Worth learning python and another language?

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Worth learning python and another language?

Postby Tommy22 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:23 am

So I am asking around trying to get general info on programming generally. I am 34 and work in sales. i want to work doing something different and am thinking of learning a couple of programming languages over the course of 2 or more years and of them being Python or maybe 3 languages over a longer period. My friend who is a good programmer told me I have the right kind of logical mind to do it although he may be right I feel I am maybe too old to try break into anything to do with programming.

The question I wanted to ask everyone who is perhaps familiar with the programming industry is would knowing any programming languages have any employment potential? I am not looking to work bigtime in the programming industry or anything but to just work in some office area's with the knowledge of programming if there is any need for these skills. I mean basic work jobs obtained by the ability to program.

I really don't know how it works and if knowing any languages these days could help finding work. So......can it? remember I just after any basic jobs nothing fancy at all. Is it a case of knowing all languages or none at all? is there only high end jobs for the experts who start programming when they are 16? and no such thing as low end programming jobs? please tell me how it all works thanks.
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Re: Worth learning python and another language?

Postby metulburr » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:44 am

So I am asking around trying to get general info on programming generally. I am 34 and work in sales. i want to work doing something different and am thinking of learning a couple of programming languages over the course of 2 or more years and of them being Python or maybe 3 languages over a longer period. My friend who is a good programmer told me I have the right kind of logical mind to do it although he may be right I feel I am maybe too old to try break into anything to do with programming.

There was a guy that was 74 that started learning programming for the first time within the past year i think. So never too late to start learning. Python is a good first language to start. What are your expectations on programming? What would you want to program? This determines the language you would want to shoot for, but python is a good all around language.

I really don't know how it works and if knowing any languages these days could help finding work. So......can it? remember I just after any basic jobs nothing fancy at all. Is it a case of knowing all languages or none at all? is there only high end jobs for the experts who start programming when they are 16? and no such thing as low end programming jobs? please tell me how it all works thanks.

I couldnt say for sure though as i do programming for a hobby. I would have to let others answer here who actually get paid to code. But Its all over the place. From working at Google, to doing a small 10 dollar odd job here on the forums.
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Re: Worth learning python and another language?

Postby Tommy22 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:34 am

yeh I understand its never too late to LEARN to program but I am talking about the potentials of employment.
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Re: Worth learning python and another language?

Postby micseydel » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:00 pm

I could be wrong, but I would think potential for employment should totally be there. Especially since I've been seeing a lot of high starting salaries. Read on data structures, learn a scripting language (Python), a compiled language (C++, Java), and then just start writing code. Once you feel confident (this would take years unless you're brilliant) have someone help you do mock interviews. And from there you should be good. You can also get a lot of experience with free lance work (there are websites that make finding people easy) and that stuff often requires little to no experience.

So, my path was Python -> C -> C++ -> Java/Lisp/Prolog, etc. There is no one language that is great for everything, but if you hit the scripting and compiled language domains that'll be a fantastic start. From there, you can focus more on getting good at everything or at some point you can play with a functional language like Lisp or something really weird like Prolog, although they're probably not as good for employment as the more standard Python/C++/Java.

The only strange thing would be if you were seeking internships, I think, although even then it would be unusual but very acceptable.
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Re: Worth learning python and another language?

Postby ochichinyezaboombwa » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:00 pm

Companies are constantly looking for good programmers, point. If you learn you will find a job. But don't learn a little bit, go all the way.

As for the languages...

Python is an excellent general purpose language and a great one to start (I think; I unfortunately had to start with Fortran :-)). Python is beautiful; it's like English in a lot of aspects. At the same time, it has a great supply of libraries to support practically everybody's needs and supports three different programming paradigms (all useful to know): procedural, object-oriented and functional.

C is the basis for every other language currently being used; it is rather easy to get a grasp of, and it will help a lot to really understand how computers and other languages work internally. I think it's a must to learn for any programmer.

C++ is a super-set of C (or at least it supports C as a subset). It is a fantastic and really powerful language, it is also a fastest language (along with C), and this alone guarantees that it probably will be the only choice for many places in the industry for many years to come yet; hence knowing it well will guarantee you a decent job; but: learning C++ really well will take a long time.

There is also "Objective C" which is an Apple's flavor of C++. It's easy (as a language) if you know C++; learn it if you decide to program for MAC or iPhone.

LISP, Schema and such are "pure functional" languages (you will get a feeling of what it's about while learning Python). People who know a functional language write a nicer Python code:-).

PHP has been very popular for years but its primary scope is web programming only; you don't want to lock yourself up in just one area. Beside that, it's really ugly.

Java is probably the most widespread and popular language nowadays (plus the language of choice for Android); its syntax is based on C++ so learning it for a C++ programmer is a piece of cake;
however it is very verbose and teaches idiotic paradigm shifts and ideas (e.g. "everything is an object" or "there are no pointers" which all are untrue). I personally hate Java and would like to predict that it will fade away soon, but … who knows:-)

C# is a Java/C++ mix in the realm of Windows (…). Easy to learn for a C++ programmer and of course has some market, but (…).

Note that beside "primary" general-purpose language programmers often use some special-purpose ones (e.g. SQL for database and javaScript/HTML/... for Web UI programming). And of course there are also tools, technologies, libraries, frameworks, IDEs etc.

But everything is possible.

Good luck!
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