• C


Dear Sir/Maam,
                      which area of computer software development do you find most promising?And which programming language(I mean amongst C,C++,C#,JAVA,et cetera)do you think will survive in the long run?I mean which language should one concentrate on in order to be a proficient software programmer?
                     Thank you very much for your support and consideration.
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Kent OlsenDBACommented:

Hi arjunverma,

In today's job market it's impossible to get a quality job with only one programming language on your resume.  While you can and should excel at one or two languages, you must have a diverse skill set to be considered for most of the better jobs.

The reasoning is simple.  Applications today are extremely complex.  And web based applications have a LOT of moving parts.

If I were counseling students that wanted into this field, I'd say "Learn C first".  It's a dying language that's best suited for writing drivers and device controls, but it is the foundation for C++, C#, Java and others.  Know C and learning any of the other languages becomes a lot easier!

If I had the ability to pick where I wanted to be the most proficient I'd choose Java.  That seems to be where the most opportunity lies.

Good Luck!

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You are asking two separate questions.  As Kent states, it is insufficient to know only a single
programming language.  Different programming problems often lend themselves to the use
of different tools.  The savvy programmer knows which tool is most appropriate for the job
at hand. Would a mechanic's toolbox contain nothing but a phillips screwdriver?

Your first question is more difficult to answer.  Becoming a professional software developer
requires not just knowing how to use one programming tool or another, it requires the
ability to analyze a problem, derive workable solutions, and implement them in a clear,
succinct manner.  To continue my analogy, a mechanic does  not simply know how to
operate each of the tools in his toolbox; he knows how to use those tools to repair and
tune an 8-cylinder engine with 4 carburetors.

Which area of software development is most promising?  Venture capitalists strive to
know the answer to that question.   If you look a the job postings today, every other job
advertised is for server-side web application development.  Not exciting, but in today's
job market, it pays the rent.  However the software development landscape will likely
change again by the time you become proficient in the craft.
Kent OlsenDBACommented:

Good advice, Brett.

And from a guy old enough to know that they actually used to put 4 carburetors on 8-cylinder engines.


As a young programmer attempting to become a seasoned expert programmer I started off learning C. It was actually ugly C at that, K&R that I converted to C. From there I used my C++ roots from the University to fix that new big problem.

Today because of the job issue, I am writing VB code, but because of the solid foundation, I'm writing C++ dlls to be called from VB and using the WIN32 API and attempting assembler in VB. I have been able to pick this all up in the last two months. I owe it all to getting a very solid understanding of C/C++ from a more ANSI system under Linux.

Just wait until you find out that  char * becomes LPSTR under Windows Programming, and all the other supposedly useful things. In the long run do something that gets you close to the pavement and not too high level. Write your own BTree sorting and quasi-DB. Write state machines, use RPC and sockets, get into file I/O and performance optimization. From there, all these other languages will be syntax differences for your knowledge of the facts.

Just the ramblings of learning programmer moonlighting as an Expert in Training :)
I just came across this great essay that covers this frequently asked question.
I've bookmarked it, so that I can provide it next time someone asks which
it the best programming language for a neophyte to learn?


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