Welcome, Guest. Please Login
 
  HomeHelpSearchLogin FAQ Radified Ghost.Classic Ghost.New Bootable CD Blog  
 
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 
Send Topic Print
Best Programming languages to learn to get a job (Read 36448 times)
Rad
Radministrator
*****
Offline


Sufferin' succotash

Posts: 4090
Newport Beach, California


Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #45 - Feb 14th, 2009 at 7:36pm
 
MrMagoo wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 6:44pm:
Personally, I think a 'both' approach is best for me. 

I also like to have a few (learning) irons in the fire .. keeps me on my toes. The switching from one to another (like reading two or three different books at the same time) shocks the brain enough that it doesn't let me get complacent. But that's just me. Someone else may feel differently.
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 

MrMagoo
Übermensch
*****
Offline


Resident Linux Guru

Posts: 1026
Phoenix, AZ (USA)


Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #46 - Feb 14th, 2009 at 9:30pm
 
Rad wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 7:03pm:
They mention it, but don't USE it, right?

No, no.  They use LISP.  They use Fortran as an example of a language missing much of the deeper power of LISP.

Rad wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 7:08pm:
...the first time thru we establish 'buckets' ( a filing-system of sorts) into which we deposit new info. Each subsequent pass allows us to refine our filing system and deposit more info into each bucket.

I think your 'buckets and filing system' might be a good illustration of the 'context' Nigel was talking about students bringing to the material.  
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
MrMagoo
Übermensch
*****
Offline


Resident Linux Guru

Posts: 1026
Phoenix, AZ (USA)


Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #47 - Feb 14th, 2009 at 9:35pm
 
Rad wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 7:36pm:
The switching from one to another (like reading two or three different books at the same time) shocks the brain enough that it doesn't let me get complacent.

Ya, I've sort of felt the same way.  I've been learning Python from a text aimed at beginners, Ruby from a web site aimed at an intermediate programmer, and LISP aimed at MIT CS students at the same time the last few weeks.  

I kinda feel like organizing information about 3 different languages studied from 3 different perspectives has forced me to relate all the information together and learn the computer science underneath rather than just get comfortable with one way of thinking.  I've absorbed and internalized much more of the information than I thought I could at this bandwidth.
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Rad
Radministrator
*****
Offline


Sufferin' succotash

Posts: 4090
Newport Beach, California


Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #48 - Feb 14th, 2009 at 10:02pm
 
MrMagoo wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 9:35pm:
than I thought I could at this bandwidth

Interesting use of the term bandwidth. I like it. You won't mind if I plagiarize, I hope. =)

MrMagoo wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 9:35pm:
from 3 different perspectives  

I've read somewhere that geniuses have the quality of being able to focus on one thing at a time.

Then again, I like the metaphor of looking at a mountain (Mt. Everest, for example) .. from mutiple perspectives .. from the Southern side, .. from the Northern slopes, etc.

ALL views are of the SAME mountain, yet yield vastly different perspectives (of the same mountain) .. which in turn yields a fuller, more accurate, comprehensive view/perspective.

Your mountain right now is Programming. How do you chose WHICH course you will study at any given time ?? What *feels* right?
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
MrMagoo
Übermensch
*****
Offline


Resident Linux Guru

Posts: 1026
Phoenix, AZ (USA)


Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #49 - Feb 18th, 2009 at 6:53pm
 
Off-Topic replies have been moved to this Topic.
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
MrMagoo
Übermensch
*****
Offline


Resident Linux Guru

Posts: 1026
Phoenix, AZ (USA)


Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #50 - Feb 14th, 2009 at 11:20pm
 
Rad wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 10:02pm:
You won't mind if I plagiarize, I hope. =)

Not at all.  I take it as a complement.

Rad wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 10:02pm:
I've read somewhere that geniuses have the quality of being able to focus on one thing at a time.

I think that quote is describing focus, and I think I am being focused - just on a broader topic than the material in front of me.  Instead of learning how one author sees Ruby, or how one college professor teaches Python, I'm constantly having to relate the material together and learn the underlying CS.    

Of course, they syntax of any particular language isn't sticking so well in my brain due to the jumping around, but the philosophy of each language is what I'm really after, along with how to approach writing programs.  If I can learn that, I can google any syntax I need pretty quickly when I sit down to write stuff.

Rad wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 10:02pm:
Your mountain right now is Programming. How do you chose WHICH course you will study at any given time ?? What *feels* right?  

