Expanding your programming skillset

I’ve followed a pretty simple education process when learning how to program:



  1. BBC Basic
  2. QuickBasic
  3. Acorn Basic
  4. Visual Basic 5
  5. Visual Basic 6
  6. ASP
  7. ASP.Net (VB)

Spot a theme there? Obviously along the way I’ve learnt SQL, picked up a bit of Javascript and enough to know that I’m dangerous with C. Side skills like HTML/CSS are a given.


But now what? For the last 4 years I’ve been trudging along with ASP.Net. Sure, it’s a MASSIVE language and I come across unknown functions every day, but it’s not really a challenge anymore. I want to learn something new. Languages are an obvious choice, but then you could also argue that some of the framework extensions in .NET are big enough to be classed as a language, or at least a dialect.


I’ve set myself a target of groking one language/technology per week, though I’m pretty sure some are going to take less time and others much much more. So what to learn?



  • PHP
  • Ruby
  • Ruby on Rails
  • LINQ
  • ADO Entity Framework
  • ASP.NET MVC
  • Javascript (like… learn it properly rather than my pidgin version)

PHP for example isn’t that ‘big’. Sure, there’s a few functions but so long as I can remember where to look for those functions I’ll be fine. Ruby On Rails looks hugely appealing for those “I need to knock this up quick sharp” moments.


So, if you had 2 months worth of spare time (say 1.5-3 hours per day) to learn some new skills what would you learn?



 

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