Programming Languages


I agree with Sam Ruby: a successful tech is a diversified one. You can’t always depend on a new millennium to justify sticking with one and only one programming language.

This last week I worked with Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, and Ruby. I had been on a long hiatus from Java after the end of the dot-com era, but now I’m back and plan on sticking it out with the language. Yes, even unto J2EE.

I also agree with Michal Wallace: you are more likely to have an easier time getting work if you focus on .NET than Python. In some ways, I think that the interest in Ruby has slowed the interest in Python. Sure you can work with both languages: but why would you want to?

In St. Louis, the demand is for .NET (VB or C#) or Java. That’s it. I mean, that’s really it. Most of the other work in PHP or Python or Perl is off-shored.

When I move to the northwest, I imagine I’ll either need to get back into .NET or brush up my C++ skills, in addition to the Java. If one has up to date C++ skills, one can usually find work.

As for JavaScript — every web developer should be proficient in JS. Eventually you’re going to want to validate a field before sending it to the server, or have to muck with cookies. There will always be someone somewhere who will say, with breathless excitement, “What about AJAX?” JS is ubiquitous.

PHP is also ubiquitous, but there just isn’t the work for it. Nor Python. Perl’s fading. I have my eye on Ruby, though.


Squid attacks

Thanks to Scott Reynen for the link to a second squid focused weblog–this one by Laughing Squid. The site has two items that especially caught my eye (figuratively) this week:

War of the Worlds with a real squid.

Filming the Red Devil — a National Geographic film clip showing large Humboldt squid attacking the man who is attempting to film them. It’s an incredible film — well worth multiple viewings.

Critters People

The Rule of Small Deer

There were three deer on the path in front of me.

They didn’t run when they saw me. They just stood there staring at me. Finally, as one, they moved: one pawed the ground, one began eating the leaves from a small bush, the third started walking towards me.

Deer are supposed to run from people, not approach us. I walked closer to the deer coming towards me and it didn’t stop.  I stamped my foot and it didn’t stop. I raised my arms and waved and it didn’t pause, didn’t blink, didn’t stop. I turned around to go back and only then did it head back to the other two.

I turned around, back towards the deer. The little bold one swung around back to me, as if it were on a string pulled by my movements. I began to walk towards it, thinking this time it would shy away. It didn’t. I moved closer until I could see the ragged edges of its fur and the tiny black at the center of its eyes. Still, it came.

I didn’t know what to make of the deer, but I could imagine.

I imagined it had run from humans one too many times. Run from the food and the best footing and the last of the sunshine. Run back into the trees and the shadows and the low branches waiting to trip it and the bushes already picked clean.

Probably decided to hell with it. Yes, that’s it. To hell with it. You push anything hard enough, even a small deer, and they’ll think to hell with it.