Monday, November 12, 2007

10 Programming Languages

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Knowing a handful of programming languages is seen by many as a harbor
in a job market storm, solid skills that will be marketable as long as
the languages are.
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Yet, there is beauty in numbers. While there may be developers who
have had riches aheaped on them by knowing the right programming
language at the right time in the right place, most longtime coders
will tell you that periodically learning a new language is an
essential part of being a good and successful Web developer.

"One of my mentors once told me that a programming language is just a
programming language. It doesn't matter if you're a good programmer,
it's the syntax that matters," Tim Huckaby, CEO of San Diego-based
software engineering company CEO Interknowlogy.com, told eWEEK.

However, Huckaby said that while his company is "swimming" in work,
he's having a nearly impossible time finding recruits, even on the
entry level, that know specific programming languages.

"We're hiring like crazy, but we're not having an easy time. We're
just looking for attitude and aptitude, kids right out of school that
know .Net, or even Java, because with that we can train them on .Net,"
said Huckaby.

eWEEKend

"Don't get fixated on one or two languages. When I started in 1969,
FORTRAN, COBOL and S/360 Assembler were the big tickets. Today, Java,
C and Visual Basic are. In 10 years time, some new set of languages
will be the 'in thing.' …At last count, I knew/have learned over 24
different languages in over 30 years," Wayne Duqaine, director of
Software Development at Grandview Systems, of Sebastopol, Calif., told
eWEEK.

By picking the brains of Web developers and IT recruiters, eWEEK
selected 10 programming languages that are a bonus for developers to
add to their resumes. Even better, they're great jumping-off points,
with loads of job opportunities for younger recruits.

1. PHP
# What it is: An open-source, interpretive, server-side,
cross-platform, HTML scripting language, especially well-suited for
Web development as it can be embedded into HTML pages.
# Why you should learn it: It's particularly widely used. "High-speed
scripting with caching, augmented with compiled code plug-ins (such as
can be done with Perl and PHP) is where the future is. Building Web
apps from scratch using C or COBOL is going the way of the dinosaur,"
said Duquaine.
# Job availabilities: 1,152*

2. C#
# What it is: A general-purpose, compiled, object-oriented programming
language developed by Microsoft as part of its .NET initiative, it
evolved from C and C++
# Why you should learn it: It's an essential part of the .Net
framework. "Learning C#, which is just Java with a different name
plate, is critical if you heavily use Microsoft," said Duquaine.
# Job availabilities: 5,111

3. AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)
# What it is: Though technically not a programming language, AJAX uses
XHTML or HTML, JavaScript and XML to create interactive Web
applications.
# Why you should learn it: Ever since Google Maps put AJAX, well, on
the map, the requests for AJAX-knowledgeable pros went through the
roof. "The demand for AJAX knowledge is huge because it's so damned
hard to learn," said Huckaby. Of note, Microsoft announced recently
plans to release a tool named Atlas that will make AJAX easier to
implement. "If Microsoft's Atlas tool is successful, it would bring
the extreme complexity and annoyance of AJAX to the average worker,"
said Huckaby.
# Job availabilities : 1,106

4. JavaScript
# What it is: Not to be confused with Java, JavaScript is a an
object-oriented, scripting programming language that runs in the Web
browser on the client side. It's smaller than Java, with a simplified
set of commands, easier to code and doesn't have to be compiled.
# Why you should learn it: Embedded into HTML, it's used in millions
of Web pages to validate forms, create cookies, detect browsers and
improve the design. With its simplicity to learn as well as wide use,
it's considered a great bang for your educational buck.
# Job availabilities: 4,406

5. Perl
# What it is: Perl is an open-source, cross-platform, server-side
interpretive programming language used extensively to process text
through CGI programs.
# Why you should learn it: Perl's power in processing of piles of text
has made it very popular and widely used to write Web server programs
for a range of tasks. "Learning some form of scripting language, such
as Perl or PHP is critical if you are doing Web apps," said Duquaine.
# Job availabilities: 4,810

6. C
# What it is: A standardized, general-purpose programming language,
it's one of the most pervasive languages and the basis for several
others (such as C++).
# Why you should learn it: "Learning C is crucial. Once you learn C,
making the jump to Java or C# is fairly easy, because a lot of the
syntax is common. Also, a lot of C syntax is used in scripting
languages," said Duquaine.
# Job availabilities: 6,164, including all derivatives

7. Ruby and Ruby on Rails
# What they are: Ruby is a dynamic, object-oriented, open-source
programming language; Ruby on Rails is an open-source Web application
framework written in Ruby that closely follows the MVC
(Model-View-Controller) architecture.
# Why you should learn it: With a focus on simplicity, productivity
and letting the computers do the work, in a few years, its usage has
spread quickly. As a bonus, many find it easy to learn.
# Job availabilities : 210 and 54, respectively

8. Java
# What it is: An object-oriented programming language developed by
James Gosling and colleagues at Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s.
# Why you should learn it: Hailed by many developers as a "beautiful"
language, it is central to the non-.Net programming experience.
"Learning Java is critical if you are non-Microsoft," said Duquaine.
# Job availabilities: 14,408

9. Python
# What it is: An interpreted, dynamically object-oriented, open-source
programming language that utilizes automatic memory management.
# Why you should learn it: Designed to be a highly readable,
minimalist language, many say it has a sense of humor (spam and eggs,
rather than foo and bar), Python is used extensively by Google as well
as in academia because of its syntactic simplicity.
# Job availabilities: 811

10. VB.Net (Visual Basic .Net)
# What it is: An object-oriented language implemented on Microsoft's
.Net framework.
# Why you should learn it: Most argue that VB.Net is currently more
popular than ever and one of the only "must-learns." "It is currently
dominating in adoption and that is where all the work is," said
Huckaby.
# Job availabilities: 2,090

* All numbers on job availability were pulled from nationwide queries
on Dice.com, a job site for technology professionals.

PointerCheck out eWEEK.com's Application Development Center for the
latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and
developer tools.

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