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

From: keydana at gmx.de (keydana at gmx.de)
Date: Fri Feb 27 16:41:13 EST 2009

Hi all,

thanks a lot for your advice and experiences! In fact I am very happy  
with the "overall result" if I may say so, it confirms the way I seem  
to instinctively prefer (and which I'm sometimes distracted from by  
rather superficial "career"  and "usefulness"  thoughts): concentrate  
on exploring (and having fun with!) PLT, learning about how  
programming languages work ... perhaps learn Haskell but don't worry  
too much about Clojure right now.

Prabhakar, I love your advice about PLAI:
<< If you are enjoying PLAI (and I have nothing to say to anyone who
<< doesn't), I think that is the best use of your time at the moment --
<< each minute spent on those interpreters will save dozens when you  
<< to languages where the features you have implemented are provided as
<< part of the infrastructure.

This is exactly what I'd like to do, so with your encouragement I  
certainly will.

Noel, I find your answer very comforting too, it too helps me in  
setting the priorities (for Haskell :-) rather than Clojure or  
Scala)... Of course, one question...

<<You might be surprised about jobs w/ Scheme.

I'd like to be... I have not stumbled about any (in Germany) yet, but  
also I have not done a real research because I have to collect more  
experience yet.

Geoffrey (and also the others who recommended  HTDP): yes I've read  
that (after my first unsuccessful try of SICP), but surely here also  
reading is not  enough and it would certainly make sense to take it  
out again. If only one had more time... but there's the possibility to  
review chapters selectively, distributed over time.

Thanks again to all of you! Certainly the community is one of greatest  
things in PLT scheme.


Am 27.02.2009 um 11:03 schrieb Noel Welsh:

> On Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 8:10 PM, keydana at gmx.de <keydana at gmx.de>  
> wrote:
>> 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.
> ...
>> 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)...
> You might be surprised about jobs w/ Scheme.
> My opinion is that the big idea in Clojure is concurrency, and I don't
> think it is necessary to learn all of Clojure to understand the
> concurrency abstractions it provides. However I have not tried
> Clojure, so I might be mistaken.
>> And third, there's the Haskell temptation...
> Haskell is worth learning IMO to 1) see how a lazy language works 2)
> get experience with a modern type system 3) get experience with monads
> 4) understand research papers with examples in Haskell. I found it
> very easy to get started with GHC.
> You can get some experience of these ideas in PLT Scheme (lazy
> language, typed Scheme) but they aren't yet as well developed as
> Haskell.
> Some people have mentioned Scala. I've just started learning Scala so
> I can mess around with Android in a language that isn't Java. Scala is
> relatively immature, and I think learning Haskell would teach the same
> lessons as Scala (type systems) and more.
> Any employer looking for a Scala / Clojure / Erlang programmer would
> respect your knowledge of PLT Scheme (or Haskell, or whatever else you
> choose). I don't recommend learning things just because you think
> they'll be useful for your employment.
> HTH,
> Noel

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