With the myriad of scripting and programming languages around, a newbie to software application development could easily get lost. Well earlier, scripting languages were limited in functionality and software programmer wannabes would have easily chosen one of the few popular programming languages around (C/C++/Java) to get started. However, Scripting or dynamic languages have come a long way and can now be used for almost all (if not all) application development that could previously be done by only languages such as C/C++. Also, languages such as Python are used for hardware testing. Perhaps, systems programming will still require the likes of C/assembly until all low-level operations are exposed in scripting languages, but then runtime performance will play a key factor in the language of choice.
In a recent survey on most popular languages conducted by Evans Data, PHP, Ruby and Python took the gold, silver and bronze awards respectively. Visit the article to see how the languages are ranked in various categories (ease of use, exception handling, etc.). My wife referred me to this survey when she knew that I was attempting to learn Python (perhaps to rub it in, that I wasn’t going to learn the best scripting language out there). And actually, after reading that survey, I was wondering whether I should switch to learning PHP (the language used by this blog publishing software and several software products!) . But hey, irrespective of the language you learn, the bottom line is that you need to use the right tool for the job. So, I’ll stick with trying to get a grasp of the big snake for now while somebody out there is possibly working on other gems and reptiles.