I've been reading Ruby at work when there is downtime.  A lot of our tools have been writen in Ruby the last few years, so this way I'm actually still being 'productive' on the clock.  

Watching the videos is slightly less involved for my brain, so I do that more toward the end of my shift, when I'm too low on motivation to do the work of reading.  

So far, my Python book has stayed at home, next to the TV remote.  When I have the urge to watch TV, I read instead.  It's just as relaxing to me, since I don't like most TV much anyway.
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 

Nigel Bree
Ex Member




Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #51 - Feb 14th, 2009 at 11:43pm
 
Rad wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 3:26pm:
SICP is an introductory programming course, yes?

Yes, but for first-years at MIT, the most prestigious school for engineers in the world, where a good number of the greatest minds of the 20th century have studied, researched, and taught.

There is also a simple thing to bear in mind about most college courses, which is that students rarely appreciate all that a course has to offer precisely because they don't have sufficient context to realise the importance of some of the content, or have other goals in taking a course than to advance in a field. Lots of important knowledge links together in ways that are obvious once seen, but in order to be seen one needs a certain perspective that is unattainable to most novices. That doesn't mean that college courses shouldn't present such things at all - rather, it's that they serve diverse purposes for diverse students. Some students aren't interested or able and won't progress and others will drain every last drop of insight and who are destined to go on to greater things, and so finding out which students are able to grasp the harder concepts is also part of what the courses are there to do.

Rad wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 7:03pm:
I think Fortran was a teaching language prior to Pascal

Not at all. FORTRAN was one of the earliest computer languages and was not a teaching language at all but aimed at doing serious numerical work with high performance (hence the name, FORmula TRANslation, coming from its aim as a vehicle for engineering mathematics). Indeed, it's arguably still one of the most important; partly that's due to the fact that having been around since 1956, there is a staggeringly large body of code. A good deal of numerical supercomputing - modelling weather and climate, simulations of nuclear physics, lots of astrophysics, and so forth -  is still largely done with Fortran.

Fortran 95 updated Fortran with object-oriented programming and Fortran 2003 has evolved it further still. It's still used, still relevant.
 
 
IP Logged
 
Nigel Bree
Ex Member




Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #52 - Feb 14th, 2009 at 11:58pm
 
Rad wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 3:26pm:
Do I understandly correctly by inferring the subtext of what you have said here that you feel SICP is best set aside until someone has a requisite amount/level of experience?

Not at all. Merely that you'll need a lot of experience to appreciate all it has to offer. As long as you have the ability or experience to connect with it at some level, you'll learn some very valuable things. You may or may not grasp the real jewels it has to offer the first time, but that does not make it any less worthwhile.

It will, however, reward you with even more if you return to it in a couple of years once you do have that context. Reading it again, a sentence that will have generated bafflement or a shrug the first time around will touch off a moment of sudden recognition, and ideally a new understanding will become crystal clear.

By the way, as is made clear on the main page videos they were not given to the regular MIT students, but are recordings made by a cadre of HP engineers for whom a private version of this course was given. That's why the videos do assume the prior experience they do, because the audience had it.
 
 
IP Logged
 
Nigel Bree
Ex Member




Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #53 - Feb 15th, 2009 at 12:08am
 
Rad wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 3:26pm:
couldn't help but compare that to the HtDP course which supposedly takes a typical college student an entire semester

Bear in mind that university undergraduates regardless of ability have a lot on their plate; they are expected to work on half a dozen or more courses (often in diverse fields) over that time, and that course loads are typically set and paced by university regulations for "regular" students. The time requirements for the HtDP (or SICP) courses are there primarily because the coursework - represented by exercises in the book - need to be completed by students outside lecture time and returned for grading.

So, in one sense the difference in time requirement isn't as great as it might first appear. The difference is still real though, but it's more a qualitative one - because all the kinds of course that do promise that kind of instant reward aren't aiming to instil any insight at all. They are merely "how to do simple things in a getting-by subset of the language", and nothing more than that.
 
 
IP Logged
 
Rad
Radministrator
*****
Offline


Sufferin' succotash

Posts: 4090
Newport Beach, California


Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #54 - Feb 15th, 2009 at 10:57am
 
If you were king (knowing what you know about Programming) and in charge of designing a cirriculum for advanced first-year college students (tho not gifted ones), with no prior Programming experience, given the resources currently available .. how you would design such a course (and why). Have you ever considered devising such a course? I would be interested.

