Posts Tagged ‘languages’

An alternative way to choose a language

January 31, 2010
Serving tea at the community kitchen at Bardon, October 1942

'Serving tea at the community kitchen at Bardon, October 1942' by Flickr user State Library of Queensland, Australia

Whilst browsing through some Ruby blogs via Delicious (after having just added mine), I happened upon a blog post entitled, “4 Wrong Ways and 1 Awesome Way to Choose a Language“. After having just written my own “How to choose a programming language” blog post I felt confident that this chap would cite “because it sounds sexy” as the awesome way.

Surprisingly, that was not his reason!

In fact, his reason for choosing his language of choice (which is Python, so clearly not chosen because it sounds sexy) is the community. When you’re working in a language with a good community, there is a good chance that whatever you want to do has already been done by someone else and is available for you to re-use. To be honest that is one of the reasons I picked Ruby. If you go with the current trendy language there is bound to be lots of support and resources out there for noobs like myself.

I actually left a comment on his blog mentioning my method of choosing a language and I suddenly got over 100 visits to this blog. Considering I had not had one single visitor before that, I was quite happy with the increase in traffic. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that no one agrees with my sentiment as I did not get a single comment on the post. It’s difficult enough being motivated to write a blog with 0 daily visitors, but when you do get an influx it would be nice if someone left a comment…

… even if only to ridicule me! :p

How to choose a programming language

January 23, 2010

Ruby under lens

I’m pretty sure I always knew that ‘C’ was some kind of programming language. I didn’t really do any computing classes at school other than what was obligatory in the 1st year, but I suspect I must have been told about ‘C’ then. I also had some suspicion that it must, therefore, be really old and hence not used anymore.

When I was working along side a programmer a couple of years ago, he did everything in ‘Perl’. My layman’s interpretation of Perl, was that of a badass language for real hardcore programmers. Wishy-washy rubbish programmers who wanted to make crap insecure code, would use PHP. There is no reason for this anti-PHP stance really, but I can’t get it out of my head. It just sounds too…easy.

I do remember him saying one day, “I really like the sound of this ‘Rubionrails‘”. Of course he was talking about “Ruby on Rails” but I heard it as “Rubionrails” – one word instead of three. (I think this must have been in 2006, when Ruby on Rails was really talking off – I’ve been reading up about Ruby history and how Rails really gave it the mainstream attention).

The name kind of stuck with me. “Ruby on Rails” sounded new, shiny sexy and exciting.

So when it came to choosing a programming language to learn from scratch, it was only natural that I should choose Ruby. To be honest, after some reading around about various languages it seemed to me that Ruby really is the best language for a beginner to learn.

I’ve read that learning Ruby is like learning to play the guitar: it’s easy to pick-up but difficult to master. That’s fine by me. I’m not planning on becoming a master, but good enough to busk would be nice!

So in a nutshell, I chose Ruby to learn because I like the sound of the words “Ruby on Rails”. Wonder if they knew how cool it would sound to noobs like me when they named it?