Which languages?

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Which languages?

Postposted on Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:47 pm

Okay, I've decided which school (UMass Lowell).

Now, since I tend to be somewhat anal, I'm trying to plan my classes (or at least, themes).

Anyway, which languages would you recommend I study, and why? C is a core part of the curriculum. But that is the only language which is core.

My work will require VB and C++ for Lotus Notes and some homebrew programs currently maintained by a contractor which my company wants to bring in house.

However, I probably won't be with this company the rest of my life, and was wondering how I could prepare myself for prospective future jobs considering the limited number of classes I can take.

(For a little bit of info, way back in high school I took classes in BASIC, Pascal, and C/Assembly), but I have forgotten almost everything in the 15 years since :P)

Thanks
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Re: Which languages?

Postposted on Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:19 am

Even if you may be leaving your current job, C++ is still a good language to learn. It's currently one of the most popular languages in the industry. You may consider Java if you want another language, it is similar to C++ but is probably slightly easier to learn (once you learn either language though, you'll be able to pick up basics of the other fairly easily). Java also has a huge amount of libraries you can draw upon built into the SDK and is cross-platform, if that's a compelling reason.

If your program is a "complete" one, you're likely required to take at least one languages course which would tell you more about language paradigms and some of their associated languages.
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Re: Which languages?

Postposted on Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:46 am

Learn your databases. Learn SQL, proper SQL not just select, insert and update. Look at how procedures, triggers, etc work and how to best use them. The business world revolves around data. Your programs will likely spend alot of time accessing and manipulating it.
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Re: Which languages?

Postposted on Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:59 am

dragmor wrote:Learn your databases. Learn SQL, proper SQL not just select, insert and update. Look at how procedures, triggers, etc work and how to best use them. The business world revolves around data. Your programs will likely spend alot of time accessing and manipulating it.


+1

I recently changed jobs, so I was the new guy, with fresh eyes on their existing system.
What I found is that while the code base is not that bad, the database is a complete train wreck.

As well as learning the nuts and bolts part of sp/functions/triggers, familiarize yourself with normalization.
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Re: Which languages?

Postposted on Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:29 pm

Depending on the size of companies, I might suggest PL/SQL as well. VBScript (Not a real language, but who cares) can also be extremely handy in a pinch.
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Re: Which languages?

Postposted on Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:04 am

If you think you may get involved in doing web applications down the road, learning one or more of JavaScript, PHP, and Python (in addition to the SQL) is potentially useful.
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Re: Which languages?

Postposted on Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:53 am

Would I be correct in thinking that PL/SQL is just regular SQL with some extra procedures and functions thrown in?

The school offers (several) courses on both SQL and PL/SQL.
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Re: Which languages?

Postposted on Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:50 am

PL/SQL is a proprietary procedural language extension to SQL, from Oracle Corporation.

I'd probably go for generic SQL first, then pick up PL/SQL down the road if you need to.
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Re: Which languages?

Postposted on Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:52 am

SQL is a must reguardless of platform. I highly reccomend keeping or learning a C\C++ skillset and also picking up Java if you can, even if you don't end up using them often. In your daily job understanding how these languages can and can not be used offers a lot of insight into many other things you may run into and they are excellent ocassional utility languages even if you are not using them daily. A lot of the industry I am in as a developer right now is using .NET so make sure you are familiar with that. C# seems to be taking the flagship language position for desired skills in ASP.NET developers right now. In relation to other legacy support I would learn VBscript and possibly COBOL (hopefully you will not be devloping new apps using COBOL but you may inherit some to maintain at a big company or they may need recoded in a new lanaguage) and if you are going to focus on the web a lot learning Javascript is a must.
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Re: Which languages?

Postposted on Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:11 pm

Okay, here is my current dilemma... I can only take 14 of the following 18 classes. Which ones should I not take? :P As I mentioned, VB, C, and C++ are going to be required for me.

Thanks

90.220 Visual Basic® Prerequisites: None
90.224 Advanced Visual Basic® Prerequisites: 90.220

90.267 C Programming Prerequisites: Previous programming experience
90.364 Problem Solving with C Prerequisites: 90.267

90.268 C++ Programming Prerequisites: 90.267
90.360 Introduction to Data Structures Prerequisites: 90.267 and 90.364
90.269 Advanced C++ Prerequisites: 90.268, Data Structures.

90.291 Introduction to DHTML Prerequisites: None
90.292 Advanced DHTML Prerequisites: 90.291.

90.246 Active Server Pages .NET Prerequisites: HTML and previous programming experience

90.474 Relational Database Concepts Prerequisites: 90.267

90.342 Web-Enabled Database Development Prerequisites: 90.474.

90.454 Oracle 10g SQL Development Prerequisites: None
90.459 PL/SQL I: Introduction to Oracle 10g PL/SQL Prerequisites: None
90.467 PL/SQL II: Advanced Oracle 10g PL/SQL Prerequisites: 90.459

90.270 Visual C++ .NET Prerequisites: 90.268
90.271 C# Programming Prerequisites: 90.268 or 90.301
90.301 JAVA Programming Prerequisites: 90.297 or 90.268
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Re: Which languages?

Postposted on Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:43 am

I would skip DHTML. Most of what you would learn there can be picked up quicker and cheaper with a book. HTML Dog is a fantastic resource for XHTML and CSS, and the book is very good as well. The DHTML class might also cover JavaScript, but you'd be better off getting a book again because once you learn another programming language the concepts and syntax will be easy to pickup.

I am not a professional programmer, I can barely be called an amateur, so I wouldn't know which of the other programming languages will provide the least opportunity or lowest return on investment.
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Re: Which languages?

Postposted on Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:48 pm

I suppose my own inclination would be to avoid the vendor-specific stuff (.NET and PL/SQL). But if you have reason to believe that you'll eventually be working in one of those environments, they could be useful.
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Re: Which languages?

Postposted on Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:53 pm

And if you want .NET, get it in C# -- don't take Visual C++ .NET
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