Results: What languages do you know well? 

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  • C
    96  45.28%
  • C++
    99  46.70%
  • C#
    47  22.17%
  • Perl
    39  18.40%
  • Python
    55  25.94%
  • PHP
    122  57.55%
  • Lisp
    15  7.08%
  • Scheme
    8  3.77%
  • Assembler ( any variant )
    55  25.94%
  • Java
    96  45.28%
  • ASP
    24  11.32%
  • .NET
    35  16.51%
  • Visual Basic
    71  33.49%
  • Cold Fusion
    7  3.30%
  • Delphi
    19  8.96%
  • Ruby
    21  9.91%
  • Fortran
    14  6.60%
  • MatLab
    13  6.13%
  • Javascript
    98  46.23%
  • Tyle
    3  1.42%
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    #31
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    Would you say it was possible for someone to be a 'good programmer' in a language without knowing it's culture and supporting tools?

    Could someone who had never used Python's debugger, never heard of Zope or Twisted or the PEPs (Python Enhancement Proposals) or the Effbot, be a 'good programmer' in Python, say? (Edit as applicable for other languages).
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    In a specific language, no. Well not necessarily. It depends largely on how well they acquire languages. Also in how well they can apply the language to the correct problem. If a programmer doesn't stay up to date on a specific language then they won't remain effective in that language. But a good programmer could likley learn about something new and still be able to use it effectively.

    I know a great many good programmers who know only a few languages. But that isn't what makes them a good programmer. What makes them good programmers is their understanding of logic, algorithms and most importantly the ability to start with a problem and end up with an efficient, usable solution. The second part of that is to know which tool is right for the project and knowing when the tools you're familiar with don't match up to what you need to do and being able to find and learn the tools that you need.

    I think the simple analogy is:
    some people can pick up a hammer and use it correctly without knowing anything about it.
    Some people will know every detail about hammers without ever knowing how to use it.
    Dear God. What is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring.
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    oh, lounge this puppy ... add COBOL, DCL, and every other Command shell ...

    Comments on this post

    • Ehlanna agrees : Phew! Glad somebody mentioned COBOL
    Last edited by Axweildr; May 4th, 2006 at 07:53 PM.
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    I pretty strong in C/C++, Pascal, and PHP . Perl and Ruby I could probably use sufficiently if I had a bunch of docs in front of me while writing the code.

    I'm currently learning Python (a very nice language, but the whole whitespace-actually-matters thing takes some getting used to...)
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  9. fork while true;
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    Originally Posted by sfb
    Would you say it was possible for someone to be a 'good programmer' in a language without knowing it's culture and supporting tools?

    Could someone who had never used Python's debugger, never heard of Zope or Twisted or the PEPs (Python Enhancement Proposals) or the Effbot, be a 'good programmer' in Python, say? (Edit as applicable for other languages).
    I've never touched Zope or taken a look at the PEPs, but I could write a pretty big program in python. In answer, yes, you can be good at a language without knowing everything about it.
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    What is a "good programmer"?!?!?!?
    - someone that writes good code, well commented, well organized and structured, no replication, etc etc, or someone that can do loads of different things in programming?!?!
    - someone that has experienced doing stuff in loads of different languages and technologies, or someone highly specialized in a language taking more advantage of information technology?!?!?!
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    I don't know if I qualify as a good programmer or not, I am not even sure I know what the definition would be. What I do know is that I have used (not necessarily learned!) a whole raft-load of languages. What I do not know is C (and the various C-style languages) - yet with all the various experience I have I can debug simple C programs.

    Most of the languages I have used are not in the list, but include COBOL (including CICS), various dBASEs, Unix shells, ADS/O, Rexx, TSO/E, JCL.
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    Originally Posted by BraBo
    What is a "good programmer"?!?!?!?
    - someone that writes good code, well commented, well organized and structured, no replication, etc etc, or someone that can do loads of different things in programming?!?!
    - someone that has experienced doing stuff in loads of different languages and technologies, or someone highly specialized in a language taking more advantage of information technology?!?!?!
    Being a good programmer isn't a true/false type thing. It's not one or the other. It's like being a craftsman. Like having a skill, or rather a collection of skills, that are improved over time.
    Dear God. What is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring.
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    Originally Posted by crownjewel82
    Oh I don't feel that learning ASP (ASP is to VB as JavaScript is to Java, kindof)
    [snip]
    excuse me? I know I'm late with this, but I can't let that pass...
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    Originally Posted by jamieB
    excuse me? I know I'm late with this, but I can't let that pass...
    Yeah, I'm not so sure I understand CJ's logic with this one. It sounds to me like she was referring to the complexity of the language rather than the relation between the two.
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    Originally Posted by Adrastea0413
    Yeah, I'm not so sure I understand CJ's logic with this one. It sounds to me like she was referring to the complexity of the language rather than the relation between the two.
    Oh. In that case it might just about be a borderline-sane thing to say.
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    Care to elaborate on what part of that post you're talking about?
    Dear God. What is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring.
  24. #43
  25. Hello World :)
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    Iíve been thinking about it all day and itís really not an easy thing to qualify. What makes a good program? Obviously good programmers must be those that produce good programs and great programmers likewise.

    To that end Iíd say that from a user point of view a good programmer is one whose software is invocative, Ďsimpleí and doesnít break down. Easier said than done I know but it exists.

    From a programmersí point of view, or my point of view because I donít have anyone elseís: a good programmer is one who produces concise, elegant, beautiful, working code. Above all else this is the thing that I use to decide if a programmer is a good programmer. Itís easy to blag your way into a sounding smart.

    Let us be honest about it, programmers tend to put a lot of effort into this. I do .

    What no one can do is fake the quality of his or her code, which is why itís the ONLY way to do decide IMO.

    Let me be clear about this, Iím not talking about how fast someone can write a program to do X or the number of lines used. Iím talking about intangible qualities like clarity / brevity, abstraction, algorithm choices and program flow etc.

    If youíre going to hack something up in five minutes these things will suffer; sounds like a no brainer .


    Weather that is what a good programmer is I donít know but thatís what the term means to me .

    Someone can know how to program very well but if they donít do it with skill (as crown suggested) and with artistry I wonít / canít class that person as a good programmer.

    Just something I feel very strongly about.

    Sadly it seems that not many programmers would agree with me that code should be beautifully audited.

    I see at least 100x as much ugly code as I do beautiful code, maybe programmers donít care, or maybe they just donít know in the same way that PC manufacturers (Apple and a few others excluded) donít know?

    To paraphrase Paul Graham, in order to do beautiful work you have to know what beautiful is.

    Take care,

    Mark.
    programming language development: www.netytan.com Ė Hula

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    Originally Posted by crownjewel82
    Care to elaborate on what part of that post you're talking about?
    The part that I quoted. I'll quote it again if you like
    ASP is to VB as JavaScript is to Java, kindof
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    Ok. It is. ASP or rather vbscript is syntactically similar to VB just as JavaScript is syntactically similar to Java. I still don't get what your problem with the statement is.

    Comments on this post

    • netytan agrees : I'm a little puzzled also
    Dear God. What is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring.

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