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What is the most useful programming language?
BASIC 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
FORTRAN 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
PASCAL 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Visual BASIC 9%  9%  [ 6 ]
C 14%  14%  [ 9 ]
C++ 31%  31%  [ 20 ]
Java 5%  5%  [ 3 ]
Other (specify) 22%  22%  [ 14 ]
I don't know 17%  17%  [ 11 ]
Total votes : 65

xhcpxdoofy
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07 Dec 2011, 6:17 pm

I like Matlab, but that's probably because I'm a mechanical engineer. I took some programming classes in high school though, and what I found is that Visual Basic is great for people who are new to programming, because it is not difficult to learn and it teaches you some basic programming knowledge that makes learning additional programming languages much easier. Alice is also good for beginners, and it's fun to play around with, but it's kind of useless. I've also used Java, which can be extremely annoying until you get used to the syntax. On second thought, it can be extremely annoying even after you get used to the syntax, but it is definitely a useful language.



bergie
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08 Dec 2011, 12:40 am

My personal favorite is C#. I would start with an unmanaged language like C++ first though because once you know how to code, languages are just syntax.



fraac
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08 Dec 2011, 1:04 am

I get the impression most jobs are available for Java, or maybe C++ (different stuff you'd be working on though). Python probably most useful for yourself if you just need to make things work simply and powerfully. I use Perl for that but I'd learn Python now if I was starting over.



pete1061
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09 Dec 2011, 11:34 pm

There really is no one language to rule them all.
Most languages have their pros & cons. Some are more task specific than others.
There are many situations where procedural languages like C have their advantages.
But then there are many other situations where an object oriented language like C++ is the better choice.

You really have to look at in a case by case scenario. What is the best tool for the job, what are the priorities? Is efficiency in the actual coding required where code is modular and re-useable? Or is it a performance critical situation?
What is the dominant language used why the members of a team? There are many factors to consider in choosing a language.

A good approach in learning is to learn many languages. There a threshold where the commonalities between programming languages are obvious and learning new ones gets easier.

And as far as that C-man exercise goes, I think it's naturally biased for C to win out. The advantages of OO programming are more present on much larger scale projects. C is much better suited for smaller things.


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dmm1010
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10 Dec 2011, 12:24 am

pete1061 wrote:
[...] And as far as that C-man exercise goes, I think it's naturally biased for C to win out. The advantages of OO programming are more present on much larger scale projects. C is much better suited for smaller things.

As I've said before I'm a proponent of object-oriented programming; but it does, as you say, add a lot of overhead when you just need to write something small.

The thought occurs to me that, done correctly, object-oriented programming is in many ways similar to the UNIX philosophy. The UNIX philosophy of course being that a task should be separated into its primitive components, programs should then be written to do these basic operations (e.g., "cat" to concatenate files, "grep" to perform text searches, "sort" to sort text, etc.), and finally to accomplish the task these building blocks should be assembled using a shell script. I wonder whether overlap with object-oriented programming practices results in the "UNIX way" being followed far less often in recent times.