Regarding Fortran, I ran across this today:

Quote:
Lisp is the second-oldest high-level programming language in widespread use today; only Fortran is older.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisp_programming_language
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Nigel Bree
Ex Member




Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #55 - Feb 15th, 2009 at 2:36pm
 
Rad wrote on Feb 15th, 2009 at 10:57am:
only Fortran is older.  

I highly recommend you read this memorial of John Backus, who created FORTRAN and did many other important things (BNF, contributions to Algol 60). His ACM Turing Award lecture of 1977 indeed basically says that functional programming - the style built directly on the lambda calculus - is the right way forward.

Which it is, but it's unlikely to ever displace the linear style now.

Rad wrote on Feb 15th, 2009 at 10:57am:
Have you ever considered devising such a course?

Not really, and there are plenty of models of proven courses to choose from out there. But remember that there is - now, anyway - no real appetite among students for such things. Once you limit yourself to a) capable students who are b) motivated enough to engage with this sort of material you're down to a small fraction of the undergraduate intake at most universities. Some universities are set up so that they can get funding to satisfy such a small niche; others, not so much.

Rad wrote on Feb 15th, 2009 at 10:57am:
given the resources currently available

The resources currently available aren't really that different to those in my day, since places at the few elite universities aren't available to enough people in the world. I had no real trouble then, pre-WWW, in a small corner of the world, finding more than enough textbooks to fuel my self-learning.
 
 
IP Logged
 

Rad
Radministrator
*****
Offline


Sufferin' succotash

Posts: 4090
Newport Beach, California


Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #56 - Feb 15th, 2009 at 5:02pm
 
Quote:
there are plenty of models of proven courses to choose from out there

Where?

I read somewhere that the best programmers are self-taught.
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Rad
Radministrator
*****
Offline


Sufferin' succotash

Posts: 4090
Newport Beach, California


Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #57 - Feb 15th, 2009 at 5:07pm
 
Quote:
functional programming - the style built directly on the lambda calculus - is the right way forward

Why? (if you can answer this easily)

Quote:
the linear style 

What is this?
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Nigel Bree
Ex Member




Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #58 - Feb 15th, 2009 at 5:21pm
 
Rad wrote on Feb 14th, 2009 at 10:02pm:
I've read somewhere that geniuses have the quality of being able to focus on one thing at a time.

By the way, a discussion of high ability, cognitive or otherwise, is perhaps another thread entirely. I'd suggest however that the term "genius" be avoided as it is far too broad and ill-defined to use casually.

On the question of high ability as it relates to software development, mental multitasking as such is not really a signifier - quite the opposite, as multitasking is something that destroys flow state, when we are at our most productive. I believe it was Gerald M. Weinberg who made the observation that one of the notable things that software developers of exceptional ability do do, however, is shift levels.

That is, they can shift viewpoint effortlessly; from top-down decomposition of the broad canvas to the tiniest bottom-up detail of the code, without losing sight of how everything relates together. Their understanding of the system is total, and holistic; the connection between expert software development and the kind of understanding of problems in systems theory should be clear (Ludwig von Bertalanffy's General Systems Theory is a worthy read, although hardly a light one).

[ Speaking of light reading: yesterday morning on Radio New Zealand's Sunday Morning show, an interview with Alexander McCall Smith; I loved the "No 1. Ladies Detective Agency", although I don't know if they are particularly popular in the U.S.

On a less light topic, an hour later on the same show, the Victorian (where the bushfires are) Government's climate change adviser discussing the bushfires. ]
 
 
IP Logged
 
Nigel Bree
Ex Member




Back to top
Re: Best Programming languages to learn to get a job
Reply #59 - Feb 15th, 2009 at 8:36pm
 
Rad wrote on Feb 15th, 2009 at 5:02pm:
Where?

Pick a suitable university with a respected CS programme whose admissions policies match the student ability level you are thinking of (I really don't know quite what you had in mind by advanced but not gifted).

Rad wrote on Feb 15th, 2009 at 5:02pm:
I read somewhere that the best programmers are self-taught. 

Well, sure. Frankly, that should be true of most graduates in most fields, too. A university course does more than just shovel information at students. The best thing it can do is to get you to develop good personal self-study habits, which include a lot of learning by doing. The assignments - the reading lists, and graded exercises - are where the real meat of a quality course tends to be, and once you have those personal study habits learned it's not too hard to take on just about anything given enough time and a text list.

Rad wrote on Feb 15th, 2009 at 5:07pm:
Why? (if you can answer this easily)

I'd say we should hold off on that until you've finished HtDP. An explanation should make more sense then.

 
 
IP Logged
 
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 
Send Topic Print