What language would you like to learn next?

(Dom Barnes) #1

Got any languages/frameworks you’re keen to try out? I’ve recently been reading the Elm guides and wondered what people are interested in trying out lately?

(Andy Wootton) #2

I think I’ll be starting on ClojureScript tomorrow, for the same reasons people use Elm: functions to JS, to add onto what I’ve learned so far about Clojure. I’ve just been reading about Boot which lets you write build tasks in Clojure too, which sounds like the kind of scripting I was thinking I might need to learn Python for.

Having discovered that Stallman started GNU as an environment to run Lisp in, this seems to be hitting the same spot that Guile was intended for. It seems to take me 20 years to understand that RMS was right about something.

(Daniel Hollands) #3

TBH, I think I’m at the point where I’d rather improve upon my existing knowledge of a language, than try to learn something new. I enjoy Ruby as a language, and think it’s perfectly suited to solving a lot of the problems I need to solve as a developer, so I’d rather learn to make the most of it, than look at jumping ship.

That said, I really do need to get better at complementary languages such as JavaScript, and if I ever plan on taking my maker career anywhere, then I need to get better with Python (or figure out the best way of using Ruby within the context) and/or Arduino.

(Colin Smith) #4

I would like to try out the R language to see why it is so preferred for data analysis. I would also like to improve my Python (who wouldn’t ) because I don’t get to use the language often and I like it. I would also like to go the next level with JavaScript which seems to be one of those languages that expand as you learn more about them.
Being a dot netter mainly I don’t get much chance with other frameworks but will hopefully be doing some node pretty soon; and looking for a good excuse to use a document database.

Blockchain! need to know about that.

(Andy Wootton) #5

@PosthumanPat ‘R’ seems to be the weapon of choice for ‘Data Scientists’. I was recently told that means ‘statisticians who can write code’. Apparently, if you are a statistician and you learn to code, your salary increases significantly. It surprised me that ‘the market’ values maths skills but not stats.

(Jon) #6

“Proper” JavaScript, if I can find the time. I can build stuff with the basics and jQuery, and that’s what I do presently.

For me, learning languages and building things in an existing language are strongly in opposition, and I tend to find myself accidentally leaning towards the latter. I’d like to get into React/Redux or some similar component-based frontend framework.

I expect I am prevaricating on the above also because:

  • The ecosystem seems to be in flux, and the preferred way of doing things changes every month
  • Promises make my head melt :smile:

(Dom Barnes) #7

A client of ours at work is starting to talk about R with us. We run an exam platform for them and some participants will soon be asked to submit some exam answers as R files. This is in financial services.

(Andy Wootton) #8

What does an R file look like? I expected R to be able to take data from anywhere. Programming-language-specific data formats always seem a bad idea to me; unless you are trying to tie someone in to your tech, obviously.

(Alex Russell) #9

Are you saying that coding makes a statistician more mathsy, or something out of context here meant that people value maths over stats? Because, not that I know much about R in general, but as far as I know it’s a language to help with stats more than anything else. It basically allows statisticians to do even more stats work that they wouldn’t easily be able to do otherwise.

(Andy Wootton) #10

I see stats as part of maths, like computer science. I think they are closely related in terms of thought processes, so someone who could do one would be able to learn one of the others. Since people often employ maths graduates to do something that isn’t maths, I’d have expected their market value to be similar. That comment had nothing to do with R or programming.

I may hold that view because my school used The School Mathematics Project syllabus, which spread stats across Maths & Further Maths. At university I met people who had taken Pure, Applied & Stats ‘A’ Levels but I was never sure where the borders were but I was good at Mechanics and clueless at Analysis so dropped maths after a year.

(Marc Cooper) #11

I remain surprised that more folk here haven’t tried elixir (and its web framework Phoenix). I’ve found it an absolute joy, and it solves many problems that are complex and error prone in other environments.

(Andy Wootton) #12

I’m very interested but I think it would befuddle my brain to learn it before Clojure gets a proper grip on my memory. It seems just close enough to be really confusing and may use different words for everything.

(Greg Robson) #13

Ruby (and the Rails Framework)

Laravel was quite heavily influenced by Ruby/Rails from the principle of “give people sharp knives”. i.e. lots of methods available on strings, arrays and other primitives, but a clear general guideline of how structure an app.

David Heinemeier Hansson (aka DHH) has started putting up some videos and going through some of the Basecamp code in detail. Some interesting approaches that others would see as code smells but actually make sense when used with consideration (e.g. a global variable for user)

(Andy Wootton) #14

@GregRobson I was looking at Dave Thomas’ pedigree. He’s the last name on the ‘Manifesto of Agile Software Development’. He wrote books on Ruby and now he’s doing Elixir.

(Jon) #15

I read that this runs on the Erlang runtime. Do folks need to have an understanding of Erlang to be able to use Elixir?

(Andy Wootton) #16

I haven’t found it a drawback yet to know very little about Java when using Clojure on the JVM. It might be later, when I want to call Java libraries that want to speak OOP to me but not to learn the basics of the Clojure language.

(Andy Wootton) #17

I just stumbled across the new MIT 6.0001 in Python.
The IDE she’s using is Anaconda which includes Python & R. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytpJdnlu9ug

I watched some of it. So much worse than the Lisp version. 10 minutes in, she broke off to explain hardware. Scheme made it unnecessary to explain syntax.

(Marc Cooper) #18

I knew no erlang at all when I started with elixir. So it’s not at all necessary.

The erlang runtime – BEAM – is an amazing piece of work, though, and hugely enjoyable to get to know.

(Andy Wootton) #19

I’ve thought of another way to answer this question. Forget the word “virtual”. I was programming in Pascal on VAX/VMS and I wanted a PC to learn C at home. Would it have been useful to have PC BASIC experience? The BASIC wouldn’t have helped at all but experience of the machine architecture would.