[plt-scheme] on which programming languages best to spend your time?

From: keydana at gmx.de (keydana at gmx.de)
Date: Thu Feb 26 15:10:57 EST 2009

Hi all,

I'd like to get some advice/opinions about on which programming  
languages to spend my (spare) time. At work it's basically legacy Java  
(and a bit of C++) code I'm working on, so I've only 1 hour (max) per  
day for the languages I really want to learn.

[In fact I'm a career changer who made her way into software  
development quite recently and in a totally autodidactic way, so first  
I had to learn Java and in fact my bad conscience keeps telling me  
that for professional reasons I should dedicate some time to Java too,  
but it seems I'm mostly ending up doing scheme in the evening  
anyway ...]

Following Java, I started scheme as a consequence of being infected by  
the "SICP virus".

Regarding scheme implementations, I do not even ask which one to use  
after discovering this mailing list - it is incredibly inspiring, and  
at the same time people are so helpful... so no doubt, it's PLT scheme  
among all choices.

BUT- I'm constantly tempted to start Haskell in parallel (and  
especially right now, with "Real World Haskell" published), and also  
there's Clojure recommended to me. I'm right now reading the new book  
on Clojure to at least know something theoretically; but though I can  
find some time to read books it's really just 1 hour max a day I have  
for experimenting / learning with the computer switched on.

So I'm constantly unsure how to employ this time.
First, it would make sense to constantly proceed with scheme, in order  
to be able to perform real-world tasks with it, and also to some day  
perhaps be able to contribute to a PLT project, which I'd very much  
like to do.
[At the moment, the scheme activity I'm doing is trying out some  
interpreters from PLAI - first, having read SICP before, I was so  
hubristic that I wanted to "just quickly read through this" but then I  
recognized that I would only understand and learn things by really  
using the code, and in the meantime I'm totally enthusiastic about  
PLAI. Really, it's a fantastic book, for example, I've tried quite  
some texts to understand continuations but none have helped me so much  
as the PLAI chapters!]

Second, I wonder if for career reasons I should learn Clojure (I'll  
certainly never find a job where I can use scheme, but who knows what  
will happen with Clojure in the Java world)...

And third, there's the Haskell temptation...

I'd be very interested in your opinions...


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