> A newly-minted library school grad who has up to this point focused my
> studies on Rare Books and Book Arts, I've been interested in getting
> back into some programming--I took two classes in college
> (VisualBASIC), have a smattering of web design and php, MySQL,
> exposure, but I'd like to try my hand at teaching myself a language in
> my free time. My partner is a former dotcom programmer (now studying
> neuroscience) and has offered to assist when needed, so I'm not
> completely on my own (thank goodness).
> My question is, where would you recommend I would begin? What's hot
> right now in the library world? Python, PERL, Ruby? Any advice you'd
> have for a beginner like me or even recommendations for online courses
> would be extremely appreciated
> Pick something that you need for a specific project. You already know how
to program, so picking up a language for its own sake will mostly be an
academic exercise for you.

If you just take a course or pick up a book to learn a new language, you'll
wind up doing the same things you already know how to do just using slightly
different syntax.

Syntax is the least important difference between the languages. More
important is knowing which ones are better suited to which applications.

My advice would be to work on a project and if it calls for a language that
you don't know, then pick up that. If it calls for something you already
know like PHP, just use that and pick up your new language when you need to
later. In other words, learn what you need. It's dang hard to remember
anything you don't actively use.


Kyle Banerjee
Digital Services Program Manager
Orbis Cascade Alliance
baner...@uoregon.edu / 503.999.9787

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