I am just starting out

sashan sashang@ihug.co.nz
Sat, 24 May 2003 11:45:07 +1200

Andy Schmidt wrote:

> Hi, my name is Andy Schmidt and I stumbled across this website as I 
> started my quest for the best programming language.  I am only in 
> college and I am trying to learn as many languages as I can.  I hope 
> haskell will be the one I stick with.
> -Andy

I don't think you should focus too much on sticking with one language. 
It's better from a commercial standpoint to have knowledge of more than 
one language, specifically Java or C++. The advantage of learning a 
language like Haskell is that you'll be a better programmer because of 
it, or 'The purpose of learning a programming language is to become a 
better programmer' [The C++ Programming Language Special Edition, B 
Stroustrup, pgage 6] . From a practical perspective a language like 
Haskell will teach you functional programming idioms, which advanced C++ 
users are recently beginning to work into the C++ language. For example, 
the Boost (www.boost.org) group have implemented a C++ version of the 
Haskell fold function. Also Microsoft are rumored to be jumping onto the 
functional language bandwagon with a F# 
(http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,1102795,00.asp). It looks 
like it's trying to be a clean mix of functional and imperative language 

 From a practical perspective, unless you want to pursue a career in 
academia,  you should focus on a language like Java or C++, since these 
are far more marketable than Haskell. This may change in the future. 
You'll also have to deal with IT recruiters one day and to them HTML and 
Haskell both start with H so they must be similar. I recently spoke with 
one that said 'in-tee-gah, is that how you say it?'. I corrected her 
pronunciation of integer but didn't bother to explain what it was.