Learning Programming Languages

I’m a sucker for a good meme. So here is a list of programming languages in the order that I learned them.

  1. Basic
  2. Python
  3. Shell
  4. Perl
  5. C
  6. Tcl
  7. Java

Of those I’ve written production code in all of them apart from Basic (which I learned at school).

I learnt Python after I got into Linux (during my ill-fated stint as a PhD student). Shell, Perl, C and Tcl were languages I had to come to grips with while I worked at MPC. Shell, Perl and C won’t surprise anyone since I’m a sysadmin. Tcl might seem odd until you realise that quite a lot of the Pixar tools communicate by throwing Tcl files around. Funnily enough we’ve just implemented Modules at work so I’m writing Tcl again.

Learning Java was driven by necessity to write some simple extensions to Globus during my brief sojourn in the Grid community.

Of all these languages the only ones I will use by choice are Python and Shell (in my case usually Bash). Shell for quick scripts that are primarily manipulating other programs and Python for anything more complicated.