Learning New Software Languages

March 14, 2018

I am in the process of reading A Swift Kickstart to learn the Swift programming language. Swift will be maybe the fourth or fifth language I am learning and so far I am enjoying it a bit more than many of the other ones I have tried to learn. Learning a language is about building the muscle memory around the words and syntax used to communicate in it. Many programming languages share similar concepts (like functions, variables, constants, etc.) and you need only map these concepts to the new syntax and conventions used by your new language.

The main thing I have learned from learning new languages is that good code can be good code in many languages and bad code can be bad code in many languages. More often than not the language itself does not impact whether the code is good. It is the skill of the author of the code that makes a difference. It is quite possible to write obfuscatory variable and attribute names in ruby as well as PHP or Python. At the same time I’ve rewritten beautiful VBScript code into Ruby with ease because the developer took the time to structure it in a way that was easily understandable.

I have yet to find a programming language I love as much as Ruby. Python’s significant white space frustrates me. I do not really enjoy looking at most PHP code. Javascript has improved lately but I find the fact that Javascript is always “improving” to be its own frustration. I did not even bother with Swift until it reached version four. Maybe I will learn to love Swift, maybe I will discover Go. It is fun to dip my toes in other languages, but more often than not they just cause me to better appreciate how great Ruby is.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.