and Java?
by PeterPeiGuo (Hermit) on Apr 10, 2010 at 15:29 UTC

    I know all those languages and more.

    From pure learning point of view, it is also interesting to pick up some languages that are out of the usual league, for example lisp or Haskell. They let you see a world that's different.

    It is also worth to mention that, nowadays one does not only use languages, but often times use a set of frameworks. For example, Ruby on its own is merely another scripting language in that league. It has advantages and disadvantages like every other language. But once you consider it together with RoR, it suddenly becomes a star of that league. The point is that, frameworks often add good values in many ways.

    Peter (Guo) Pei

Re: PHP or Python or other language? which is better career choice along with Perl and Java?
by LanX (Cardinal) on Apr 09, 2010 at 13:31 UTC
    useful for my career

    learn them all! 8)

    Cheers Rolf

Re: PHP or Python or other language? which is better career choice along with Perl and Java?
by pemungkah (Priest) on Apr 09, 2010 at 21:26 UTC
    What you want to be doing is the critical point here. If you're angling for a job with a particular company, find out what technologies they're using that you're interested in, and learn those.

    Google's Java, C++, Python; Yahoo!'s C++, PHP, Javascript, Perl, and lots of other stuff; Apple's (obviously) Objective-C. You should be able to get an idea from reading job openings for the companies you're interested in.